IN SUPPORT OF DEMOCRACY

PROFESSOR ALI SUKHANVER

ali-sukhanver2Just a few days back, I was really stunned rather shocked when I overheard someone at a roadside restaurant convincing vehemently his fellows that the army would never let Nawaz League wins with simple majority. I stopped there and asked the person why he thought so. He simply said he got the impression through media. I could comment nothing. Do we really enjoy being in a state of oblivion or it is the result of some international medication that we have turned a blind eye to the realities around us; that is the question to which I very often try to find out an appropriate answer. Confusions and confusions; we, as a nation, have nothing else in our pockets. Be it the religion, the politics or our relationship with the neighbouring countries and even our strategy regarding the international affairs, we are always in a state of perplexity. The people enjoying a cup of tea at roadside tea-stalls, the passengers waiting for the bus at bus-stations and even the employees of the government and private offices; all feel pleasure in discussions on the things they don’t have even the basic knowledge of. It is something very strange that in spite of last five years’ complete indifference to the political affairs and all honest efforts of sheltering the democratic process, the army is still considered the strongest force which is eager to derail the democratic process in Pakistan. Particularly in the present scenario when the political parties failed in choosing the name of the care-taker prime minister and the matter had to be referred to the Election Commission of Pakistan, rumors are there that it is the army which is behind all this complexity.

 

In fact blaming army and defaming the intelligence agencies has become a fashion in Pakistan. From Imran Khan to Dr. Tahir-ul- Qadri, so many popular political leaders are portrayed as the puppets in the hands of the army and the intelligence agencies. They are blamed for helping out the army in constitution of a ‘hung parliament’. When we find no clues to the ground realities, we do nothing but point our fingers to the security forces. Unfortunately dragging the army into the irrelevant issues has become a culture in Pakistan. Why could be army against Miyan Nawaz Shareef; it is an important thing to be pondered. If in the past, the head of the Nawaz League had some difference of opinion with Gen.Pervez Musharraf, the Ex-Army Chief; it doesn’t mean he was against the whole army as an institution. We see that in the last sixty six years, it happened so many times that politicians had clashes of opinion with the persons heading the army but these clashes or differences were based on differences of point of view , not on liking or disliking of the institution. Moreover it is not the job of the army to look after the state of internal political affairs particularly in a scenario where the army is always engaged, or I would say over-engaged in fighting against the terrorists inside and along the borders. I don’t think that the army has such leisure to spend on the things like politics. Whoever comes into the power, it is certainly the duty and responsibility of the army to give him a helping hand of subordination. Just like the whole of nation, everyone from the army is also eagerly waiting for the upcoming general elections. Just like teachers, doctors, engineers, religious scholars and students, our soldiers are also keen to use their right of vote. Officially or un-officially, they are never guided or directed or forced by their superiors to vote for the PPP or not to vote for the Muslim League. They are as independent as the rest of the nation in using their democratic right of vote.

 

The Pakistan army must have been criticized if it were involved in any kind of moral or financial corruption as that of the Indian army. It must have been taken to task if there were officers like Col Ajay Chaudhry of the Indian army who was arrested for smuggling 24-crore worth of illegal drugs to Myanmar this year. It must have been trialed and tested if there were officers like Indian Air Chief Marshal Shashi P Tyagi who received massive bribes in Augusta Westland VVIP helicopter deal. For a prosperous today and a brighter tomorrow, we as a nation need strong defence but we can never strengthen our defence just by piling up arms and ammunitions. Strong defence needs unbeatable, undefeatable passions and passions are always thirsty for appreciation and moral encouragement. The matter of the fact is that an atmosphere of distrust and doubts is being created just to defame the army and the intelligence agencies at the desire of the international conspirators who are very well aware of the fact that unless as institution the army is deprived of its trust, repute and confidence, no one can defeat the Pakistani nation at any front.

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