Certainly the responsibility of keeping the flame of hope alive goes onto the shoulders of all those who are blessed with the power of using words in written and spoken form. Such people include teachers, religious scholars, writers, speakers, and journalists belonging to the print and electronic media. The social media activists can also play a very vibrant role in this context. Spreading of depression and disappointment along with spreading of disinformation among the people is now-a-days being used as one of the most fatal weapons all over the world. Everywhere the hostile forces have their own specific targets and to hit these targets they adopt all fair and foul means; most frequently used of all such means is the media. Recent exploitation of a statement by Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa is the worst example of spreading disinformation.
The Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, a few days back, went to Peshawar and there he had a meeting at Corps Auditorium with students from various universities of KPK. He said talking about the negative role played by the PTM, “A few individuals playing in foreign hands are by design exploiting sentiments of the people who have actually suffered at the hands of terrorism and now need care. He further said that both government and the security forces are working to address genuine issues of the tribals regardless of where they come from. One of the participants was a Sikh student from FATA who requested that he should be allowed to put a picture of Ranjit Singh in Qila Balahisar as Sikhs have ruled Peshawar during his time. Just to honour the Sikh minority, the Chief of the Army Staff acceded to that request. The students present at the moment sincerely appreciated the good-will gesture of the Army Chief and promised that they all would provide all possible moral support to the Pakistan Armed Forces. They also expressed their determination that they would never be swayed by detractors of any type. One of the students present there said, “We promise to be the contributors and not by standers to bright future of Pakistan.” Certainly it was a heart-winning speech of the Army Chief but at the same time it pinched and pained a lot of groups hostile to Pakistan. On Face Book and in various Watsapp groups, these hostile forces started levying baseless allegations on the Army Chief. It was blamed that the Army Chief is promoting Punjabi culture in KPK as Ranjit Singh was a Punjabi. It was also blamed that by giving importance to a non-Muslim character of the regional history, the Army Chief is trying to protect and promote secularism in the country. The fact of the matter is that by allowing the placement of a picture of Ranjit Singh in Qila Balahisar the Army Chief meant nothing but wanted to tell the world that all minorities enjoy equal rights in Pakistan. His was a massage to the world that Pakistan is a safe land for the minorities where their desires and wishes are valued and honoured at every level. His objective was neither to promote any regional culture nor to project secularism. Pakistan Army is a uniting force for the whole nation.
There is no discrimination on the basis of any caste, creed or language in the Army as its soldiers and officers represent different linguistic and religious backgrounds. The only priority of all soldiers and of all officers of Pakistan Army is Pakistan; the Land of the Pure. The propaganda move against the Army Chief is just a childish reaction of those who didn’t like Army Chief’s remarks on the anti-state activities of the PTM. Whatever said the Army Chief with particular reference to the anti-state activities of the PTM is in fact the voice of all Pakistanis including the Pashtuns; such activities, if allowed to flourish, would simply push the country towards a hell of disintegration and degeneration. Such activities of the PTM type organizations would give birth to political instability, social anarchy and economic chaos which in no way could be affordable at this crucial juncture of our history. The nation will have to be vigilant in this regard.