Lt Gen (R) Naeem Khalid Lodhi - Whatever happened in the Parliament was just in line with the modern democratic practices. Parliament that reflects the thinking of the majority of the people had to do that it did. Those of us who think that the parliamentary resolution on Yemen situation does not aptly cater to national interests should review their concept about collective wisdom. The only objection could be that the debate and the resultant decision took place not under very well informed environment. This thinking suspects the capacity of our representatives and the procedures of conducting such debates, where a thorough briefing by foreign affairs, defence and finance ministries was necessary before initiating discussion on such a sensitive subject with far-reaching implications. But then you have what you have, and this was the best that we could do. In my humble opinion we should feel proud that Pakistan as a country has made a decision, even if flawed, in a legitimate manner. And now let us stick to it. We should now look at its future implications and brace ourselves for all the good and bad consequences.

We tried to assert our neutrality that is being misconstrued, quite irresponsibly, by certain quarters from within and outside as siding with one of the parties. Many of us are clamouring to make us believe that we have been ungrateful towards those who have been very kind to us in the past. Let me say with full responsibility, whatever the worth, that we paid back much more with our sweat and blood to build those empires that are sneering at us today. Let us not be intimidated by the prospective consequences and get ready to brave through all the likely ups and downs appended with this decision. Appeal to the people of Pakistan and they will empty their pockets to support our friends with the like of support that they have been providing us all along. But the sons of this soil are not for sale. Are we not fending for ourselves against all the odds, many of which were created by some of our so-called friends? I can see times when these arrogant statements will convert into requests to save their souls and then we may review our stance. But if we budge now, it will plunge us into a perpetual diplomatic, political and military weakness. Let us now wait for the right times, that will definitely arrive, when these arrogant rich dynasties will correct their language and ask for help.

By that time all ambiguities will be clear and decision-making shall be comparatively easier.  Let the impatience of monarchs run for some time before they realise the stark reality. And for those who only gauge national interest in terms of hard cash (sane minds oppose that), let the stakes climb higher.             –The writer is a former corps

commander and former

defence secretary.