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The genesis of corruption by Tahir Kamran

The genesis of corruption
Tahir Kamran


June 19, 2016 

Is a corruption-free Pakistan possible?




A few days back, an old acquaintance asked me about the future pattern of Punjab politics in the wake of a scam as big as the Panama Leaks. I told him nothing is likely to effect any change in the existing pattern of Punjab politics. Not a single parliamentarian has raised a voice or threatened to depose the current rulers because ‘the first family’ has off-shore companies and the source of capital invested is shrouded in obscurity.
Of course it is corruption. But then isn’t that the way of life in the land of the pure? If it is an art, we have perfected it; if it is a science, we have excelled in it. More worryingly, we have accorded legitimacy to corrupt practices. In fact, we celebrate both corruption and the corrupt.
In the Victorian era, man was defined as a symbol of masculinity, white (read Caucasian) and rational with values derived from the Christian faith. If we try to define Pakistani ‘man’, corruption has to be an essential trait that he is bound to carry in order to qualify as ‘man’. He also has to be yaran da yar, (friend of friends) which means a real ‘man’ shows no respect for any law or regulation when it comes to his friends, cronies or sidekicks.
Thus in our case, violating the law or even constitution for that matter symbolises how powerful someone is. For the poor, corruption may be a means of climbing the social ladder but for the rich and affluent, corruption is the means to express power.
Another acquaintance jestingly said the other day that he has tried to make a payment of a few dollars to get his name included in the list that has emerged out of Panama Leaks. I asked him why he did that, knowing he wasn’t serious. He replied that it was a sign of ‘respectability’; it becomes damn easy to marry off a daughter to a boy from a good family if you can affirm your wealth.
Historians (particularly Edward Gibbon) have inferred from the past that when wealth becomes the principal determinant of the values that society respects, the fall of that society becomes inevitable. The same happened with the Romans and they fell, never to rise again. The generation of wealth and even more so its distribution should be carried out through mutually agreed regulations, which the Romans started flouting with impunity, and hence their fall.
For the poor, corruption may be a means of climbing the social ladder but for the rich and affluent, corruption is the means to express power.
Indeed, it needs no less than a miracle for any nation/civilization to rejuvenate itself. China can be put forth as one rare example. But it too will have to go a long way to match the sole super power, USA.
Another of my friends says, “corruption and Pakistan are like two peas in a pod”. His observation seems sweeping, yet it cannot be easily denied. The first and foremost cause of corruption was embedded in the cataclysmic event of Partition. This is depicted in the relevant chapters from the works of Ilyas Chattha, Urvashi Butalia, Yasmin Khan and Vazira Zamindar. Such events as the partition of India are no less than the upheavals of history bringing about the tectonic shift in the established norms of sociology and culture.
As a consequence of an event of such magnitude, usually a break from the past (though selective) is intended which causes rupture in the centuries-old tradition. The process of evolution which is usually gradual and steady is markedly disrupted. Such disruptions tear the affected people apart from the socio-cultural norms and practices which have hitherto defined their collective ethos. Every one, in such a scenario, is running for life. En masse relocation and genocide, such as were concomitant to partition, gave a big blow to the sensibility that binds people together.
Many living the life of relative deprivation in united India saw Pakistan as a land of opportunities, and came to the newly-founded country for economic gains. In the newly established state of Pakistan, regulatory structures were not in place to check any arbitrary practice aiming to amass wealth or to grab property. Thus the people who could, did all that was possible to secure wealth. Partition catapulted many from rags to riches. These sort of sudden changes contravene the smooth and gradual process of evolution, which people find really hard to come to terms with.
Another cataclysmic event was secession of East Pakistan, which gave a big jolt to the morale of the people. The trust in the future of the country was considerably undermined, a ripe situation in which corruption could proliferate.
Unfortunately Pakistan’s politics, right from the outset, was marred by inconsistent transitions. One political order was substituted by the other, with the two having hardly anything in common. Hence, the transition was abrupt and instantaneous. Political compromises of the oddest kind were made merely for personal gains. Characters like Ghulam Muhammad, Iskander Mirza and Ayub Khan did not allow institutions to germinate and blossom. The will of the people was not sought, in the first place; if and when elections were held, non-political actors wielded more power than the elected ones.
Therefore, institutions remained weak and their fate uncertain. Religious ideology was deployed for self-legitimisation with disastrous consequences. In such a scenario, when state institutions were weakened beyond measure, corruption flourished rampantly.
Such political choices made by the Pakistani elite conjured up a social fabric which was amenable to practices which were corrupt to the core. I do believe that a social movement spearheaded by the intelligentsia can stall that trend. But Pakistan’s history fails to register the existence of any social movement aimed at raising awareness among the people about such an issue of wider significance. So, thus far, there is no hope for a corruption-free Pakistan.





