Two minds that do not think alike

Published: January 4, 2013

In one of his inconsequential rambling statements or speeches delivered to us by the man made prime minister — as inconsequential as his utterings — he referred to the five years that his, rather Asif Ali Zardari’s, party has been in power as a ‘golden rule’.

Now, one must seriously question his perception and ask if Raja Pervez Ashraf has any idea as to how the latest PPP era has affected the state of the country. He cannot be surely so direly unaware of the happenings that have surrounded him since he made a thorough mess of the first portfolio handed out to him when his predecessor was packing his numerically ridiculous cabinet.

Then, some days later at the ending of the disastrous 2012, the man who is not inconsequential in any way and is not given to frequently speaking his mind, whilst addressing naval cadets in Karachi informed the innocent young men that Pakistan was passing through a very critical stage of its history. “Increasingly complex external environment and our rather precarious internal dynamics have created a myriad of security challenges … . Today we are pitched against an amorphous enemy when the conventional threat has also grown manifold.”

General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani did not expand upon the ‘conventional threat’, but could it possibly have something to do with what is regarded as the traditional enemy? The cadets were also told that the armed forces have a pivotal role to play in harmony with other instruments of state.

Harmony is really not quite the exact word to describe the interrelationship as it stands and has for yonks stood between the ‘instruments of state’ — the famous pillars.

As to the critical stage, well not only does it not fit in with the man Ashraf’s ‘golden rule’ but it is, in fact, difficult to point to any one period of over a year or so during the 64 years of the country’s existence. Critical stages have been the norm. From the time of its birth we have been told by the various leaderships when they have entered onto the scene that Pakistan ‘stands at a crossroads’ and inevitably they have embarked upon the wrong wretched road.

‘Precarious internal dynamics’ are also old hat but as time passes seem to be growing more precarious by the day. On that same Sunday, as Kayani was holding forth, 19 Shia pilgrims in a bus near Quetta were murdered by the local homegrown Jaish al Islami, bringing the number of Shias slain in the name of religion to over 300 in the space of three months. The government and the state, helpless and wielding no writ over terrorism, were silent.

On New Year’s Eve, Pakistan released another eight Afghan Taliban prisoners to further the cause of the Afghan peace process. Meanwhile, on the same day, the GoP, despite the futility recognised by the sane, feels that talking to the homegrown Taliban, the TTP, can still lead somewhere. Rehman Malik, whose foot and mouth disease gallops along, stated that the government remains ready to negotiate with the TTP.

And this despite the deplorable fact of the Bilour murder, despite the slaying of nine polio workers, despite the gruesome shooting down, TTP execution style, in the Peshawar Frontier Region, of 21 Levies the day after the video was received by the authorities with the TTP terms and conditions for a ceasefire, despite the spine-chilling Swabi incident in which six women and one man, providers of health and education services, were mercilessly slain, despite the recent Karachi bomb blasts which claimed 11 additional lives, and despite the conditions imposed by the TTP for what they call a ‘ceasefire’ — how can any authority in its right senses consider ‘talking’? The military has realised that talks are a no-go, but refrains from stating what might be the alternative.

So much for the ‘golden rule’! A ‘critical stage’ is far more in keeping with reality.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Parvez
    Jan 5, 2013 - 1:39AM

    The political class started this five year period with zero credibility and today their rating is minus five and falling.
    Caution prompts me to say simply that public perception of the armed forces and the judiciary although better is nothing to cheer about.


  • Noor Nabi
    Jan 5, 2013 - 3:07AM

    The armed forces and the judiciary come from the same stock as does the rest of society. The DNA is the same although these two institutions try hard, without much success, to portray themselves as being more patriotic and pious respectively. I do not hesitate to say that their rating, as well as their public perception, is also in the below zero area and falling rapidly.


  • Aijaz Haider
    Jan 5, 2013 - 11:09AM

    The respected author and readers are requested to suggest a solution because the politicians and the military seem to have no idea. The issue has been discussed repeatedly on the ET forum but we need to decide on the best result-oriented line of action. Something has to be done but at least I don’t have a solution. But that does not mean that there is no solution – there has to be a way out.


  • Khan Jr
    Jan 5, 2013 - 4:40PM

    It has obviously a ‘golden rule’ for those preoccupied with shovelling money into secret overseas bank accounts and property.Recommend

  • ahmed41
    Jan 5, 2013 - 6:01PM

    @Aijaz Haider:
    One agrees 100% with you : “—– Something has to be done but at least I don’t have a solution. But that does not mean that there is no solution – there has to be a way out.—“

    Where there is a will, there is a way!!


  • Parvez
    Jan 5, 2013 - 10:23PM

    The solution is simple : Follow the oath of office you have taken and work in the interst of the nation and its people.
    As @ahmed41 very correctly says ‘ If there is a will, the way automatically follows ‘…….but there is no will for the above task.


  • meekal a ahmed
    Jan 6, 2013 - 4:31PM

    Loved your last two para.’s Madam!


  • intolerant
    Jan 6, 2013 - 6:16PM

    @Aijaz Haider:
    Dude.. the solution is that those in power right now and those who will be in power in near future need to come strongly against the TTP.. Military action… shoot first ask questions later style… unless they surrender…

    The problem is no one has the Melon sized “guts” required to take this decision. (as we know it would be against what the majority population wants in the country, yeah, the majority population wants the Taliban styled government which does not let any one breathe freely at all, to put it lightly)

    The solution to this problem is the change of leadership.

    Haha.. that is not gonna happen…

    So my friend for the love of “someone” please let us, please, please, please let us, b*tch about our woes in peace… Thank you… :) Cheers. Peace to all…


  • Amina Jilani
    Jan 12, 2013 - 8:40PM

    @meekal a ahmed:
    Hello Meekal
    Long long time no hear from you.
    Wonder if you will see this as rather late in responding.
    Thank you.
    Keep well and happy.


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