Half-hearted accountability

13 May

11 military officers were recently dismissed by General Raheel Shareef pursuant to being found guilty on charges of corruption. The move, strategically timed, followed a statement issued by the Chief of Army Staff that ‘across the board accountability is necessary for the solidarity, integrity and prosperity of Pakistan’. Much has been said about how the move by General Shareef is important – and indeed, it is. It is not significant, however, that the military has dismissed people on charges of corruption – it is pertinent that officials within the military have the ability to engage in corruption and only be faced with dismissal as punishment. Calling this ‘across the board accountability’ seems a tad ludicrous.

One understands, of course, that General Raheel Shareef has exercised great caution throughout his tenure, ensuring he confines the role of the military to its rightful place, i.e. away from politics. However, it would prove useful to remember that the ‘7-year-itch’ is not a myth. The fact remains that the military establishment still genuinely believes that it has a role to play in the politics of the State. Strange then that we keep blaming our politicians for failing to uphold the democratic system when we have been ruled by the military for most of our past.

Let us also not forget the on-going careful construction of an environment conducive to military takeover; a situation being developed from the north to the south of Pakistan. Zarb-e-Azb has resulted in our saviour complex reaching levels one thought were impossible considering the oppressive remnants of our military past. Coupled together with the inability of our police to deal with ordinary criminal activity in Southern Punjab and sprinkle on top ‘effective’, ‘speedy’ punishment of terrorists through military courts – voila!

As if the aforementioned was not enough for us to open our arms and plead with the army to takeover, the latter has it all covered even in the south. Mustafa Kamal’s return at this juncture is no coincidence. Many have accepted who is pulling Kamal’s strings, but their justification for the same demonstrates the establishment’s successful completion of ‘propaganda 101’. Apparently the MQM’s alleged links with RAW make it acceptable that the powers-that-be are yet again trying to prop-up an ‘alternative’ political force. Need we remind ourselves that that is exactly how the MQM was also founded several years ago?

‘He who fights with monsters should be careful les he thereby become a monster’, holds true now just as much as it has in our past, especially considering that most of our monsters have been created, nurtured and facilitated by those now profiting from waging war against them. Another interesting fact to highlight here is that we are doomed to repeat our history simply because of the manner in which we are taught it: glorification of the armed forces juxtaposed with the inherent incompetence of the civilian government. It seems as though, from foreign policy to school curriculum, much more is shaped by the military than we realize or accept.

From the first dharna to the call for the second, it seems the powers-that-be have ensured that they will not put all their eggs in one basket. After all, if one wants to destabilize a civilian government that came in with an overwhelming majority, it must be done with discretion.

Those talking about accountability must start with themselves. The 11 officers that were actually found guilty and dismissed must be put behind bars, especially considering that Dr. Asim Hussain has been detained and tortured on the basis of mere allegations. Why is it that a different set of laws operate to protect the military, while civilians are constantly thrown in jails, tortured and humiliated in the eyes of the public without no substantive proof whatsoever? There is a reason the State illegally detains people. No, it is not because they are ‘terrorists’ or because there are ‘reasonable grounds’ to believe they are terrorists. It is because they know they rule the roost – they know that they have the power and misplaced support of the masses to apply a different set of rules to civilians and a different set of rules on their own.

Ensuring that the democratic system in Pakistan is secured and developed should be our first priority at this juncture. It is constantly made to seem as though the ‘security’ perspective is the one that needs to be focused on. Yet, why do we never ask ourselves who created the security threat in the first place? Whose role has been maximized as a consequence of the security threat? Who has come out shining as a result of the security threat? Which institution, despite its active role in abrogating the Constitution and violating human rights, is the most respected institution in the country? If we can’t see it now, we never will.

 

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Half-hearted accountability”

  1. Kashif Saif May 14, 2016 at 1:49 pm #

    The responsibilty lies on the government which has given an oppurunity to the Army to rise above normal. Do you think the government is serious in building institutions? Let’s have no illusion, the PM is not as charismatic and proactive as the Army chief. That is why the Army under Raheel Sharif is assertive.Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone From: imaanmazari <comment-reply@wordpress.com>; To: <kashifsaif3800@yahoo.com>; Subject: [New post] Half-hearted accountability Sent: Fri, May 13, 2016 5:07:48 AM

    imaanhazirmazari posted: "11 military officers were recently dismissed by General Raheel Shareef pursuant to being found guilty on charges of corruption. The move, strategically timed, followed a statement issued by the Chief of Army Staff that 'across the board accountability is "

  2. Ahmed khan June 17, 2016 at 10:27 pm #

    Good piece!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: