Whose agenda they are working on?
Mohammad Jamil


In the joint session of Parliament, the consensus was reached on the 12-point resolution, which condemned the US unilateral action as violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, and called upon the government to revisit and review its terms of engagement with the United States.

After more than five hours of the briefing in camera by top military officials to a joint session of the National Assembly and Senate, it took almost another five hours of deliberations between negotiators of the PPP and PML-N and behind-the-scene shuttling between Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan for both sides to agree on the most contentious issue of setting up an inquiry commission. It has to be mentioned that all the parties in the Parliament agreed on an independent commission but the PML-N was adamant on formation of Judicial Commission. However, the House rejected the nomenclature of Judicial Commission, and it was resolved to establish an independent commission, as was done in case of post-9/11 events in the US or 26/11 after Mumbai attacks.On Saturday, US Ambassador Cameron Munter met Mian Nawaz Sharif at his residence in Raiwind, Lahore. Reportedly, Ambassador Munter underlined the need to have a better relationship between the two countries, adding that Pakistan and the US should continue to make a joint effort on the war on terror. Nawaz Sharif reportedly accepted the need to have good relations between the US and Pakistan, but said that events like the Abbottabad operation and the drone attacks harm relations between both countries. Perhaps to curry favour with America, Mian Nawaz Sharif addressed a press conference after the meeting with US ambassador, and his thrust was not giving ultimatum to America on drone attacks or unilateral action but on military and the ISI-bashing, stating that “it is not the job of agencies to destabilize the governments or cobbling alliances”. So far as the objective of disgracing military and the ISI is concerned, the US and Mian Nawaz Sharif seem to be on the same page. It was Mian Nawaz Sharif’s arrogance and abrasive manners that all the parties were united against him in 1998 on the platform of Grand Democratic Alliance.During the briefing to the joint session of the Parliament by the top leadership of military, including Director General ISI General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, 60 per cent of the questions were asked by parliamentarians belonging to PML-N. Though it was in-camera briefing, yet PML-N members had wished to make at least part of the proceedings open. However, they divulged to some media men about their frontal attacks on military and the ISI. One of the most vocal woman parliamentarians of the PML-N reportedly cried hoarse to highlight excesses perpetrated during Musharraf era. One would have admired her if she had also thrown some light on how General Jeelani had introduced Mian Nawaz Sharif to General Zia ul Haq, whose era was the darkest chapter in the history of Pakistan. She should have the moral courage to admit that PML-N was the test-tube baby of agencies’ laboratories. It has to be mentioned that it was first time in the history of Pakistan that Mian Nawaz Sharif had given permission to use Pakistan space for lobbing cruise missiles on so-called command and control of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.It is unfortunate that Pakistan’s two big media groups – one who claims to have been founded by Quaid-i-Azam and the other one claiming to having played an important role during Pakistan movement carry articles in their media, especially English dailies from the writers who wittingly or unwittingly try to disparage Pakistan’s security institutions. They endorse the views of Pakistan’s detractors. One of the columnists is Mr Cyril Almeida who has the passion of Pakistan-bashing and penchant for disgracing military and the ISI. While commenting on unilateral action by US Special Forces that killed Osama bin Laden and Pakistan’s military role, he in his 6th May column captioned “The emperors’ clothes” wrote: “Did they know he was here? Surely, they knew he was here? …If we didn’t know, we are a failed state; if we did know, we are a rogue state….As long as national security and foreign policy remain in the hands of a cabal of generals – unaccountable and untouchable, a lay unto themselves, and in thrall to their own irrational logic – what future can this country have? Surely, not much of a future”. Doesn’t he sound like an agent of enemies of Pakistan? At least, he has endorsed views held by Carl Levin and Leon Panetta.Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Carl Levin in an interview with ABC News said that he believed senior Pakistani officials knew Osama Bin Laden’s location. He added that he had “no doubt” they know the location of other top terrorists, including Taliban leader Mullah Omar. In a closed door briefing for House members on the issue, while referring to Pakistan military and the ISI, Director CIA Leon Panetta said: “Either they were involved or incompetent. Neither place is a good place to be”. Leon Panetta also stated that the CIA kept Islamabad out of the loop on the operation fearing that it could jeopardise the Abbottabad operation and “might alert the targets”. Some of our politicos and media men are serving those who do not wish to see Pakistan stable, as the stability is the first step towards progress and prosperity. One would not know whose agenda they are working on, as these media’s leading lights often accuse ‘establishment’ for all the woes of the country; and by establishment they mean military. At least, the present military leadership does not deserve such criticism because of the steps it took since the time present COAS took over.The Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani is the first head of the army who in April 2008 had strictly directed all officers of the Pakistan Army and commanding officers to stay away from politics in line with the established rules, and should not call any politician in headquarters or their offices. In a letter written to the officers, the COAS had said that the role of the Armed Forces has already been defined in country’s laws and Constitution. He further advised the officers that they should not indulge in any profit-making venture other than their salary and perks as per their ranks. On his directives, army officers deployed in civil departments were recalled to their units. In October 2008, COAS had taken another historic decision of suspending the construction of General Headquarters’ new building in Islamabad keeping in view the current financial crisis in the country. Thirdly, he played a commendable role in averting disaster on 16th March 2009, when the PML-N had started long march for reinstatement of judiciary. One wonders how human beings can descend to such a depravity that they forget the sacrifices of the armed forces, and services they have rendered during wars or natural calamities.