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منگل، 10 مئی، 2011

Tougher times ahead

It is not just the scrapping off of any planned Pakistan visit of President Barack Obama. Now that the Americans have singularly discredited the Pakistani military and the ISI in the world eye, expect more of their brinkmanship. It will be more of a stick that they would henceforth wield than dangling the carrot to get what they want from this country to perpetuate their objectives here or in the region. With their Abbottabad exploit they have tasted blood. And, predictably, they will now go for more of it in days ahead, particularly so, as on Obama’s watch both the CIA and the Pentagon have struck an unprecedented collaboration in their ranks, with the latter having also enshrined in its charter as one avowed objective to cajole or coerce foreign militaries into its subordination to accomplish its missions abroad.And what would it be here at home if and when they reenact an Abbottabad elsewhere in the country can be well imagined. The citizenry has received a rude shock from their Abbottabad raid. They had etched in their hearts the Pakistani military with a reliable strong face. But this episode showed it to them like a shattered myth as a weakling. In such a poor operational unpreparedness have they found it as had they not imagined even in their wildest dreams. And no heartening is the take it has got so far from the army for its abysmal collapse in contending with the adventurous raid on the fateful night. No convincing explanations are those. And so goes for the air force’s stance. Bluntly, the military was not in a state of operational preparedness required of an armed force of a region where also making the waves are military doctrines like India’s Cold Start, contemplating coordinated surprise, swift and rapid offensive on the ground and from the air on multiple targets simultaneously before open armed hostilities break out and the international community intervenes to disengage. It makes for a bit of consolation that both the army and the air force have instituted inquiries to identify what went wrong on that dark night that they were taken so unawares. And hopefully that investigation will lead them up to plug off the holes in their defence armours not be so caught again. The real consolation, nonetheless, will come to the distraught citizenry if the services give a resounding account of themselves in an eventuality of alien adventurism like the Abbottabad raid.And that necessarily calls for professional competence and excellence, which have been abiding motto of the Pakistan armed forces, but which seemingly have sadly whittled down somewhat, as evidenced sourly by the Abbottabad disgraceful fiasco. That professionalism is easily achievable. Only the military commands have to shed off distractions like real estate enterprises and business and industrial ventures that unnecessarily impede their own professional pursuits and expose their personnel to worldly temptations as well. As in the yore, perfection in professional expertise, training and readiness must be their sole focus. The olden motivation for selfless and flawless soldiery must return to their ranks in its pristine glory.Indeed, there is an imperative need that all the three services team up to give surgical examination to their doctrines in the context of the new world environment, flush with new military outlooks, weaponries and technologies, and dispense with unneeded baggage to acquire powerful muscles to become an effective, invulnerable and invincible force. That may involve unpalatable harsh decisions. But swallowing a bitter pill now to become formidable is no bad bargain. On a more mundane note, they must refuse dabbling in politics in any event, even if invited. Theirs own job is a whole-time job. The civilians must themselves attend to their own responsibilities. Had indeed the political leaderships been so engaged in discharging their responsibilities, possibly there would have been no Abbottabad fiasco. They would have long forged strong coordinations between various tiers of intelligence networks from top to bottom, and the local law-enforcers and CID spooks of Abbottabad would have certainly stumbled on the mysteriously years-long-living residents of the mystifying compound and acted against them. That would have taken away the excuse of raid from the Americans. But these leaderships mostly sleep.
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