Pakistan in Crisis

Have been away for a while, was watching matters with concern and disappointment as Pakistan stumbles through one crisis to another. But then am I qualified to say anything at all in the first place? A retired officer of the armed forces, it appears may have no right to criticize, suggest or recommend anything within this sacred democracy. If he does it’s immediately considered a call for ‘Martial Law.’

On the other hand, people such Asma Jehangir, generalize their opinion and call us ‘duffers’, in other words, brainless people who do not have the right to an opinion in the first place. So, am I missing the point on account of my lack of intellectual capacity and all that I see are just illusions and that matters are in fact all honkey dory in the Islamic Lands of Pakistan, that I should neither be concerned nor have the right to be concerned? Is that how I am supposed to spend the rest of my life being lectured by their wisdom and their logic as they preach ‘sanity, peace and harmony’?

I have listened to the animated arguments of those who wish to befriend India at any cost while their silence on Kashmir at the same time astounds me; I have heard those who want to ‘leave’ Afghanistan alone but suggest no resolution to the our TTP sitting in Kunar or continued Afghan insinuations on the Western Border. It seems that we are always wrong that here is nothing right in what we do. The same people who cried hoarse accusing Musharraf of buckling under US pressure are silent as the Ummah prostitutes itself in a public display of selling body and soul to Trump. I wonder what one would say to the troops today when going into battle to be prepared to lay down their lives for this country. This is probably the only domain where I can claim qualification. So, what would one say? Should our men fight and die so that Qadri can be freely celebrated as a murderer or that Mullah Azizi can announce the anniversary of when they shot and killed an officer of the Armed Forces in broad daylight in the Capital of this Country? Should he die for what he is publically accused of by Dawn or for a government that is under trial by a JIT for robbing him, for the linesman who steals his electricity or the DC who lords over him?

For a CJ, Mr. Chaudhry and his son or for the land mafia that encroach on his lands, for Dar who exploits his own people as he searches how he can still tax those who pay taxes and protect those who don’t, for ministers who cannot hold a commitment for more than 24 hours; for the liars, cheats, thieves who surround us in every walk of life. Tell me, what will you tell your troops today, lay down their life for what – for this?

In Saudi, Pakistan appeared like a bride with her trousseau ready, waiting for the first suiter to woe her. With nothing to say, and no contribution, Pakistan sat on the fringes of the coalition hoping a scrap would be thrown her way too. As India was celebrated in the wake of the Kashmir genocide, Pakistan’s sacrifices were trampled upon as a warning was read out to those who aid and abet terrorists on their lands. I wonder who all qualify for such a warning. So how do you motivate your men today – fight the American devil or the Arab?

With dire threats to Iran, the Coalition cannot pretend it is anything else but a sectarian alliance and we with our ‘duffers’ stupidity are in the lead. Though we have no dog in this fight, we have jumped in with glee. I suppose for the apologists of the Ummah, ‘this is our war’ and they have finally found the right war to fight having fought the wrong one for the last so many years. So, what should we tell our troops, why have they been fighting when they were fighting?

Kulbushan Yadav was an opportunity but have we allowed this opportunity to slip through our fingers; was it deliberate or was it incompetence? Afghanistan invaded our territory, has been thrown out and census has been completed but I saw no serious protest or concern. So, I now understand why the social media must be muzzled in this democracy because whereas the evil that surrounds us does pain but the truth is even more painful. We are endangering CPEC, we are becoming unstable in our positions, we do not know our destination, we have no national objectives and we hope that the future will be better but we don’t know why. There is no accountability whether it’s a PIA Plane on a narco mission or Ayyan Ali laundering money, there is no one responsible for foreign policy failures or government in collapse. So, who and what should he fight for?

My question then remains, and I would like someone to educate me, ‘With are territorial spaces threatened, with our sovereign rights set aside, our international standing ground to dust, what then should this soldier fight for, what exactly should we tell him? Good luck to all, hope we survive this but then ‘duffers’ such as me have always painted gloom and despair and maybe I am missing the point as well as the party where everyone is celebrating as I stand on the margin watching the show go on.

Maybe as a citizen and a citizen I am, and not as ‘duffer’ of the armed forces, I still have the right to ask questions in this hobbled democracy and have right to demand answers from this parliament, even though it appears to me as an irrelevant parliament:

  1. How was Pakistan allowed to attend the Saudi Coalition when the Parliament had ruled that we shall not be a part of it?
  2. Why is the Parliament silent on making the Dawn Leaks a public document?
  3. Why is the Parliament quiet on the Abbottabad Commission?
  4. Does the Parliament have any concern for the alleged Border Violations and do they have any constructive recommendations?
  5. Has the Parliament called the Committee on Kashmir to ask how they justify their existence? Or is there any direction by the Parliament on this matter?
  6. Will the Parliament debate and discuss the unconstitutional debt accumulated and debt servicing?
  7. Will the Parliament question the government on their handling of the Kulbushan Case?
  8. Will the Parliament insist on making public all CPEC ‘deals’?

Lt. General Tariq Khan (Retired)

Advisor & Senior Analyst at CommandEleven
Lt. General Tariq Khan (Retired), an erudite general from Pakistan's Armored Corps and a decorated War Veteran, is an expert on critical issues related to Terrorism & Insurgencies. General Tariq Khan during the Battle of Bajaur, transformed and re-shaped Frontier Corps into a relentless fighting force and raised FC's own special forces popularly known as SOG. Commanded and led major operations in FATA from the frontline, his model on counter-insurgency is still applied to this day.

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