Those heavy moustaches, naughty eyes and an I-mean-it-dude smile are just everywhere. Even the BBC could not miss it. The civvies experienced the rather hard side of it after last week’s CCC issued a public rebuke of not doing enough of the needful. That was hardly news. That’s because this is how General B’s ISPR does it. In full public view. The real news was, the civvies actually got hold of a fragile spine of theirs and responded.

Much has been said and written about whether both sides should have done it. The media verdict – as was expected – was in favour of boys. The governance obviously is very poor. It is not even half as good as it used to be when the boys were ruling. Oh wait!

But then, it makes one appear ‘expertish’ to talk about governance issues under a civilian dispensation and rightly so. Civvies are after all accountable to the people who elect them. The luxury, not really available to khakis.

In its usual eureka moment, the CCC suddenly realized it was the ‘incompetent’ civvies who were responsible for all that could not happen under National Action Plan to counter terrorism. Something that did not occur a day earlier in a ‘high level meeting’. Or may be it occurred and was discussed too. But then, that was not enough you know. The B factor!

What the ISPR press release happened to highlight were these main points. One: the commanders did ‘exhaustive review’ of internal security situation (in the absence of Interior Ministry that is). Two: They were impressed with their own performance and achievements in the ‘ongoing operation’ (Zarb-e-Azb that is) and Intelligence Based Operations (carried out by the ISI that is). Three: The Chief gave a pat on the back of the #ThankYouRaheelSharif community – all of us that is – by acknowledging ‘nation’s support’ for the ongoing operations.

Oh wait, isn’t this the same nation, which was raising hue and cry over the US demand to hold military Op in North Waziristan just a couple of years ago? Isn’t it the same nation that was going gaga on the suggestion of talks with ‘our own brothers’ who, some of us thought, should have been given an office in Peshawar? Pardon me for going in minor and unnecessary details.

Anyway, continuing with the Press Release of the Month- the fourth thing that came out from it was, although the operations conducted by the mighty, were effective but would not be able to sustain long term effects and ‘enduring peace’ if the incompetent civvies are not able to offer ‘matching / complimentary governance initiatives’.

If deciphered for the benefit of all of us – and the CCC too – that would mean someone is seeing a strong possibility of the recurrence of all the mayhem in not-so-distant future. The press release comfortably predetermines the responsibility of that recurrence in public imagination. The Press Release pointed out three major factors that could result in the re-emergence of the possible bedlam: non-implementation of NAP, non-conclusion of JITs and lack of FTA reforms. All of which fall in the civilian domain in theory.

The theory and some portion of the practice too go against the civvies. Just when FATA reforms bill was on the floor of the House, political government found it convenient to form yet another committee to discuss the reforms further, that too without a single member from FATA.

Naked eye could see involvement of purse too. The moment FATA funds would be released, the equation would start getting better.

On NAP implementation too, the slackness of the civilian government might be understandable. They are being asked to use some magic wand and clear the mess, which was created in decades using full muscle of the state. One wonders who would have the heart to become Shuja Khanzada in the process.

On account of the ‘politics of reconciliation’ and of dharna agitation, even the parliament has not been able to question the NAP progress. Civil society of the ‘liberal’ kind has been reduced to defending itself against the attacks on their integrity in part by the civilian government (by calling them foreign agents and against the state) and in part by the establishment’s proxies in media.

The civil society of the kind the establishment supports and patronizes (the social welfare organisations run by the leaders of proscribed organizations) would be quite content if NAP is not imp0lemented at all. They thrive on radicalization and hate speech. Why would they want any action against that?

The JITs, which we are told are not being conclusive, work under full glare of Provincial Apex Committees, which are in turn dominated by not-so-civil(ian) faces. But again, in theory, they have to be under the civilian Chief Ministers. So there you go. But JITs are important for concrete action against the PPP and the MQM – the cases bothering the good generals are the ones against the corruption etc. of these two parties in Sindh – and the federal government is not seen doing enough to isolate these parties.

It so happens that more the boys are pouncing on the government, the more these parties are gelling together to ‘save the system’. This sort of public ‘treatment’ of the government, the boys think, is exactly the kind of pressure that might break the adhesive force between the firsts among the incompetents. That might actually happen. But then what?

If the issue is of shutting the tap of terror financing, then we might have to include the elephant in the room too. The so called ‘social welfare organizations’ run by Schedule Four material, which are still being propped and patronized by the state under the guise of ‘relief and rehabilitation’ of what the security establishment loves to call TDPs instead of internationally recognized terminology of IDPs. These are the same IDP camps under complete control of, once again, not-so-civilian faces.

The term ‘good governance’ also reminds of a smart thing called accountability. The same that is reserved for the civvies. In case the ‘good governance’ finally prevails and the queen accountability reigns, there would be unnecessary and uncalled for voices for the accountability of those whose negligence (or may be complicity?) ended up in ten odd terrorists killing 150 children of APS Peshawar.

The reforms, similarly, remind of the faulty criminal justice system. God forbid if this system is reformed finally, where would the justification of special courts (with all the powers gotten by the 21st Constitutional Amendment, Protection of Pakistan Act and Pakistan Army Act) fall? Oh and, there won’t be any privileged inmates in jails who are necessary for us to keep the balance with vicious neighbors.

If all of this happens, there won’t be any guarantee that any civilian government could survive another Memogate kind of a scandal. Quite a bumpy ride this NAP business is!