The COAS’s SOS

Imran’s criticism sounds odd

Chief of Amy Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has appealed to the US Deputy Secretary of State for help on the release of the latest tranche from the IMF. [email protected] this might be surprising, it is perhaps even more surprising that PTI chief Imran Khan has chosen to criticize this. Interestingly, he has not so much criticized General Bajwa because it is not the COAS’s purview to do so, but because it reflects Pakistan’s weakness. He also expressed concern about what the USA might demand in return for such help. This may be consistent with Mr Khan’s stance that his government was ousted by the USA with the help of the COAS.

However, when Mr Khan held office, General Ajwa pulled his government’s chestnuts out of the fire whenever someone put his foot in his mouth. Notably, General Bajwa had to engage in such firefighting missions in China and Saudi Arabia. Mr Khan apparently saw nothing wrong with the COAS playing a role then, nor was any objection made to General Bajwa’s announcement that an era of geoeconomics would replace hat of geopolitics. Mr Khan also did not object to General Bajwa’s dinner hosting the country’s leading businessmen. It should not be forgotten that General Bajwa used to meet foreign visitors of senior ministerial level separately, and not as part of the PM’s or Defence Minister’s delegation, as do his counterparts in advanced democracies.

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Mr Khan’s criticism is more suited to those democracies, but in office, he did little to stop the kind of ‘mission creep’ that would see a COAS involved in an IMF loan. Ms Sherman is under special pressure, because she received SAPM Tariq Fatemi, who spoke to her on the same lines, even though the Foreign Office later denied any connecvtion with him. However, Mr Khan critique sounds less principled, and more piqued, as if resenting any help given to the government that replaced his.Mr Khan’s criticism is more suited to. General Bajwa’s intervention, it must be said, is unusual, and reflects the dire straits in which the economy is. Matters are fast approaching the point where even if Ms Sherman delivers on General Bajwa’s request, ther IMF loan might be too little too late.

Editorial
The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected]

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