Distilled, a Firstpost podcast: Author Ayesha Siddiqa on the showdown between Pakistan's SC and govt over army chief

  • Last week, the Supreme Court of Pakistan initiated an unprecedented confrontation with its government

  • The tussle was over the legal authority to give army chief General Qamar Bajwa a three-year extension

  • Praveen Swami talks to Ayesha Siddiqa, one of the foremost authorities on the Pakistan Army

Distilled is a new podcast series from Firstpost, which introduces us to innovative, cutting-edge thinking about our world, and the issues it confronts, through conversations with some of the most highly-regarded experts in India and the world.

In each episode, Network18 Group Consulting Editor Praveen Swami will be discussing subjects ranging from geopolitics to culture and sport — trying to unpack the unpredictable, ever-changing forces that are shaping our times.

Last week, Pakistan’s Supreme Court initiated an unprecedented confrontation with its government, challenging its legal authority to give army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa a three-year extension of service. Extensions like these are a key part of the slime that binds Pakistan’s fraught political life, with prime ministers using them to appease the all-powerful institution of the Chief of Army Staff in return for staying in power.

Then, after two days of often tetchy hearings, the Supreme Court backed down — ordering only that Parliament had, within six months, to create a legal framework for extensions. It seemed like game, set and match for the status quo, but is it really?

In this second episode of the Distilled podcast, Swami discusses the issues, and the path forward with Ayesha Siddiqa, one of the foremost authorities on the Pakistan Army, author of Military Inc., a path-breaking work on the Pakistan Army’s business holdings and interests, and a research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

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Updated Date: Nov 29, 2019 20:10:00 IST