PTCL fire and the domino effect

October 1, 2014

By Area 14/8

The unfortunate conflagration at the PTCL’s cyber centre on Egerton Road on Sunday has effectively brought routine life in the provincial capital to a standstill. From the blue-collar employee who had to wire money back home for Eidul Azha to the government employees at the civil secretariat who put off work on matters of extreme urgency (flood relief, for example) – the heat was felt by all.

What emerges from this incident a sorry tale of unpreparedness, inefficiency and an absolute refusal to learn from past mistakes. The fire in the Lahore Development Authority building last year that claimed several lives should have been the cautionary tale for all government departments to take emergent fire-safety measures. Rescue-1122 officials are yet to ascertain the cause behind the fire because of the heat emanating from the building, but certain matters stand clear – there were no precautionary measures taken.

There is nothing the government can say or do to stem the myriad of conspiracy theories that erupted after the fire. Some alluding to the Model Town police operation claimed that there were records of certain telephone calls the government wanted destroyed. Of course that cannot be the case because the phone records in question were supplied to the judicial commission and joint investigation team looking into the matter around two months ago. Others said it was an attempt to sabotage the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf rally planned for the same day – but of course no one can reason with that kind of an argument.

If the government is the saboteur in this case, its actions have cost it immensely. Several banks have had to purchase alternate internet connections urgently because their services shut down. All help lines were down, leaving the citizens feeling quite helpless.

On Tuesday, a four-year-old fell in a drain while trying to retrieve the ball he was playing with. The child’s family tried to contact Rescue-1122 but couldn’t and finally had to run to the nearest police station looking for help. By that time, it was too late.

But who will pay the recompense for all the losses – of life and livelihood – incurred in the fire and its aftermath? The average citizen of course. The lack of accountability and sense of responsibility in the matter allows the government administration to get away with taking absolutely no measures to protect and preserve.

The minimum requirement for fire control and prevention are smoke detectors, sprinklers, CO2 extinguishers, fire doors, fire exits and high pressure hydrants supplied by an overhead water tanks. The government needs to investigate why these implements were not present at the scene of the accident. Someone needs to take the fall for this and it can’t be the average citizens – they are suffering government incompetency anyway.

Khan, The Defiant Catalyst

October 1, 2014

By Halima Islam

With Imran’s ‘jalsa’ gathering zealous momentum in the provincial capital, Lahore this Sunday, one cannot entirely turn a blind eye towards his achievements. History repeats itself with yet another mass movement against a government that has fallen short in meeting expectations of the masses. Although many critics have vocally portrayed Khan to be stubborn with his antics upon paralyzing the capital, admiration upon gathering the masses towards a unified cause has aided in hailing Khan as heroic.

Khan, the defiant catalyst

Even though the international Media has limited coverage on Imran’s movements, the defiant Khan, with almost a forty day sit in has successfully rallied support amongst Pakistanis internationally. Right now, the PM is perceived as a weakened leader at home and even though, like many a times before, he chooses to take visits to the US, ignoring the situation on his home turf, he isn’t receiving the same welcome his counterpart, Modi has gotten. The slogan: ‘Go Nawaz, Go!’ was repeatedly called out in New York amongst Pakistani Taxi drivers, as the PM visits the US for the UN session. One cannot help but question: Have Khan’s catalytic efforts channelized in cultivating mass conversions towards a change in mindset amongst the people, not only at home, but abroad too?

Critics’ evaluated political opportunism to have stemmed from Imran’s sit ins but a movement that many rendered as fizzling out in a matter of time has not been able to subside. On the other hand it has portrayed the ruling government as an incompetent one. Since the dharnas have commenced, the PM’s reputation has suffered a blow at large. Being in his third term in office, he still gives off the impression of being clueless and has on many occasions used his old-fashioned intimidating tactics which, as shown on media channels, are increasingly failing.

