The outgoing Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif is being hailed as the country’s most “beloved army chief”. Such praise for a man who couldn’t contribute much, like all his predecessors, to make Pakistan a peaceful, prosperous country shows how hypocritic the dominant narrative in the Islamic country has become.
It becomes easy for a country to become peaceful and prosperous when it doesn’t have to battle any internal and external threat. For Pakistan, both the threats have been designed, created and perpetuated by its military.
Pakistani citizens have been force-fed by the army-guided establishment for generations to believe India is an external threat to the country. The internal threat of terrorism is again Pakistan’s own doing.
The irony is that none of the thinking individuals in Pakistan has the wisdom or (maybe) the guts to speak out against the sinister narrative being forced on them by the army.
General Raheel Sharif is being hailed for launching attacks on terrorists within Pakistan. Before hailing General Raheel as the greatest, can you lose sight of the fact that anti-terror operations carried out by him was necessary for the finances of the Pakistan Army?
The anti-terror operations were limited mainly to Karachi and Waziristan regions. Karachi is the finance capital of Pakistan and for Waziristan, the country had been asked by Western powers to wipe out terrorists for years. General Raheel is also credited for not letting terrorism affect the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Pakistan receives a huge amount of money in the form of aid from the West as well as China, a major chunk of it goes to the military.
According to a BBC.com report, the private economy of the military in the country was around $20bn in 2007. This was being managed mainly through the welfare wings of the military which run large real estate, industrial, services and retail empires. In times of inflation like, you can imagine what would be the military’s economy now and why it was necessary for General Raheel to act against terrorists in the above-mentioned regions.
Having secured the military’s private economy, General Raheel continued with Pakistan’s pet policy of launching terrorists against India. Anti-India activities are necessary for Pakistan’s military to continue to cheat its own citizens, a majority of whom remains drowned in poverty even after 70 years of independence.
Scores of articles in Pakistani media want the world to believe that General Raheel is like a benevolent god — an army chief who ruled without a coup and is more popular that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The truth is that General Raheel never needed a coup to rule. He made Nawaz a puppet PM. There are several reports suggesting how the General clipped PM Nawaz’s wings when he started making some friendly overtures to India.
After the 2014 Peshawar attack, which killed over 150 schoolchildren, the military under General Raheel consolidated its hold on political decision making. The civilian government had to formally allow military representatives in “apex committees” created under the national action plan for law enforcement, according to the BBC.
Not only this, the media in the country was stifled, threatened against criticism of the military. The TV media was not allowed to report on issues like military’s patronage of selected terror groups. The crackdown on media started in 2014 when famous TV reporter Hamid Mir was attacked by gunmen. According to several reports, Mir’s family had accused the military of the attack. Now you can guess why there is so much praise for General Raheel in Pakistan.
And wait. General Raheel may not have to eventually go. Some individuals have just approached the Pakistan Supreme Court to get him appointed as the Field Marshal.