Civil-military tensions
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Najma Minhas|

The specter of civil-military tensions is stirring, yet again, following the events of Saturday, 29th of April.

The inquiry into the “Dawn Lies*”, at its very inception, had the clear aim of unmasking the perpetrators of these lies and revealing the nature of their motives. This inquiry, in November 2016, was launched because the planted lies had been perceived as an attempt to weaken the credibility and prestige of the military establishment. Accusations, fully in line with the Indian requirements post-Uri, that the country’s military leadership was aiding terrorist groups is a grave affront to the credibility of the state, concluded both the military and civil establishment, and therefore, the inquiry was deemed necessary.

*“Leaks” implies truth, hence must be discarded

The compromise was over the involvement of Maryam Nawaz, beloved daughter of the PM, in the planting of the Dawn lies.

Fast forward 6 months and reports of compromises regarding the nature of this inquiry are, sadly, nauseating. Senior journalist Mr. Haroon Rasheed has alleged that sources aware of the proceedings have described a compromise between then Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif and the Prime minister. The compromise was over the involvement of Maryam Nawaz, beloved daughter of the PM, in the planting of the Dawn lies. Gen. Raheel promised that the Army would not undertake investigations into her role if harsh action was taken against others who were involved. The identity of these ‘others’ is still unclear.

Read More: Will the DAWN leaks Commission report…

After today’s strong worded rebuke from the army in reaction to the recommendations proposed by the Prime Minister’s office, it is evident that deal or no deal, the government is not fulfilling its obligations concerning the preservation of the state’s security. A few hours after the DG ISPR’s assertion, Chaudhry Nisar, widely respected Minister of Interior backpedaled on the Prime Minister’s notification, claiming that his office was responsible for the dispensation of the inquiry’s recommendations, not the Prime Minister’s secretariat. He also added that the government will take action as directed by the inquiry.

In our nation’s history we have always been plagued by Prime Ministers who consider themselves “Akbar-e-Azam” and not “Wazir-e-Azam”.

However, PML-N senator Nehal Hashmi, while speaking on Dr. Moeed Pirzada’s TV program, gave a contradictory description of the government’s mindset. He stated that the power to decide the validity and measure of a national security threat is exclusive to the government’s mandate, no other institution could claim this responsibility. Therefore, he concluded, the government will decide what is best for the preservation of the state with respect to the confronting challenges. To which Mr. Haroon Rasheed, also present, retorted that unfortunately, in our nation’s history we have always been plagued by Prime Ministers who consider themselves “Akbar-e-Azam” and not “Wazir-e-Azam”.

Read More: Why DG ISPR’s Tweet saves the…

The PML-N “Holy cows” are most likely feeling the heat. It is only natural that they fight all those who wish to make nihari out of them.

The government’s attempt to dilute repercussions of the “Dawn Lies” inquiry report affirms the doubts of those who question the ability of the Panama JIT to conduct an impartial investigation. If the government is not honest about this inquiry report and appears to be trying its best to distort its significance, if they have not shown any interest in disclosing the identity of the true source of these lies, how can they be trusted to not tamper with the JIT, members of which fall under the government? Mr. Haroon Rasheed’s sources will most likely be dismissed as fictitious by the Prime Minister’s representatives but where there is smoke there is likely to be a fire. And the PML-N “Holy cows” are most likely feeling the heat. It is only natural that they fight all those who wish to make nihari out of them.

For this nation to grow, its public must be shown, with the patience and impartiality of a veteran surgeon, the exact dimensions of the malignant tumor that is killing our nation.

If Mr. Rasheed’s sources are to be believed, the army has already compromised its integrity by sparing the so-called “Holy cow”. This may appear to be an incendiary remark but it is important to recognize that such compromises on the level of the state are part and parcel of the reality we live in. This is not, by any means, an inconceivable occurrence.

It is the humble view of this writer that emotional reactions to such instances be repressed. The perpetrators of these crimes are master manipulators of emotional reactions and they use the outpouring of anger, and perceptions of civil-military tensions to their political advantage. Hatred is their superpower. For this nation to grow, its public must be shown, with the patience and impartiality of a veteran surgeon, the exact dimensions of the malignant tumor that is killing our nation. Only after we renounce the urge to stab back will we have the clear sighted focus required to extract this cancer of corruption from our collective social and political body.

 

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