Home Lightbox A Strategy for A Legacy

A Strategy for A Legacy

by Ejaz Haider
Ishara S. Kodikara—AFP

Ishara S. Kodikara—AFP

Gen. Raheel Sharif’s three-pronged approach to overseeing operations across Pakistan is working.

A former Pakistan Air Force officer sent me a message along with the picture of a poster from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s by-election campaign in Lahore’s NA-122 constituency. The poster shows a mugshot of the Army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, firmly in the middle, surrounded by smaller mugshots of the Quaid-e-Azam, Allama Iqbal, PTI Chairman Imran Khan, and the party’s candidate Aleem Khan.

The officer’s message read: “Hope ISPR [Inter-Services Public Relations] sees how inappropriate this is.” The message reflected a soldier’s professional, apolitical approach, and this officer comes from a long and distinguished line of fighter pilots and Army officers. My response to him: “ISPR is loving every moment of it.”

Thereby hangs our latest tale.

A few weeks ago, speaking at the National Management College on civil-military relations, I made two points. One, while analyses require that we posit the two entities as binaries, in reality that is not the case. While the military, given its strict vertical hierarchy and organizational cohesiveness, acts—or should act—as a single entity, the term ‘civilian’ has multiple shades. The umbrella term ‘military’ denotes a tightly coupled system, to use Charles Perrow’s term, while ‘civilian’ denotes different, differing and often bickering entities.

In an unbalanced political system, therefore, in terms of operating, the military will always have an edge over the civilians, an edge that a military, if it’s smart, will deftly leverage.

My second point was that the Pakistani military (read: Army), like any good military, has been adept at adapting. It has realized that being in the driver’s seat doesn’t really work too well. There’s also the realization that, after the initial ‘meray humwatno’, it requires the same old system that it had uprooted for being dysfunctional.

Once in the driver’s seat, it loses the time and gets the clock. The clock begins ticking and people start itching. Since miracles don’t happen—or at least have stopped happening for some reason—restiveness sets in. Murmuring follows, questions are asked, people take to the streets, the sheen comes off and, at some point, the system has to be returned to the same jokers that had been packed off.

The frontal approach has been tried before and has been found wanting. It’s time for the indirect approach.

It has worked and it is working. The best thing about it is that it is not about an individual, the Army chief, overstaying his welcome. It is about the institution and the institution’s place within the power configuration.

There are reasons for this new thinking. The country is troubled at several levels within. It is also troubled without. Without, many think it is more troubling than troubled. That creates an image problem. That also means an international environment that’s not too conducive to direct adventurism. The military, for all these reasons, is stressed and stretched. It cannot bear the heavy cross of direct involvement. But it cannot stand aloof, either.

It has created a new playbook, therefore. And the man behind this is the current No. 1, Raheel Sharif. The strategy is his. The brilliant execution of this strategy is by the operational commander of ISPR, Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa.

Incidentally, this strategy is different from that of Gen. Sharif’s predecessor. Gen. Ashfaq Kayani’s second full tenure was about inertia at all levels. The reason? Gen. Kayani quid pro quo-ed with the PPP government: I get three more years to do nothing, you get the rest of your tenure for doing nothing.

This chief is different. I have never met him, but I have met and talked to many who know him in bits and pieces. And I know at least two of his course mates from the Pakistan Military Academy, one of whom was also his platoon mate. And I have observed him.

This is how the thinking goes: he is a doer. He is acutely conscious of his pedigree and his legacy. While his elder brother, Maj. Shabbir Sharif, sacrificed his life fighting a war and got Pakistan’s highest gallantry award, he wants to put his name alongside his brother’s by fighting another kind of war, in some ways more vital for the security and survival of this country than even the one that claimed his brother’s life.

The Army chief also believes, unlike many other officers, senior and mid-ranking, that getting rid of the system and bringing the Army in will not resolve the issues.

