An Open Advise to PM Nawaz Sharif on the role of Pakistan Army
Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. I am writing this piece to address you specifically. I remember when you were getting elected; you made many promises to your vote bank. Short of moons and stars. You promised of giving them a Utopia where there would be peace, where there would be no load shedding, where there would be jobs and where the life would be heaven. You and your brother promised the nation that once in power you would ensure that whoever has done corruption in the country. People like Asif Ali Zardari. You would drag him in the streets and make an example out of him. The nation remembers your speeches where you promised everyone that sovereignty of the nation is supreme. Your pitch to the masses worked though you spent less money on TV commercials like PTI but maybe you spent more money on the Qeema wala Naan. You won an absolute majority in the National Assembly and you hence become the 3rd time Prime Minister of the Republic. I am sure it would be a proud moment for you, your family and your many relatives. Proud and happy both I guess.
I am sure after being thrown out of the government as you tried to hijack the aircraft carrying the former Gen Pervez Musharraf as he challenged your writ when you went to United States of America to get dollars in return for surrendering in Kargil at the cost of the hundreds of Army Jawans who lost their lives due to the deal in US as you tethered for cash. The moment when you again became the Prime Minister of the country in 2013 must have brought a very tear to your eyes.
Though I think that you are a great industrialist where you have proven your mettle time and again, but one thing and that is only one which makes me feel otherwise for you is your ego when it comes to the Army of this country. First, I fail to wonder that though your own political career started in the times of Gen Zia ul Haq who himself was a military dictator and that too he came in the power by hanging a democratically elected Prime Minister. I wonder why you never remember the Article 6 of the same constitution which now has become so close to you. I wonder why at that time the same Army who jump started your successful political career became a foe or let me say politely someone who you do not look eye to eye. Is it because that Gen Zia returned your steel mill to you? How can we forget the IJI formed in 1988 to position to bring you in power as lately claimed by a few that how that party was bankrolled to get you become the Prime Minister. Though 1988 was not a lucky year for you but 1990 was. Again PPP claimed that the same mettle brought you on the seat.
But maybe your animosity towards the army began after enjoying a cordial relationship when the Army in line with the constitution supported President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and made you resign in 1993. I think that is where it all began. I was juxtaposed and shocked like many Pakistanis when you surrendered in Kargil for dollars and forgot the many young men who laid down their lives. You should have expected the outcome and in fact you did when you tried to oust General Musharraf and saw your army revolt against you when you were in the helm of power in that government. Psychologically it would haunt anyone. I am sure you are a common human being and all of us have this habit of not forgiving. Again today it looks like though you are angry against the army but are trying to pin it all on Gen Pervez Musharraf.
I am sure you would have read the constitution and in fact know it by heart since you have been CM two times and the third term as PM. I am sure you would have read Article 256 which says “No private organization capable of functioning as a military organization shall be formed, and any such organization shall be illegal”.
Also , I am sure you would have definitely read Article 232 in case you missed Article 256 which is titled as “ Proclamation of emergency on account of war, internal disturbance etc.” Now I wonder that whether you realize that we are at a war currently as Taliban commanders are reminding us of that daily through their mouth piece like JI, JUIs and terrorists wanna be’s like Maulana Abdul Aziz. In fact some of your favorite media anchors also remind us of the same and its consequences if you take a decision to retaliate. But I wonder looking at the current situation why don’t you advise the President to impose emergency under article 232 or is it because neither you or your brother are the President of the country and there is a lack of trust though I think that the current President is fully loyal and abiding.
Do I need to remind you part of the oath that you took whilst becoming the Prime Minister “That I will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. I strongly think that you have failed to do so as an Army by the name of Taliban’s do exist which is illegal and unfortunately instead of upholding the constitution. You are negotiating with the same rebel army. In my opinion you are already in violation of the constitution and the oath you took for the august office of the Prime Minister.
Is it because that all those who are dying are not from your family or area? It means no threat to Punjab by TTP. I feel your oath of allegiance to Taliban in return to leave your area of influence and your party alone might be coming your way; as TTP left you and likeminded parties like PTI and JI all alone during the elections. I hope that you are not trying to return the favor by not taking any action against them. Is it because that it’s the army which is being cut to size and you want to teach them a lesson and in fact weaken them to assert better control so they don’t over throw you the third time. I am sure you would have thought that keeping them busy in the fields out of the barracks and in fact making them morally and physically weak as they lose their men would keep them too much occupied for to worry about your actions towards the state. I feel your actions have already become questionable when you read compliments for the former President Asif Zardari recently in Thar; because of whom we are financially bankrupt. But must say he at least in his own wily capacity tried to take the Taliban’s by the horn.
Though the army under the right given to them under the constitution Article 245 is already in the battle field but it looks like you have tied one hand of theirs at the back. I am sure you would have also read or come across the oath our armed forces take which goes “solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan and uphold the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan…..” Then I wonder why you expect our army which takes an oath where Pakistan is first to sit back and watch our politicians who are time and again given power by the people of Pakistan violating the sanctity of the country being a major stakeholder . Neither 1993 or in 1999 were there any rivers of milk and honey flowing in the country in fact we were almost bankrupt in the later. It looks like the history is repeating itself now in 2014.
Now respected, Prime Minister. If the office you hold which gives you certain powers and responsibilities like upholding the constitution which has approx 280 Articles not just Article 6. The same constitution which also has a full chapter on my Fundamental Rights as a Pakistani from Article 8 through Article 28. The same constitution which gives you the Principles of Policy to safeguard my interest as a Pakistani from Article 29 through Article 40. Further, let’s not forget your oath to uphold the whole constitution not restricted to Article 6. It is your solemn duty to take decisions. In my personal opinion empower the Army; the most powerful Army in the world to unleash against Taliban’s before their morale and credibility further deteriorate due to in action by a political government and made an escape goat like in 1971 for political failures.
I feel the constitution of the country gives you the power to use Article 232 and 245 to execute your orders and recommend the same to the President to uphold Article 256 and Articles 8 through Articles 40 as now Taliban’s are violating the constitution and are threatening my rights. One example is recently when they sent letters to traffic police to remove music systems from Public Transport for face action. As I hear they comply and the government is quiet and I am sure you do not back this proclamation by Taliban.
Now in my humble opinion if you as Prime Minister cannot assert your authority and execute your responsibility given by the constitution and the people who elected you to power. Then you must RESIGN. Since this nation cannot afford to be built on the dead bodies of 60,000 plus civilians and approx 8,000 martyred soldiers. No dollar investment or exports would justify that. I hope you have not entered another deal with the devil at the cost of my Army. I am sure you would take this suggestion in a positive stride if this piece comes across your eyes. As a Pakistani and I know many would agree since you have failed in your other promises. At least live this tenure with respect and give our Army a chance. Otherwise being a good Muslim as you are and claim. I would expect that you would resign. God save Pakistan and Pakistan Army. Pakistan Zindabad!