 A newly rooted fervor has arisen amongst the populous masses as well. Many have started to denounce the ‘VIP-ist’ culture as seen by the flight incident in which Rehman Malik was refused to board a flight in which he flamboyantly walked into two hours later. Khan has then become attractive in the eyes of the people as he flaunts his humble attitude through acts such as giving up his own comfort to be with his people. Again, a course of action that draws conversions towards his party. Also, the media has come to Imran’s help by covering these rallies and subsequently played a vital role in the increase of numbers. However much is at stake for Khan’s party and its popularity as of now.

One can question Imran’s motives and where to go from here. He has been successful in gathering large crowds from all factions onto the streets to cheer for change but will soon enough have to tread carefully. Building up hopes and expectations without a clear agenda of where to go from here and how to deliver can not only choke PTI, but lead to a low morale within his followers.

Eid, Elite and the People!

September 30, 2014

By Aik Awaz – One Voice

“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” a phrase often associated to Marie Antoinette. Though Marie Antoinette may or may not have said this, this phrase and how it was supposedly used does represent our political and non-political elite. Honorable ex-Senator Rehman Malik, who very recently was forced off a PIA flight by the passenger(s) for keeping them stranded in the plane for hours, has made a comment about the ongoing PTI protests which actually reminded me of Marie Antoinette and this infamous phrase. Mr Rehman Malik has asked Imran Khan to call off the protest before Eid so people taking part in the protests can go home and celebrate Eid.

“Celebrate Eid” hmmm… Does Mr Rehman Malik know why the people are protesting? If he does then seriously we have Marie Antoinette reincarnate here amongst us. If he doesn’t than we have a classic Pakistani politician who has nothing to do with the common people! Neither of these are of course forgivable sins.

Eid for people belonging to the middle class (lower and upper) in Pakistan has become a time of the year that they fear and definitely do not look forward to (apart from its religious importance). LIke any socio-religious event, Eid ul Adha is a day that when people are expected to buy a healthy animal, show it around the neighborhood and then sacrifice it on the Eid day to distribute its meat amongst the poor, friends and relatives. So whats the problem here? The problem is that the cost of living has almost crossed the means of almost all middle class people who rely on salaries, small businesses or their professional expertise. Come Eid and prices of everything edible and wearable quadruple (if not more). A sacrificial animal starts costing more than its buyer (and seller). Mr Rehman Malik and hundreds of other naive political leaders have failed to understand that the protests being led PTI and PAT have only continued for this long (almost fifty days now [30th of September 2014]) because the government has completely failed to address the grievances being faced by the masses. People are not there because Imran Khan is holding them hostage there or using black magic to keep them glued to his jalsas (protests). He is simply showing the world what is happening in Pakistan, he is educating the masses about their rights and how they can fight back. He is exposing mega scale corruption by the so called political leaders. He is showing the people why they are suffering and how they can change their and their children’s destiny.

What is there to celebrate? Hunger, illiteracy, injustice, intolerance, extremism, violence, corruption? Is that what we will be celebrating on this Eid? Our political leaders have no idea how far and how hard they have pushed the people and the strange thing is that these buffoons still don’t realize their mistakes and errors of their ways. These so called politically “mature” (pronounced manure) leaders think that Imran Khan is crazy and those who are following him are “burger crowd”. Well guess what our beloathed leaders of the ‘80s & ‘90s you are in for a shock… Times have changed! You have witnessed the new Pakistan in PTI’s Karachi and Lahore jalsas. You can pretend that #NayaPakistan and #Azaadi are just online social media fads that will fade away but deep inside all of you corrupt politicians know that people of Pakistan have spoken. Our PM Nawaz Sharif’s statement to the media in US that only a “few handful trouble makers” are involved in damaging the image of the government shows how pathetically ill-informed and delusional he has become due to his greed for power and wealth.

