A hurricane may hit Islamabad soon?

OpinionA hurricane may hit Islamabad soon?

A hurricane may hit Islamabad soon?

By Agha Iqrar Haroon

Agha Iqrar Haroon is a Development Observer. His area of work includes Central Asia and Eastern Europe region
Agha Iqrar Haroon is a Development Observer. His area of work includes Central Asia and Eastern Europe region

Islamabad, Pakistan: Weather in Islamabad is cloudy and hazy and perception itself is congregating illusion and even hallucination. It has become difficult for drivers to keep their lane straight at evenings while driving at spiral designed roads.

Islamabad is a land of uneven topography and roads have been built in zigzags. Drivers from plains like Lahore should follow extra care while driving on uneven and zigzag roads of Islamabad under the spell of this hazy weather. Reckless drivers in Islamabad meet two fates— police stations or hospitals.

Weather always has an effect on people and their moods. One can understand people in Islamabad are experiencing illusions and even hallucinations under the spell of hazy weather. Islamabad being a capital city is the powerhouse of Pakistani politics and power sometimes brings deception.

A simple statement released by Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) about the role of government in on-going Operation Zarb-e-Azb has created many illusions and hallucinations. This statement came after the Corp Commanders that held on November 10, 2015.

Statement said:

During the meeting, the COAS while appreciating progress of ongoing operation and Intelligence Based Operations (IBOs), their achievements and effects, the COAS acknowledged full support of the nation for our ongoing operations to eliminate terrorism and extremism. However, he (COAS) underlined the need for matching/complimentary governance initiatives for long term gains of operation and enduring peace across the country. Progress of National Action Plan’s implementation, finalization of FATA reforms, and concluding all ongoing JITs at priority, were highlighted as issues, which could undermine the effects of operations.

This statement pointed out that federal as well as provincial governments were not providing required support or were lean and lethargic to act according to the needs of Operation Zarb-e-Azb.

This statement has no connotation or denotation of bashing anyone but of course it was an expression of displeasure and concern over the performance of elected governments regarding their inputs to war against terrorism.

This is normal routine in Pakistan that army keeps elected governments on their toes through such soft but direct comments over their (elected governments) operations. In the era of cyber world, ISPR is effectively releasing statements through social media that sometimes are not pleasant to politicians and elected governments. Twitter accounts have changed the pace of happenings and responses. This message to political governments from Pakistan Army was well received and noted by media and newspapers and headlines appeared indicating that Army was not happy with the performance of political and elected governments. Reaction from government was expected. However, the way government reacted was unexpected.

On Wednesday evening, Federal government released a statement through its “spokesman” that said:

Success in operation against terrorism achieved due to concerted efforts of provincial Governments. Police intelligence agencies played vital role in war against terrorism. Government action against terrorism in last two years appreciated.Higher judiciary has role in achievement against terror. People of country deserve utmost credit in war against terrorism. All steps taken by the government (Federal) are transparent and national interest and good governance are on top of the government priorities. Coordinated efforts of the provincial governments enabled success in the anti-terrorism battles, adding that the implementation of successful strategy against terrorism was made possible through a deep political understanding and unanimity. Steps have been praised on a large scale as well. The soldiers of the armed forces have also fully fought against extremism and set several examples. The credit of implantation of the NAP goes to the people. The apex committee and intelligence institutions also played their roles in the battle. The federal government will continue to pursue the National Action Plan (NAP) and all other initiatives to bring about a positive change in the life of common man. The National Action Plan was a shared responsibility and all institutions have to play their role while remaining within the ambit of the constitution.

Federal government and Pakistan Army had some bitter exchanges of messages in past and one federal minister was removed when he accused certain officials of Pakistan army for destabilizing democracy in the country. This former minister said that certain top officials of Army were behind PTI led sit in (Dharna) outside parliament to destabilize the parliament. The former federal minister Mushahid ullah claimed that dharna was not against government but the parliament and was planned by intelligence agencies directly working under the chief of Pakistan Army. However, things were resolved between Nawaz led government and GHQ.

Now, things became anxious between both components because certain elements sitting in government believe that the statement of the chief of Pakistan Army just before his visit to United States is an attempt to undermine resolve and support of political system to combat war against terrorism. It may be mentioned that COAS General Raheel Sharif is set to visit the United States from November 15 to 20 to hold talks with top officials on security issues including the stalled Afghan peace process. His visit is after the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Washington that took place from October 20 to 23 during which he met the top US leadership including President Barack Obama and discussed a whole range of issues pertaining to bilateral cooperation and regional security.

Certain elements sitting in Prime Minister House questioned recent visit of COAS to Saudi Arabia and his meetings with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Nayf. These elements believe that COAS is expanding his external powerbase and sending a straight message that decision-making and power truly lies with GHQ and elected government is just a second-fiddle.

Political history of Pakistan testifies without any iota of doubt that Foreign Affairs of Pakistan had always been a prerogative of Pakistan Army but Army enjoys this prerogative covertly when there is an elected government sitting in Islamabad and a parliament is in operation.

It looks Nawaz-government has over reacted to the statement came out after Corp Commander Conference but it looks clear that response will come through twitter messages or through personal message from GHQ to Prime Minister House.

Media team of Prime Minister can face tremendous pressure in days to come to tackle a brigade of television anchors who do not have any respect or soft corner for parliament and democracy and also from political analysts who are sitting in talks shows after their retirement from Pakistan Army.

“Mian Sahib (Nawaz Sharif) must understand that steering democracy is a sober responsibility and reckless driving may cause accident like October 1999”, said a senior journalist while sharing possibilities and conspiracy theories.

Political circles in Islamabad believe that overreaction of government will not favour parliament and democracy but these circles also believe that whole parliament except PTI will stand with Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif if things become serious for him—for democracy or for the existence of the parliament.

The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Dispatch News Desk. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Dispatch News Desk.

Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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