Army’s goodwill gestures

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TWO statements emanating from the Pakistan Army on Monday raised the stature of the national institution further in the eyes of the general public. In a categorical statement, Director-General, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major-General Babar Iftikhar reiterated the position of Pakistan Army that it was not, in any way, involved in politics and therefore, must not be dragged into politics. In another development, Pakistan Armed Forces became the first foreign military service to have received doses of Chinese vaccine Sinopharm as donation from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) but the military leadership decided to contribute the gift to the national drive against Coronavirus.

Pakistan Army has always kept national priorities over and above all other considerations and its latest gestures upheld this tradition of the institution. The ISPR has rightly pointed out that the contribution was done to keep with the “Pakistan Armed Forces’ traditional spirit of nation comes first, always and every time”.

The move assumes significance in the backdrop of rapidly increasing cases of virus infection during the second wave of the disease and as a consequence each and every citizen wants to be immunized against the virus at the earliest. It is known to all that like frontline health workers, who are exposed to the virus because of their nature of duties, personnel of defence forces and law-enforcing agencies are also facing almost similar dangers because of their role in handling the overall situation.

However, it was unanimously decided that health workers would be the first ones to receive doses of the vaccines and it is appreciable that the defence forces have surrendered their share for the most vulnerable segment of the society.

The declaration of the Army that it was not interested in politics has also special relevance to the prevailing situation when speculations were rife about backdoor contacts of the institution with the opposition parties. The military spokesperson has not only rejected such perception but also threw a challenge to provide proof of contacts to back these allegations. Similar announcements were also made by the army leadership and its spokesperson in the past as well but unfortunately some vested interests continue to spread disinformation in this regard. We hope that after the categorical statement of the Director-General ISPR, the rumour-mongering would come to an end.