NEWS & VIEWS
SOME of our leading intellectual lights, analysts, panelists and some members of Parliament have the penchant for self-flagellation. They resort to scathing criticism on Pakistan’s policies and its institutions more than the detractors or enemies of Pakistan do. Chief of Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Mehmood Khan Achakzai told the BBC Urdu service on Friday that Pakistan should take the initiative for independent Kashmir. He said: “Let Kashmir be free from both India and Pakistan. Kashmir is the root cause of many issues between both the countries. Why not we take the first step to solve it?” He conveniently forgets UNSC resolution giving the people of Kashmir right to join India or Pakistan in a plebiscite to be held under the aegis of the UN. And Kashmir dispute is very much on the UN agenda. Last year, Ch. Pervaiz Ilahi had demanded Achakzai’s trial for his baneful discourse and act of treason.
Unfortunately, he never asked India to stop brutalities and atrocities on Kashmiris, and now has floated the idea of an independent Kashmir, which is negation of the position taken by the government to which he is an ally. Earlier, in an interview with Kabul-based English language daily Afghanistan Times, Achakzai had said: “If Afghans are harassed in other parts of Pakistan, they should come here to the Pakhtunkhwa province, where no one can ask them for refugee cards, because it also belongs to them.” He added if Pakistan stops supporting the Taliban, there will be peace in Afghanistan. He never blamed Afghan government and its agency NDS for supporting banned TTP elements ensconced in Kunar and Nooristan supported by NDS and RAW. It is rather strange that a few members of Parliament who benefitted most by holding positions in higher echelons in the government are critical of Pakistan and its institutions.
They do not realise that at this point in time when armed forces are rendering sacrifices in fighting the terrorists, criticising means to demoralise them. Mehmood Khan Achakzai, chief of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) had held intelligence agencies and law enforcement departments responsible for the negligence vis-à-vis Quetta incident stating that blaming RAW will not work as all anti-state elements are on payroll of agencies. “I think Quetta incident is a result of failure of our intelligence agencies. Their officers should be fired for not delivering results.” Such incidents have happened in European and other countries and they could not stop terrorists completely. Even the US with enormous resources and scores of intelligence agencies could not stop 9/11 incident. No heads had rolled there, but steps were taken and strategy was chalked out to thwart any such incident in future. And no 9/11 tragedy happened since then.
It is worth pointing out that Mehmood Achakzai is member of National Assembly; one brother Muhammad Khan Achakzai is Governor of Balochistan; other brother Hameed Khan Achakzai and his nephew Abdul Majeed Khan Achakzai are MPAs; one brother-in-law Spozemai Achakzai is MNA and other Hassan Manzoor DIG Motorways police. Zia-ur-Rehman, brother of Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman was appointed as Commissioner Afghan Refugees (ARs-KP) on the recommendations of Establishment Division in April 2016 reportedly without adhering to the prerequisite of coordination with provincial government. It has to be mentioned that he is a grade 18 officer whereas the requirement for the slot is Grade 20. Since his brother has strongly opposed the repatriation of Afghan refugees, there is a perception that the latter could exploit the situation and impede the repatriation process. According to a report, Zia-ur-Rehman was inducted in provincial management service (grade 17), using brother’s clout during MMA government.
As per a notification dated August 28, 2015, it is mandatory that the postings and transfers of provincial commissioner for Afghan refugees and respective commissionerate staff be carried out by the Safron Ministry in coordination with the provincial governments. The petitioner against Zia-ur-Rehman had alleged that while appointing him no such coordination was seen, the appointment of Mr. Zia was politically motivated. The high court had already admitted the writ petition for full hearing. The ministry of State and Frontier Region (SAFRON), also a Respondent in the petition, conceded in its comments that the appointment of Mr. Zia was against the prescribed rules and regulations. The ministry admitted that it had not given any approval for replacement of the petitioner. The petitioner had challenged the March 28 order issued by the NWFP chief secretary whereby Zia-ur-Rehman was appointed as project director (Repatriation).
Anyhow, Mehmood Achakzai should stop criticizing military, as since 2008 it has no favorites. In fact, when transition started with 2008 elections, military had vowed to remain neutral. Despite the fact that at that time Pervez Musharraf was president of Pakistan, the then COAS General Ashafaq Pervez Kayani had taken practical steps to ensure that there would be no interference in elections. Before elections, the then COAS in a letter written to officers and commanding officers issuing instructions that officers should not call any politician in headquarters or their offices. And since then, military has not interfered in politics. He had advised the officers that they should not indulge in any profit-making venture other than their salary and perks as per their ranks. However, it is the responsibility and prerogative of the military to give its threat perception about internal and external security, as it has more information than the Parliamentarians and Executive.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.
NEWS & VIEWS