Undue Criticism

Targetting Pakistan Army by political leaders, parties’ social media wings, is becoming a common practice in country. This practice is extremely dangerous due to many reasons. Danger is intangible and can not be measured but it is dangerous beyond comprehension. Anything which distance public from its defenders is as lethal as a nuclear threat. Our political leadership has been time and again resorting to this tactics without having understanding of the repercussions. Irony is, it is silently becoming an acceptable norm because government view it an internal issue of institution which does not warrant any action by civil set up. More over, they even do not know what to do, because Army has its own mechanism to deal with such unlawful actions and Army does not allow them to do anything without their consent. It can not be allowed to defame your own Army and its commanders.
This campaign to tarnish image of Army has a history and is part of bigger agenda. It goes without saying that, who could be behind this evil practice. The web of anti- Army campaign was woven some years back and since then its execution has been done by various actors. Some political actors have even hired the foreign digital firms to scientifically spread their venom against its own Army. Anti- Army narrative have long range of subjects, conspiracy theories and misconceptions.
For institution it is a catch 22 situation. Army as an institution has its limitation and can not react like a political entity. It is highly disciplined outfit and respected world over for its professionalism. When there is nothing to criticise out of present situation, few individuals start priming ( quoting incidents of past). One can not undo history but there should be some reason or context to quote an incident with evidence or proper reference. Army can either fight war against oppresors or can settle political battles at internal front. Nobody would listen to an argument of Army in a highly politically charged and polarised society. Army’s political activism is objectionable but again, at times it was power lust, at times unintentional and provocation by politicians and most of the time it was in consultation and cooperation of political stake holders. But it still does provide justification for undue criticism for political gains.Politicians create certain environment and provoke Army for meddling in political affairs and this is how politics work all over the world. Media and now social media acts as catalyst to aggravate situation which results in chaos thus automatically turning all guns towards Army.
The campaign which started few years ago, through hidden words in between lines, has now taken an overt offensive, directly naming Army Chief and using abusing language. Social media provides an opportunity to hidden originators of content to spread venom and hatred against institutions at wish and will. Even courts their decisions and judges are under attack. This situation is definitely aims at creating anarchy. Though politicians are immune to criticism but still the scope and pattern of attack on politicians are deplorable. Journalists and anchors particularly females are targeted very off and on due to their critical reports and programs against some party or individuals. Off late, it has become very obvious that journalists also do not hide their liking and disliking for a particular party or group.
Social media trolls are blind, they are hired and have no motive but money. Those who hire are like handler of a suicide bomber. A troll is as lethal as a weapon. It pollutes minds and create unrest in society as a terrorist attack does.
Most of the time it is not healthy criticism rather superficial allegation void of any evidence or truth which only aims to let down the institution or person.
A particular band of people, journalists, human rights activists, political leaders use their option of freedom of expression for arm twisting of Army for political motives. In 2021 Nawaz Sharif targetted Army and its leadership in rallies. Now Army is target of intense criticism of Imran Khan, PTI Chairman. Indian trolls and some other elements settled abroad join this bandwagon automatically. Human rights activists have been mud slinging on Army for a long time.
In 2018, a new found political entity Pashtoon Tahaffuz Movement ( PTM) made their entry in a mysterious way by raising anti Army slogans.
Few journalists and international NGOs have a constant agenda to drag Army on missing persons issue. Former Chief Justice, Chaudhry Iftikhar Hussain, brought havoc on Army on the issue of missing person through extensive court proceedings and remarks holding Army responsible for missing persons case. Baloch political leadership use the missing persons’ issue and under development in their area as a political tool. Surprisingly under development in province is attributed towards security forces.
MQM was biggest stake holder for decades in Karachi and even they target Army on Rangers employment etc. JUI ( F) target Army for counter terrorism operations in FATA.
Imran Khan has led 8 small or big and Dharnas towards Islamabad in last few years.
PML ( N) and PTI social media teams are both engaged to target Army and its leadership. Other parties and journalists join bandwagon at wish and will.
During last two months a new social phenomenon has emerged. It is ex-servicemen society. Veterans r demanding from Army leadership to roll back PDM government because they want Imran Khan in power. It is laughable to hear such demands and their rationale.
PML ( N) was annoyed with Army in 2018 because PTI won the election. Now Imran Khan is not happy to be thrown out of govt by opposition.
Media and social media has strong salience with human thinking. People have same understanding of issues as media tells them. Hence media agenda become public agenda which brings Army right in the middle of public debate. This situation is detrimental to national security. Army is not a political party neither they have that level of tolerance. They are fighting wars against enemy from their trenches at LoC and western borders. They are assisting their country men in polio eradication, COVID19 and where ever required. They have time and again expressed their desire and will to support democratic norms. Political parties should revisit their policies to criticise Army to bring them under pressure for their vested interest through such tactics. In the process political leaders are misguiding public by lies and misinformation. Political parties and leaders should have courage to face the rigours of political realm instead of taking shot cuts to power corridors. Pakistan is here and Army is here to defend the motherland. Sanity must prevail to make our country more strong, progressive and prosperous.
By Atique Ur Rehman

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.