But people of Pakistan are taking back their country and their rights. They have started challenging the states oppressive and corrupt governance practices. People are standing up against unequal treatment and VIP culture. People are demanding justice. People want peace and progress… they want an end to extremism and violence.

Those who thought that Pakistan Army or Intelligence agencies were involved in this movement have been proven wrong. The only support that this movement has received from the military is that the military has distanced itself from this political crisis and warned the government not to use force against the people of Pakistan. Army continues to perform its duties of protecting the country from internal and external threats and uprooting terrorist networks. It continues to help the people affected by the natural disasters. May be that is why people of Pakistan love their Armed Forces so much and may be this is the reason why these corrupt politicians fear their own army so much. One is for the people and the other is against the people.

Coming back to Rehman Malik, the brave man Mr Arjumand Hussain who scolded and ultimately offloaded the ex-Senator had to pay a price, he was fired from his job at Gerry’s Group due to political pressure. The DJ who manages sound and music at PTI rallies was arrested without any charges. The government which has been charged with murders of eighteen unarmed people (including women), failed to protect minorities and failed to provide any relief to the masses is now under severe pressure. PML-N leadership is now panicking and doing one stupid thing after another. Badly exposed and fractured, PML-N and its PPP allies are now reaching their point of extinction. Its evolution of democracy and natural selection at work. #NayaPakistan and #Azaadi is the new mantra of all honest and hard working Pakistanis. #GoNawazGo

How best to destroy Pakistan

September 30, 2014

Pakistan Democracy

This is not easily done. To even begin serious work on this project you first have to be a Prime Minister with a solid mandate. Then you need to have the covert support of a world power that is vested in this design. And lastly you have to be a very dedicated, hardworking individual, not lulled into inaction by the belief that if you left the country on auto pilot, it will destroy itself. Like a punch drunk boxer the country may have reached a state in which it can neither stand up straight, nor get knocked clean out, until you land a few clean blows to it, and know where you have to land them.

To destroy the country the very first essential is you ensure that you are not disturbed nor distracted when you have embarked on this exercise, because this is a task of both concentration and skill. You have to know the value of loyalty, and must surround yourself with people whose loyalty you can utterly swear by. Obviously the pool that you can draw such loyalists from is your own family. So draw them and deploy them in every vital nerve center of government, and proceed with them as a team dedicated to the great goal in mind. Just do not bother if you are accused of behaving like a king. The more you behave like this, the more your underlings will grovel at your feet, the stronger will be the image you project, and the more your people will fear you. And that is where you’d like to be. Any nobility you have should rest only in your words. Your actions should be ruthless, even if they are stupid.

Nawaz Sharif Raiwind Palace

But the country is too large and just one family’s human resource pool will be unequal to the task of providing you the numbers required. You therefore have to draw people from the bureaucracy as well. When making your choice make certain that you choose the sharp of mind and servile of manner i.e the type who are born to please, and wont mind selling off their grandmothers to reach and stay in your good graces.To ensure they stay there, allow them their pound of flesh. Free loyalty is a mark of sincerity, and sincerity is to be suspected. And remember whomever else you choose, just do not let your favour settle on a self-respecting officer. Such a person  is a huge risk. He may have dormant germs of honesty which are often closely allied to patriotism. And patriotism in any form is poison for your design.

If you can do this in your first couple of months, you will have successfully built yourself  the right platform, from which to launch your second phase. You have now to secure yourself against any possibility of losing power, so make your position unassailable. Immediately start by destroying the police, making it a personal force to be used effectively against your own people. Take a leaf out of Hitler’s book. Stuff this force with thugs who are totally loyal to you, and will demonstrate this loyalty by breaking, without the slightest compunction, the bones of people who dare agitate for their rights. Never forget, your downfall begins where their rights start. This is the first lesson of “democracy” which you and your loved ones must imbibe early. The trick is to keep hollering about democracy but keeping the rabble, who were stupid enough to vote for you, in their place. For if they had deserved anything better, they would not have voted for you to begin with.

