I view with great concern the growing trend among the intellectuals and the representatives of the Civil society, to condemn en bloc the whole institution of the Military for its frequent transgression into, and domination of the nation’s political life.
Quite often, while condemning the frequent incursions of the military into the world of governance, some nasty adjectives are used for the Army which are not only in bad taste but in complete negation of the dictates of patriotism. Army in my view is an institution which has a symbolic significance that is as sacred as the country’s flag. This institution is not structured in a way a society (or an association) is structured. The decisions are not taken in a meeting in which a proposition is put forth, discussed and voted for or against. The COAS doesn’t rise and address any gathering of soldiers to say: “Soldiers the situation at the borders is normal and satisfactory, but a lot is wrong and in bad shape in the capital. Do we or don’t we move in, to correct the situation and put the right things in the right places?”
That kind of a mandate is not sought from the long line of cadres in the army. It is always one ‘head’ in which the flame of ‘desire’ is kindled. It is always one person’s mind that is seized by the dragon of ambition, and that makes a sudden decision to weigh and grab the opportunity that has arisen. It is always this chosen “General of destiny” who weaves a plan, involves his close aides and strikes. The army’s role is simply to obey the orders flowing from the High Command.
Soldiers are never trained and taught to ask WHY. Their job is to say YES to all orders.
General Ayub Khan was not the whole army. Nor was General Yahya Khan. Nor General Zia ul Haque. And nor finally General Pervez Musharraf.
Certainly the Army is under his command. But HE is not the ARMY. The army is not ruling the country. Just HIM. General Pervez Musharraf. So let he alone be made to accept the responsibility of his deeds. And the Army be spared.