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The Big Story that went unreported from Washington:Red Alert for Corrupt Leaders by Shaheen Sehbai


The Big Story that went unreported from Washington:Red Alert for Corrupt Leaders

by Shaheen Sehbai















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Paradigm shift in regional scenario by Brig (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Paradigm shift in regional scenario

Asif Haroon Raja




Pakistan and Afghanistan have traditionally had a complicated relationship characterized by mutual suspicion. Northern Alliance heavy Afghan regime under Hamid Karzai had remained heavily tilted towards India and had not only given high preference to India in her internal and external matters but also had adopted a hostile policy towards Pakistan. With the blessing of Washington, Karzai had given full liberty of action to India to emerge as the key country in Afghanistan and to fill up the security vacuum after withdrawal of ISAF. After signing strategic partnership agreement with India, Karzai allowed Indian military to train Afghan Army officers in their military institutions and meet Afghanistan’s defence needs. India took advantage of it and besides consolidating her hold in Afghanistan; she made full use of Afghan soil to foment insurgencies in FATA and Balochistan. India was content that this arrangement would continue under weak unity regime as well because of Dr. Abdullah. In 2014, a stage was being set to induct Indian military into Afghanistan. The US-India-Karzai led Afghan regime remained a close-knit team and remained focused towards destabilization of Pakistan. Equilibrium between the three strategic partners remained steadfast for 13 years, but with Ashraf Ghani taking over power, and the US military quitting Afghanistan after failing to defeat the Taliban, the balance got disturbed and gave birth to new equation in November 2014. Pakistan, which remained the whipping boy all these years, has replaced the most favored India. Suspicion and distrust piled up for over a decade has been replaced with goodwill, cooperation and sharing. Blame-game has almost ceased and the gap in trust bridged in the wake of ominous threats from the Taliban and other armed militant groups. China, Kabul and Washington seem to have put their faith in Gen Raheel Sharif and see him as the sole silver lining in the otherwise dark horizon. The trio is looking towards Pakistan Army to help in defeating terrorism and bringing peace in war torn region. Pakistan has long been blamed for harboring and abetting Haqqani network (HN) in its cross-border terrorism. Pakistan military had its own socio-politico-security compulsions to maintain a difference between good and bad Taliban and to target anti-Pakistan militants only. These compulsions restrained Pakistan from launching a military operation in North Waziristan (NW). The concerns were however pushed aside after the gruesome attack on Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2016. A change in the outlook of new National Unity Regime under President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Dr. Abdullah and also in the thinking of Washington towards Pakistan has occurred essentially because of the across-the-board military operation in NW in which all militant groups based in NW were targeted. Uprooting of HN and Gul Bahadur groups from NW and comprehensive briefings given by Gen Raheel Sharif in GHQ to visiting President Ghani and his military team led by ANA chief Gen Sher M. Karimi, to ISAF Commander Gen Campbell, to US military officials in Pentagon and to British top officials made the difference. The other reason of extension of whole-hearted cooperation by Kabul is Pakistan’s declared stance that it has no favorites and that it would fully support Afghan led/owned reconciliation process. One more reason is Pakistan’s relatively better clout over Taliban and its critical support in a patch up. More so, it has been accepted by all and sundry that Pak Army is the only one which can fight and win battles against ideologically motivated militants. In order to reciprocate Pakistan’s laudable efforts in war on terror, while the US declared Mullah Fazlullah as the global terrorist, ANA launched an operation in Kunar against Fazlullah’s men. Five culprits having linkage with Peshawar incident have been arrested on the pointing of ISI. ANA managed to destroy some hideouts and inflicted casualties on TTP men but in the process lost over fifty soldiers. CIA operated drones are at times targeting militant hideouts in inaccessible areas in Shawal Range and along Pak-Afghan border. Both the US and China look positively and receptively towards the fast growing relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan and see it as a healthy development. While China has agreed to take active part in bringing peace in Afghanistan, the US has finally acknowledged the importance of Pakistan and is cooperating. Pak-US relations that were downhill are once again moving uphill. At the recently concluded Beijing Conference Ashraf Ghani defined five circles manifesting Afghanistan’s future foreign policy. He placed Pakistan in Ist circle (immediate six neighbors) and 2nd circle (Islamic World) and India in 4th circle (Asia). This is indeed a huge shift in thinking of Afghan leadership. What it implies is that Afghan top leadership has consented to prefer Pakistan over India. For a change, the US has readily reconciled with changed priorities of new regime without any ifs and buts. Kabul dropped another bombshell on India by declining her military aid and training assistance, and to rub salt on her wounds asked Pakistan to train Afghan officers. For the first time 16 Afghan cadets are receiving training in PMA Kakul. To add to India’s woes, Ghani made it clear that he will not allow Afghan soil for proxy war against any neighbor. He further distressed India by inviting Pakistan to host the next ‘Heart of Asia’ Conference, which earlier on was scheduled to be hosted by India. Pakistan’s reservations on use of its trade route by India from Wagah to Afghanistan have been accepted by Afghanistan, USA and China. On the military front, bilateral visits of senior military leaders and top intelligence personnel have recently increased. Gen Raheel and Corps Commanders 11 Corps and Southern Command undertook trips to Kabul. DG ISI Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar visited Kabul thrice. Militaries and intelligence agencies of both sides are carrying out intimate coordination to manage the porous border, training matters, intelligence sharing and also taking care of each other’s security concerns. Military commanders and security officials are now regularly consulting to mutually share intelligence and coordinate security operations. Joint border control centres at Torkham and Spin Boldak have been revived to coordinate operations against the militants and share intelligence on illegal cross-border movement. The US has reconciled to the emerging changes in Afghanistan not by choice but because it has been forced by circumstances. To compensate its natural ally and strategic partner India, Obama undertook a second trip to India and skipped Pakistan. Besides removing the irritants in Indo-US nuclear agreement signed in 2008, and signing another 10 year defence pact, the visitor made the old promise of helping India to earn a permanent berth in UNSC and also elbowed India to become a leading partner in Asia-Pacific Coalition to counter China. Following conclusions can be drawn from the emerging scenario:- • Afghanistan and its immediate neighbors have come on one page to establish regional peace and usher in prosperity in this war torn region and to keep out chief trouble maker India. • Pakistan’s foreign policy has come out of its traditional apologetic and defensive policy and Gen Raheel Sharif has played a key role in making it slightly pro-active by showing the real face of India to governments of Afghanistan, US and UK. • Although Pakistan has been preferred over India by Ashraf Ghani, India which by now has penetrated in every department of Afghanistan including Army and intelligence agencies will continue with its dirty work of keeping Pak-Afghan relations tense in pursuit of its regional ambitions. • Irrespective of the US apparent affability towards Pakistan, India will continue to remain its strategic partner and Pakistan a tactical partner to serve its short term goals. • Genuine peace in Afghanistan will return once all foreign troops go home, Indian interference is curtailed, and Taliban agree to share power.

