Pakistani notables on Wednesday ‘schooled’ outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on micro-blogging site Twitter following the proliferation of his farewell address at the GHQ delivered in connection with both: martyrs’ and defence day(s).
Over the course of his address, Bajwa emphasised army neutrality in politics saying it had received widespread flak over 70 years of “unconstitutional” intervention. He also spoke about how the 1971 dismemberment of Pakistan was a political, and not military failure.
Former rights minister Shireen Mazari, a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader, said the “military surrender” of then General Niazi had led to the creation of Bangladesh. A military dictator (Yahya Khan) was at the helm of affairs too, Mazari said in her tweet. “For all the political polarisation & pol ambitions which prevented handing over power to the party that had won the elections, remember Pak had mly dictator in power & it was the formal mly surrender by Gen Niazi in East Pak that led to creation of Bangladesh – historical fact.”
In a veiled comment ostensibly aimed at the same, journalist Talat Hussain cited “selective amnesia”. “Selective Amnesia: Selective Amnesia involves pretending to lose some part of one’s memory from a certain period. For instance, this could mean conveniently forgetting some parts of an event, but not all of it. Most close-to-retirement lectures suffer from this inadequacy.”
Lawyer Reema Omer accused the outgoing COAS of “gaslighting”. “General Bajwa’s speech was a classic example of aggressors gaslighting their victims”
Citing journalist Hamid Mir’s comments to a private TV channel, peer Murtaza Ali Shah said the top military boss had accepted that the 2018 general elections were rigged and the army had intervened in politics till 2021. “General Bajwa has publicly accepted today that 2018 elections were rigged and that the military was involved in politics till Feb 2021, decision to stay out of politics is welcome @HamidMirPAK says on @geonews_urdu.”