Sixty three years ago, Pakistan emerged on the world map as an ideological state. The federation of Pakistan continues to draw its strength since then from the ideological base it was founded uponits sacred name, constitution and manifestos of all key institutions being embedded in that dogma, draw their luster from it. The second great source of strength remains the countrys Armed Forces, the only institution that is still serving it as a symbol of its unity. The military institution has not only transformed this country of multi-ethnic and varied linguistic and religious groups into a homogeneous entity but has also contributed towards unification and harmonization of its diverse society. Therefore, the two factors noted above, the ideology and Armed Forces, can very rightly be termed as the centre of gravity of Pakistan. The enemies of Pakistan, having identified this centre of gravity, are in a continuous endeavour to hit at it. Accordingly, a deliberate effort is being made to tarnish the image of Armed Forces in eyes of the public through a hate campaign which is actually not a new phenomenon. The basis of this propaganda is quite broad as NGOs, human rights organizations, think-tanks, defunct political groups, sub-nationalists, political figures and some religious seminaries are all contributing in spreading this hateful propaganda to serve their objectives. No doubt the military has ventured into politics many times yet the circumstances leading to its intrusion also have to be taken into account as each time the failure of political administration had forced the Army to step in. That is the reason common masses have always welcomed military takeovers. One would accept, though, that prolonged stay of military regimes have had negative impact. Certain individuals among the higher-ups of Armed Forces may have benefited from these stints too. The ordinary officers and soldiers, nevertheless, had nothing to gain and had to, in fact, perform additional duties. It is imperative to note that Pakistan Army is not only the most organized institution of the country but also the most cohesive outfit today that is guardian of the ideological and geographical boundaries of the nation. The present desperate attempts to make a dent in this pivotal organization by enemies of Pakistan is probably the biggest argument for supporting it. For that reason, there is a need to dispel certain misconceptions that generally prevail about the Army. The Army is being wrongly depicted as a power-hungry, anti democratic and pro-US institution. It is, sometimes, also being snidely referred to as 'The establishment running the country and, sometimes, even as 'a rouge outfit. None of the above actually holds ground. History is a witness that it has never meddled unless the country was brought to a complete collapse and its sovereignty was put into jeopardy. -FAROOQ ADIL, Islamabad, September 16.