The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran/defence analyst/columnist/author of five books, Director Measac Research Centre. [email protected]

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Under the Cover of Democracy? By Sajjad Shaukat

                                                   Under the Cover of Democracy?

                                                               By Sajjad Shaukat


With the passage of more than 70 days, the prevailing political turmoil in Pakistan has deepened, as protesting groups of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) by Dr. Tahirul Qadri have continued AZADI (Freedom) and INQILAB (Revolution) marches, observing sit-ins at capital city of Islamabad. Although Tahirul Qadri has ended his sit-in at Islamabad, yet he has decided to observe two-day sit-ins in various cities of the country. Besides, both PAT and PTI have been conducting larger processions in various cities. Thus, demonstrations and protests have been prolonged and extended, because, the government of PML (N) led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif could not grab the initiative to settle the issue through result-oriented dialogue.


304090_462826840405885_1100425996_nNow, the political uncertainty in the country presents an ugly scenario in which twin protesting parties have maintained a firm stance rigidly demanding resignation of the prime minister, audit of the rigged elections, reformation of Election Commission etc. Both Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri are not against the democracy, but are against the corrupt system of democracy, being practised in Pakistan. They have said in their various speeches that and PPP and PML (N) are taking their turn, and under the cover of democracy, their leaders have been doing business through tax-evasion and corruption.


