Revisiting the Bajwa Doctrine
On 25th March I wrote an article in response to the famous Bajwa Doctrine propagated by a select few journalists who met the army chief who laid bare his views about the political and security situation in the country. He also was rather very clear about what he wanted to achieve and how he wanted Pakistan to ‘prosper’. My piece was a logical response to the Chief’s ‘9 points’ which were discussed in Imtiaz Gul’s article ‘New battle lines: Army will stand by judiciary if needed’.
We have been fed the same rotten dish again
With arguments and facts I had tried to dissuade the readers from thinking that this doctrine was anything but a viable option as it was fundamentally flawed, not to mention extraconstitutional. Looks like the advice fell on deaf ears. Come elections 2018 and we can see the Bajwa Doctrine in full bloom. It is dangerous on many levels and it will be difficult to discuss how it will impact the economy and socio political situation not in the present, immediate future but also the long run. In the longer run it becomes irrelevant which party wins the election. Be it PMLN or PTI or a coalition of parties, we have been fed the same rotten dish again.
People kept warning against the rising tide of Taliban before elections
People had been raising voices that during the last few months the Taliban had been allowed to gather and regroup in the restive Northern region but that advice was ignored. There were fears that Taliban may strike in elections to stop progressive parties from campaigning. It is now clear that those people were right; there have been multiple suicide bombings in the last few weeks including one on Saraj Raisani and Haroon Bilour. Lashkari Raisani, a well-respected political figure and the brother of slain Saraj Raisani has asked for a “Truth Commission”. He went as far as to say “Those who make policies are responsible and answerable for [the blood of the innocent]. These [terrorist attacks] are a consequence of incorrect policies”. This is a telling blow to the people at the helm who make the security policy. Raisani is not a dissident leader, whose complains can be brushed under the carpet. We must listen carefully to each and every word he has said or else we might be denying the inevitable.
‘Establishment is soft on militancy’
For no less than seven decades we have been sold the theories of rest of the world powers trying to destabilize Pakistan and everything is labelled a conspiracy. Every attack is defined as a sacrifice. The people at the helm should know that people who join the armed forces and police do so knowing that their lives may be at risk, whereas civilians should not be made a part of this battle unwillingly. As a Pakistani citizen it is my right to question my security forces why incidents like Abbottabad happen. If we will be given an eyewash, people will ask more questions. Sooner rather than later people will get fed up of this nasty logic of the security state being the victims whereas it is clear that some elements of the state are not abiding by their constitutional oath of staying away from politics. The world is in unison in the view that our establishment is soft on the militancy.
Even our friends have ditched us
Our friendly and brotherly countries also ditched us while we were being added to the FATF list, which is another ‘feather in the cap’ but we are still denying the obvious. What will it take for our establishment to understand that the 80s are gone? World has changed. Yes we partnered with USA in dismantling USSR but both of them have moved on and are prospering and look where we are. Look what meddling in other countries has brought us.
Harassment of parties opposed to PTI raises serious questions
The results of the 25th July elections are out now and the international media had been saying again and again that one party was being provided with a strong advantage. The arrests and harassment of mostly those parties opposed to PTI raises some serious questions about the integrity of the polls. I do not wish to dwell on election results because by and large they will are irrelevant. The target has already been achieved.
Mainstreaming of the extremists
One of the things which was probably not overtly part of the Bajwa doctrine but I wrote in my articles a year ago was that militant parties like Milli Muslim league, or whatever they are called now, and TLYR will be mainstreamed into the political arena.
Religious parties with extremist agenda and background in militancy should not have been allowed to contest the election. For me the biggest victory for the powers that be is not the rigging of the election but silently introducing the parties like MML and TLYR into the mainstream politics. They are now part of our system and I don’t know what it will take to get them out of here. As I understand TLYR has fielded a lot of candidates and might even win a few seats. I cannot imagine the sight of a Khadim Rizvi follower sitting in the assembly and addressing the fellow MPs in the usual style of his or her leader.
The religious parties will leave no one, including PTI
While the politicians are stuck with mudslinging in the elections, Pakistan has been dealt a fatal blow. The severity of the blow will be felt for a long time. So much acrimony has been developed between the main political parties that they have ignored the fact that the fundamentalists have joined the ranks on mainstream politics. They will hurt PMLN, PPP, ANP, MQM, PTI and every other party as much. I firmly believe there should be no politics in the name of religion. What a person believes should not be a matter for the state.
First they courted Deobandis and Wahabis, now it’s the Barelvis
The most dangerous weapon in the arsenal of the establishment is these religious fanatics. First it was Deobands and Wahabis and now it has welcomed the Barelvis to its fold. It seems there is no limit to which the powers at helm will go to keep their grip on power. The slogans raised on the funeral of Haroon Bilour should be an eye opener. The fact of the matter is that with such strong measures apparently it seems the security establishment is regaining grip on power, time will tell it is anything but.
Many people ask me why we should opt for democracy when most politicians are corrupt. I just want to tell them that when I say democracy in any form is better than dictatorship, it does not mean I am supporting corruption. This just means we should let the system evolve.
Would you trust a politician to protect your border or would you trust an engineer to do a heart surgery? I think not.
Why should I trust a mullah trained in theology to run the matters of the government then?
Manzar Bashir is a qualified Business Psychologist. He is a Chartered member of the CIPD, a Principal Practitioner at the Association for Business Psychology UK, and a member of the British Psychological Society. He has an alumni of NUST and Middlesex University London.
He is qualified practitioner of a number of personality tools including the MBTI, Emotional Intelligence, Hogan, Saville, Trait and Sosie. He has worked for clients including State Bank, the Emirates group, US Embassy, Allied Bank, Faysal Bank, Civil Services Academy and others.
He tweets @manzarbashir & can be reached at [email protected]