The Nation has always been a bit of an oddity amongst the English language newspapers in Pakistan. A sister concern of the vehemently conservative Urdu daily Nawa-e-Waqt, The Nation has inherited the responsibility to play the custodian of the Two Nation Theory for the English paper readership in Pakistan. Apparently 1971 never happened in Nawa-e-Waqt’s version of history.
In the wake of slippery circumstances for the armed forces and the premier intelligence agency that unfolded since the May 2 raid on Abbotabad and the subsequent justifiable criticism at the Khakis has propelled their uber patriotic defenders to have their say. The critics are admonished for raising fingers at the top brass. Relying conveniently on narratives that have run past their expiry dates to the point of turning into a cringe worthy cliché’, the disapproval at the recent performance (or therefore lack of) of the armed forces is largely seen as yet another attempt by the heathen western powers that be to malign our proud and glimmering reputation.
Consider this article published in The Nation recently curiously titled Dreams of Colonels’ Coup!. The following article is dreamy in a bad way alright but not the way its writer may have intended it to be. Authored by Farooq Hameed Khan, the gentleman opines, “In the aftermath of the Abbottabad and Mehran fiascos, the American and British media spearheaded a well coordinated vilification campaign against the Pak Army and ISI. A wave of articles and reports from Washington, New York and London churn out plenty of disinformation against them almost on a daily basis.”
It is tempting to imagine that a considerable number of what constitutes the writer’s ilk is frozen in a time capsule where endless reruns of Alpha Bravo Charly (A recruitment drive by ISPR guised as a popular PTV drama serial in the mid 90s) and the macho sensational espionage fiction from Tariq Ismael Saghar informs the intellect. Pakistan is the last true bastion of Islam (no less with nuclear capabilities) and that invites the perpetual scheming and wrath of amreeka, yookay, israeel, dastardly turncoat afghans and our next door favorite neighbours with a penchant for haldeeram.
Now honestly, aren’t you fed up and don’t you get supremely riled up every time some genius starts blaming the foreign hand whenever there’s a disaster small or large, manmade or natural. Yet, all the frustration and anger amounts to little when considering a significant part of our populace, held captive by state mandated Pak Studies curriculum, does buy in to this insulting mentality.
In the same article the writer adds, “The Americans seem desperate to isolate and malign the Pak Army and ISI because these institutions stand as the biggest hurdles in the CIA’s evil designs against Pakistan’s nuclear programme; resist uncontrolled America’s penetration in the nation; fight Indo-US nexus aimed to create anarchy and lawlessness on our soil, and finally because Army Chief General Kayani and DG ISI General Pasha refused to bow to US dictates and appear determined not to compromise the country’s supreme interests. So, USA’s plan to destabilise the military and weaken Pakistan, in collusion with the international media and certain quarters of the Pakistani intelligentsia media and a few politicians, has manifested on multiple fronts.”
Had the biggest hurdles to CIA’s infernal designs been not busy with the property estate business, running housing societies and bakeries, making cereals and fertilizer, our Khakis would have had surely put up a formidable front and who knows they just might have had won us a war in our checkered past. As for the DG and the Chief not bowing down to US dictates it is clear that the writer and indeed The Nation have not heard of wikileaks and even if they have, it is most likely seen as Mussad’s public relation cell.
Saving the best for the last the article says, ” Another mischievous theme relates to the possibility of lower ranking officers, and men with pro-Islamic leanings within the army /ISI, gaining access to the nuclear arsenal. In this context, Fareed Zakaria, the sworn Pakistan hater, in his recent article, The radicalisation of Pakistan’s military, in The Washington Post on June 22, 2011 grossly lies: “But the evidence is now overwhelming that it (Pak Army) has been infiltrated at all levels by ‘violent’ Islamists, including Taliban and Al-Qaeda sympathisers.”
This piece was published on the 29th of June. Two days later all the leading papers including The Nation carried this little something about the naval authorities informing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence that the PNS Mehran attackers did indeed get help from the inside. Never mind that it took the concerned authorities more than a month to get to this obvious conclusion and that a Brigadier and other officials within the army ranks had been rounded up over the last couple of weeks, it would be interesting to hear the writer’s comments which I guess is asking for too much. In all probability this turn of event will also be seen as orchestrated by the CIA.