After May 9 I visited the Lahore corps commander’s house on the old Wellington road, now renamed Tufail Road, a house once liked enough by Mohammad Ali Jinnah to buy it in 1943 from Mohan Lal Bashin, but which he could could not live in. Although his representatives, Sir Maratib Al, father of Babar Ali of Packages fame, were paid in full by in 1959, the desecration of the house known as Jinnah House, and residence of the Corps commander, by miscreants, hooligans, and I dare say enemies of the State, violently destroyed the premises, so that it looked as though they had a personal score to settle with Army property, the same as they performed outside the GHQ in Rawalpindi, then the building of Radio Pakistan. While all this was happening and Indian media was speculating about a civil war, the rest of the world was speaking on the violations of human rights.
We must salute our jawans who did not fire on the civilians despite serious provocation, and they never will, but that does not mean anyone has to put them to the ultimate test. We must as citizens understand we have two simple choices, Convention or Anarchy. The former is the order of the day, while the latter will not succeed.
But let’s examine why all this, as we have seen such scenes in 1977 and 1983, but this protest was extraordinary. Naturally all fingers pointed towards the protesting party, it was indeed their party. In such events there are usually adverse forces who play a major role, on a perfectly set up platform; needless to add it’s the perfect recipe for saboteurs and fifth columnists to wake up their sleeper cells and join the mayhem, which was unacceptable and must not go unpunished. It is unthinkable that a Pakistani would do what has been done, and that to pointing towards the defenders of the realm and faith, my suspicions are there was a master plan of all these protests, and there must be people working for outside forces who knew about the course of action, and they might have played the part which has been condemned by Pakistanis one and all.
The other aspect which is fast coming up in debates, and arguments is where were our CIA, police and other other intelligence agencies, when this crowd was proceeding towards the Cantonment area? An area which is a sensitive one too, where vehicles are checked thoroughly before entering, the house of the Corps Commander, if it was to be the major target, why more police could not reach his house- after all the Saddar police station is five minutes away? Was this a surprise element of the protest or negligence?
This house represents the armed forces as well as Pakistan in an iconic way, but the irony is the political parties who have in the past with their checkered history, took to supporting the Army. They should, but they made a hash of the whole affair, and the language they used overall was not democratic. It seemed they wanted the support of the Army by coming out with such venomous hate speech.
There is an investigation going on, and the COAS has made it very clear to his officers and jawans as well the nation, no miscreant or anti- state elements will be spared. Politicos also must understand they must not play with this sensitive time for their own gains. It will not work in the bigger picture of the state, and they all must remember our motto will be Pakistan First.
Once a deep in-depth investigation is completed, heads have to roll, so the parties should hold their horses and not create a wedge amongst the people. These poisonous statements do not do any justice, and everyone has come down heavily on this episode, and for everyone’s sake hopefully it will not happen again.
To continually repeat all these clichés undermines our ability, and gives food for thought to our adversaries. Having come back from abroad there is enough bitterness outside amongst the expatriates, and they need to be reassured though our embassies’ spokespeople to calm them down, these words that our army installations have been under attack, that’s not correct, no one should even dream of such dreams, indeed our administrative buildings and official residences have been vandalized, but as for military installations even India has not been able to pull this off, let alone anyone else.
But I must salute our jawans who did not fire on the civilians despite serious provocation, and they never will, but that does not mean anyone has to put them to the ultimate test. We must as citizens understand we have two simple choices, Convention or Anarchy. The former is the order of the day, while the latter will not succeed.
On another note, the G20 conference has been held in Srinagar a disputed area, which has seen loss of lives on both sides of the border, due to India’s lack of dialogue. This will not speak highly of the United Nations, for how can its members participate in a conference in Kashmir where, pregnant women have been bayoneted and raped, mass graves discovered, where people live in inhuman and brutally forced conditions, with complete violations of all human rights, forced marriages, subhuman treatment of political prisoners, pellets being fired upon them, and to top it all India does not even want the UN peacekeeping force do their job let alone even being there.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office has maintained its long-standing stance on this longest surviving political dispute in the history of the contemporary world, but the Muslim Ummah, for what it stands for, has been a great letdown, on Kashmir and Palestine.
Indeed the Muslim countries have their own interests,and so be it, but can they not be more forceful where their fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, or even forget that, humans, are going through the worst tyranny humanity has seen in this day and age?
I propose a giant rally of all parties in all cities of the country,, let’s show the world our principled stand on the right of self-determination,and respect for human rights. It’s all too easy to criticize Pakistan, but do spare a moment out of the Indian propaganda and take a peek,try to speak to people in Srinagar, try going to other areas, they will give you the usual security Bull manure.