What to expect from the New Pakistan Army Chief -Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa

Some early views on Gen. Bajwa’s selection.

Agreed the Chief’s selection is a tough choice for the PM.

Given the fractious civil military relations and the large number of skeletons in the politicians cupboards ( not that there aren’t plenty in the military ones) the prime consideration over all others for the PM would be to chose someone who is unlikely to take over.

The second, as we all know, is the ability to get along and be trusted.

And then comes competence.

By the way these factors are also mostly true for the corporate world as well.

So Gen. Bajwa’s choice ticked all three.

He is known to be against Army interference in the civilian political sphere.

He is known to be an affable and easy to get along chap.

And he is also very competent.

Lt. Gen. Ishfaq Nadeem, from what one has read and heard, was apparently the brightest and professionally most sound.

But two things cost him the job.

He was perceived as the main architect behind GRS’s earlier push, in his first eighteen months, to cleanse and reform the political system, via NAP, in parallel to Zarbe Azb and being quite blunt and forthright in presenting his views to the civilian leadership.

The second was getting soiled in the murky drama of the 2014 Dharna,  in which he was completely innocent. But by innuendo and rumour, his goose was cooked and hence the change from CGS to Corps Commander.

Personally he would have been my personal choice for the position.

But I’m not the PM!

According to someone who has known Gen. Bajwa for over 36 years and very closely at that, has this to say about him.

*He is balanced, sensible, a good listener and seeks consensus and involves others. Intellectually fairly sharp and insightful.  Very personable and easy to get along with and mingles easily with officers and troops. Is not protocol conscious.  Great sense of humour. Will go after sectarian terror outfits and will make a good Chief*.

In my opinion.

On Dawn Leaks and Panama.

My personal view is that he has bigger things to fry such as consolidating his command. Making new appointments.

And most importantly, likely focus on the immediate and urgent issues of  command, strategy and operations, given India’s belligerence,  and establish his writ as Chief.

So, likely, will let Dawn leaks and Panama take their natural course and not interfere.

Fight against terror will be his top priority, including and especially crackdown on sectarian terror putfits.

It seems that he will likely keep the Army away from any overt political interference.

Any intrusive moves into the civilian space, if at all, will happen about 12 months down the line, closer to the elections.

Whether he succeeds is another matter, of course.

Much as my “Hun” blood calls for the storming of the Bastille, unfortunately the vector of such interventions in the country, eventually heads South.

We’re in the thick of very complex existential challenges, in addition to the corrosion caused by corrupt and incompetent governance.

The military lead war on terror is midway and far from over. The rise of miltant sectarian outfits and the challenges in Balochistan,  both actively fanned by India will become very intense, as will the belligerence from across the LOC.

Afghanistan will be a serious thorn with aggressive American  backing, more aggressive now, with Trump in the saddle.

All those who want the CPEC to fail will continue to fan the flames of our fractious internal fault lines, including destabilizing Karachi.

These fault lines, sectarian, religious, ethnic, linguistic, economic, social, will and are being fully exploited to bring us to heel.

And on top we have these terrible jokers governing Pakistan.

I think Gen. Bajwa’s hands are full. His plate overflowing and it’s important that we address the more urgent and serious.

Of course, it goes without saying that our most deep rooted solution lies in deep systemic change in our electoral and governance structures.

And for that to happen, its the people and not the Army, who mus force this change!

Can Pakistan survive Nawaz Sharif’s corruption?

What is most scary about Pakistan’s current situation, especially those NS supporters who pretend to be objective, is how we forget the basic fundamentals and the ability to sift obvious truth and dishonesty, good from evil.

Either we get bogged down or, deliberately bog down others in the minutae of nothingness and idiotic one liners and hyperventilated talk shows.

The key and fundamental issue facing our political leadership is about Nawaz Sharif being above board with his Panamagate.

This notwithstanding whether one is a supporter or not.

Just a simple issue of asking ourselves with all that we’ve heard and seen, whether this man should continue to serve as our Prime Minister.

It’s not about the legal aspects of who is named and who is not named. It’s not about the finer letter of the law. But it’s about, morality, integrity and honesty. It’s certainly not about Imran Khan and PTI.

A simple internal honest question to put to one’s own self.

Is Nawaz Sharif corrupt?  Has he cheated the people on Pakistan about Panama? And is he lying on Panama?

My personal opinion to all the above 3 is an unqualified, YES!

If the SC absolves him of any guilt,  it will certainly not make Pakistan a better place.

