Photographic tricks won't be enough. Can Nawaz bell Pak army's new top cat?

Tilak Devasher @tilakdevasher1 | First published: 1 December 2016, 18:11 IST
Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif and new army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa
Photo: Government of Pakistan

'If a picture paints a thousand words...'

Telly Savalas, the film and TV actor of yesteryear, would never have imagined that a line from his famous song 'If', would come to life in the most unlikely of places - Pakistan.

But it has.

Three photographs tell a tale of the state of play of civilian-military relations in Pakistan.

The first was taken at the farewell dinner hosted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for outgoing army chief General Raheel Sharif. It shows the two of them sitting adjacent to each other, as equals - like two heads of government or states.

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif with outgoing army chief General Raheel Sharif
Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif with outgoing army chief General Raheel Sharif.

The second photograph shows General Qamar Javed Bajwa meeting Nawaz after he was picked to be the new army chief.

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif with new army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa
Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif with new army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The two are sitting across an empty table, clearly showing that Nawaz is the boss and the army chief-designate is meeting him. Contrast this with the first photograph, and the message is loud and clear.

The third photograph is of Gen. Bajwa saluting Nawaz when he went to call on him after he was appointed as the army chief. This was taken a few moments before the second photograph.

New Pak army chief Gen. Bajwa salutes PM Nawaz Sharif
New Pak army chief Gen. Bajwa salutes PM Nawaz Sharif.

Interestingly, the official photograph released by the PM's house shows Nawaz shaking hands with the army chief-designate.

Like the leaked Dawn news story in October, the above photograph was leaked to the media, and not released officially. The leak could only have come from the PM's house, because the photographer is clearly standing behind the PM.

Nawaz in control?

 
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