On same page with army?


The PM needs to get his house in order

Few would buy Ch Nisar’s narrative that coordination and harmony between the government and the armed forces in the past ten months has been historically the best ever. The army had not been comfortable with the structure of talks with the TTP, to quote just one example. The cravenly attitude towards the murderous lot injured the feelings of tens of thousands of civilians and army men who lost friends, comrades or family members in the dastardly attacks launched since 9/11 by the TTP. The bloodthirsty network spared no section of society in its pursuit of creating panic in the population and to dictate its terms to the successive governments. Few liked Ch Nisar and other apologists when they tried to explain away the killings of thousands of civilians and armymen as being a reaction to drone attacks.

The army had reasons not to be comfortable with the structure of talks but was extra cautious not to publicly air its misgivings. Soon after Ch Nisar hectored the PPP, ANP and MQM into offering an olive branch to the militants, TTP struck by assassinating Gen Sanaullah Niazi. The militant leadership then claimed that it was testing the sincerity of the government and continued with its strikes. Just 10 days after the first meeting between the government and Taliban committees last month, TTP ordered the beheading of 23 FC troops. Is this not enough to put off the army? Talks can be useful if these can deliver, but have they?

Ch Nisar is supposed to supervise the internal security of the entire country. As things stand he has failed to stop terrorist acts even in Islamabad. The last year’s gun drama when a lone gun totting man paralysed the whole of Islamabad police and administration, the killing of a judge and 10 others in a terrorist attack on Islamabad district court and the latest killing of 24 in the city’s fruit market, are all a reflection on the interior minister’s competence.

A federal minister has described the differences within the PML-N as a beauty of democracy. Differences among party leaders holding portfolios are good as long as they are confined to the cabinet meetings. Once a decision has been taken, public airing of differences is highly unfortunate. As things stand the views expressed by the defence minister and commerce minister regarding Taliban are polls apart from those of the interior minister. There is a dire need on the part of the PM to put his house in order. What is more, strengthening democracy requires a more sensitive handling of the army than is presently being done. Faux pas in media talk shows or public statements are the sole responsibility of those who make them. The tendency to blame media is not a healthy trend.


  1. If all are equal at all levels, where did we go wrong? So horribly wrong? Dr Haroon Ullah, member of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s policy planning staff and author of a recently published treatise

Comments are closed.