If direct intervention is costly and inertia is costlier, how must Raheel Sharif go about creating a niche for himself and also entrenching the military’s institutional place in the configuration?

Use a three-pronged strategy: act where others hadn’t dared go; leverage the politicians’ differences; employ a public relations campaign, to use military terminology, that has width, depth and concentration.

Not surprisingly, the projection of the first two relies heavily on the third. Actions are important but projection of those actions is even more important. The strategy of the indirect approach is grounded in perception management. Managing perceptions is crucial both in terms of making people see the difference between an Army chief constantly on the move and a bunch of politicians perceived to be sitting on their haunches doing nothing—or worse, wasting theirs and this country’s energies in fighting among themselves. This is what helps to leverage political differences.

Where previous Army chiefs, those who became coup-makers, relied on the 111 Brigade as their maneuvering force, this strategy has seen a bunch of highly efficient officers in ISPR, led by Maj. Gen. Bajwa, providing both the maneuvering force as well as supporting fire.

They use social media. They monitor and review everything, from newspapers to television programs. They reach out to those who want access and will play ball, and cut loose those who wouldn’t buy into the narrative or ask annoying questions—the list of what all they can, or do, is long. They are polite. In fact, very polite. But there’s a Pinteresque menace lurking in the shadows. If 111 Brigade was a hammer, they use the soft approach. It is an amazingly well-coordinated strategy.

But they are helped in this no less by the disarray among the civilians. Let me add that such disarray is not peculiar to Pakistan. But here, in terms of consolidating the transition, it becomes a problem. Compare, for instance, Gen. Sharif with Prime Minister Sharif, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid with Maj. Gen. Bajwa, or the Ministry of Information with ISPR.

Let me reiterate: the strategy is not necessarily about reality. It is about perceptions. And, as studies have shown, perceptions are quick to form but resistant to change.

The narrative is subtly created. It rests on the fact that the majority will not deconstruct it. And that belief is empirically tested and testable. The tragicomedy in this is the sight of the politicians fighting with each other, each saluting the Army in turn and pointing to the other as the one that needs to be purged, even as all know who is calling the shots. Stockholm Syndrome doesn’t even begin to describe it. I offer Rs. 100 for whoever can coin the best, indigenous term for this phenomenon!

Coming full circle to where we began: the PTI poster. It is in line with the party’s newfound love for the military. Just pick up Imran Khan and his acolytes’ statements from 2012-14 and juxtapose them with how the party has changed.

Leave the poster aside. Check Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc., and see real and bot accounts thanking Raheel Sharif and urging him to stay on and clean these Augean stables once and for all.

But here’s the thing. If I have understood this strategy right and, more importantly, if I have understood Gen. Sharif and his desire to go down in history right, he is very unlikely to go the Kayani route and seek an extension. The strength of this strategy and this perception management rests on the general’s leaving after scoring a ton. More Jacques Kallis, less Miandad.

Equally, however, this act of departing on a high note will not just be Gen. Sharif’s personal legacy. It will also put the Army, as an institution, atop Olympus. That too will be a feather in the general’s cap. Until then, of course, the poster, far from making ISPR queasy, will make them very happy.

That said, history is more a tale of men making irrational choices than rational ones. The Lord be praised.

Haider is editor of national-security affairs at Capital TV. He was a Ford Scholar at the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C. He tweets @ejazhaider

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Vikki September 15, 2015 - 6:05 pm

Best move ever from the Army. Why try to run a mess of a country when you can get everything you want from behind the screens. Maintain the image of messiah in public’s eyes and let the politicians tussle it out for the role of villain.

Hina September 15, 2015 - 8:11 pm

It is a mindblowing piece of writing nd exactly correlated to my own approach about army’ s lurking politico military dominated strategy …writer deserve a big round of applause

Zahid September 15, 2015 - 8:14 pm

Very well written and analysed I am.sure the writer has a complete study and understanding of what he is writing

ansari September 15, 2015 - 9:10 pm

A lot of bootpolish in one column. You make ayaz amir, moez pirzada look like democrats.

