Defining boundaries is critical for future.

THE constitutional role of the military has been under active mass-scale discussion these days, and rightly so. The role of the military, as defined in Article 245 of the Constitution, is 'to defend Pakistan against external aggression or threat of war' and to 'act in aid of civil power when called upon to do so'.

Though this role appears to be very neatly outlined and simple to execute, it is actually fraught with dangers of overstepping the domain as the boundaries are not clearly defined.

To put it another way, the boundaries are dependent on who defines them and how. This surely should not be the case.

In today's world, war is not limited to the actual theatre of war alone. It seeps down to civil society and adopts the form of an asymmetric exercise; the so-called fifth generation warfare, which includes cyber warfare, misinformation through media, subversion of people's minds and propaganda under the garb of ideology.

Viewing from this angle, the intelligence agencies have to perform counter-intelligence operations and detect enemy activity in any form in different facets of civil society.

Taking advantage of this role, the army has been venturing into larger society with the help and support of politicians with an axe to...

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