Shooting in own foot again? - Pakistan Today

Shooting in own foot again?

  • Whoever has an iota of interest in politics knows well that PM Nawaz is an adventurist when it comes to relations with military establishment

The recent uprising in Indian-Occupied Kashmir is giving sleepless nights to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his extremist allies who blindly follow the Hindutva ideology and have made life miserable for the religious minorities in India.

Life changed in Kashmir valley for worst in the wake of events following the assassination of Kashmiri poster-boy Burhan Muzaffar Wani which shaped up a major shift at the international level for India, as the atrocities by the oppressive regime against the freedom-loving Kashmiris are set to enter the 90th day.

In a calculated move, the Indian regime decided to shift the blame on Pakistan for the unrest in Kashmir.

While Indian aggression united a politically-divided Pakistani nation and a wise strategy adopted by the civil and military leadership foiled an aggressive Indian plan to “isolate Pakistan” at the international level, the Indian government came up with a novel claim of conducting “surgical strikes” inside Pakistani territory – which brought further humiliation to New Delhi.

Amid tensions running high between Islamabad and New Delhi, a media report was published in a section of Pakistani press claiming civil-military rifts in Pakistan for the alleged support towards militant groups. The report also claimed the leak had been made by “officials” at the Prime Minister’s House.

Although the PM House issued a clarification almost twelve hours after the release of the report, the damage had already been done and the Indian media had already made a good use of it.

Interestingly, many analysts believe that besides being “ill-timed” this media report was published in violation of certain media norms too, without even seeking comments from the Prime Minister’s House or the military.

Pakistan Today tried multiple times to contact Cyril Almeida, the author of the report, to know why the information he had obtained was not double-checked from the PM’s House or the ISPR – the mouthpiece of the military – but the journalist preferred to remain silent, as he did not answer any call on respond to text messages.

The Pakistani military, which is already overstretched, is embroiled in a war-like situation at the country’s eastern borders as the war-mongering Indian forces indulge in continuous violations of the ceasefire agreement agreed upon in 2003, ringing a war alarm.

On the western borders, Pakistani forces are engaged in the last phase of Operation Zarb-e-Azb aimed at flushing out terrorists bent upon sabotaging everything Pakistan has achieved over the years. While the operation against militant outfits in Karachi still goes on and Rangers are planning to move into urban centres of the country for sweeping and combing operations against those militants who fled the North Waziristan and parts of other tribal belt after Operation Zarb-e-Azb, any message from Pakistan about divisions among military and civilian leadership is not only naive but imprudent too.

The timing of the news item without versions was intriguing too. Since the media report pointed that the information was shared with the journalist by “officials” at the Prime Minister’s House, the contradiction made by the PM’s House failed to clear the air.

The suspicion was reinforced the following day when a leading PML-N leader, Rana Afzal Khan, was quoted by the same media house as raising questions during a standing committee meeting why no action was being taken by security forces against Hafiz Saeed of the Lashkar-e-Taiba – hinting that the civilian leadership was asserting itself perhaps to reclaim the space it had ceded to the military.

Whoever has an iota of interest in Pakistani politics knows well that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is an adventurist when it comes to the relations with the military establishment.

His acrimony with the military did not originate from the overthrow by former dictator Pervez Musharraf, rather it dates back to the early 90s when he had developed differences with the then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and even continued the same with General Asif Nawaz Janjua and General Jahangir Karamat.

But, since Prime Minister Sharif is the most senior politician in the country, lessons should have been learnt by now. While this incident has again proved that the prime minister has the tendency to shoot in his own foot, nobody can predict what is going to happen in the next few months.

One can understand that the civilian leadership is trying to assert itself as Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif is set to go home in November with lots of successes to his credit. His successor would also need some time to adjust to the new job.

More authority would also give the premier space to appoint the new military chief per his own desire and choice. So the prime minister must be planning to regain as much authority as he could before the new army chief settles in.

However, Mr Sharif would have to be cautious as this phase is just like walking a tightrope – any miscalculation may land him in jeopardy. The biggest questions remain to be answered is “Is the premier going to shoot in his own foot again?”

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at [email protected]

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  1. Ranjith singh said:

    Me.Pk, We are not warmangors dear.we are Praveen mangors..We have Buddha and Mahavira in and along with our culture .What do have Islam remixed with Guns Bombs, and sucidal attack.Even though you wont acept but its TRUE dear Me.Pk

  2. Ranjith singh said:

    Mr.Pk, We are not warmangors dear.we are Praveen mangors..We have Buddha and Mahavira in and along with our culture .What do have Islam remixed with Guns Bombs, and sucidal attack.Even though you wont acept but its TRUE dear Me.Pk

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