Is a Tragedy of our Times

The ruling party has disappointed the man on the street, who equally is dismayed with the Opposition. Adjectives and invectives for one truly hold good for the other. Maulvi, Moulana, Mullah or any such title to berate an opponent falls short of decency expected of a man at the top. It is violative of a judicial ruling and against the norms, decor and dignity of his Office. Politicians as leaders stand discredited altogether.

By Muhammad Ijaz-Ul-Haq

Infected by the loathsome disease of corruption, cronyism, plunder and political immaturity, the Government has brought every stratum of national existence to the deepest down. It pains everyone to watch and witness, helplessly, the constant drifting, downing and drowning of their motherland. Fire from within and without, has engulfed the nation thus effectively destroying our national aspirations. The country has been reduced to the lower wretchedness.

Attack and take-over of GHQ by the terrorists, killing and capturing the inmates was a rude shock. To this day little is known. In the case of OBL, the world has been led to believe elimination of the most dreaded terrorist, leaving some aspects yet shrouded. It sounds illogical that Osama was able to avoid every eye around his compound in a scenic city so close to army barracks, with no escape tunnels, guards and guns for security. Being alone and unarmed, the SEALs could have captured him alive. Was it an intelligence failure, a negligence or complicity at some level?  Why the wanted man was buried at sea so hurriedly. The sovereignty of a nuclear state was tramped with the least concern and consideration.

The nation was yet again traumatized over the horrific scenes of guns and grenades hurled by terrorists who managed their entry to the most protected sensitive sites at Mehran Naval Facility to destroy national assets. The forensic findings and DNA Investigations reveal the perpetrators to be of foreign origin. Could they be the private contractors like Raymond Davis or 7000 unverified visa visitors? It has compounded the mystery and gravity of the incident. This all has seriously dented and doubted the capacity, capability and credibility of our Security Apparatus as a potent arm of the State.

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The ruling party has disappointed the man on the street, who equally is dismayed with the Opposition .Adjectives and invectives for one truly hold good for the other. Maulvi, Moulana, Mullah or any such title to berate an opponent falls short of decency expected of a man at the top. It is violative of a judicial ruling and against the norms, decor and dignity of his Office. Politicians as leaders stand discredited altogether.

Most of us have been terming war on terror a treacherous war waged against Muslims. We are fighting others’ war, killing our own people. The country is trapped in involutions and complexities of serious dimensions. Enough of Muslim blood has been shed with no hope for its honourable close. We have been and are being repeatedly asked to shed more blood with DO MORE mantra. Pakistan Army is essentially an army of practising Muslims and the composition of its rank and file is based on ingrained Islamic teachings. If we trace back the root cause of our ills, the lead goes to much despicable and denounced NRO which ensured installation of a government composed of ill-reputed functionaries. Despite being annulled, cronies with questionable antecedents and the culprits continue to reap its benefits.

Discipline, training and authority notwithstanding, the moving force, spirit and sentiment behind a battle waged and rendering the supreme sacrifice is the spirit of Jehad. General Zia-ul-Haq, on being appointed as Chief of the Army staff, not long after our defeat and dismemberment, worked hard to inculcate, instil and preserve the Islamic content and consciousness in the Army. He knew full well that a secular army cannot be drafted and maintained from amongst a conservative Muslim society. He granted a gazetted status to the unit religious teachers and enforced religious training at Formation level. As a motivation he gave the motto of “EMAAN, TAQWA, JEHAD FI-SABEELILLAH” to the army, much to the disliking of the then Ruling Party. Not only this in the army, he tried to mould every aspect of our social life in accordance with the teachings, traits and tenets of Islam. It was for General Zia’s work that Parvez Musharraf became a blue eyed of the west to undo the Islamic character of Pakistan.

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The recent onslaught and sickening criticism directed against the security establishment, levelling accusations and pointing fingers is unjustified and unfortunate, indeed.

Army bashing and severe criticism has been so piercing, that even an arch archer and a marksman MNA is seeking throwing in the towel! He should prevail upon his leadership to introspect as to why it is losing ground with each passing day. I would suggest and advise all those criticising, blaming and bashing army not to cross the limits. Army has already spoken, and spoken well through the “Perceptual Biases”.

Army has and continues to offer tremendous services and sacrifices for the country. Saving billions it has already altered or deferred decision to build GHQ at the country’s Capital. The army is being targeted through a multi-pronged strategy. The campaign is synchronised, spontaneous and simultaneous. The force and ferocity itself speaks and smacks serious. Henchmen are howling hoarse. Efforts are on to create a wedge between the army and people. Little surprise and no coincidence, that what is said and printed abroad is stated and published here so religiously. In the thick of provincialization and regionalization of the already fragmented State and Society, drawn and drafted from all the four corners of the country, army is a unifying factor and a cementing force for national integration and cohesion. It is difficult to reconcile with the remarks and rhetoric. Belittling such a balancing force is no less than any heinous crime. Why have we closed our eyes and forgotten that consigning corpses and coffins, wrapped in national flag, is almost a daily drill and ritual. To offer the supreme sacrifice one needs the highest degree of devotion, motivation and determination which all comes through an ideological commitment.

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Some individuals may have a cause of complaint against past military leaders. But to blame and banish the Army as a whole is not justified. It is and must stay as a potent and proud Institution. Wearing its pride and dignity, it must put up a brave face. Patriotism, conviction, lack of fear, courage, devotion to duty and a true sense of sacrifice are the hallmark of a soldier. He and his Institution must not be on the defensive and undermined .Ours is a national army and has a duty and obligation to the nation. And it has the duty to save the motherland from ruin and collapse.

Having failed to get along with General Gul and Air Marshal Rahim, Bhutto had to take the two Chiefs virtually hostage before announcing their successors. Sensing something, Aslam Beg had to be baited to become the Chairman JCSC with enhanced authority and powers. To turn him into an in-effectual non-entity, the government had to designate his successor much in advance. Once felt feasible he was eased out coolly and clandestinely. Deputy Speaker National Assembly was summoned by General Asif Nawaz Janjua to GHQ to be told to learn. General Kakar evicted occupants of both the highest Houses. General Jehangir Karamat himself chose to retreat and retire – against advice. The all powerful Prime Minister could not rid smooth in October 1999. The authors and architects of Higher Defence Organization had in mind the principle of Civilian Supremacy, lowering the designation of “Commander-in-Chief” to “Chief of the Army Staff” and relegating his position and protocol in the Warrants of Precedence. Did it all work to their expectations? Amongst the political pundits, is there also a Statesman around? A Statesman of stature and standing – with vision and wisdom – who would have the courage, credentials and character, to act Supreme?! Thus feeble, thus fragile and thus far is the myth of our Civilian Supremacy!