The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified.
When India released a video footage of its counter-terrorism operations destroying a Pakistani post in the Naushera sector on May 9, the first reaction that came from Pakistan was from its military establishment. Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson of the Pakistan Army, dismissed the Indian claims. The Pak Army spokesperson also flatly denied the reports of Pakistani posts targeting villages along the Line of Control (LoC) and killing innocent civilians. Whereas the truth is, in May alone, Pak firing has killed three civilians and injured nine others in just the Naushera Sector and over a thousand villagers have forced to migrate to safer places.
Maj Gen Asif GhafoorVerified account
Indian claims of destroying Pakistani post along LOC in Naushera Sec and firing by Pak Army on civilians across LOC are false.
4:33 PM – 23 May 2017
So far, it is the only reaction from Pakistan on what is being seen as the next major counter-terror offensive by India against Pakistan after the Surgical Strikes last year. No one from its civilian establishment has spoken on it yet. It is in contrast to the Surgical Strikes that India carried out in September last year,
After the Surgical Strikes, first reactions came from Pakistan’s civilian establishment. Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif said it was an act of ‘naked aggression’ by the Indian Army. Its defence minister Khawaja Asif initially said yes there were such incidents over the night but if India did so again, we would give a strong reply. So they accepted the Surgical Strikes.
But after its all powerful military issued a denial, dismissing the very existence of the Surgical Strikes, in a desperate bid to save its face, Pakistan’s civilian establishment had no other option but to toe the line. And soon the whole Pakistan, including its media, started speaking in the language of its army – and the line was – no surgical strike took place and it was a mere Line of Control (LoC) aggression.
But this dichotomy had caused Pakistan a great deal of embarrassment. So, probably, learning from the past, its Army would have ordered Pakistan’s civilian establishment to shut its mouth and let it handle the moment of crisis. And in its books, the best way to handle such a crisis is denial, as we saw after the Surgical Strikes.
These two denials once again reiterate who is the real boss in Pakistan, it’s all powerful military. The Pak Army has ruled the nation either directly through its generals or by dictating terms to its civilian governments, something that a BBC article described as “military rule by stealth”. Pakistan’s political establishment could never stand on its own. Military effectively entrenched itself into every aspect of Pakistan’s socio-political milieu – killing democracy in the process.