CHITRAL: The very title of the post may seem odd to those who know the world, as anywhere, the appointments of a defense chief is a routine procedural matter and nobody bothers about it. In Pakistan however things have become so different. It’s metrics and paradigms have changed so much that now the situation in Pakistan has to be seen accordingly.
شہر آسیب میں آنکھیں ہی نہیں ہیں کافی
الٹا لٹکو گے تو پھر سیدھا دکھائی دے گا
That the new Army Chief has been appointed after much ado, it is now upon him to honor the so-coveted and so-‘powerful’ appointment in Pakistan.
The new Army chief would do well to start his day with declaring that the army would either be on the borders or in their barracks and not interfere in any matters related to civilian government. For this his first step could be to announce disbandment of ISI’s political wing.
The new chief can also do a noble service to Pakistan by announcing reduction of Defense budget by 50 percent so that the money is only used on combat operational expenses instead of harrowing perks and luxuries enjoyed the senior military officers. This wasteful expenditure in the armed forces has snowballed during the years since Ziaul Haq, Musharaff and sees no looking back. The office of a starred officer which earlier would be a decent but simple and modest room now looks like the office of an oil rich sheikh, with nauseatingly expensive and lavish decor and all.
We have lost our balance and pity for this country which is now reeling under the burden of inevitable bankruptcy. The Army Chief can set an example by himself adopting austerity and enforcing it in the whole army. The other services will quickly follow.
By simply announcing that Army will not interfere in politics is not enough. Practical steps have to be taken starting with reduction in non combat budget of the Armed forces so that they stop yielding unnecessary extra power, because in Pakistan the age old axiom of ‘jiski lathi uski bhains’ prevails and that is why the ‘lathi’ has to be taken away, when considering their treatment of the civil population. .. CN report, 25 Nov 2022