Pakistan bashing blitz | Pakistan Today

Pakistan bashing blitz

  • Accountability must be across the board

Pakistan has numerous detractors, who have been burning the midnight oil to destabilise the country. They have been casting aspersions on Pakistan, sometimes dragging its good name in the mud calling it a terrorist state, at others, Pakistan’s nuclear program has been maligned as being susceptible to being hijacked by terrorists and used by terror mongers to wreak havoc.

As the general election of 25 July 2018 drew closer, the crescendo of the main protagonists disparaging Pakistan grew louder. The assault on state institutions, especially ISI and SCP close to the polls, is a new but expected plot. Foreign media; especially Indian media and their supporters in Pakistan have focused on three aspects. Firstly, that Pakistan’s establishment was engineering to help one party. Secondly, outright support to one party: the PML-N. Thirdly, create doubt about the advent of democracy in Pakistan.

Elements of Pakistani media were compromised to participate in the assault on the establishment. Anti-Pakistan army and its premier security agency the ISI have been targeted through op-eds appearing in the India and foreign media directly targeting Pakistan and its army. Indian and some international talk shows have also been directing their ire against the Pakistani establishment. The head of an erstwhile reputable media organisation, whose foundations have been laid by Pakistan’s founder, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, threw caution to the winds and took up the cudgel on behalf of the PML-N. It went on to making startling but apparently fabricated disclosures regarding Pakistan army, which resulted in the sacking of the minister for information and the principal information officer. Its star correspondent later obtained an exclusive interview of the deposed Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, where he hurled accusations at the Pakistan army being responsible for the Mumbai Attacks. India had been making similar preposterous claims but its position was vindicated when this particular media group got the former prime minister to “spill the beans.” In an interview to the BBC in its renowned talk show “Hard Talk”, the chief editor of the same media group made the outrageous claim that Pakistan army was responsible for forced disappearances and was also muzzling the national media. When the suave and well researched host of “Hard Talk” sought evidence supporting such a serious accusation, all he got was information on “social media messages.” One would have expected more from a responsible media organisation.

The latest assault came from within the judiciary. One would normally expect measured, serious and responsible rulings from a senior member of the judiciary. Alas, in this case, the judicial authority, who had been known for his alleged support to Mumtaz Qadri, the assassin of slain Punjab governor Salman Taseer, chose to close ranks with Pakistan’s detractors. He made on record allegations that state institutions were meddling in judicial affairs. The Chief Justice of Pakistan has mercifully taken suo motu notice of the irresponsible and unsubstantiated remarks by a member of his own community and assured the nation of justice being meted out and the case being dealt with as per due processes of the law.

Pakistani people and state institutions can only combat this fifth generation warfare by defeating Indian designs and their surrogates

RAW has launched a terror campaign by targeting political leaders and tried to dent credibility of the electoral process. So far 2018 has been the bloodiest election campaign in the history of Pakistan. Three major contenders have been eliminated and over 200 supporters killed in deadly terror attacks. Even on Election Day, a suicide bomber struck in Quetta taking a toll of 18 precious lives. This scribe has participated in TV talk shows on four different Indian TV channels on Election Day and the day after. The narrative on all Indian TV Channels comprised accusations of the Pakistan army and its premier security agency the ISI meddling in the election process to prop up its alleged favourite Imran Khan. Spewing venom against Pakistan seemed to be the order of the day. At least one Indian minister threatened of breaking up Pakistan into four pieces. He was duly snubbed by this scribe.

On the other hand, Indian media and its sympathisers in Pakistan are also openly supporting one party, the PML-N. It has become apparent that PML-N has become an Indian asset like previously MQM’s Altaf Hussain. Such vehement condemnation of Pakistan army and its judiciary targeting Mian Nawaz Sharif has come to the fore that it is unprecedented. The Indian participants have been oblivious of the fact that the Panama scandal is not a creation of Pakistan army or the judiciary. Mian Nawaz Sharif and his defence counsel were provided ample opportunities to inform the learned court of a money trail to prove the rightful acquisition of luxury residences in London. Not only they failed to do so but implicated themselves further by indulging in lying and deceit. Under the circumstances, ten years imprisonment and being barred from participating in elections for life was the doing of Mian Nawaz Sharif himself and his family members. It is unfair to blame either the judiciary or the army for Nawaz Sharif’s downfall.

The process of accountability and judicial decisions to rid Pakistan of criminals, drug peddlers, money launderers, ruthless leaders who run killer machines like Abid Boxer cannot be allowed to subside. It has to prevail across the board.

Military has deployed .36 million soldiers and officers to help the democratic process at the request of the caretaker government. It is disdainful that PML-N activists have now gained the temerity to raise slogans against their army. Isn’t it an agenda of Indian and foreign establishment, which is being parroted by the PML-N activists? If RAW is given a free hand to launch terror campaign in Pakistan as well as interfere in perception domain by supporting their beloved party: PML-N, one should not expect the law enforcing agencies of Pakistan to stand back and let chaos prevail.

Hybrid war of 21st century cannot be tackled by old rules and old strategy. Pakistani people and state institutions can only combat this fifth generation warfare by defeating Indian designs and their surrogates in Pakistan. Judicial process against Judge Siddiqui is already underway, we hope and prevail that those Pakistanis who are bashing Pakistan in a blitz at the behest of its enemies, are brought to the book and duly punished.

Sultan M Hali

The author is a retired Group Captain and author of the book Defence & Diplomacy. Currently he is a columnist, analyst and TV talk show host.