Army’s timely clarification
Posted by Sumera Sani
Thursday, January 03, 2013 – AS Dr Qadri phenomenon surfaced all of a sudden at the heel of the general elections, speculations were rife that he had tacit backing of the Establishment and it is perhaps why the Director-General ISPR Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa has come out with a categorical denial of Army’s involvement in the emerging scenario. In an interview, he said Army stands for democracy and rumours on the contrary were mere speculations.
We believe that the forthright denial of the ISPR is very timely and pertinent as despite Dr Qadri’s own declaration on oath that no domestic or foreign power was behind his surprising move, doubts and apprehensions persisted as pro-establishment forces were grouping together to present a challenge to the existing system. Suspicions gained currency in the backdrop of any contradiction from the Army and in fact, appeals of the MQM chief Altaf Hussain to intervene in their favour also raised more questions about motives and the modus operandi of the strategy unfolded by head of Tehrik Minhajul Quran (TMQ). Earlier, Allama Qadri too had urged the Army not to obey orders of the Government (if given) to stop the announced long march on Islamabad.
We hope that the statement of the ISPR chief would clear misgivings in this regard and the Army, through its actions in the days to come, would prove its neutral credentials. Otherwise too, the Army, under the leadership of General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani distanced itself from the political arena and is focusing on professional pursuits. Of course, on the basis of past experience, some quarters believe that the Army’s tolerance level for civilian rule is just four to six years and that it does not allow the democracy to take roots but we are confident that the Army leadership would be able to wipe out such impressions as it did successfully during the last five years when several opportunities arose but were just ignored.