No doubt, favorite system of governance in the Western countries is democracy. By using their legitimate right of vote, people participate in political process, and elect their own representatives to govern them. Thus, they give mandate by authorizing the elected members to hold public offices and make legitimate decisions to run the affairs of state. And, the elected representatives remain accountable for their actions, while, the system of electoral democracy also empowers the voters to take away the powers of the elected members, if they fall short of popular aspirations—good governance and so on.


In case of Pakistan’s version of democracy, it has the same system of representatives according to the constitution, but the elected representatives grossly violate the public mandate for obtaining their selfish and materialistic gains. These representatives, virtually shatter all hopes of voters by neglecting their social problems, financial difficulties and psychological distress. Promises made during election campaign are quickly forgotten, while perks of public offices are fully enjoyed. Irony of the fate is that same elite group gets elected over and over again and election campaigns are held as rituals. Unfortunately, voters, become trading pawns in the hands of politicians who regard elections as windows of business opening to plunder national wealth through all possible means of corruption whose result is poor governance.


Most of the elected representatives in National Assembly and Senate hardly make any worthwhile contribution, as they remain absent during active sessions of the parliament. Therefore, sessions of the lower and upper houses are adjourned due to lack of quorum, and the process of essentially required legislation remains blank and weary. Resultantly, the voters’ aspirations turn into hopeless ordeal, dejection and despondency.


It is notable that various malpractices such as horse-trading, nepotism, bribery, illegal obligations and other forms of corruption are very common among our politicians. In fact, the elite group of elected members uses powers of their public offices to advance their personal interests including engagement in politics of THANA and KUTCHERY (Police and Court), earnestly seeking allotment of development and discretion funds and timely steps of sycophancy to please the top party leaders. Thus, they promote their personal interests, and show total callousness towards torment of their voters.


Undoubtedly, in Pakistan, corruption is a significant obstacle for good governance, supremacy of law, and rational use of authority to run the affairs of state and to maintain public cohesion and national harmony. Regrettably, corrupt practices and misuse of public office lead to general frustration, opening windows of protest with sense of dissent, disapproval and conflict against the governing authority. The environment of agitation and demonstrations carry seeds of large scale disturbances, creating law and order situation, social disorder and political chaos, culminating in poor governance.


It is our misfortune that rampant corruption in the country has infected the entire edifice of national institutions. Political leadership is busy in power grabbing process, while the poor suffer under hard environment where healthy food, clean drinking water, respectable shelter, justice, education and health care facilities are almost non-existent.


In this regard, the ordeal of poor in Pakistan can well be anticipated by prevailing unemployment, poor living and health conditions, price hike, social injustice, contempt for merit, promoting cronyism, and poor law and order situation.


Regrettably, the concerned ministers remain busy in settling scores against their political rivals, using floor of parliament and media channels. Most of their time is spent on preparing fierce speeches to level fresh tirades of accusations and counter allegations.


The poor voters remain bewildered as protesting groups, PAT and PTI, pointed out corruption of subsequent rulers of the PPP and the present ones of the PML (N). While, ruling elite and their associates in opposition benches of the parliament have termed the protests as unlawful, unconstitutional and undemocratic.


Besides, political leaders enraged outbursts, filled with allegations and counter accusations. Some of them, especially of the PPP and PML (N) have shamefully tried their best to drag the Armed Forces into political turmoil. They have brazenly accused Pak Army and country’s prime intelligence agency, ISI (without any evidence) for orchestrating the prevailing political impasse which was created by the politicians themselves. In their fierce speeches, while, indirectly criticizing Army, leaders of PML (N) and some other parliamentarians said that they would oppose any move which could derail democracy in the country by rejecting the unconstitutional demands of PTI and PAT including resignation of the Prime Minister Nawaz and the dissolution of the National Assembly.


On the other side, on September 12, 2014, DG of ISPR Maj-Gen. Asim Bajwa once again elaborated, “Pakistan Army supports democracy and constitution, and does not think it necessary to respond to rumors.” He added, “The army chief in his address on Youm-i-Shuhuda (Martyrs’ Day) clearly said that the army believes in continuation and democracy.”


Some media analysts and political leaders have tended to show their loyalties to top political leadership by mentioning about the possibility of military take over. Such elements have an agenda to spoil civil-military relations—to create division between the Armed Forces, distorting their image in the eyes of general masses. But all these observations proved untrue, as Army did not take any step like military take over or martial law.  


