This sort of system existed for ever. But it was still under some control.
All semblance of balance first went out with Musharraf, then accelerated under Kiyani. Raheel perpetuated it.
A general officer of 1965 cannot pay his electricity bills on pension he earns.
However this new lot from Musharraf onwards have taken theft to a different level.
It is primarily a property related scam, but exists in other businesses as well.
Essentially at every level of elevation officers are given plots and land.
Initially it used to be a single plot. Now it starts of as a single plot, moves to commercial property, then as a general to more, and with every star keeps going up - over to the chief getting hundreds of canals of agricultural land. Which often is timed agricultural only to be rezoned into residential and commercial. We are talking about Millions in US $ terms.
This level of rapaciousness has killed all semblance of balance and control and integrity in the institution.
These chiefs especially Musharraf did this new form of patronage in order to perpetuate their rule and self interest, especially when junior ranks began to question his decisions around US involvement within Pakistan, especially basing rights (which caused a lot of anger within self-respecting junior ranks).
Today we find ourselves in this spiral and the system itself is so powerful and strong that no single chief can fix it. In many ways we are caught in this spiral of corruption which will end once the weight of corruption will shatter the house of cards. In the end what survives is an unknown. But I am afraid that whether it is in a month or a few years. The Pakistan national experiment will come crashing down on the weight of self inflicted corruption and dishonesty.
Go to any military golf course and you'll find General officer in their pastel Tees hitting the links as if all is well on the western front. Reminds me of Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burned. Today's Pakistan is a perfect example of that.
These are our generals: