In what appears to be a major policy shift coming at a time when the country is faced with serious external challenges amid the looming dangers of the fifth-generation warfare, Prime Minister Imran Khan has chosen an ex-serviceman to bolster his information ministry — to speak eloquently on behalf of the state; to project the national narrative on issues of regional and global importance in an effective way; and to lift the country’s image the world over by separating wrong perceptions from the reality. Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa, a former military spokesperson, will serve as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information, replacing Firdous Ashiq Awan. Simultaneously, Senator Shibli Faraz, a PTI stalwart, has been appointed as Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting to deal with the media on day-to-day affairs involving the government.
Bajwa’s appointment to the information ministry could not have come at a more opportune time — when the Hindutva-inspired Narendra Modi and his BJP are baying for the blood of their ‘enemies’, both within their borders and outside, in line with the Mahabharata fables; when the religiously-motivated Indian leaders have unleashed their saffron-clad goons on their Muslim population to counter the so-called ‘Corona Jihad’; when these callous monarchs are hell-bent upon robbing the Kashmiris of their true identity; when they are conspiring to stretch their nefarious designs into Afghanistan to deny the war-ravaged country a rare and real chance for peace just for the sake of fulfillment of their thinly-veiled pursuit of Akhand Bharat; and when CPEC forms the prime target of all our enemies right from our next-door neighbour to our strategic partner overseas.
That Bajwa’s is a much-needed change has no two opinions. He is indeed the man for the job, having led the military’s media wing, the ISPR, for a good four years between 2012 and 2016 at a most crucial time in the global war on terror. Well versed in the art of image-building, Bajwa is the one to have introduced the tweet culture for quick dissemination of information. His illustrious career as a solider — especially his services with Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, the serving army chief, as well as Gen (retd) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif, the former army chiefs — enables him with the ins and outs of the hybrid warfare, the new art of war. Furthermore, Bajwa is gifted with all other requisites for spokesmanship: he is tolerant, knowledgeable, articulate and has good conversation skills. The right choice, indeed.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2020.
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