Pakistani Army will not let this fly

by December 20, 2019 0 comments

Whatever be the court order, whosoever the judge and however grave the culpability, mens rea and offenc eof General Pervez Musharraf, he cannot be hanged to death. Not in Pakistan

Let’s try and get into the psyche of the serving Army chief of Pakistan, nine Corps Commanders and the Director General (DG) of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), supposedly huddled in an “emergency meeting” following the special court’s verdict giving a death sentence to former Army chief and President, General Pervez Musharraf.

“Gentlemen, we meet today, at a critical time of our nation’s history, to take stock of the situation. As you are aware, a lower court has inflicted one of the most unjust, bad, illegal and mala fide verdicts against my predecessor General Pervez Musharraf. I am pained to state, and am sure you all agree with me, that anyone trying to mess with our brave and patriotic army in any form — its men, officers and General, serving or retired — will be dealt with sternly and in a befitting manner in proportion to his/her misadventure.”

“Indeed, today we will have to clearly understand that the so-called court verdict of a death sentence for General Sahib amounts to giving a death sentence to me.”

“If allowed to do what it is trying to do, this sham judiciary of our great country, founded by Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah, will see worse days in future. This court, despite having no right to do what it has done, has given a warning to each one of us present here. Today it is the former ailing chief. Tomorrow it will be the serving chief, followed by more men and officers down the line. God only knows where these judges are from and whose games they are playing? Where are they getting evil ideas and how are they making property disproportionate to their legal source of income?”

“Is the DG ISI here?” “Yes sir, here I am”, replied the DG ISI Faiz Hameed. The Army chief proceeded: “Put your boys on the job and make a list of all judges across the country who are anti-Army and anti-ISI. Make full dossiers and give them to me within six weeks, covering all aspects of their personal lives and professional deeds, misdeeds and links. These fellows think they know everything, but actually, they know nothing. Else, they wouldn’t dare challenge and humiliate the Army. By now they should have known that in Pakistan, the Army is the State and the State is the Army.”

“Pakistan was born after sacrifices were made by millions of our brothers. Their selflessness can never be allowed to be seen to be brushed aside by some anti-national, small-time judges in our midst. They will have to be uprooted. It’s because we are a nation of a martial race, which has never lost a war. We have been victorious everywhere, in every skirmish, battle and war, from the dawn of human civilisation; and there is no way that things are going to be any different in future.”

“These fake judges talk of ‘law’ without an iota of idea on evolution thereof. They don’t even know that law and history are written and created by victors.”

“We Pakistanis, being born victorious, created our law through the power of the sword. Our predecessor Babar had only 12,000 soldiers and yet he destroyed the mighty enemy Ibrahim Lodi, which was ten times superior, on April 21, 1526, in the field of Panipat. That’s our heritage. Hence that’s our honour, strength, power, reputation.”

“Under no circumstances, therefore, will we allow this band of ignorant and irresponsible civilians, in the garb of all-knowing legal tool, to curb and crush the fighters of our land. The judiciary must be re-educated about the achievements of our Army. Thus, when the first civilian Prime Minister Liaquat Ali on March 9, 1951, alleged conspiracy by Major-General Akbar Khan and others to overthrow the Government, he was assassinated on October 16, 1952.”

“That our civilians leaders have always been corrupt and anti-Army, came to fore again when Benazir Bhutto, in her second term as Prime Minister, needlessly uncovered a false and fabricated conspiracy case against Major-General Zaheer-ul-Islam Abbasi in September 1994 and convicted him thereby maligning the best and the most dedicated uniformed people of the State.”

“It’s a matter of shame that even a Punjabi civilian Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took the Army head-on in 1999 when General Musharraf’s plane was on a return journey from Sri Lanka and he wasn’t allowed under direct orders of Sharif to land in Pakistan. Not only that, the Prime Minister by appointing Lieutenant-General Ziauddin as new Army Chief instantly, tried to irreparably divide us. Fortunately, however, when Sahib was still in the air, in search of a landing space, Lieutenant-Generals Mahmud Ahmed and Aziz Khan launched a coup to remove Sharif from power to steer a clear path for Pervez Sahib to suspend Nawaz, and rightly suspend the Constitution, to take over as chief executive of Pakistan.”

That’s the only reality of the Army-civilian tradition of Pakistan in the words of the Army chief despite it being an imaginary scenario building enterprise. The situation follows the same pattern even today, the apparent supremacy and superiority of civilian Imran Khan as head of Government notwithstanding. The Army of Pakistan is used to a certain power and position and there’s little to suggest that the strategic wand of the State would be wielded by anyone other than the incumbent Army chief. Hence, whatever be the court order, whosoever the judge, and however grave the culpability, mens rea and offence of Musharraf, he cannot be hanged to death. Not in Pakistan. Any civilian, trying to push further, will face fatality. If at all, only the Army can punish an Army official. One needs to carefully go through the Pakistan Army Act, 1952. If Musharraf is hanged, it would amount to a death knell for/of the Pakistani Army.

This is worse humiliation than the surrender of the entire East Pakistani Army to victorious Indian Field Marshal Manekshaw’s men on Friday, December 16, 1971, in Dhaka’s Ramana Maidan.

(Writer: Abhijit Bhattacharyya; Courtesy: The Pioneer)

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