Next, you go for the judiciary. The system of selection to the ranks of higher judiciary is so wonderfully flawed that you can infiltrate any number of squint-eyed, black-hearted, venal ignoramuses into the system, and then groom them all the way into CJs. And if you are careful with your selection, before you know it, you are likely to have the same majority on the benches, that you have in parliament. And what a feeling of smugness that should give you!

But for the while you are accomplishing the above, remember that countries are best destroyed, by destroying their economies. And economies cannot be destroyed by ham-fisted policies and extravagance alone. Plunder of national wealth is the most effective force multiplier you need to invoke. The multiple advantages of this are, that not only does this lead to hollowing out the country whose destruction you wish, but it simultaneously spreads injustice and bad governance throughout the land, which in turn, hastens the fall of a state like nothing else will; while at the same time you end up enriching  your family  and yourself in the process.

But as you thieve from your people, do not forget to align the members of parliament on your side, because they are yet another phalanx that has the capability of removing you from power. Yet this you cannot accomplish through sweet  talk and smiles alone. You have to get them invested in the project by making them partners in theft. Unless you assuage their hunger, they will be conspiring with the army to get rid of you. Each one of them is exactly like you, a bunch of grasping blackguards nurtured on years of theft and plunder. In short they are your natural allies. Just lift slightly the lid of the till for them, and see how they wag their tails and slurp at your heels. Whores masquerading as leaders of the people.

But your own greed will counsel otherwise. It will suggest to you that sharing with them will make you poorer. But look at this the other way. Put a value on being able to commit theft without unnecessary disturbance, and you will see the value of sharing. And besides, when you have to loot the entire country, know that there is enough in it to make the whole lot of you rich beyond imagination. Just think. Only half the population is living below the poverty line. Imagine how many thousands of the privileged  have the poor enriched to get themselves to their present level of wretchedness, and how many years it has taken them to do so. And you may have no more than a tenth of those years to live anyhow, yet you still have a full half of the population left to you to impoverish and despoil ! Looked at it this way, would’nt you say that the future looks  terribly bright for you and your little ones, despite the sharing of loot with members of the opposition, which your largeness of heart has managed to make “friendly”? Besides wont this go down for times immemorial as your original contribution to the theory of trouble-free governance and democracy?

The huge incidental advantage of committing theft in partnership with the parliamentary opposition is that now you can amend the constitution the way you want. Through these amendments you can make certain that no matter how future elections go, you or your partners-in-theft will remain in power and will keep making hay . And nothing can give you a better guarantee of continued plunder with total immunity, than this arrangement.

You are now nearly there, and your goal is within easy reach of achievement, but your greatest hurdle still remains in place. You have neglected the dismantling of the army. Your idiotic advisers must surely have advised you to start this project by first dealing with the army, and to do so by your favoured technique of giving a dog a bad name, and then trying to hang him. This is exactly how this should not be done–remember what happened the last few times you attempted this? And remember how your mouthpiece ministers made a hash of it?

Next time you want to proceed with trying to subvert the army, please dont go looking for an army chief who will be loyal to you. Remember when a general becomes an army chief, he does not need to be loyal to anybody, and almost his first temptation to dispense with someone who is a stuffed Prime Minister. You have already made an ass of yourself many times—so learn a lesson. Either the Chief will leave in disgust leaving you holding the can or he will boot you out of the country.

It is the army which is really holding this country together, not “democracy” or the constitution, which you have already screwed up anyway. So when you have successfully subverted the army there is no time for you to rest. This is the time for you to pack up and leave because any day now , a whole lot of shit will hit the fan, and you dont want to get caught up in it, though no one will have deserved this more than you.

Bye for now. See you in London.

