The politicisation of the establishment by a political party is a recent development in the history of Pakistan. It is a new precedent set by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) as it faces political confrontation with the same institution that has propped it up for years.
Interestingly, the chief of army staff is about to retire and the vicious attack on him has been upped in different political circles. But will the vested forces succeed in dividing the institution? So far, it appears the institution is strong and tightly-knitted under the current leadership.
Given that some politicians have indirectly indicated that the establishment is behind the process of giving legitimacy to corruption of Sharif family, it seems a calibrated attacks on its internal leadership is continuing.
However, such political machinations rarely produce results.
The credibility of the institution has been severely damaged. It is being wrongly insinuated that the establishment is giving legitimacy to any sort of corruption — as it is a matter of courts and other agencies of Pakistan. The establishment has no role in pursuing and seeking issues of corruption. Anyone trying to malign the establishment is actually working on a political agenda to bring the establishment under pressure. They don’t know that the establishment has its own work to do, that is the security of the country.
What’s more, under its current chief, not only has Pakistan successfully helped Afghanistan to rule itself but also gave the US a decent face-saving as it smoothly withdrew from the unrelenting war of more than 20 years.
In addition to this, Pakistan has once again rehabilitated its strained relations with the US as it was far more tilting towards China, ignoring the US. Given these developments, the role of Pakistan’s army chief deserves appreciation.
But it is saddening that there are some political forces in the country, who want the negative role of the establishment for their political survival. In failing to secure such a favour, they are attacking it.
Moreover, it is also true that the establishment has promised ‘neutrality’ from politics as it is a message again and again reinforced by the chief of forces. But his message is being taken lightly as some political forces think that attacking the establishment would bring them political fruits. It’s purely a hijacking tactic, which would not bring any political results.
The history of Pakistan is witness to such machinations — that any politician, who tries to use the establishment, has been abandoned.
It is time our politicians think about this country and its democracy, instead of dragging undemocratic institutions into politics. Anyone trying to malign the agencies of the country cannot be a true patriot – despite the promise of neutrality.