Loyalty to the country

Enemies have subjected Pakistan to Hybrid and Fifth-Generation Warfare through which they have exploited its vulnerabilities. The main strategy being utilised is political, conventional, non-conventional and propaganda related altogether, with the ultimate aim of destabilising Pakistan. In the recent past, there have been cases of espionage and inciting the public against Pakistan and its institutions. When access to information is denied, it is said that the adversary agents are partaking in counter espionage.

Those working for hostile intelligence agencies are betraying their motherland and when caught, should be tried for treason. In Pakistan, the armed forces have zero tolerance when it comes to a breach in discipline. There is a proper code of conduct—the Manual of Pakistan Military Law (MPML)—which is strictly followed for giving out punishments for the violation of the code of conduct. In the past some senior officers have been given the life imprisonment sentence, along with capital punishment.

A military court also sentenced a son of the Retired General to 5 years of imprisonment for trying to incite anarchy. A former DG ISI was found guilty of violating the military code of conduct by co-authoring a book with a former RAW chief. In my experience of serving the Pakistan Army for 30 years, the trial system is speedy and fair and is based on laws passed by the parliament. Pakistan’s army is a disciplined institution and Islam remains its strength and there is no concern of one’s ethnic, sectarian and regional background.

In the past, Pakistan’s security agencies also arrested five agents who worked for the CIA in the garb of the vaccination drive used for spying in Abbottabad. Similarly, several Indian embassy officials were arrested for their indulgence in espionage activities under fake identities. India naval officer Kulbhushan was awarded the death penalty for espionage and terrorism in 2017. Some pseudo intellectuals and journalists are trying their best to defame and damage the state of Pakistan and its institutions by inciting hate through mainstream media, vlogs and social media.

More recently, comments by an anchor on mainstream media was taken seriously by government ministers and termed it tantamount to the incitement to violence. There has been an increase in troll social media accounts which are spewing anti-Pakistan army content. There are groups of people who tweet and retweet contents against the army and ISI. Individuals like Pervez Hoodbhoy often question the existence of state of Pakistan. According to him, “Pakistan is in a state of confusion because it was born in a state of confusion”.

In the garb of freedom of expression, speaking lies and distorting the facts to carry one’s agenda is not acceptable. Some have written books against the army to tarnish its image, supporting insulting titles and cartoons. Some of the Pakistani liberals and so called champions of freedom of expression work closely with hostile agencies like the South Asians Against Terrorism and for Human Rights (SAATH) and are playing a negative role. This forum has never raised the issue of human rights violations against Muslims in India and IIOJK.

Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, a member of the forum wrote a book against the army. Hussain Haqqani, another member of the forum, frequently appears on the India media to spew venom against his motherland. He, along with other so called liberals, is propagating an anti-army narrative and carrying out a malicious campaign targeting senior officers to defame the institution. Hostile intelligence agencies are also using NGOs. 18 of them were stopped from carrying out operations as they were endangering national security. Even their staff is not aware of what is actually happening in their organisation.

The government of Pakistan has introduced a bill which proposes a two-year jail term, five lacs in fines or both to those who intentionally ridicule, or defame the armed forces of Pakistan. The National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior has approved the bill to make amendments in PPC and Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 to take action against those who intentionally ridicule armed forces. The bill is yet to be presented in the National Assembly for a vote. We as a nation have to foil nefarious designs of our enemies internally and externally by maintaining unity in our ranks.

The writer is a retired brigadier and freelance columnist.

It is the faith, discipline, esprit de corps which unities army behind one comman-der.

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