A SOS call ! | By Brig Naseem Akhtar Khan (R)


A SOS call !

A SOS (Save Our Soul) call is an internationally recognised signal of distress in radio code used especially, by the ships calling for help and rescue when they face an inevitable disaster.

It was originally established for maritime use and subsequently, became a worldwide standard to call for help, requesting emergency assistance when loss of life or catastrophic loss of property or a major security breach of an organisation endangering its existence, is imminent.

The readers must be wondering as to what has prompted me to write about such an alarming commotion in my today’s column after a long absence from print media in Pakistan.

Unfortunately, I am forced to choose this subject to break my silence. Being a veteran with an honour of having served in Pakistan Army for nearly four decades and fortunate to have been in positions of authority to see and handle strategic and security threats to our country from very close quarters, here I am, to desperately cry out loudly to forewarn my countrymen about a much bigger disaster hovering around us, with limitless consequences for all of us as a nation.

SOS messages are always short and crisp and therefore following few lines without any lengthy premise, may help people to realise the gravity of the turmoil that we, as a nation, are going through and what will be its upshots that loom at our doorsteps.

Looking at the prevailing chaos in the country with extremely fragile economy, worsening security situation and poor governance, created through wickedly orchestrated conspiracies at home and abroad, is extremely painful.

My placement in private security industry in Dubai where I get ample opportunities to interact with high profile security professionals from across the globe, enables me to comprehend the fluctuating security developments in the region, with particular reference to Pakistan, from a higher perspective.

An insight into the foul-play hatched against us with horrendous intents, is extremely agonising.

Interrelating these events with what all I have been observing through decades of my practical involvement in countering the threats to our national security while I was in service, makes the picture gloomier from my perspective.

Unfortunately, Pakistan has been facing a two-front war ever since its creation. While, we are surrounded by a hostile neighbourhood, our important geo-strategic location in the region and an inherent potential as an irrepressible nation, make us a key target for international power brokers, to neutralise and use us to augment their treasonous game plans in the region.

Unfortunately, some of our internal sensitivities/fault lines provide them much needed breakthroughs to meddle in our internal affairs to their advantage.

Some opportunists within various segments of our society, readily offer their services to support anti-Pakistan game plans to fulfil their personal ambitions, overlooking our national interests.

That greatly facilitates our adversaries in their onslaught against our national sovereignty. A combination of internal and external adversaries playing their shots against us, is the panorama that has brought us to an unimaginable bog that we confront at the moment.

The situation is reaching to a point of no return. This SOS call is meant for all Pakistanis to realise the gravity of the consequences, less it becomes too late.

Our sympathizers abroad are equally feeling the heat of the consequences of the present turmoil in our country and are worried about our future.

Some of my acquaintances from neighbouring countries have openly expressed their concern about the current situation in Pakistan, because in their opinion, a strong Pakistan also guarantees their safety and wellbeing.

I do not consider myself an expert in security realm but the hypothesis that I am trying to convey, is to the best of my knowledge and experience in the field of security.

I consider it as my moral obligation to my nation to convey my concerns and honest point of view to the people of Pakistan.

At the same time, I am also confident that people at the helms of affairs, who have the power to steer the country out of the prevailing crisis, must be fully aware of the situation and must have the plans to fulfil their responsibilities to the nation.

But most of us, the ordinary Pakistanis are worried and contemplate a very serious catastrophe at hand.

It is astonishing to read statements by some of the people holding highly responsible positions in the management running the country, accepting the sorry state of affairs, yet showing their inability to do anything to rectify the wrongs, even within their own domain.

Finding a way out to manipulate the justice as per the convenience of a few, has unfortunately, been the root cause of all the evils in our society.

Those entrusted with the sacred responsibility of providing justice to the people, need to ensure its delivery to everyone, irrespective of the status and creed.

Unless integrity and solidarity of country is recognised as top priority at every level, we stand no chance.

It is not the government alone that is answerable for our miseries. We all are equally responsible for our problems.

We have accepted to live in a society that works under complete elite capture and readily accept whatever comes in our way, as its consequence.

An illusion of democracy completely under the clutches of feudalism and industrial mafias without the slightest latitude of self-expression, has become an acceptable way of life.

Highly educated and experience professionals standing behind illiterate feudal elite or their kith and kin with no say in the helms of affair, is always a shameful sight to watch in our politics.

Sectarian and ethnic divide has created wide gaps in our society, causing a virtual divide in the country, emerging as a major fault-line in our national solidarity and cohesion.

This malfunctioning in our system provides an excellent opening to our adversaries to manipulate its fallouts to their benefits.

My appeal to everyone at home, will be to realise our obligations and responsibilities in whatever capacity we are in and play our part to save the country from a complete devastation.

Enemies within our lines need to be identified and neutralised before they succeed in their nefarious designs.

Unfortunately, they are spread amongst all the important segments of our society: politics, bureaucracy and even most of the government institutions and are readily available to our adversaries to use them by obliging to their personal gains.

Even the religion is misinterpreted to exploit the innocent youth to support their evil designs.

Above few lines are just a SOS call, to seek attention of my country fellows and draw their focus on the emerging threats endangering our national security instantly and come forth to fulfil their obligations in safeguarding our national security and integrity.

I have plans to present an in-depth study on our national security paradigm in near future which I hope, will be a fruitful read for all concerned.

To conclude my submissions, I would like to refer to what Allama Iqbal had said to remind us about our responsibilities in building a stronger Pakistan;
خدا نے آج تک اس قوم کی حالت نہیں بدلی”
“نہ ہو جس کو خیال آپ اپنی حالت کے بدلنے کا

—The writer is working at Security Management Professional, Dubai (UAE).