Nauman September 16, 2015 - 3:02 pm

Mr Ansari … reason being Boots are only the ones getting dirtier on ground while serving nation rather in comparison to armani shoes and sandals of so called loved politicians …. If politicians want to be recognized then they need to get up from their seats and start earning respect on ground rather making lame excuses and taunting around with hollow words of baandar tamasha! (that too with out the Dug Duggee!)

MB September 16, 2015 - 4:02 pm

and you clearly are an MQM appologist

javed@hotmail.com September 15, 2015 - 9:29 pm

The popularity of general Raheel is not just a perception, it is result based, he has managed to defeat terrorism and hence gained the popularity

Arshad Kamal September 15, 2015 - 9:36 pm

Our Democrats and Democracy according to Sheikh Rasheed ” hatched in GHQ nursery. “

romeo September 15, 2015 - 10:00 pm

shallow analysis ………….. what kiyani delivered ???? + what thee politicios + this illogical inet pak media delivered in last 8 years ….. excet making black money ……

Qasim September 15, 2015 - 10:53 pm

Excellent analysis

Realtor Bytes September 16, 2015 - 6:59 am

What a feeble attempt to understand and explain power struggle in Pakistan by a novice.
Strategy is not your forte’ nor mine.
But what we see is what we get.
We see politicians always with votes and have strong constituencies.
We see army bending over for extensions through cheap popularity gained by novice ISPR.
But the people,
If they ever matter,
Give vote where the bread comes from.

Army Generals are too busy in their lifestyle of plots, personal gains…

Raheel has used his brother’s name to the limit!
Now all he desires is an extension.
Like Mush, Kyiani…
Will do anything through ISI to get it…

Want to bet Mr Three Pronged?

Rashid. September 16, 2015 - 3:32 pm

@Realtor Bytes, I am wondering how stupid you are.

Mahmood September 16, 2015 - 4:31 pm

With due apology, but ur comments are much more shallow i believe!
Isn’t there real decrease in terrorism?
Isn’t life returning back to normal specially in Kci and Qta?
Do we listen more news of blasts or more of terrorists being apprehended and thus blasts being averted?
Isn’t eco going up again?

Whoever is sitting on whatever chair doesn’t matter much to me
But i see a good positive change in the country and like it ………

Ayesha Muzammil September 16, 2015 - 10:27 am

Interesting how everything positive in this country is looked at with a jaundiced eye by our so called intelligentsia cum conspiracy theorists. Perceptions don’t form in thin air, they need to be backed by tangible results on the ground. If it was all a game of perception, then the likes of Zardari, NS and the lot would’ve won it long before Gen Shareef came on the scene. It is a fact, not perception, that the PPP govt was the most corrupt seen in the history of Pakistan. It is a fact that the PPP govt in Sindhi continues to perpetrate unholy levels of corruption and mismanagement in the Sindhi province, now being reigned in by the Rangers. It is a fact that all the terrorists involved in the APS massacre have been finished off. It is a fact that the FATA areas are much cleaner now of terrorists and their ilk than ever before. It is a fact that people in Karachi are breathing a little free and that the city is starting to warm up to late nights etc again. It is also a fact that Pakistan Army is behind all these achievements. So please, don’t think that the people of this country don’t have enough sense to differentiate between perception and reality. They may not have gone to Urbana-Champagne ( a middling school, BTW), but they live this reality on a day to day basis that to you is a carefully crafted perception created by the Army. Maybe you, Sir, need to differentiate between the two by living the life of an ordinary Pakistani and then writing about it.

Shoaib September 16, 2015 - 2:37 pm

The keyword is “the life of an ordinary Pakistani,” I’m so fed up of these Mutmain sort of theorists who have centuries to play the games of “democracy the right way.” For ordinary people, its already too late for too many. How many lives have been ruined by this “brotherhood of the wolves?” Lives lost? The mutmain-class (those who have highly developed survival tactics in this gangrenous culture) are OK to sacrifice hundreds of Shahzebs because you know Rangers cleansing operating is, well, a dark-spot in the face of democracy because everyone knows “WHO” is pulling the strings – an unholy act.

