Politicians and Controversies Involving Pak Army


Ali Anwar

To nurture people’s power, which is embodied in the great institution of democracy, we must first make sure that the guardians of this edifice are as strong as they can possibly be

Military strategists to political theorists all the way from the birth of the modern nation-state to the present day have agreed on one fact: the one sure way to undermine the progress of a country, regardless of the form of government, is to delegitimise the security establishment in the eyes of the people. Unfortunately, that is precisely what is at risk in Pakistan at the moment, because, willingly or unwillingly, certain sections of the country’s political elite are trying to politicise the military and reduce mainstream politics to utter chaos and confusion because it suits them.
The army has very rightly said, through a press release issued by ISPR (Inter-Services Public Relations) a few days earlier, that it has been tolerant and patient in the face of such completely unnecessary provocations. But the people, especially those who are willingly hopping onto this bandwagon and peddling the narrative online, must ask themselves whose interests they are really serving. If their struggle is meant in the best interests of Pakistan, why even consider the idea of expanding political strategy beyond political issues that matter to the people.
Let’s not forget that not only has the army very recently saved the country from a terrible insurgent onslaught, but now it must once again rise to the occasion and nip this evil in the bud before it begins to snowball like last time. That makes it every citizen’s duty to support the forces in whatever way they can. And for some people, in such times, to try to make the forces controversial just to play politics is not just in bad taste, it’s also a great disservice to the country.
Our friends in the media are very well aware of how countries hostile to our interests are celebrating these developments in Pakistan. Indeed, some of them have openly accepted that they could never have succeeded in creating even much minor headaches for the Pakistani army, even if they had thrown billions of dollars into the effort, yet the Pakistanis are doing it on their own.
It’s also very important to remember that it is the Pakistani army that has elevated the country to a position where it can help make peace in a region riddled with war, insurgency and uncertainty. The country’s politicians would never have sat with the world’s biggest powers and enabled the end of the long Afghan war if the Pak army didn’t give it primacy in and around its area of influence.
Pakistan desperately needs to get its direction right. Because lurking just around the corner is not just complete political paralysis but also outright economic collapse, perhaps even default. And the people that fight among themselves for the right and privilege to lead us out of these crises must harness the inherent strengths of our great state institutions like the military and judiciary instead of dragging them through their public protests.
ISPR’s press release provides not just food for thought, but also a very timely warning for all those who claim to fight for Pakistan. It is through institutions that states function and grow. And to nurture people’s power, which is embodied in the great institution of democracy, we must first make sure that the guardians of this edifice are as strong as they can be.
The Pakistan army is an apolitical institution headed by professional generals and therefore it should not be dragged into political affairs. It is really unfortunate that some politicians are indirectly inviting the army to play its role in politics. At a political rally just a few days ago, a senior politician indirectly urged the Pakistan Army to announce the elections in the country. It is not the army’s job to announce the elections as it is the decision that should be taken by the politicians themselves or by the Election commission of Pakistan. The DGISPR has rightly said that our politicians are capable of making the decisions and they should decide the timing of the election as it is not the duty of the army. Similarly, some controversial remarks are being passed by the politicians regarding the Corps Commander of Peshawar who is heading the most important military formation in the country. A senior politician just recently said that the Corps Commander of Peshawar has been sidelined. The man who uttered these words has remained in the most coveted office of the country and therefore his remarks were really uncalled for. The Peshawar Corps is bravely fighting the war on terror for the last two decades and it is always headed by a professional general. Such controversial remarks by the senior political leadership are tantamount to hitting the morale of the soldiers and therefore they should be avoided.
Let us, therefore, turn our energies towards bolstering the institutions of this state because it is only when all threats to the security and integrity of a country have been conquered, both foreign and internal, that its people can build a system that provides everybody with justice and the opportunity to survive and thrive. Let us show some respect for the institutions on which we stand before it is too late.