Memogate & other machinations to malign Pak Army

By S. M. Hali

The findings of the Judicial Commission, constituted to unearth the real facts about Memogate scandal, have been finally been announced, vindicating the stand taken by Pakistan Army on the Memogate scandal, clearing the doubts about it and its subordinate organization the ISI.  It is also noteworthy that Pakistan’s justice system has stood the test of time and proved its impartiality, fairness and neutrality as well as providing credence to the adage that “justice is blind.”  The sad part of the drama is that the morass created by the unsavoury episode, had scandalized the national as well as the international landscape, bringing a bad name to the country but at the same time, dividing public opinion. The media had played its own role in promoting the views of the extreme positions taken by each side. Unfortunately, the humiliating comedy of errors was exploited by vested interests. Some thought it an opportune moment to take potshots at the Army and the ISI and settle old scores on account of real or trumped up grudges borne against the security and defence institutions.

The central character of the memogate scandal, Mansoor Ijaz, has also found solace in the findings the findings of the judicial commission probing the scam, since his veracity has been confirmed. He has expressed his gratitude to the bold stance taken by the Chief of Army Staff as well as the then Director General Inter Services Intelligence, Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha as well as the judicial Commission formed to investigate the origins, purpose and authenticity of a confidential memorandum submitted to Admiral Mike Mullen (R) in May 2011. His view is that the importance of the commission’s report and the actions of the Supreme Court that have immediately followed to impart justice on the perpetrators of this scheme against Pakistan’s national interests should be celebrated by all Pakistanis because the institutions of jurisprudence in Pakistan have proven rock solid to their foundational cores. Adding that the pillars of a free society — a robust judiciary, a parliamentary body that reflects the will of its people, an executive branch that protects the interests of a nation and a free and vibrant press — fundamentally require that the laws of the land are respected and abided by. The Commission’s findings demonstrate that no matter how high up in government a person claims to be, if wrongdoing is found, justice will be imparted fairly and without consideration to a single political factor that subordinates the country’s national interests.

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Indeed the report proves that Generals Kayani and Pasha withstood internal and external pressures for a just cause. Their steadfastness indicates that the priorities of the defence of the motherland rest on capable shoulders. Unfortunately, the Commission has exposed the hypocrisy of those entrusted with shouldering the responsibilities of promoting the diplomatic front of Pakistan in the Federal Capital of the United States of America then. In fact the rogue operation conducted by the individual at the helm of the ambassadorial team Mr. Hussain Haqqani is not a trustworthy person. On the other hand, the report has confirmed that the Army leadership has endeavoured to keep the national interest in the forefront.

Now that the findings of the Memo-Commission are out in the open, political Parties are scrambling to take the credit of the whole episode for which Army and ISI took the stand. In fact it’s farcical that some of those politicians, who formerly found faults with the Army and ISI, are now baying for the blood of Hussain Haqqani, for trying him for treason.

It is regrettable that various international institutions too have made it their raison d’être to target the Pakistan Army. After killing of Osama-bin-Laden (OBL) by US SEALs in Abbotabad, Al-Qaeda has stepped up propaganda against the august institution. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has recently published a highly derogatory and hostile propaganda against Pakistan Army through a study titled “Emerging Al-Qaeda Strategy Targeted at Damaging Pakistan Army in Muslim Eyes, Assassinating its Senior Officers, Annihilating it after US Drawdown from Afghanistan in 2014”. It has been authored by Tufail Ahmed, Director MEMRI South Asia Study Projects and released on 9th May 2012.  The study quotes audio / video statements of Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants and bends backwards to prove that Pakistan Army is an apostate force having historical links with anti Muslim crusaders and therefore is symbolically an anti Muslim force. It cynically criticizes the role of Pakistan Army Generals in 1965-71 Indo-Pak wars, partition of 1971 leading to the creation of Bangladesh, Kargil conflict, Afghan wars and collaboration of Pak Army with US.

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This kind of anti Pakistan Army propaganda campaign by Al-Qaeda is aimed at damaging the image of Pak Army not only in the eyes of Muslims worldwide but also among the Pakistani masses. Secondly, it aspires to subvert the loyalties of Pakistani soldiers towards their commanders. A third endeavor is to create mistrust in the minds of Pakistani masses and soldiers that Army Officers get inspired from non-Muslim crusaders while Muslims draw their inspirations from great heroes of Islam only. The target of the anti-Pak Army forces is to recruit the serving soldiers of Pakistan Army to their heinous cause after sowing the seeds of dissent and disloyalty in their minds.

Al-Qaeda’s consistent assertions pose serious threat to Pakistan Army as the terrorist outfit aims at total annihilation of the institution of Pakistan Army. Their propaganda contents contain divisive message for the masses to abandon their loyalty to the idea of Pakistan. In order to accomplish their nefarious designs Al-Qaeda has prepared its strategy to target the Army through terrorist attacks, assassination of senior officers through selective killing and executing the Army personnel for collaborating with US once US/NATO troops withdraw from Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda is also propagating that Jihad against Pakistani Army is justified as it is a force which has allied itself with the US.

The fact is that Al-Qaeda poses a real threat to Pakistan and its Army and hence must be taken seriously. Al-Qaeda’s propaganda to tarnish image of the Army is irksomely frustrating and exasperatingly irritating, entailing quick and assertive counter measures through media generated response using cyber and internet assets. The style, tone and tenor of propaganda by Al-Qaeda indicate that it has come from a defeated and exhausted mind uncovering the inner disorganization and structurally damaged outfit. It must be exploited fully through media. The Army has braved numerous terrorist attacks and has the will/capability to annihilate cowardly outfits of terrorists. The rock solid resolve to thwart the nefarious designs of Al-Qaeda creates fear in its hearts and that is why it has accelerated its nefarious plot against the Army, but surely this machination too will fail like the Memogate scandal.

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