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Pakistan’s Soldiering and Politics in search of credibility

By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –

Someone said; ‘I am only responsible for what I say not what you understand’. ‘Nations don’t respect their soldiers lose their freedom’. I completely agree with the comments made by the Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry , Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan when he said something like; ‘ don’t over criticise politicians as they have to run the country’. If we look at the performance and governance by these politicians it seems there is no one else to blame as they themselves are good at mudslinging at each other. By doing this they are discrediting the national political leadership. In any plot where a breakage of a state is required discrediting of the national political leadership is paramount as rest will follow and within few years state will disintegrate.

Having said that it is also true that most of Pakistani political leadership is like ‘famine survivors’ whose greed and hunger is never ending. They all have come from working or lower middle class back grounds and there is no problem with that. There problem is that they want to erase their past history with which they seems to have really ashamed off? One of the reasons is that their success and growth is not natural. Most of them reached at these positions by some kind of corruption. That is what haunts them all the times. There past poverty and greedy actions keep haunting them and in overcoming these ‘automatic thoughts’ they sometimes over do or say things.

The latest example is the comments by President Asif Ali Zardari about the funeral of late Mian Sharif father of Shabaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif. These comments are no doubt deplorable and below the belt. For that very reason Benazir Bhutto wanted Asif Zardari out of politics as his actions caused her pain and grief especially after the murder of Murtaza Bhutto. Both Zulifqar Ali Bhutto a great statesman and his daughter Benazir Bhutto great politicians were not involved in any financial corruption and not corrupt. Asif Zardari has proved himself to be the funeral director of ‘Bhutto family’ as many people are saying in Pakistan. He has taken his revenge from ZA Bhutto for insulting his father Hakim Ali Zardari while he was Awami National Party (formerly aka NAP ) leader in Sind when he has to go in exile due to mortal threat from ZA Bhutto. He is fulfilling his foreign agenda of destroying the state institutions of armed forces, railways, PIA,Steel Mills, and others in the name of ‘grievances of Bhutto’s’. Some Pakistani politicians don’t show ownership with the Pakistan Armed Forces or ISI and other institutions and talk in a way as if they are talking about some enemy institutions. Why is a $60 million dollar question? These are real blackmailers who are ‘sleeping with the enemies’. One can expect that soon their assets will be frozen in foreign lands like all the dictators and corrupt politicians. The whole Pakistan is made hostage to their approximately $8 billion deposited abroad.

The whole lot are seems to be working on following agenda:

1- Bankrupt Pakistan and economically cripple the economy to denuclearise
2- Finances are and will be handed over to IMF
3- Devalue Pakistani currency to wipe out reserves
4- Prolong energy crisis to destroy the industry
5- Destroy the Armed Forces of Pakistan from inside
6- Make ISI a homeopathic and cuddly institution
7- Rehman Malik has already ‘rented’ the interior ministry
8- Transit Trade Agreement to facilitate India and further destabilise Pakistan and MFN (most favoured nation) Status.
9- Railways are being systematically destroyed by the current regime

Railway tracks are considered as veins in a body and trains are like blood which keeps the body and country healthy. Who would destroy such an important part of the body? A British expert said in seminar few months ago, “countries in Middle East should start fast rail links to improve people to people contact for strategic reasons”. Nawaz Sharif has his own grievances against the armed forces and still has not moved on from the hard feelings of the over throw of his government by General Musharaf in 1999. He and others must remember that to prove that they are credible is/was an issue. They have to prove their credibility as honest, corruption free and truly patriotic politicians if they want to ride the might horse of the military. They give examples of how British and US military behave under the civilian command but ignore the high standard of civilian political leaderships.

Problem with Nawaz Sahrif and others is that they do not believe in reading and writing. He should have written his memoirs by now while in exile as many politicians do? He recently said; ‘politicians were not responsible for the break of Pakistan in 1971. He does not know that armed forces had maintained the law and order in East Pakistan in 1971 and asked the civilian leadership to take over the control but they didn’t’. More recently military has done the operation cleanup in Swat by losing thousand of its soldiers and are asking civilian political leadership to come and take over the power, which they have not. Why? Similarly thousands of innocent people have been killed in Karachi terrorism due to the failure of the political leadership. It is the politicians who are demanding ‘military operation’ in Karachi? When whole thing can be handled by proper policing? Why do they want to drag army into Karachi? So they can go to the UN for international protection to full fill their sinister agenda? These Pakistani politicians must know that soldiers are not watchmen and ‘Nations don’t respect their soldiers lose their freedom’.

Soldiering is world’s most honourable profession there is no doubt about? For that very reason we see children Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Princess Ann, grand children Prince William, Prince Harry and husband Prince Philip of British Queen standing behind in their military uniform in the Balcony of the Buckingham Palace? Grand sons of the British Queen, Prince William and Prince Harry are in active military service. One must wonder why these two young men have chosen such a dangerous and difficult profession. They could easily become IT Specialist, Engineers, and businessmen and have an easy life? At least they could have life insurance policy and/or their children could make a claim in case of their death in the military service. It is the only profession where an entrant signs his/her death certificate without any insurance claim. No security guard ‘watchman’ looking after homes and factories sign that kind of agreement in which he has to die protecting the business or house?

So those corrupt politicians and so called liberals in Pakistan who give examples that ‘soldiers are like watchmen’ and are getting paid to protect the country. They all have sent their sons and daughters abroad in the cosy villas in Dubai and London? They have never visited the soldiers on the front in past five years? They give examples of wonderful politicians and democracies of Britain and USA when it suits them? US Presidents Obama and George Bush and British prime ministers, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, defence ministers, foreign ministers frequently visit their troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere some times by surprise. Why don’t the Pakistani politicians do that in their own country?

Someone said; ‘I am only responsible for what I say not what you understand’. ‘Nations don’t respect their soldiers lose their freedom’.

(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015, 2016 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ and also studied Law at a British University)

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