Army respects all other institutions of the state and expects them to respect it also”, was a simple and straight forward remark made by the COAS Gen. Raheel Sharif while visiting a Pak army commando unit near Tarbela. This statement has somehow created a furor totally unwarranted in certain quarters, especially the electronic media, who is blowing it out of proportion and projecting it nothing short of an ultimatum by the General to the government. All sorts of TV talk shows are being held where anchors are openly trying to create a hype. In their efforts they pose some silly questions to the panelists, such as, “Would you call it the first warning or the last warning by the general to the government?” The absurdity of the question is self evident!

Some others in their sublime (read ridiculous) wisdom attribute the remark to be a veiled threat to the government not to proceed against Musharraf, not realizing, that now that he has been indicted by a court, legal proceedings have to be resorted to till these come to a logical end.

To me the whole matter is simple and clear. Some of the politicians, for reasons best known to them, cannot hide their obvious hate and contempt for Musharraf but in doing so, they instead of condemning him as an individual, - Pervez Musharraf or ex President Pervez Musharraf or even ex General Pervez Musharraf, somehow emphasise directly or obliquely more upon his associations with the army than anything else and fling upon him vitriolic and contemptuous remarks. Hence, an honest and sincere riposte from the General, for the concerned, to refrain from! deepening the chasm between the civil and the military could be extremely harmful for the nation.

COL RIAZ JAFRI (RETD),

Rawalpindi, April 8.