Armed forces avert a disaster



  • While discussing Faizabad dharna and what caused it, one is left with no option but to blame the dishonesty and complete absence of governance on the part of the government.

    Instead of admitting its serious lacking in essential fields, and its astronomical greed and corruption - as highlighted by the Panama papers - to be behind its predicament, the Sharif brothers are trying to create an impression that it was the armed forces, acting through the superior judiciary, which was causing all the problems for it.

    And failing to elicit any support from the masses, Nawaz Sharif went to Saudi Arabia to seek help, but got no response even there. Thus, the only help for Nawaz Sharif could come from the Western governments whose sympathy and support he could elicit by appearing to be 'liberal' and for a start, his government fiddled with the declaration about Khatm-e-Nabuwat, after which he would have probably blunted the anti-blasphemy laws, as desired by the US government.

    However, the conspiracy misfired and Sharifs had a dharna on their hand.

    And being opportunists to the core, the Sharifs tried to use it to advance their sinister agenda.

    Just how could under two thousand persons travel all the way from Lahore to Islamabad and keep the country's capital paralyzed for over three weeks, despite Federal Interior Miniser Ahsan Iqbal's claim that it could be ended within two hours. And all this time, the dharna participants were kept in fair degree of comfort, with no attempts to even disrupt their operation.

    And finally, when the action against Dharna started, Ahsan Iqbal did not own it and took pains to paint a picture that he did it only on the orders of the court. Of course, such a half-hearted approach could hardly bring results and the operation failed - as it was intended to be - with law enforcers and the government thoroughly insulted, and the law enforcers received injuries on top of insult. Also, quite a few Police vehicles got burned out and the public property, including metro station and private cars got extensively vandalized. Also, the dharna attracted support from all over the country and became something of a country-wide protest.

    The sense of responsibility of Ahsan Iqbal can be judged from the fact that he claimed that, as a Federal Interior Minister, his responsibility was limited to Islamabad capital area and disturbances in Rawalpindi were not his responsibility. Surely, with Punjab government also in PML-N hands, there was nothing to stop him from coordinating his activities with Punjab law enforcers which he could easily arrange and , in fact, was duty-bound to do.

    And then the leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly advised that the job of ending the disturbances be handed over to the army and the government actually called out the military to control the rioters.

    And this makes one feel that the plans were there right from the beginning to first of all spoil the situation to the maximum and then to call in the army, putting it in direct confrontation with the masses, which was sure to tarnish the image of the armed forces.

    However, the COAS and his advisers were smart enough to see the overall picture, detect the conspiracy and managed to bring the situation under control through negotiations with the protesters, which success turned the tables on the Sharifs who proved no good even at conspiring. This clearly proves Sharifs' total failure in governance, leaving their specialty only in the field of corruption in which field they remain unmatched.

    And there are lot of writers, and even a judge, who criticized army's role as a mediator, claiming - and not totally without justification - that the armed forces job was to control and contain the violence and not to act as a mediator. True, but then the armed forces should have been involved in the issue only if the civilian law enforcers had used all the resources at their disposal and still failed to bring the situation under control. However, the continuation of dharna for over three weeks, despite Ahsan Iqbal's declaration that it could be finished in two hours, clearly belies it. We know that Sharifs' government intentionally let the situation deteriorate to an extent where bringing it under control would have required excessive use of force and caused extensive loss of life and property, and then passed on the responsibility to the armed forces to do the unpleasant job and get blamed for the consequences. In such circumstances, just why should the armed forces willingly fall into the trap set for them by the Sharifs?

    However, it is pertinent to mention here that the Lahore High Court, taking a comprehensive and balanced view of the military's approach, was full of praise for it for successfully averting a major disaster.

    Had the armed forces done what the Sharifs wanted them to do, the whole country would have been destabilized. And the resulting turbulence would have been loved by the US Defence Secretary Mad Dog Jim Mattis, who is visiting Pakistan today to do a bit of barking here and there in an attempt to intimidate the armed forces into doing his bidding.

    Of course, looking around, we see that after ravaging Iraq, Libya and Syria to its hearts' content, the US and its chums are now planning to start their dirty game against Pakistan which, as the strongest militarily, and the only nuclear power in the Muslim world, is just not acceptable to them. And Pakistan's close relations with China are additional irritant to them. And Indian animosity towards Pakistan, and its seeing Pakistan as an obstacle to the fulfillment of its dream of dominating and controlling the region, eclipsing even China with US help, make it also regard a strong Pakistan as a threat to its designs.

    As for the US, after the costly Iraq invasion, bitter opposition arose within the country to sending of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and spending trillions of dollars. And then the devilish brains in the west developed an economy model to achieve their objectives at low cost. And now, instead of launching a direct invasion on countries, using soldiers from the US and its chums, they create and use divisions within the country and set them against each other, and limit their involvement to adding fuel to the fire, started by them in the victim countries, by supplying arms, ammunition and providing other financial help to the combatants. And the US and its gang successfully employed this model in Libya and Syria, and managed to destabilize both states at costs thousand times lower than in Iraq. And since they deceive their citizens into believing that they are running humanitarian missions in the victim countries, there is not much public opposition to their devilish projects either.

    And I believe the attempt by Sharifs to first aggravate the situation and then to involve the armed forces in the unpleasant task which, if force was used, would have created ideal situation for the US and its chums to create Iraq, Libya and Syria like condition in Pakistan. Of course, the US and its gang would have loved Sharifs for this and would have tried their best to bail them out.

    So, exercising utmost caution, the armed forces have not only averted great loss of life and property, but have also prevented a Libya or Syria like disaster occurring in Pakistan.

    I think, instead of criticizing the armed forces over the role played by them in ending the dharna - like some sponsored agents of Sharifs, and others who can't see the overall picture, are doing - we ought to express our gratitude to, and congratulate them for a job well-done.

    Karachi