Behind the Doors &
Under the Table
hould I place before you, the business of forces first or the culture of uniformed people or the new found realities of electronic media first. I will talk about all these and a little more; so as to cover the charade initiated by Brigadier (Brig) Imtiaz. The immediate reason for this catharsis is therefore, has been told to you.
He is ex-DG of IB. Everyone is questioning him and all the rest of analysts and commentators why has he done it now! This very question undermines his integrity, his rank and the good name of the service he once belonged to. I will ask the reader to go down to the roots. Why was a retired brigadier put as chief of the bureau of internal security, even if he was an above average intelligence officer. Did he go through a selection process pre-designed for this post? Answer is No. Army intelligence is meant for a different purpose. This post should have been filled-in by a police service officer. This post was to handle internal security of the country. It had nothing to do with the security of troops, counterintelligence or collection of intelligence about enemy or breaking of enemy agents.
This whole exercise would be wasteful if an objective lesson is not learnt on how we go about making such decisions tomorrow.
he basic mistake of bringing in uniformed people for misuse dragged in the names of so many. The list is long. It includes General (Gen) Asif Nawaz Janjua (late) ex COAS, Lieutenant (Lt) Gen Naseer Akhtar, Lt Gen Lehrasab Khan, Major (Maj) Gen Iqbal Khan (late), Brig Asif Haroon, Brig Saulat Raza, Maj Kaleem, Maj Dar, Maj Aamir, Gen Hamid Gul and to top the list Gen Mirza Aslam Beg. What were these icons of a respectable profession doing with reference to operation clean up, operation mid-night jackal, making of IJI, preparing grounds to send home PPP government and harassing and, or winning over parliamentarians. Were they planning against enemy across the borders, sitting in their operations rooms and bunkers and command posts? No. Obviously they were in wrong business. Whose responsibility should it be, to make a political alliance, certainly not that of DG ISI, of course not? ISI, may I write it in full for the benefit of both, who know and have actually forgotten the title, its scope and legitimate responsibilities and those who do not know, Inter-Services-Intelligence. She has been a state within a state, sometimes more sometimes less.
ow I can co-relate the misdoings of our uniformed people, mapping a large portion of our history, to a horrible outcome. May the dear reader take some time to count the eyes of long chain linking all the islands. We (our armed forces) have yet to win a war! Isn’t it a reality; how stark and painful. My prudent reader do try find a logical answer, why we have not won a war so far. Let me briefly count the wars. War of 1948, 1964, 1965, 1971, 2000 (Kargil fiasco) and now, on-going war of outright laying down of arms against American aggression, across Durand Line. Is there something behind the doors and under the table? The conclusion drawn at GHQ about 1965 war is ‘tactical stalemate’; about the rest people of Pakistan have very high consensus.
will briefly touch upon military culture. Men in uniform though part of same society are immediately segregated off kith and kin, friends and foe alike on selection. They are numbered on day one, put under sections, platoon, flights, companies, squadrons etc. They are trained to walk, talk, carry weapons, salute, wear hair and moustaches like the rest or as is the order in the group. They are re-taught to eat and drink, adopt a language, marry at a certain age and live a different social life. All this is needed for they are to be readied for facing acute dangers, including that to their own life. It is also needed for they may be asked to kill a complete stranger; declared enemy by the orders of superior authorities. In addition, British rulers in order to get best of loyalty for the Raj (Queen or King) hammered natives into Gora Sahib. Some of these Gora Sahibs kept even their names hidden behind English initials, like A D and K D. It was a matter of shame for them to be known as Allah Ditta and Karam Din. Such were the traditions of Pakistan Army. Old guards (colored Gora Sahibs) kept the traditions close to heart and alive by saying at least once a day; “well jawan tumnay khana kha lia haaiy”
oo early in our history, came the unfortunate development when military mind, subservient by nature, was put to misuse by the civil bureaucracy. Mr. Sikandar Mirza head of the State, hired a serving General as Defence Minister in his cabinet, to be misused soon. Consequently, nation had to undergo ugly experiences in October 1958, and more tragically to be repeated every ten years or so. Thus were the breeding grounds ready to produce brigadier Imtiaz and likes.
How painful it is when the talk show anchorpersons (Mr. Javed Ch and Mr. Salim Safi) ask soldiers on live programs how many millions and billions would they accept for their property. Then they make no difference between Gen Beg and Brig Imtiaz. This is our electronic media today. However, good for its objectivity and the purposes it can serve. Concluding it here; the souls of CPO Mian Abdul Hakim (Royal Indian Navy), Lt Col Mehr Khan, Brig Ghulam Yazdani, Gen Sher Bahadur and hundreds like them would cry to tears, for them it was a matter of high prestige and honor to live a frugal and comfort free life as soldiers.
ow to curtail these pains and pangs? How to serve the country better and how to turn the times? These are very important questions for each one of us. Answer is not very difficult, if you wish to keep it simple. Let us learn to do our own job. For instance; Mr. Prime minister you be the leader of the House in the NA. You did not debate the fate of Northern Areas and Baltistan in the House. The decision was taken at a different forum. What you decide in the House implement it. It was decided by the House somewhere in July 2008, there shall be no military operation in Swat. It was not implemented even for a day. Similarly armed forces of Pakistan with all their institutions, formations and subsidiary organizations should know that their prime job is to defend the geographical boundaries of Pakistan. Armed forces failed once at such a grand scale that we were cut to half. Now it is a weekly affair to receive a drone attack.
Men in uniform your task is on the field made up by sweat and blood. It is neither behind the doors nor under the table.