By Saima Afzal
The executive, the legislature, the judiciary, and media are considered four pillars of the state. These pillars of the state are bound to perform their functions under the constitution of the state. State institutions play a vital role in the development of any state. The prosperity and well-being of the state depend on cooperation among all state departments. The basic purpose of the state institutes is to work untiringly for the development of the nation. However, the deliberate polarization of state institutions for vested political interests can have grave consequences on the nation politically, socially, economically, and militarily. That’s why globally states empower their all institutions without discriminating against any party and leader, state departments are associated with the federation, not any political parties. In a democratic state, the administration supports all state institutions to make the country economically, politically, and militarily strong.
Pakistan is a democratic state and maligning state institutions for political mileage is a political norm for political parties. Even these political parties do not hesitate to use a religious card to fulfill their political objectives. This drag the conflict between the state and its institution. To satisfy their egos, these political leaders do not even shy away to accuse the top military leadership of their own failures, whereas the reality is the opposite. Pakistan’s armed forces have time and again made it clear through its public relations wing that the military has nothing to do with politics. The main purpose of Pakistan’s armed forces is the defense and security of the state and they are effectively adhering to this objective.
Likewise, the armed forces of Pakistan are the most esteemed institution in the country. The Pakistan Army started virtually from a scratch on 14 August 1947, in the face of heavy odds. Since independence, the Army, like the Navy and Air Force, has evolved into a highly-motivated and modern force defending the ideological and geographical frontiers of Pakistan. Virtually every Pakistani youth desires to join it and serve the country. The armed forces have always been on the vanguard without seeking any acknowledgment for services that demand sacrifices. Be it nation-building, relief in case of natural calamity including earthquakes and floods, or national responsibilities for instance the elections or census, the armed forces of Pakistan have delivered the highest of their aptness. Such duties are way beyond their call of duty, yet they have been doing it for civilian support.
In addition, the security environment is peculiar and multidimensional and the nation is facing a fifth-generation war where the enemy particularly India is using all available means to create chaos and anarchy in the Pakistani nation. In total contrast to its projection as a well-knit force, the Indian armed forces suffer a plethora of administrative and policy issues as Narendra Modi’s government just focused on gaining political mileage and maligning Pakistan. India has been exposed militarily after failure in the post-Pulwama scenario against Pakistan and Ladakh against China; the military’s humiliation has seriously dented its international repute as well as confidence that the West reposed in Indian armed forces to act as a counterweight to China. In fact, India aligned with its inimical policies continues endeavors to malign Pakistan’s armed forces instead of reviving the image of its own military which had the highest despicable welfare standards of troops.
Contrarily, Pakistan’s much-asked question has always been why does the Pakistan army intervene and interrupt the civilian governance with disturbing frequency? The simple answer is because it can. The matter of fact, is that our governance structure is so weak to be interrupted by any other force. Pakistan army has neither descended from Mars, nor been sent in by the Chinese on loan, nor is raised from men reared in an incubator. It very much compromises men driven from a cross-section of Pakistani society cherishing the same ideals, having the same taste, norms, mores, ethos, and morals. It is in short the chip off the same block. But what is done is done. Even Pakistan cannot sit and mourn forever what is done years ago. Pakistan’s military has moved on in pursuit of its real goals and so is Pakistan and its people.
In the end, I would like to say it would remain a distinct dream of India and so-called political leadership to malign the image of armed forces in youth and to divert the attention of armed force from security matters. The armed forces of Pakistan have sacrificed their lives for maintaining peace and security in the country. The people of this country always showed respect and love for their law enforcement agencies.
* The author is an Islamabad-based analyst and holds MPhil in Peace and Conflict Studies and can be reached at [email protected].