DESPITE repeated assertions by Pakistan Army that it is apolitical and would remain so, attempts are being made by some parties and their leaders to drag the institution in the political mess.
Reacting to the Government crackdown against PTI ahead of its march, leader of the party Imran Khan, while addressing ‘neutrals’ said the entire nation was looking towards them, warning that they will be held responsible if the country goes towards destruction.
He also made several other remarks directed towards national institutions, making appeals to them to play ‘their due role’ but apparently in his favour.
It was because of these controversial remarks that forced Maryam Nawaz to say that the march was not against PML(N) but against the Establishment, wondering who was funding his long march.
That the Establishment is completely apolitical became clear once again when behind-the-scene efforts were made for a patch up between the Government and the Opposition as it was felt that continuation of the political tension and any possibility of a confrontation between rival forces would harm economic and security interests of the country.
There were credible reports about dissolution of the Assembly leading to general election and this has openly been confirmed by Imran Khan himself who said in an interview that the party was approached to delay the march for a few days giving time for behind-the-scene negotiations to become fruitful.
However, he chose not to reciprocate and went ahead with his plan to organize a march on the federal capital, throwing reconciliatory efforts to the dustbin.
It is known to all that all institutions are duty bound to act when the country is faced with external or internal security threats and it is short-sightedness to ask them to facilitate political ambitions of a party or an individual.
They obviously cannot remain ‘neutral’ if fundamental security and economic interests of the country are in jeopardy.
Instead, it is their fundamental responsibility to ensure peace, security and stability and help address situations that could lead towards chaos and anarchy.
People of Pakistan have full faith in the ability of the defence forces to defend the cause of the country in the backdrop of any internal or external challenge.
They did so in the past and, hopefully, they would not hesitate in playing their due role in preventing a civil war-like situation, which is deliberately being created by some political forces for the sake of their petty party or individual interests.
In fact, it is because of the professionalism and commitment to the cause of the country that continued efforts have been made since long by enemies of Pakistan to create a wedge between people of Pakistan and their defence forces.
It is understood that the defence forces cannot deliver effectively in a void and, therefore, every conceivable tactic is being used to bring defence forces into disrepute.
We must keep in mind that it was because of the unwavering resolve of the defence forces to defend the motherland and its core interests that all designs against the country’s nuclear programme and now against the landmark China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have been foiled successfully.
The enemy wants to weaken Pakistan and this nefarious objective cannot be achieved in the presence of strong and valiant defence forces.
Therefore, the self-centred tendency of mounting attacks against national institutions with the aim of promoting questionable agenda is regrettable and it is duty of every patriotic citizen to contribute his/her share in combating this trend that can prove suicidal for the country.
All political parties all along been demanding of the defence forces not to interfere in politics and now that they have firmly decided to remain apolitical, attempts are being made to drag them in murky affairs.
Politicians should fight their wars on their own without the involvement of any institution but this can happen only if they (politicians) show the desired level of maturity by playing their games while remaining strictly within the bounds of the Constitution and the law.
Of course, assistance of the defence forces can be sought as envisioned in the relevant constitutional provisions and they rendered memorable services during exigencies like flood, earthquake, pandemic and national population census.
Their services are also available if and when required by the elected and legitimate governments if there are threats to the security of the citizens.
In the backdrop of suspicions raised by some circles about responsibility of the Army during elections, the institution has reportedly decided to help maintain peace and security at polling stations and that its personnel will have nothing to do about the voting and counting process. This should be duly appreciated by all concerned.