Let this system devour as many live as it needs because at the end of it there is a Utopian heaven of angelical democracy.

Ahmed Uzair September 16, 2015 - 10:34 am

Well played Sir. Well played indeed.

ali September 16, 2015 - 11:31 am

quite informative article where the writer has very rightly identified the strategy followed by Army or Gen Raheel precisely. The last paragraph to me is quite interesting as well as confuses a lay man that whats the way forward… will this legacy be followed or personal style or priorities of successor will dominate the current workable strategy. I think he will be left with no option then to follow it as its being tested by time too. With regards to perception management its the need of the hour amid our media frenzy people and Pak Army cannot afford to be oblivious of this fact.
Wish Pak Army Godspeed !!!

bilal asif September 16, 2015 - 12:28 pm

I am speechless, Amazing article…

Waqar Ahmed September 16, 2015 - 2:12 pm

It’s very well written article with mostly agreeable parts. However the author seems delusional when he talks about bots and automated talkers haha. He simply can’t digest the fact that army can be genuinely so popular. Mister, these are ordinary people who take the war on to social media. They have no personal interests. You are living in a denial and that’s why you can’t propose the correct solution either. Rewrite this article with taking that perception off and then you will surprise even your own self!

umarch September 16, 2015 - 2:27 pm

he shouldnt go just like that..he needs to finish what he has started…i want to see him winning all the way…inshAlalh

Siddique Mirza September 16, 2015 - 2:46 pm

Well; interesting analysis but not fully knowing Pakistan Army and it’s mindset. Pakistan Army is not a one man’s show any more. Army has think tank (Corps Commanders) and works with cohesive consultations. Gen Sharif is of course is the leader of the pack and major decision maker and catalysts in the current scenario. Perception or realty this process of cleaning Pakistan has been started Army will come to its final conclusion with or without General Raheel Sharif.

Hamid Ali Muzaffar September 16, 2015 - 2:57 pm

Ejaz has done good job while analyzing the issue, Gen will be opting for his retirement in due time and also that the next few Generals in line for C O A S will be carrying the legacy with further thrust, until and unless the political actors mess up the situation to the extent of 12th. Oct 1999.

Azeem September 16, 2015 - 3:30 pm

Though I could only understand some points because writer’s good writing skills but I got your comprehensive idea .yes you are right !

Azeem Hafeez September 16, 2015 - 3:33 pm

Elder brother died for Pakistan other one is living for Pakistan.

Kamran September 16, 2015 - 3:33 pm

What a piece of writing. Applauds …

Basit September 16, 2015 - 3:42 pm

What i understood out of this article is that Gen Raheel’s popularity is bcoz of ISPR’s bots on social media. Does the writer want to prove that Gen doesnt have any signature on ground and ISPR has been very successful in creating a perception about him?? A bullshit article!! No wonder why its been shared by ET!!

Hassan Akmal September 16, 2015 - 4:51 pm

Beautiful piece of writing. Discerning, professional and erudite. More importantly, subtle maneuvering targeted at those who matter — ‘You are great, until you don’t stay’ ;).

asfaarbaig September 16, 2015 - 4:58 pm

I regret wasting my time reading this utter piece of crap, however, I would like to present this article in its true light; what it aims to serve (in his own words).

Our great journalist-cum-defense analyst/strategist/political historian/no-less-than-magician etc etc starts working HIS STRATEGY here:

> an edge that a military, if it’s smart, will deftly leverage.

> It cannot bear the heavy cross of direct involvement. But it cannot stand aloof, either.

> And the man behind this is the current No. 1, Raheel Sharif. The strategy is his. The brilliant execution of this strategy is by the operational commander of ISPR, Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa.

