“All praise is for the Almighty who bestowed sovereignty upon the army, then made the people subservient to the army and the army subservient to its own interests” — Justice M R Kayani
Lately, we have been witnessing a relatively new phenomenon in Pakistan’s mainstream and alternative media: fake criticism of Pakistan army by some known and some budding proxies of the military establishment, some of whom are themselves a product of military academies including the author in Dawn who is advising the PPP government to make use of the ‘most opportune moment’ in Pakistan’s history, grab the reins of power, conduct a public inquiry into Pakistan army’s collusion with Al Qaeda/Taliban, and be a casualty in the whole process (the ultimate aim of the FCS proxies).
The author doest not even attempt to hide his concern for the violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and defence by the US invaders:
At cruise speed, terrain hugging and avoiding radars, a UH-60 “Blackhawk” (or even the secretive stealth helicopter that are rumoured to have been used, although non-stealth Chinooks are alleged to have provided support too) would have easily spent more than 30 minutes inside Pakistani territory before the soldiers roped down into the compound. A 40-minute operation and then the return ride. In all, the US team spent at least an hour-and-a-half inside Pakistan and we failed to respond? Were our radars jammed completely? Did we even fail to respond to visual sighting of a bunch of helicopters? Is our response time so slow? With three regimental centres in a highly militarised town, no one was able to answer to a 40-minute ground operation by foreign forces? Are our defenses so inept and weak? Did we scramble jets? When did we, if, realise that it was a friendly country conducting an anti-terrorism raid and not “the enemy”? What is the purpose of keeping the armed forces if they consume such a large chunk of our budget and fail to respond to nothing less than an invasion that lasted for 90 full minutes?….The questions I pose are the multitude that people from various facets of life and inclinations ask. They ask what would happen if India were to carry out the “surgical strike” that their jingoists threaten of? They ask, yes India is not the United States, but how could our air defense systems be so easily jammed and fooled and tricked? They ask, what is the response time to an invasion? What is the purpose of an Army that let’s others not just operate in its territory, but come in, operate and go back? So, today, we are at a point where the Army’s defenses are weak….
I do not aim to demonise the military here. Our soldiers have laid down immense sacrifices for the protection of our boundaries. They have protected us from threats, both internal and external. Even today, make no mistake, we are at a state of war for such a large active deployment of soldiers is nothing short of a full-fledged war, and they are the constant targets of the forces of evil and enemies of humanity.
We will advise the author to read the following excellent post by Ali Sher Mussali: 10 radars urgently needed by Pakistan army and Al Qaeda
Did someone watch yesterday’s (4 May 2011) Kamran Khan show? Did someone read Mosharraf Zaidi’s and other known proxies’ recent articles in which they ‘opportunistically’ and ‘tactfully’ criticize army but do not even feign to hide their venom against the elected government while ignoring the confines woven around the government by the military establishment.
For example, in Shahid Saeed’s article in Dawn, we read the following description of politicians: “the politicians we have are ones we elected. Incompetent, greedy and often despicable as they are (supporting rapists and honour killers)…”.
However, no such words were used for the ISI backed judges who routinely release terrorists and rapists.
While the author is right when he notes: “Come what may, a loosely tied group of non-elected, unelectable, “civil society activists” cannot bring change”, he conveniently fails to acknowledge that he himself is very much a part and parcel of the FCS lot on Twitter, which does not miss out a single opportunity to take cheap shots at politicians, AZ in particular, while completely ignoring or misrepresenting the contributions and limitations of the political class in Pakistan.
The author’s confused mindset is abundantly obvious when he proposes “Select a few mild, calculated and efficient politicians, a Raza Rabbani and Sherry Rehman.” Do you know the credentials of these two politicians? Both are non-elected, unelectable civil society types, with at least one of them with dwindling loyalty to the PPP leadership, and the other as staunch opponent of US drones as are Messrs Imran Khan and Iftikhar Chaudhry.
Oh the joys of being an FCS!
The civilian government must boldly but carefully seize this opportunity to assert its control over the military establishment. It is their moral, social and legal responsibility.
However, one word either ignored or misused in the current discourse is ‘power’. Does the civilian government have necessary ‘power’ to take any substantive steps against the military establishment? Or would it find itself deposed and its leadership incarcerated in the aftermath of a parliamentary inquiry into the military establishment’s collusion with Al Qaeda/Taliban?
Writing in the context of the Raymond Davis saga, Cyril Almeida thus describes the power dynamic in Pakistan:
By now the cat is out of the bag. When the interior minister, the ex- foreign minister and the all-powerful spy chief met to decide the fate of Raymond Davis, two of those gents were of the opinion that Davis doesn’t enjoy ‘full immunity’. One of those two has now been fired by Zardari. The other, well, if Zardari tried to fire him, the president might find himself out of a job first.
In other words, instead of powerless committees, there is a need that we, the people of Pakistan as well as the international community, encourage and enforce an enabling mechanism through a UN Commission to ensure effective elimination of Pakistan army’s jihad enterprise and erode generals’ unlimited powers in Pakistan’s society and politics. Something similar to the following proposal: https://lubpak.net/archives/47955
Then this is something much broader in scope than the careful script handed out to the fake civil society!