Editorial: After quelling politically motivated terrorism and organized crime in Karachi, the recent episode of indicting high and middle ranking brass as per the rule of law, General Raheel has once again proved that he has the guts and mettle to call a spade a spade. However, the issues facing him are far more graver than is projected through mouthpieces of the military and mainstream media of Pakistan.
The most demanding test will be the military’s handling of Panama leaks information and it’s fallout across the civil and political thought spectrum of the country. Imran Khan and Jumat-e-Islami are bracing up for publicizing the leaks story through political forums in major cities, notwithstanding the fact that both the parties have failed in attracting public gaze through their performance in governance.
Thinking entities are of the opinion that their show against corruption is basically aimed at exploitation of the opportunity offered by Panama leaks. There is a feeling that only if the deep state renders effective maneuvering to their efforts, there might be some positive outcome at the end of the day. Otherwise the whole exercise wouldn’t be much different than was PTI’s dharna against poll rigging!
Another area where there still exist a dilemma for the military backed drive for ensuring rule of law across the country, is the province of Punjab where corruption, crime and terrorism go on unabated despite the fact that the military has done a lot of home work and is very well poised to go for a Karachi style operation cleanup at short notice. The hindrances in this regard are arguably and ironically enough, the product of the military’s past actions like consistent ousters of elected governments on flimsy and concocted grounds, involvement in corruption and a flawed sense of guardianship of the state’s populace in the wake of Pakistani civil society inherent incapacity (as per military’s projected belief) to provide legitimate political leadership for effective governance.
These are the dire straits General Raheel must take the ship of the state through. And it doesn’t seem possible without effective pruning and weeding out of corrupt elements within the military only but also to set their collective thinking right. In more clear terms General Raheel needs to come out clean and denounce all martial laws as illegitimate and contrary to the interest of the state as they have been in actual fact! He must also make it amply clear to the military that megalomania shouldn’t be the procedure for dealing with political and social entities of Pakistani civil society and that there is the law of the land to abide by. It is mandatory because successive take overs of the state by the military has eroded the sense of rule of law to alarming levels. And political maneuvers of dictators in creating legitimacy for themselves have rendered all endeavors for accountability by high state authority meaningless in the eyes of civil, military and industrial establishments.
The big question, therefore, is whether General Raheel carries the necessary acumen to create an effective convergence of ideas pertaining to the issues highlighted above or will he too emerge as another tool of the will of the keepers of the status quo who have arrested the people and the state of Pakistan to run the course of their myopic agendas which will for sure take this great country into horrible chasms of defeat and destruction as is foreseen by proponents of new world order!
By Jack Frost, Editor-in-Chief
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
THE PASHTUN TIMES