Pakistan in Perilous Times



Pakistan stands at a dangerous crossroads where the drum-beats of revolt – revolution and conspiracies — are getting louder and louder. The situation demands serenity of judgment, political vision, unity of thought and action and a ‘lions’ heart’ to deal with the mounting threat


 [dropcap]D[/dropcap]uring the last fifty years, various Pakistani regimes have used the Army with impunity to control political dissent in various areas of the country. There are ten such instances where the Army re-established control over the areas, but the governments failed to establish their writ in those areas, with the result that such areas have gradually slipped into disorder.

Balochistan is one such example, where Army launched five operations, but civil administration never established administrative control over those areas. The areas of Swat, Dir, Bajaur, Waziristan and Balochistan, more or less, are under Army’s control ever since.

The first army action was launched in 1959 in Balochistan by General Ayub Khan. I commanded a Special Forces company there, as a Captain. Similarly in 1962, during the Dir operation, I commanded the same Special Forces Company. In 1971, as part of 9 Division, we flew to East Pakistan and together with forces present there, established control over the entire area of East Pakistan, within a period of five months, but the civil administration lagged behind, creating a vacuum which was exploited by the enemy, leading to fall of Dacca.

In 1974-75, I commanded an Infantry Brigade in Mari-Bugti areas. In April 1975, late PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto visited my formation and promised to establish the administrative authority there, but unfortunately he lost control over the events. It is because of these failings that we now stand at a dangerous cross-roads, where Pakistan’s national security is seriously threatened.

The political dissent called Dharna, now being staged by Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri at Islamabad has entered into fifth week. They have challenged the Constitution; have desecrated the National Assembly, and are demanding Prime Minister’s resignation and fresh elections. Negotiations have failed, creating an impasse which has kept the entire nation in a state of frustration and despair. Out of this despair has grown a feeling of intense resentments in the minds of some people whom I had the chance to meet the other day, in one of the family functions.

I asked an old colleague of mine: “General! hope, all is well with you and the family?” He replied: “Our home is burning and so is my heart. Yes, all is well.”

I couldn’t say a word and moved away to another group of friends, who were discussing the Dharna. One of them asked me a direct question. “The two mavericks from Punjab have declared war against the government, the constitution and the parliament, yet the army is watching the fun, whereas, it is operating full force against the tribals in the North, Why?”

I replied that Pakistan is the target of a global conspiracy wanting the army to get more and more involved internally, destabilizing the government and facilitating take over by the Army. I didn’t sound very convincing to them and walked away. The following day I read this declaration by the Peshawar Union of Journalists:

“The tribals have always supported Pakistan and the Army, but due to the bad policies of the present and the previous governments, it is the tribals who have suffered most. More than two million people from North and South Waziristan have been uprooted from their hearth and home and have turned into refugees in their own homeland and are facing immense suffering. They all want to go back home. Therefore we demand that, their request may be granted within a week, otherwise we will stage a march towards Islamabad in thousands to set up a Dharna, which will not be lifted till we are allowed to return to our homes.”

While I have been thinking about the consequences of this declaration, I read the remarks of a senior and reputable journalist in today’s paper and have been shaken by the extreme state of his despair and the intensity of his feelings. He writes: “My tribal background is urging me for the extreme action, while the better sense is restraining me. Some of our institutions and individuals are forcing me to follow my tribal instinct to revolt, to take up arms and move into the mountains and show to the world, and particularly to those who are staging ‘a song and music soap opera’ in Islamabad, Islamabad, what a real revolt and revolution means, when heads would roll and the tormentor will meet their fate.”

Pakistan stands at a dangerous crossroads where the drum-beats of revolt – revolution and conspiracies — are getting louder and louder. The situation demands serenity of judgment, political vision, unity of thought and action and a ‘lions’ heart’ to deal with the mounting threat.

The parliament stands united, with a strong political will to defeat all such machinations against Pakistan. It is also cognizant of the international conspiracy whose agents have taken the parliament hostage. And the second conspiracy, which was openly declared by Washington in 2010, that a large sum of US$ 1.4 billion was allocated for “perception management of the Pakistani nation”, also has taken its toll by splitting the nation into liberal/secularists and the moderate Muslims. The recent decision of the KPK Government to change the religious curriculum of our schools into a secular one, is one such example.

Our parliament is sovereign. It is the custodian of our values, faith, belief and traditions, and is responsible to take bold actions, to emerge stronger, establishing the solid foundation of a democratic order, capable of dealing with all conspiracies and threats.


All opinions and views expressed in columns and blogs are those of individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Caravan

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.


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