> This chief is different. I have never met him,………….. . And I have observed him.

> he wants to put his name alongside his brother’s by fighting another kind of war, in some ways more vital for the security and survival of this country than even the one that claimed his brother’s life

> how must Raheel Sharif go about creating a niche for himself and also entrenching the military’s institutional place in the configuration?

> Use a three-pronged strategy:

> managing perceptions is crucial both in terms of making people see the difference between an Army chief constantly on the move and a bunch of politicians perceived to be sitting on their haunches

> It is an amazingly well-coordinated strategy.

> Let me reiterate: the strategy is not necessarily about reality. It is about perceptions. And, as studies have shown, perceptions are quick to form but resistant to change.

> The narrative is subtly created.

raghav2k@gmail.com September 16, 2015 - 5:55 pm

This new concept of Civil-Martial Law is indeed unique experiment

mirza Khurram September 16, 2015 - 7:06 pm

I think the writer himself is confused regarding how to say and what to prove, this time less costly indirect involvement as invasion through direct kicks the the clock towards ticking and public starts irritating. But this time last it’s different as we are getting the fruits more vividly. The strategy of legacy if stays it means forced cleansing from behind the scenes sometimes and project accordingly. However Good attempt to develop a typical mediatic perception, but before ask Krachites are the not happy, see for yourself the reduction in terrorism by 80%.

Mukhtar September 16, 2015 - 7:35 pm

Good analysis. It is true that the peace has prevailed but it is temporary solution. The way PPP is reacting is dangerous trend. Military can control situation with their presence but the moment they leave action replay shall start
For permanent solution PPP MQM support is must
ISPR by now should have sought explanation from PTI for displaying Gen Raheel pic, there is nothing to feel happy about it , it will go against army
Media should play its positive role by dispelling rumours about civil military relations
Gen Raheel shall not accept extension come what may he has seen the fate of Kayani who is still under criticism
PM should pounce on banned outfits and temporarily spend spendings on mega projects and put nation under heavy debts

Waqas Hameed September 16, 2015 - 7:46 pm

Most countries have an army. Pakistan Army is blessed that it has a country which it has repeatedly conquered with success. Of course 1971 was a diff. story, not to mention the shenanigans of Yahya & Musharraf, Baig & August 1988; Kakar & Moeen Qureshi (did he hav a Pak NIC when he became PM & where is he now); gr8 Admiral living in Seattle aftr plea bargain with NAB; glorious Mushajrraf & Shaukat Aziz. The legacy wil b defined 3 yrs post retirement. Or it cud b 1 day aftr retirement when ISPR will cease to display the pictures & for them it wud seem as if he never existed. Just like Kiyani doesnt exist anymore more for ISPR

Junaid Ahmad Khan September 16, 2015 - 8:01 pm

This article is very well written and is a good analysis..but the strategy of Gen Raheel and its components that the writer has discussed have been discussed and felt by the ordinary people for a long time.. nothing new really in the article.. except it looks like another part of the “Perception Management” .. :).. but apart from everything else.. whats important is that it feels good to be a Pakistani after a LONG LONG TIME..

Hassan September 16, 2015 - 8:05 pm

To make pakistan a place worth living is not the job only left for army and their strategies, its the role of scholars writers etc to help all efforts by any one thinking and doing for survival of pakistan. Longlive doers for Pakistan.

Ali Azhar September 16, 2015 - 8:36 pm

Mr. Nouman , your response to Mr. Ansari’s dirty comments on a scholarly article relating to the life & death of Pakistan , is excellent. Hats off to you and Ejaz Haider .

Abbas Ali September 16, 2015 - 11:06 pm

sherrif paving his way into the Premiership by bloodless coup!-he is ambitious and after his tenure he wont be playing marbles-would he?

