Army should not be targeted
The target of the Memogate is the Army per se and the stalwarts of the Army perhaps felt it necessary to investigate the report appearing in London press . The top intelligence agency in the country is the ISI and may be the big wigs of the forces thought it necessary to investigate the reports which appeared in a London newspaper, published later in here Pakistan as a small piece of news. Was this not normal ? In ordinary course even Government should have asked the intelligence to find out about the whole episode. There was no harm in Army doing it on its own. This is normal. I have no personal contacts with the leaders but relying on the degree of accuracy of reporting it was reported on 18th December 2011 “ Gilani Upbeat after talks with Kayani” – that is his three and half hours talk with General Kayani. Then five days later on December 23, came the opposite reaction “ The Press reporting Government Army on collision Course” A sober daily not used to sensationalizing its headlines said “ Government, Army on collision course” This was highly disturbing to any patriotic Pakistani. They neither want Army to intervene nor the Coalition Government to clash with, or be “on the collision course” with the Army. This could happen in a banana republic but not Pakistan which I consider has a core of very qualified educated class equal to any in the world.
The Prime Minister said “State within State unacceptable, All institution answerable to the Parliament”. His assessments that moves were afoot to bring the Government were outburst of the type people have not heard of late. Immediately thereafter the Army Chief put such alarmist views to rest by clearly declaring faith in constitutional Government- or democracy – but at the same time affirming resolve to pursue memo-gate. This was interpreted as memogate stand off with the Government.
One thing is clear that the real issue between the Army and the Government is Memogate and it is firm that the Supreme Court must pursue the proceedings on this issue for whatever it is worth. It might be correct to say so does overwhelming majority of the public who want to know the truth about the memogate.In addition two political parties, PML-N and Tehrik e Insaf both want the enquiry to continue and so overwhelming majority of the public. Public demand is that the memogate trial in the Supreme court should continue.
This is the occasion to look at the Prime Minister’s statement of “Stat within State” if it refers to the judiciary also. Perhaps he did not include judiciary as an institution which is subordinate to the Government. Judiciary under democratic rule is an independent organ of the state NOT subordinate to the Parliament or Government, by the very fact that it hears the complaints whether Legislature passed any law which went beyond its powers given in the Constitution. It is above the Legislature in this role. Only Communist system courts are subordinate to the Party, for the dictum of the system is that the interest of the Party are supreme objective of law.( not the Government but party) In democratic system justice is above political interest or in the control of the party. Also the Supreme Court can declare after hearing arguments on the case that the Parliament has passed a law for which it had no authority in the Constitution. Parliament does not have absolute power. Let there not be any confusion on the functions, powers and authority of the Supreme Court. That all officials are paid by the State, this is as true for generals, bureaucrats and even Prime Minister and President. This is no stigma but if one thinks government functionaries are personal servant or subordinate of any body it is just a feudal assertion of role of masters and servants. We are all servants of the state not of any individual..
To any perceptive eye it would be obvious that the appearance of the memogate and the Imran Khan’s popularity graph are connected very much like cause and effect. Future will tell whether Imran Khan was capable of delivering the goods as expected but failure of the coalition government to satisfy its electorates of its ability to give a reasonably clean government is as much its downfall as of Nawaz Sharif whom they think may be a chip of the old dream sellers without meaning any word of the promises made.
The Coalition Government has become fond of claiming “conspiracies” against it in every move as if the role of opposition is to play a qawwal to the Government. Nawaz Sharif’s downfall is mainly because of his role as a “friendly opposition” for such a long time that he has burnt his boats. Instead of seeing “conspiracies” in evry criticism of the Government they should examine the long list of their failures in any field Public is tired of beating its drum of “sacrifices” made for democracy. No sacrifices were made. They were price paid for the ambition to rule Pakistan perpetually, with an implied claim to have divine right to rule and have the patent rights to introduce democracy to us.
It will take a full article to debunk the claim of sacrifices. It is we the Hindustani Musalmans who mad sacrifices. No one can claim even an iota of that which we sacrificed I will write my next column on this subject.
To any seasoned senior government official, the Government and the ruling Coalition PPP Government and the ruling political party looks like over-reaction to the episode and the Army’s investigation in the matter is not understandable. The Supreme Court verdict is a long way still and it cannot be pre-judged. It is quite clear that in public there is no demand or support for military take over. In US President Richard Nixon’s Watergate was not taken by the American ruling Party of US as a challenege to it. Level of political maturity of the public in Pakistan is no longer as elementary as it was a decade ago.
Today all the great achievements of the past are in the dust in Pakistan. The Railway the British gave over one hundred years, in India it is still a boon for the low income traveller, the PIA we made “the great people to fly with “ If you use this slogan today people will go mad laughing, post offices, public services, etc The only thing left is the Armed Forces. Let no on destroy them. It will be a great service to Pakistan’s enemies. We will be defence-less. Let no one spite the face by cutting the nose.
—The writer holds M.A. International Reltions and PhD in Political Science from North America.