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Monday, May 16, 2022
EditorialIf army wants to stay away from politics, let it do

If army wants to stay away from politics, let it do

The message from the military is loud and clear that they must not be dragged into domestic politics. The message and the role of the army leadership should be accepted and respected by all political players of the country. No doubt the Pakistan Army has ruled the country directly for almost 33 years, and indirectly for the remaining period, leaving marks on the history and the working of civilian governments. However, in 2022, we are seeing a new army, which has totally distanced itself from the political maneuvering, and let the government and opposition to decide about the fate of a no-confidence motion against the prime minister in March last. The no-confidence motion was hardly an ambush as the joint opposition of that time was openly threatening the government of the no-confidence condition, which was laughed off by the prime minister of the time.

The ousted government people blame the non-intervention of the military for its ouster. The army is pursuing a policy of maintaining its distance from government matters as an institution, and since then the military has repeatedly stated that it is the job of politicians to do politics and that the military is unwilling to intervene. But some circles – both from the incumbent government and opposition – are not ready to forgive and forget the army’s role in the past.

In recent days, different political leaders have commented on the alleged threatening letter, the retirement of the army chief, the appointment of a new chief, the ISI leadership, and the role of the military in the run-up to the new election.

A statement issued by Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar on Thursday reiterated the army’s commitment to stay out of politics, and mentioned the crucial role of Corps Commander of Peshawar Gen Faiz Hameed in fight against terrorism. The spokesperson called the statements of some important senior politicians as highly inappropriate. The spokesperson said that the Peshawar corps commander is a prominent formation of the Pakistan Army which has been playing a leading role in the national war on terror for decades and the leadership of this important corps has always been in the hands of the best professionals.

The brave soldiers and officers of the Armed Forces of Pakistan are always protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the country with their lives. The challenges to our national security are enormous: our forces are carrying out crucial responsibilities at eastern, western and northern borders and internal security, and the entire military leadership is focused on these responsibilities and the security of their country. The people of Pakistan love their armed forces, the role of the armed forces will always be good for the people. Other than statements from politicians, some anti-social and anarchist elements are also engaged in vicious attempts to stir up unrest in the country by sending misleading posts about sensitive national institutions through social media.

Pakistan faces law and order challenges in Balochistan, KP and now Sindh. The situation demands that the army put its focus on protecting borders and the politicians and public should stand by them. Similarly, it would be a welcome era if the military maintained its neutrality. Meanwhile, the ISPR should avoid issuing such statements which are laced with political angles. Side by side, politicians should think twice before saying anything about the army.

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