The Special Court verdict on the treason of Ex-President Pervez Musharraf has opened a can of stinking worms. Perhaps these worms can best be described as upstarts of opportunity. The first lesson and abject reality are that in the highest echelons of politics in Pakistan, loyalties and allegiances can be switched for personal gains.
In the past 12 years, the biggest flock of cuckoos re-nestled themselves into various political parties to continue what they do best. It is time for them to leave for good. The bird’s nest must be converted into an eagle’s eyrie.
The second lesson learnt is that any leader in the Pakistani environment lowers guard and does not remain in awe of such carpetbaggers and illegitimate children of the opportunity will be isolated in times of crunch.
This palace intrigue of Ex-President Musharraf’s tenure is now reaching its logical conclusions. It lasted over 16 years; perhaps the filthiest and longest in Pakistan’s history. It is not just General Musharraf who became a Greek Tragedy during this game of deceit, betrayals and intrigues. In the initial phase of this drama, the Daughter of the East Benazir Bhutto was assassinated most controversially. Musharraf was clueless over what had happened. The simple question of who benefitted has still not been answered.
Centres of power in Pakistan need to realise that there are no holy cows. Each is a vital organ of the state and must function in concert for the greatness of the country. Checks and balances are not invasive but systemic with self-course correction mechanisms. Virtues and good practices should never be compromised for the sake of an individual. Integrity and purity of organisational structures are cardinal.
There is something known as sympathetic detonations. It is a flashover, usually unintended, of an explosive charge by a nearby explosion. What has happened in the Judiciary, Executive and the Armed Forces in the past 16 years is this phenomenon. The perpetuation of acrimony in the form of judicial activism, corruption by rulers and the buzzword of Civilian Supremacy were utilised cleverly to mask and smokescreen much bigger crimes and designs.
Not just the uniform, all have been hurt; the honourable judges, the honest politicians, the fighting soldiers and the hapless people of Pakistan. Interestingly there is one common denominator. Each organ is hurt by its own.
A glance around will expose a sidekick of media persons who became rich aristocrats within two decades, led the disinformation airwaves, created issues where there were none and conditioned Pakistan to hybrid threats. Suddenly, after the use of Dark Age references in the judgement, these evergreen journalists have switched sides overnight to ride the next bandwagon. Keep them at bay.
It is time to put an end to these sympathetic detonations and gather remains of the day. Pakistan deserves to be back on the track it deserves; Jinnah’s Pakistan. It is the Prime Minister of Pakistan who has to lead the charge through these parched lands and infested waters to pinnacles of National Character and Morale.
For the military, it is a lesson in humility and how it feels when hurt. Perhaps amongst all the constituents of the state, it has the most effective, automated and operable mechanism for self-correction and improvement. Having seen thousands of combatants fall during this time, they must introspect and ensure that the blood of its martyrs and many more of the country is not wasted to be exploited by greed and opportunism that led to the day when one of its ex Chiefs was sentenced to be dragged dead or alive on the Constitution Avenue.
The attacks on the armed forces have been direct and indirect but surely relentless. The attacks lasted for nearly two decades that begun with disowning the war on terrorism. When peace is finally restored for rebuilding the country, a new form of activism threatens to destabilise Pakistan. Army’s degradation is the only logical conduit to permanently destabilising Pakistan. Christine Fair had to write agonisingly, “For Pakistan State to Collapse, it is basically Pakistan Army that has to collapse, I don’t see that happening”. Perhaps the game to destabilise Pakistan through bad governance and pitching organs and people against the armed forces has also been exposed. The nation has become more aware of this hybrid threat than ever before.
The only exception is Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan. Being a new entrant, he never was part of the Exclusive Club. His task is the most challenging and daunting. It is time to clean stables and cut tentacles. He must not put caution to the wind and keep looking over his shoulders to identify the ghosts of Dark Ages, the cuckoos genetically predisposed at occupying other’s nests. If he does not, they will lead him to a dungeon.
In the interests of Pakistan, there should be no public display of supremacy. The chamber of the Chief Justice of Pakistan is not far. The COAS, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice must lock themselves like the cardinals of Vatican till all issues are settled and resolved.