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Pak should emulate India’s court martial example: Pak daily
Islamabad, Jan 24 (IANS):
Published on 24 Jan. 2011 11:27 PM IST
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Pakistan “should emulate” the example of India to courtmartial a serving general for a land scam, a Pakistani daily said, adding “the only way Pakistan can ever become a real democracy is when we stop treating some institutions as `sacred cows’.”
An editorial in the Daily Times Monday said that Lieutenant-General P.K. Rath of the Indian Army was held guilty in a court martial for his involvement in what is known as the Sukna land scam.
Rath was found guilty on three counts in the scam in which a no-objection certificate (NOC) was issued to a private realtor to transfer a 70-acre plot of land adjacent to the Sukna military station in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district.
“The conviction of a senior army officer in India should serve as a wake-up call for Pakistan. We should emulate their example,” the editorial said.
It said that both India and Pakistan got their independence in the same month, same year, “yet the way these two countries progressed is completely different”.
“India is the world’s largest democracy. On the other hand, Pakistan has been juggling between military rules and inefficient democracies all these years.
Even now, it continues to remain under the khaki shadows despite the fact that a democratic set-up is in place.”
Noting that there have been many corruption scandals in Pakistan’s military forces, it said that “no action has ever been taken against either retired or serving officers”.
“As far as the politicians are concerned, alleged corruption charges against them make headlines but when it comes to corruption scandals in the military, they are either swept under the carpet or never come out in public.”
In a scathing criticism, the editorial said: “Land scams are a norm in our military while other corruption tactics involve kickbacks on arms deals, etc. No government, military or civilian, has held any army officer responsible for the massive corruption that takes place on a regular basis. It is because of the military establishment’s strong hold over our political system and the media. Fear of retribution is one of the foremost reasons why military scandals are always ignored.”
It wrapped up saying: “The only way Pakistan can ever become a real democracy is when we stop treating some institutions as `sacred cows’. Transparency in the military, starting from the defence budget, should be mandatory.”

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