The Severely Retarded

September 29, 2014

By Aik Awaz – One Voice

A columnist known for her humor coined the epithet ‘Im the Dim’ for the Kaptaan’ who is currently swaying the masses with his oratory and regaling them with personal anecdotes and revelations about those in the government or those opposing him and his revolutionary ideas for a ‘new Pakistan’. There is no doubt that his charisma and the catchy tunes and slogans are pulling in the crowds but so far there has been nothing said that could indicate that the title of Im the Dim was inappropriate and that actually a great intellect is at work. In fact the talk is of bulldozers tearing down walls, masses confronting those in authority, billions coming back to the country and so on ad nauseum. Except for two or three the other faces on the stage with the kaptaan do not inspire confidence.

Fortunately for the Kaptaan those he is railing against are beyond dim. They seem to be retarded. Instead of choosing a team that could govern and gain them credibility they opted to sideline the few talented people they had and brought in mouth pieces to trumpet their nonexistent achievements. No one was surprised when these morons talked themselves and their leader into ridiculous situations. Instead of delivering on governance they totally ignored the grievances of the masses and set about mega projects that boggled the mind. Neither the declining economy nor the precarious security situation fazed these people and nor did they deem it necessary to consult with others– even ignoring the voices being raised against them and highlighting their follies. Into this widening breach between the government and the people stepped the gallant kaptaan and the result is before us.

Unfortunately what is visible to all is still not understood by the retarded. Their minions make fools of themselves when they call a clearly visible crowd of hundreds of thousands something ten times less. They raise themselves to foolish levels when a scion of their dynastic political ambitions keeps a crowd of young people waiting for three hours and then starts talking about irrelevant things. Is it any wonder that he was booed off the stage and had to beat a retreat via a back door? How can the leader of a country go abroad without an agenda to justify the expense of his visit? Instead of muzzling their mouthpieces and pushing those into the wood work where they should be, these three nightmares are still doing everything possible to destroy their leader. Not learning from their disastrous intervention in Model Town they let loose a bloated Neanderthal in Islamabad whose fat red face and bulging neck veins will be forever imprinted on the mind as the image of the police top leadership.

Neither the military nor anyone else needs to move a muscle. The dim and the retarded are exposing the political institution as never before. In fact everyone needs to lie low and let the drama unfold. The trouble is that a nuclear power is getting the image of a politically and economically unstable country with a massive security problem. Many are working to maintain and magnify this image to the world. The feeling on the street is that between the dim and the retarded something has to give and they hope and pray that it is not Pakistan. There are, of course, the optimists who think that democracy is being strengthened without pausing to consider why no one ever took this road to a strong democracy before.

Murder report – when the law fails to protect the minorities

August 7, 2014

Area 14/8

imagePakistan, a state built for Muslims but very much inclusive of other ‘minorities’ has on many occasions breached this notion which has led to the society now becoming increasingly intolerant of the ethno and religio-ethnic minorities present within Pakistan. News have been infiltrated with the wave of Shi’i genocides of the Hazara in Baluchistan, Shi’i targeted killings in Karachi and Lahore and now, incidents which are not alien to the past, the killings of the Ahmediyya community.

Pakistan’s ascension to the UN perpetrated the fact that it would adhere to the components laid out by the UN charter. It empowered a commitment to the UN’s human rights charter which suggests clearly the inclusion of the minorities in this present day of affairs and condemns the persecution carried against them. The Ahmeddiyah community set as an outcast during Bhutto’s time through a unanimous decision by the grand Mufti of Saudi who declared them as non-Muslim all together, faces condemnation and persecution frequently. Though they might not coincide with the general school of Sunni belief embedded in the form of a majority in Pakistan’s own soil, many forget the humanized element of their existence and are quick to accuse them of treachery and blasphemy as portrayed in the recent case in Gujranwala.