It is notable that in 2011, during the Memogate case, some political entities and media commentators were saying that martial law will be imposed in the country. The then Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani stated, “The Pakistan Army has and will continue to support democratic process in the country.” As Army was acting upon the principle of non-interference in political affairs, therefore, the previous government completed its tenure.


It is noteworthy that for the last few months, Pakistan’s Armed Forces are successfully obtaining their objectives in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) through military operation Zarb-e-Azb against the terrorists who had challenged the writ of the state, and had frightened the entire nation by their terror-acts. The Armed Forces also engaged in rescue-operations in the flood-affected areas. Besides, Pak Army has also been coping with subversive activities in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and other parts of the country including tribal areas in wake of India’s war-like diplomacy and cross-border infiltration from Afghanistan’s side.


However, these parliamentarians and leaders have disregarded the commitment and sacrifices, being offered by the Armed Forces in the operation Zarb-e-Azb and flood relief operation.


In fact, under the cover of democracy, some politicians of the government and the opposition parties are diverting the attention of the general masses from those articles of the constitution, which are mentioned in the ‘Principles of Policy.’ These articles clearly mention that people would provide with justice, gap between the rich and the poor would be reduced, and poverty would be eradicated in the country. However, our politicians and the subsequent governments of the industrialists and feudlords failed in delivering good governance to the people in accordance with the constitution. They have only deceived the public mandate in the pretext of democracy which has been named as a ‘corrupt democracy’ in Pakistan.


Nevertheless, rampant corruption in Pakistan is posing a very serious threat to the state as well the true democracy. It has become a significant obstacle towards development, and adversely impacting the good governance and rule of law, culminating in poor governance. Now, the right hour has come that the political leadership must conduct introspective analysis of their style of governance, and must develop a desire to fight the menace of corruption through accountability and transparency. The aim should be to put the house in order.


Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations


Email: [email protected]



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Politics of Hypocrisy and Immature Journalism – By Sajjad Shaukat





By Sajjad Shaukat






Political philosophers of the past indicate that some immoral activities such as deceit, theft, falsehood and even murder are also the principles of politics. Particularly, Machiavelli advises the leaders to have a lion-like image outwardly, and act upon the traits of goat inwardly. In his sense, a good leader should be a good opportunist and hypocrite. Morgenthau supports immoral activities as part of political morality.


This duplicity in politics continued for a long time, but in modern era, by bringing contentions of politicians and bloody wars of rulers in our bedrooms, electronic media made it difficult for them to continue the same at the cost of their own people and armed forces. In these terms, modern politics and media are interrelated, as both depend upon each other.


Regrettably, quite opposite to the modern trends like fairness in politics, and maturity in journalism, some political figures in the world in general and Pakistan in particular still follow past practice of hypocrisy, while media pursue immature journalism. They forget that politics is a divine field and sanctified arena which inspires people to undertake the sublime responsibility to serve collective cause and larger public interests.


Unfortunately, the prevailing political trends and social practices have made the magnificent discipline of politics as an abuse, tirade and misuse of authority to achieve individual or collective goals. In this regard, US Journalist Craig Unger related it with “dog-whistle politics,” as American President George W. Bush and Cal Rove used coded language in political campaigning, delivering one message for overall electorate, while at the same time, communicating quite a different idea to targeted evangelical Christian political base.


The pejorative and deceptive nature of political practices in Pakistan have become awfully repugnant and disgustingly distasteful, rendering the general masses handicapped in catching the high frequency whistles which can only be understood by members of the parliament. Thus, making politics incomprehensible and perplexing for the majority which are common citizens.


Journalism and politics have close relationship with intertwined compulsions to make the policy guidelines explicit, widespread and all-inclusive. Public approval of broad strategies to meet the national goals is gained through objective media reports and matured practices of journalism.


But, it is our misfortune that media and journalistic community stands divided, while politicians are free to level allegations against their opponents, showing egotism and rebuking demeanor, paying least attention to real issues faced by masses.


Past experience proves that our political parties and politicians have worked on the principles like allegations and counter-allegations, hostility for the sake of hostility, formation of alliances and counter-alliances to win the elections. Much time is wasted in retaliation against the previous government instead of fulfilling the promises, made with the voters during election campaign. They set aside the real aim of public mandate by resolving the economic and social problems of the masses.

