By: Fatima Rizvi
These days writing anything objective is futile. You will be branded a toady. If you can write a scathingly critical piece about the military you will be praised and considered a hero. Ex-military men writing in defense of their institution are ridiculed and ignored. Apart from trashing the military the other welcome topics are anti-US and anti-Government pieces though not quite as welcome as those that trash the military as an institution-and all because there have been lapses. What is needed is action to take care of those lapses and the longer this is delayed the more the media frenzy will increase.
The NYT June 15 article by its Islamabad correspondent takes the cake. The caption ‘Army Chief Fighting for his Job’ says it all. No one sees the Army Chief fighting for his job. Whom is he fighting? He is there firm in the saddle and doing what he has to do. The Army is run by consensus?-since when? The Army is not run by consensus-never was and never will be-in fact it cannot be. How is it unusual for an Army Chief to go around addressing officers and men after serious events or even as a routine? All Army Chiefs have done this. It is important to do so. The questions asked are the best part of the interaction—no punches are pulled and the discussion is open and frank. What is so significant about this? The bit about an unlikely but possible ‘Colonels Coup’ is truly mind boggling. This is a cohesive, integrated, professional fighting force and such thoughts about it are what create anger. Ant There is anger-against the US, against the US media for what it is doing, against the Pakistani media and against the blabbermouths who forget who they are talking to and how their utterances will be used to form opinions like the one in the NYT article.