From leaks to confrontation

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Muhammad Usman

The Dawn Leaks and obstinate outburst of Nawaz Sharif, also being termed as Dawn Leaks II, confirm one fact beyond any shred of doubt that originator of both is one. The script is same. In Dawn Leaks, he was a moderator and his high ranking brother was an intensifier. In part II, he himself is a cracker and brother on the role of a conciliator. In part II, prose is relatively more direct and indiscrete. ‘Militant organisations are active, call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai, why can’t we complete the trial,’ said Nawaz Sharif in an orchestrated interview. This left all and sundry in the country, shell shocked in a state of consternation because this interview was not of an ordinary person. It has come straight from the mouth of person who had been three time PM. He did not feel need of having second thought before dismissing unanimous communique of National Security Committee, terming his fallacious assertions incorrect and misleading. He called it regrettable and painful, being not based on facts and related situation while also confirming veracity of Dawn Leaks. He moved from subtle leaks to open confrontation in one sweep.
As expected, Indian media immediately picked up his inane contention and termed it a confession of what India had been saying about Pakistan’s role in the Mumbai attack. Equally it will give renowned potency to US to squeeze Pakistan because this the same language which Trump has spoken recently that Pakistan supports militants that kill US troops in Afghanistan. With his latest tirade, he has put the country in a quandary on many accounts by his unremitting diatribe against Judiciary, establishment and now the country itself.
This has plagued the position of Pakistan at a time when Pakistan is due to present its case at FFTC in Jun to evade the possibility of placement on its blacklist. This can spell disaster for Pakistan because Pakistan is reeling under the weight of its monumental debt servicing this year. Pakistan has to borrow about $ 23 billion to ward off the threat of default. It is a testing time when also seen in backdrop of our trade deficit which has touched alarming proportions; $ 35 billion. The future prospects for our economy are also bleak because real drivers of economic growth/development are in tatters. Our fight against terrorism is in decisive phase. Following new US South Asia Policy, Pakistan is braving ever increasing pressure on Afghanistan. Morphed with strategic bidding by US, India is also extra active to launch covert operations inside Pakistan in concert with Afghan NDS. When asked about remarks of Nawaz Sharif, Pentagon spokesperson said that again, this is an inflection point for Pakistan. Pakistan has decisions to make and we hope that they will be a partner in safeguarding the region. This is the spice which his remarks would lend to pressurise Pakistan.
The position of Pakistan was already precariously placed. Nawaz Sharif has aggravated it further. It is the tangible cost which Pakistan may have to pay. Besides, there is also an intangible cost which is of more concern to a nation which has to rely more on spirits than goods to defeat the odds. In a country where national security is a vital issue, civil – military relationship assumes importance correspondingly. One could visualise dismal state when he sees belligerence of Nawaz Sharif and dilly dally of our PM after meeting of National Security Committee. He almost divorced intent and content of its communique when he said that remarks of Nawaz Sharif were being misrepresented in Indian media and people in Pakistan should not become party to their propaganda. This would certainly lower stock of country abroad and shocked the people at home.
Over a period of time, our moral and social fiber has been greatly undermined by frequent military takeovers and minion political leadership brought up by military dictators. Sadly, corruption has become an acceptable norm. A sizeable part of our people takes a chicken hearted man a lion. The use of sophistry being used by government/ PML (N) to cover up their exposed tracks, may, ultimately thin it more. Our nation has suffered immeasurably. Its brave sons in uniform have never wavered. They have steel in their hearts yet they are made of flesh. They also have emotions. It becomes painful when they see people of dubious character, stalking landmass of the country with impunity. They needs to be restrained. Luckily this time, people are in no mood to let them go scot free.
— The writer, retired Lt Col, is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.

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