Three members of the same family were killed as an angry mob set alight their house in Arafat Colony. The mob hastened to committing the act when a young man namely Saqib allegedly posted something which was rendered blasphemous, on Facebook. With this crime being committed so openly, the Pakistan government and now Pakistanis as well, have been turning a blind eye to the massacre being carried out by the locals. This incident can be critically evaluated from many angles. The first and foremost being, that the reason why the angry mob was quick to jump to murder is from the historical concept of Ahmedi’s breaking away from the mainstream Muslim shaft which ultimately led to the declaration of them being outcasts from Islam. So naturally, incidents like that further cements them as outcasts to which the masses respond so violently and violate all sorts of racial abuse laws laid down by the UN which Pakistan has committed to adhering by.

Not only that, another question that then arises is, that; is our lack of tolerance to a people that have grown historically and do still exist now, lead us to create further divisions in the society? Are we then that quick enough to be ‘otherizing’ the masses present rather than embracing the diversity? The events that have occurred have suggested exactly the same and the murders that were committed have been poorly reported by the media.

Blasphemy laws, an area which has been criticized by ‘liberals’ in the country who have either been threatened later or seen their ultimate demise, is still put into question after incidents such as killing of innocents who weren’t even directly involved with the issue at hand. From this incident alone, it seems as if these laws whilst being put into practice has no method of verifying the crime, which has been an underlying element of the law when it came about. If death sentence is the prescribed punishment of one committing a blasphemous crime, then that has been manipulated by masses and instead of now going to specialists of this law, they hold the law in their own hands. Killing an Ahmedi a “non-muslim” or a figurehead such as Salman Taseer who was vocally against blasphemy laws, has now become easy.

The latest criticisms Pakistan has faced are on its support to the Gazans; a conflict that sees little humanity from the Israelis and other states all over the world. Although that is an issue that has seen deep rooted sentiments with the Palestinians and ones against the state of-many who have described as racist-Israel, one can easily look at the turf at home and apply the same model to the Pakistani state. Have we started committing the same crime as we kill citizens that were assimilated into the State since its creation? The racially incited crimes within the country speak in the affirmative. Has Gaza then come home? That is the question to be posed to the factions that incite not only anti-western sentiments but harbor anti-Ahmedi feelings at the same time. The state and the masses then should be able to look into its own faults; as the way Ahmedis have no recognition is almost along the lines of the racial crimes being committed upon the Palestinians.

Human rights have been barred in many issues of the sort. A religion- deeply embedded in Pakistan’s roots and followed by the masses on a large scale- which is to perpetuate peace amongst masses has been intensively manipulated in a way that killing of innocents has been legitimized. Does a phenomenon like that go against the fundamental principles of ‘thou shalt not kill’ completely? The irony of that when applied to masses applying the blasphemy laws, speaks volumes.

Slipping down slippery tongue slips

July 28, 2014
Pakistan might lack a million sensible things but the one thing it has never run out of is political drama. As a nation we sure love our dramas – whether they be Turkish or home-grown, the murkier the better.

As we enter the second half of this year, the plot continues to thicken and the present elected government finds itself stuck in the doldrums. The current debate surrounding the elected government began with the June 17 police operation against Minhajul Quran workers in Model Town. Actually, as the judicial tribunal too seems to have placed its finger on it, it was June 15, when without warning, the Police IGP, Lahore DCO and the Elite Police Head were transferred on the same day within hours of each other. At that time, the questions raised were about security. “Was there an imminent security threat that these top most officers in the province had overlooked and were now being punished for?” The answer to that came a few days later when over 80 Minhaj workers were charted off to the hospital while 14 died. This is was police brutality, it was unmerited and it put the government on a ride on one of the slipperiest rides it has ever taken.

Obviously there were questions. Who ordered the operation? The city government said it was a routine anti-encroachment operation gone wrong. Current Law Minister Rana Mashhood went on record to say there was absolutely nothing political about the event. The chief minister came on TV and said he would eat his hat if he was found involved in the affair in any way. But Rana Sanaullah, then law minister, poured water over all the government’s explanations by stating that it was a targeted police operation against anti-state elements.

