Mohammad Jamil

Col (r) Inam-ur-Rahim, petitioner against three-year extension to COAS Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Islamabad High Court and counsel for Brigadier Ali Khan who is facing court martial, was allegedly beaten up in Rawalpindi the other day. He has submitted an application in RA Bazaar police station, Rawalpindi, for registration of an FIR against COAS Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Military Intelligence DG Maj-Gen Naushad Kayani.

Col (retd) Inam claims to be the convener of Ex-Servicemen Society. The secretary of the society, has, however, taken exception to the news in the media indicating that he was convener of the society. In a press release, the society has disowned him, adding that there is no slot of a convener in the organisation.

It is unlikely that an FIR would be registered as desired by him, because first of all the matter has to be investigated whether he has been beaten up due to some personal enmity or some family feud. There is a perception that he is playing into the hands of vested interests, and palmed off media men are also using his name to defame the armed forces and intelligence agencies. On 24th September, 2012, Islamabad High had rejected his petition against the extension of service to COAS Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, declaring it non-maintainable. On 12th November, he filed a miscellaneous petition in Islamabad High Court against the recent statement of the COAS, arguing that General Kayani could not remain in the office after making a political statement.

Given the fact that some anchorpersons, analysts and panelists have started propaganda to denigrate the armed forces, there is something sinister being played to create a wedge between the military and the judiciary. The Supreme Court’s verdict in Asghar Khan case is also being used by a section of media men and anchorpersons. In the name of freedom of speech, they comment on the role of some retired generals in politics, and in the process they target the army as an institution. Their aim is to tarnish the image of the armed forces/ISI arguably at the behest of enemies of Pakistan, as tarnishing the image of the military is the first phase to weaken Pakistan. And in case they succeed, the nation stands to suffer.

One anchorperson of a renowned private TV channel who is also columnist spewed venom against Pakistan military in his column in an Urdu daily on 12th November, drawing parallelism of our generals with recent ouster of CIA Chief David Patreaus. He stooped so low as to cast aspersions on the defenders of the frontiers. Of course, one should not support a military dictator, but keeping in view the conduct of the present military leadership, the scathing criticism is unwarranted. Perhaps there is some link between Col (r) Inam’s petition and the column published on 12th November 2012.

The question also arises why Inam filed the petition in 2012 when the extension was given in 2010 and why he chose to pursue the case at this point in time when the media is highlighting the clash among the institutions.

The question can also be asked whether the army chief does not enjoy this right as a citizen of Pakistan. When the military is being demonized every day in the columns and talk shows, was it not appropriate for him to respond. In fact, since the commencement of judicial proceedings in the Mehran Gate, a public debate was triggered off, which was fundamentally flawed. Both the commentators and media men had it that devil in the scam was the military and the ISI. However, the apex court in its verdict in Asghar Khan case categorically stated that two generals had acted as individuals and the institution of the military was not involved.