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Having suspended the constitution and instituted military rule the Pakistan Army continues to play a major role in its countrys development Brian Cloughley examines its training leadership and equipment and evaluates its fitness for role ON 1213 October 1999 the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was placed in abeyance when the Chief of the Army Staff COAS General Pervez Musharraf dismissed the government of prime minister Nawaz Sharif and assumed the title of chief executive of the nation Although the president remained in office -- giving some legitimacy to the administration that is widely regarded as prepared to hand over to civilian governance once the economy and the political fabric of the country have been reconstituted -- the army is firmly in control However the role and tasks of the Pakistan Army are currently in flux as a result of recent events and because Pakistan and India now possess a rudimentary but developing nuclear weapons capability When the Sharif government was in power the army -- and in theory the entire defence force -- was tasked to oversee or actually run a number of enterprises including the Water and Power Development Agency The structure of life in Pakistan had become so ridden with corruption that the armed forces were considered the only sound institutions in the country The long term effects of undertaking non-military duties cannot be assessed but in previous periods of military rule the cost was significant because high-grade officers and non-commissioned officers NCOs were involved in civilian-related tasks to the detriment of planning training administration and operational readiness Regional threats and relations The military threat to Pakistan is regarded as being presented solely by India with whom relations vary from poor to actively hostile Pakistans defence posture and doctrine are almost entirely concerned with its eastern border as is apparent from the location of the
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