The recent sensation to hit the news channels is the one about disclosures made by an oft read Pakistani journalist about how politicians played a successful cat and mouse game with one of our few credible national institutions. I am not going to focus on the controversy itself, because the institution concerned has the genuine support of the nation and has built up a reputation of acting wisely on more than one occasion. What I will focus on is behind the scenes political power games that are even now being played ‘within and without’ Pakistan and which will directly or indirectly effect our security and those sworn to safeguard it.

Not so long ago, a controversial political figure, who has also held the highest public office in the country spoke disparagingly about top army leadership saying that while the latter’s tenure was four years, politicians were here to stay. This was no rhetoric, but a clear statement of what can personally be ‘lamented’ as reality.

There is general agreement that we in the ‘Land of the Pure’ are plagued by politicians, who believe in ‘self before country’. To them Pakistan is a gold mine of corrupt opportunities, where one can become an overnight millionaire. These individuals have no fear of the future since that future lies secured by overseas assets.

There is no accountability for these people because they consider themselves (as substantiated by many examples) above the law. The only retribution they perhaps may be concerned about is the one perpetrated by the people, but even this concern is allayed because in the worst case scenario they can always take a vacation abroad, till this gullible nation gets over whatever and whoever has generated excitement.

In their pursuit of unbridled power, they play with institutions without the slightest thought to consequences or damage this is causing to state integrity. Playing with institutions is a dangerous game, especially at a time when we are faced by a belligerent enemy that is beating a rabid tattoo on its battle drums. Most ironically, these are the very individuals who are voted into power again and again by a people, who appear to have discarded their ability to think and reason sensibly.

I am a firm believer in the laws of physics for these follow the edicts of nature and therefore govern our individual and collective lives. One such law says that everything that goes up must fall. When applied to political history of the world it is illustrated in absolute clarity by the rise and fall of empires. I sincerely recommend the study of history to relevant Pakistani political players, with the footnote that higher they rise, harder they will fall.

In an earlier piece, I had mentioned the Indian need to create space in order to successfully isolate Pakistan through a perception that it was a rogue nation incapable of maintaining a nuclear arsenal. I had also mentioned that the credit for denying this space did not go to our political government, but to the vision of the Armed Forces. Inability to achieve its timelines appear to have created an imbalance in Indian decision making, with resultant effects in international perceptions. In a spin off benefit we have discovered our true allies and friends, who have openly and clearly stated strong support for Pakistan. Two names out of this group need a mention – The Peoples Republic of China and Turkey.

Notwithstanding Chinese interest in seeing the successful completion of the CPEC Project, Bejing and Ankara have once again proved that some relationships transcend convergence of interest. We appear to have found a new friend in Russia, which overruled vehement Indian pressure to send its military contingent for joint exercises with Pakistan Army. Although the event did not generate much comment, but the timing of this event may have contributed in its own small way, for generating hurdles in the implementation of Indian designs and a paradigm shift in Russo-Pak relations.

There is nonetheless a general consensus that we are passing through one of the most vulnerable phases of our post-independence history. For Pakistanis, the last two weeks of October hold great promise or greater woe. The choice between the two will rest squarely with the political government and the wisdom of saner minds within our political leadership.

In the worst case scenario they can always take a vacation abroad, till this gullible nation gets over whatever and whoever has generated excitement.