General Kayani needs neither recommendation nor reference. His services to the state are well recorded. General Pasha, while serving as a Contingent and Sector Commander of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone, was reverently known as the “Little General”. His contributions to the war on terror have earned him good repute.

By S. M. Hali

General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s statement regarding the constitutional role of Pakistan Army has put to rest rumours and speculation of an army takeover. It has also refuted Yusuf Raza Gillani's charge of the Army plotting to throw the political government out when Kayani declared, "Army has no desire to derail democracy."

Pakistan Army’s past role in the six and half decades of Pakistan’s existence does spell doom and gloom for democratic institutions at the hands of the army, since there have been four military takeovers and Pakistan has been ruled by the army for over 33 years. With such a track record, the current dispensation in the government was wary of Pakistan Army’s intentions, but it should not have denigrated the Army, forcing a clash between institutions.

One would expect that those who claim to be champions of democracy would endeavour to keep the banner of democracy aloft but it appears that the same democrats are sacrificing the notion at the altar of their own self-preservation. With the memogate scandal being examined by the Supreme Court, one would expect that the current political dispensation ruling in Islamabad would let justice prevail and the judicial proceedings take their legitimate course instead they were busy hurling impediments in the way of the judicial system. Why are they against the judicial process? Do they fear the exposure of their own veiled complicity in the macabre plot to upstage the military?

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Mossad plays an important role in the operation of state functionaries of Israel, similarly Indian security agency RAW has a significant task in the Indian system of government. One never hears the Israeli government or Indian administration castigate Mossad or RAW but in Pakistan; it is the government and its sympathizers in the media, who have turned their knives on both the ISI and Pakistan Army. There was a time, when the Army in Pakistan would not refrain from toppling the applecart of democracy and usurping the reins of power at the drop of a hat. Sometimes it was the corrupt practices of the democratic setup while at others it was sheer lack of governance. The current set hpw up in the Army has resisted all temptations to assume power. There have been numerous opportunities but they have not been availed to give democracy, still at a nascent stage in Pakistan, a chance to thrive and take roots.

The government on the other hand, in order to hide its own inadequacy, has been conspiring to either vilify the Army or pull the ISI directly

 under its own control. It forgets that the Army is its greatest benefactor and ISI its implement to ensure security but the government is hell bent upon disparaging both institutions. The smooth functioning of a government depends upon harmony and close coordination between the pillars of the state, however here in Pakistan; it is the democrats themselves who are trying shoot to shoot themselves in the foot by driving a wedge between institutions. General Kayani needs neither recommendation nor reference. His services to the state are well recorded. General Pasha, while serving as a Contingent and Sector Commander of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone, was reverently known as the “Little General”. His contributions to the war on terror have earned him good repute.

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It is unfortunate that the US, which is Pakistan’s ally in the war on terror, has its own myopic agenda, which have been taken cognizance of by Generals Kayani and Pasha and thwarted. The US tried to impose its will on Pakistan at the Istanbul Conference but the duo put impediments in the path of the US agenda, since it did not serve Pakistan. At Bonn, Pakistan boycotted the conference on Afghanistan.  The NATO attack at Salala check-post has failed to bring about an apology from the assailants, instead they are trying to malign the Pak Army as well as the ISI and for this they have found wiling partners in the ruling junta at Islamabad. Little do the democrats at Islamabad realize that they themselves may fall in the pit they dig for others. Hussain Haqqani’s defence counsel is baying for the blood of General Pasha and seeks his resignation without taking cognizance of the fact that the General had rendered his resignation after the Osama Bin Laden episode but was requested by the parliamentarians themselves to stay on and carry forward the good work. Driving a wedge between institutions now would be counterproductive; instead the democrats should let the Army fulfill its constitutional role.

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