The varied statements bombarded back and forth by the government made one thing very clear – they were treading rotten ice and did not know how to swim. The drama reached an exciting crescendo when the shady man in the white hat made the passengers on an Emirates flight miserable out of their minds. Tahirul Qadri arrived in Pakistan and those who were following the sequence of events sat glued to their TV screens watching how a revolution takes place.

Qadri launched into a diatribe against the government comparing Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif to Hitler and Mussolini, in that order. He denounced the judicial tribunal probing the incident and instead filed a separate case against the PM, CM and several other political and police high-ups.

What with the hunger pangs during Ramazan, hours of never-ending load shedding and humid hot weather, no one could really be bothered with a revolution. They tried really hard to block out the rambling man out of their minds, but that would be an exercise in futility. For lo and behold, other institutions clambered over each other to freshen up the wound.

It began with former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani’s statement that the Establishment had brokered a deal with former president Pervaiz Musharraf, a deal the present government was part of, promising him an honourable exit once he resigned. This raised a lot of furor among political circles with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz  up in arms to protect its honour. Other has-beens like Jamshed Dasti jumped up and down saying they were party to the deal as well, had witnessed it or heard about it. A deal? With a dictator? Blasphemous the detractors cried.

Till Sindh Deputy Speaker Syeda Shehla Raza went on live television and confirmed everything and more than what Gillani had divulged. During an interview on Geo, Raza released sensitive information regarding the National Reconciliation Order, with 858 stakeholders, foreign guarantors and a power sharing deal with the Army that undermined the very basis of democracy. While the Pakistan Peoples Party distanced itself from Raza’s statement, she put her foot down and tried to explain why the impugned NRO was in fact the best thing that had ever happened to the country.

“Musharraf would have never resigned if we hadn’t signed the deal,” she said. “The present rulers would have never been allowed to return.” She said that former president Asif Zardari’s recent trip to the US was in connection with the fact that America needed to be reminded that it had been the guarantor for the deal. And that the army cannot be allowed to swoop down and take over the country (via Canada). The PPP believes that Tahirul Qadri is dancing to the tune of 21 guns and needs to be stopped before the 111 brigade magics itself in Islamabad. If the talk of NRO hadn’t choked a lot of nerves already, the inter-institutional brawl took on various shades of ugly.

Former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, after a much publicised television battle featuring Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan and his (Iftikhar Chaudhry’s) son Arsalan Iftikhar, served Khan a libel notice of Rs20 billion. Allegations went back and forth like a ping pong revealing the dark side of Pakistan’s premier institutions.

But the plot continued to thicken as a former senior Army officer went on BBC Urdu to “spill the beans”. Call it a gaffe or an indication of a split among pro-Raheel Sharif and pro-Kayani cadres within the military, former ISPR DG Major Athar Abbas placed the blame of a delayed military operation on former chief of army staff Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani. A decision, he said, led to untold losses. Fact of the matter is, such statements only undermine the credibility of the military as an institution. The Army, as Major Abbas is aware of, acts as an institution, not on personal agenda or whims. The onus for decision taken by the former chief of army staff is placed on the entire institution. Now whether the former ISPR director general agrees or disagrees with the decision is immaterial because it has no repercussions for the present military operation whatsoever.

These ‘revelations’ by retired and serving leaders of the land of pure years after their occurrence only serve to provide a never-ending stream of drama the public craves for. There is no merit or profit in these sweet slips of tongue. What they do allow for is the exploitation of fault lines in institutions yet to be weaned even after 65 years into their inception. Better to stay mum than blow the whistle and be conspiratorial. This is the last thing Pakistan needs at this point in history. What with a military operation on one side, a brewing pot of volatile organised crime in Karachi and an unstable teetering Punjab, the political government, the Army or the judiciary cannot afford to indulge their selves in intrigue and showbiz nonsense. Not years after they happened – that just points towards recent falling out and conspiratorial stratagems.


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