In fact, concentration of wealth in few hands has created a privileged class of landowners and industrialists who contest elections winning the same against each other again and again. During the election campaign, they employ all means, fair or foul to defeat their opponents and capture political power. In order to obtain their selfish interests, they mislead the general masses through false propaganda and exaggerated speeches.


Besides, various mal-practices such as horse-trading, nepotism, bribery, illegal obligations and other forms of corruption are very common among our political leaders.


However, in a democratic world, politics is played through political parties which are created on definite ideologies and philosophical concepts to work for the betterment of general public. Political parties constitute the platforms where people pin hopes to achieve their goals and look forward to realize their aspirations.


While, switching parties is considered a bad sign, and politicians in most democratic countries are labeled as disloyal and selfish, lacking commitment. Generally, their political careers end, while they are associated with untrustworthiness and elusive self-indulgence.


Contrarily, in Pakistan, changing sides to gain advantage has become a standard practice of political norms. Political persons change political sides to gain power, popularity and prestige. Political ideology is dominated by patronage and kinship, resulting into public repression, victimization, selective application of rules and jaundiced polity coupled with social injustice and rampant corruption.


The so-called political heavy weights change sides, feel no shame in becoming disloyal to their political ideologies, and in tarnishing the image of Armed Forces.


These heavy weight politicians in Pakistan are opportunist feudal lords who are filthy rich, highly influential and powerful. They consider politics as their business and tend to invest with political parties from where they can earn better profit. Hence, they quickly join the popular parties to maximize their chances of getting elected. In this context, names of the politicians like Javed Hashmi, Marvi Memonm, Arbab Khizer Hayat Khan, Nabeel Gabol, Zahid Hamid, Hussain Haqqani etc. might be cited as example.


Media reports suggest that Khawaja Saad Rafique, the energetic and outspoken Railway Minister of PML (N) was all set to join PTI led by Imran Khan, as he was fired as General Secretary PML (N) Punjab by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. And, Haroon Rasheed a senior, credible and matured journalist in his Urdu article “BUHRAN KE BAAD” revealed that Khawaja Saad Rafique fiercely reacted to Nawaz Sharif’s decision, chewed his teeth in rage, wrote letters, showed annoyance and frustration. He also approached PTI leadership to join PTI as Secretary General. He was not much encouraged by PTI leadership, and was told to take carefully measured decision in changing political loyalties. Today, he presents different posture to prove his loyalty with PML (N). In this respect, our, media must offer objective analysis to uncover the facts.


The Trojan Horse: It is notable that people also whisper around that PML (N) Punjab led by Saad Rafique, sent Javed Hashmi as PML (N) sponsored Trojan Horse to join PTI. Javed Hashmi’s allegations against PTI leadership are one thing, but dragging Pak Army into political impasse is another issue. His grievances against his own political leadership (PTI) may be critical, but it should not be done at the cost of distorting the image of Army. In this regard, hypocrisy appears to have become the hallmark of Pakistani politics.


It is mentionable that in the recently held joint session of the parliament, ferocious debate between Chaudhary Aitzaz Ehsan of PPP and Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan (PML-N), Federal Interior Minister made noise for general public, but message given to the parliament was in coded language, creating space for corrupt practices and making compromises on gross violations of law with regard to LPG quota, land mafia turbulence, and use of PATWARI culture for self- promotion. Similarly Khurshid Shah’s (opposition leader) speech in the joint session of parliament is perceived to have given different message to the ruling party PML (N)—go tough on the sit-ins protestors at Islamabad, while at the same time, he encouraged some PPP leaders to support the stand of PTI led by Imran Khan and that of PAT led by Dr. Tahirul Qadri.


And, in wake of the ongoing political turmoil and sit-ins at Islamabad, our media stands divided and journalists behave immaturely. Some take sides of the protestors, and others support the ruling elite. In this context, distorted media analysis, biased opinions, created sensationalism and confused perceptions, while making negative comments about Armed Forces—have become traits of Pakistan’s media.


At this juncture, Pakistan’s Armed Forces are successfully obtaining their objectives in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) against the terrorists through military operation Zarb-e-Azb, and are engaged in flood relief operations. Besides, Pak Army has also been coping with subversive activities in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and other parts of the country including tribal areas in wake of India’s war-like diplomacy and cross-border infiltration from Afghanistan’s side.


So, parliamentarians and politicians must not distort the image of Army, while media must also resort to objective reporting, enhancing the image of Armed Forces.


Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations


Email: [email protected]


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