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‘Pain And Anguish’ In Armed Forces Is A Dangerous Development

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Umer Farooq argues that the DG ISPR’s statement rejecting treason verdict against former president Pervez Musharraf is a dangerous development because coming from the military top brass, this is a crude behaviour because the decision in question was based on the law of the land.

Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa is very fond of vowing to defend “stability”, which, he says was brought to the country after defeating all “inimical forces operating against Pakistan”. His statement released by the media wing of the military clearly indicates that he sees “stability” as a function of the crude military power. The implied meaning of his statement was that the military using its crude power defeated all the inimical forces operating against Pakistan and now the military will defend this stability.

“We shall never let it go away at any cost” reads the statement of the Army chief released by ISPR.

If there remained any doubt in the wording of the statement released through Twitter handle of DG ISPR, the photograph released on the occasion of Army Chief’s visit to SSG commandos headquarters removed all doubts that the military and its chief saw “stability” and the act of defending that stability as a function of crude military power.

The photograph showed Army chief standing in the middle of a group of SSG commandos, raising his right fist along with rest of the commando company, who were also raising their right fist. The talk about stability came from COAS a day after a special court sentenced a former commando army chief of Pakistan Army, General Pervez Musharraf. Army chief’s visit to former army chief’s mother formation is too crude a symbol to be used in a situation when army spokesman has clearly rejected the verdict of Special Court as against the principle of justice.

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The roughness with which the military spokesman rejected the verdict of special court was enough of crude behavior coming from the military top brass. Now the Army chief has visited the headquarters of SSG commandos, in a symbolic gesture to show solidarity with the beleaguered former army chief who has been found guilty of high treason for trampling upon the most sacred document a nation possesses—its constitution.

There General Bajwa vowed to defend the so-called “stability” at any cost. The question that comes to mind after reading General Bajwa’s statement is who exactly is threatening the stability of Pakistan. After all the inimical forces have already been defeated, as he claimed in the statement and therefore there could be no chance of those defeated forces causing instability.

Then who or which forces are threatening the stability of the country? General Bajwa’s military spokesman threw some light on it a day before the COAS visited the SSG Headquarters.

The spokesman said “The decision given by [the] special court about General (retd) Pervez Musharraf has been received with [a] lot of pain and anguish by [the] rank and file of Pakistan [‘s] Armed Forces,”

Pain and anguish in an organized military force of around six hundred thousand highly trained and motivated troops could be a dangerous development, especially if it is related to a court judgment that has been delivered by legitimately constituted court of law of the country.

If General Bajwa is referring to this development in the army—I mean the development that there is pain and anguish inside the army rank and file, about which they have themselves informed—as a source of instability than his gestures of displaying crude force would be highly ill-advised. Pain and anguish about a court judgment based on law of the land could be a dangerous internal development for a land force, which had been involved in four military take overs during the 70 years of our country’s existence.

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Instead of passing judgments on the legitimate court verdict, the smartest thing for General Bajwa to do is to get that part of the army, which is showing pain and anguish through a crash course on laws of the land, especially Article 6 of the constitution. He should inform his men that anyone abrogating the constitution is guilty of subverting the law of the land and could be sentenced to death for his crimes.

He should also inform them that their ‘pain and anguish’ could be the biggest source of instability in the country.

Crude power posturing might win General Bajwa the applause of jingoistic segments of the armed forces, but it would bring him into the ranks of those forces, which are pushing Pakistan into the abyss of anarchy and chaos. Crude power posturing would never bring stability to the country.


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