If he does get snared, by them, we may still have hope.

A very large group amongst us who defend him and people like him, by pontificating on the virtues of Democracy and supremacy of Parliament,  are mostly the rich and the comfortable, who are part of an elite system with very high vested interests in the current system.

None of these groups feel and experience the terrible havoc that people like NS have wreaked on the poor and exploited people of Pakistan and on its institutions .

So, in my opinion,  our country will not be better off by any standards if NS and his like come back into power.

And come back, they will, unfortunately if the current electoral system remains.

And once back, they will continue to weaken an already tottering system because that’s how they retain their power base.

I dont think this country can really survive another decade of this loot and plunder before we plunge into total anarchy. The fault lines will become even more fractured and deep and hideously violent. Economic. Social. Sectarian.  Religious. Ethnic.

And a hungry Indian wolf breathing down our necks.

These fissures will also put great strains on that one surviving relatively stable institution. The Army.

An institution our so called liberals and pseudo intellectuals, so love to whip.

People like that Dufferni Asma Jilani, who never had to suffer anything. She belongs to the most corrupt institution in this country,  the Judiciary and in all  years hasn’t been able to fix it. But pontificates about the “great satan”.

Or that Indian mole, the viper Hussain Haqqani.

Or these secular do nothings. Or these “valiant” journos sitting on their fat backsides, living in cuckoo land, running down “the boys” or that hypocrite Najam Sethi, enemy of the State.  With the blood of Pakistanis on his hand when he fought against Pakistan, alongside Russian, Indian, Afghan funded Baloch insurgents in 1974 -1977.

And these people rather than talk about how every single state run institution has been destroyed by our politicians, have their venom out for the only one which is still relatively better, the Army.

And as we all know, the single biggest reason the Army has so far survived the complete degradation we see in our other State institutions, is because the civilian politicians have ZERO influence on how the COAS administers the institution. This is not correct. I agree. The Army must be subservient to the State! No disagreement there!

But, thank God,  that the likes of NS and AZ have not been able to lay their grubby hands on the Army.

But give them time and they will.

And deeply disturbed that Nawaz Sharif was able to run rings around GRS.

Using GRS and the Army to do his political dirty work in bringing the MQM and PPP to heel in Sind. But keeping him away from ANY interference in PUNJAB.

Gen. Raheel, despite all his bluster and thunder etc, in my opinion, got taken for long royal ride by the wily NAWAZ .

We should be very disturbed at how we ignore evil. Very disturbed.

Calling off the Nov 2nd Dharna. Wise move?

I think IK took a wise and statesmanlike decision to call of the Dharna. Irrespective of the compulsions. Whether it be lack of support or him being hunkered down in Bani Gala or the SC ruling.

Whatever the compulsions he made the right choice and stopped the situation from getting out of control.

He did this knowing fully well the backlash from his own supporters and the derision from his political opponents.

One thing it showed was his willingness to forgo expediency and sacrifice his own credibility at the altar of issue based politics. A brave thing to do.

That’s why I call it statesmanlike.  And not a U turn.

This was in complete contrast to good ole Nawaz Sharir who did not have the wisdom to back off and was willing to put the federation’s unity at stake and risking near civil war and total anarchy just to save his backside.  The politics of Rana Sanaullah and mafia dons.

My peeve with Imran is that once the SC court gave the 1st November date, he should have postponed his Dharna lock down call by a week or so to give SC the opportunity to do what they did and save us all from this terrible Armageddon brinkmanship type situation.

The only question to which we will never really find the answer to, is.

“Whether the SC would have made the same decision they made on Nov 1, had the Dharna been postponed and there was no pressure on everybody, or would it have been milder, less prescriptive, and more routine?”

But, in my opinion, with the benefit of hindsight, which as the cliché goes is always 20/20 or “Monday morning Quarterbacking” as its called in North America.

IK made the right call to call it off. He made the wrong call in sticking to 2 Nov after the SC announced the 1 Nov hearing date.

I think history will judge IK right for taking the right decision.

And, again, in my opinion, be less charitable about the monkey tricks of Nawaz Sharif or Saad Rafique or Khawaja Asif or Ishaq Dar saheb.

And, finally, history will also write off  the latest garbage being spewed by the newest Chief Disinformation Goebbelian Maestro on the scene,  *”Mohtarma  Can’t-Say-it-fast-enough Maryam Aurangzeb* Nawaz Sharif’s latest mouthpiece!