The entire nation stood shoulder to shoulder with the defenders of the motherland in paying its tribute to the Shuhada on April 30th 2014. People all over the country and from all walks of life held thrilling rallies in inspiring manner to show their support for the armed forces. General Raheel Sharif’s address on the occasion has been hailed by all as the most forthright, full of resolve and commitment and highly reassuring. Coming from a professional soldier and commander it has not only elevated the spirits of the nation but must have also rung a bell in the hearts of the enemies of Pakistan.
However, the representation of both the Chief Executive of the country and the Commander in Chief of All the Armed Forces of Pakistan at the ceremony was too conspicuous by its absence. Agreed, the PM was away to the United Kingdom on a foreign tour and the President had something more important to tend to at Karachi, they could have, according to the standard norms of official protocol the world over, sent their Military Secretaries to represent them on this auspicious occasion. A floral wreath each from the PM and the President placed at the memorial by their Military Secretaries on behalf of them would have been the most appropriate and laudable action. It would have not only assured the troops that the PM who could pay a personal visit to a Karachi private hospital to enquire into the health of Hamid Mir had also remembered them and their sacrifices, but would have also gone a long way in assuring the entire nation that the civil a! nd the military were on the same page which is the dire need of the hour.
By Riaz Jaffery