AAMIR Syed September 17, 2015 - 12:50 am

One of the finest breed of officer, shame on democracy. Allah bless him.

zeeshsnalikhan September 17, 2015 - 4:05 am

PTI newly born politions are nothing but (Naudaultias) who got wealth but don’t have the manners to use it.our Quaid e AZAM and Gen Rail Sharif are different breed as compare to Imran khan putting him along with them is a disgrace to Qaid and general Rahil. Rgds zeeshanalikhan 58@gmail.com

Mekayel September 17, 2015 - 4:13 am

1) Atleast appreciate and see the change on the grounds. 2) It’s always a team work not an individual’s and without any doubts the current strategy used by the forces is 101% correct per current scenario. 3) If need required the COAS should be given extension specially consulting the ligid senior politicians and Army generals. Be optimistic, sarcasm in the article can be easily figured out. Appreciation should be given to the current strategy of the forces.

zeeshan September 17, 2015 - 4:17 am

After qaid e Azam Gen Raheel is our saviour with this strategy.

Zuhayer Tahir September 17, 2015 - 5:07 am

The positive perception of Pak Fauj or Gen Raheel is not being “Generated or Manufactured”, it is a result of the blood and sweat sacrificed by Pak Army and the hard work done by General Raheel.

The respect General Raheel and Pak Army is receiving is also the result of direct comparison between their work on ground compared to the political parties work (i.e. lack of work). Where political people waste billions of PKR to buy popularity by giving away laptops, and erecting mammoth business empires, PakArmy is doing their own work as well as others work.

So why would they not be loved and the perception about them be positive?

Riaz Toor September 17, 2015 - 7:20 am

An intelligently carved piece of narrative creating doubts in the minds of civilian intellectuals and providing fuel to raise questions. While high lighting the devious intention of the Army leadership it maligns the character of PTI Leadership . A Haider with Ejaz has to choose this course to win credibility and recognition for their intellect rather than performance . Hidden hate and contempt in an apprantly brave description is hall mark of such time in our national media if we have one . He is trying to sell that Raheel Sharaf has a personal fame agenda and it has nothing to national security ,survival and system reformation . Let me appreciate the cleverness of Fox of the writer

Tufail Cheema September 17, 2015 - 10:50 am

Why do not we confess that politicians sacrifice even their lives not for democracy but for their hot and burning desire to loot and plunderr the wealth of the country ? We call them martyrs. Accually this is a power game of politicians and fulfil this desire of lust for money they are ready to sacrifice their lives. All the politicians and their parties are operating terrorist wingsin one shape or an oother. Raheel Sharifis the only hope for my bbeloved pakistan. He should evolve some system . Almost every body is with him except political dacoits. God bless him courage to bring the looted money back in pakistan. This should become a lesson for politicians by awarding them with highest punishments .

Umer Bhatti September 17, 2015 - 11:27 am

Good analysis but at some instances it seems that writer has misinterpreted his own analysis due to which the column is misleading a reader to a place where writer doesn’t want a reader to go. I appreciate writer’s observation towards GEN. RAHEEL SHARIF’S THREE-PRONGED APPROACH but still he doesn’t know the complete plan that is being executed only in favor of Pakistan.

Long Live Pakistan!

mudassir September 17, 2015 - 11:28 am

You have put up a good and long English show , just to tell one liner that while managing perception , gen rs is doing things with indirect involvement and later you came with venom that rascal politicians should get rid of him with an impotent successor. Army has earned this perception with blood and sweat. As contrary reflected in your article , People of Pakistan have matured in judgement as to who is there real well wisher. Having said that , for more than a decade since media revolution in early 2000s , an anti military perception building campaign was run. First strike of an enemy in modernttimes is tomake people hate Iit’sown army. Army must ccounter this negative perception buildings. Gen must either continue or select successor himself . We must not defend Pakistan with access political baggage

kashif September 17, 2015 - 11:47 am

to win any kind of war is not possible till the time military and political govt/ leaders are not on one page. in present scenario, media should not create any hype that miltary civil relations are not enjoyed by both instead of supporting them. Army works for pakistan and politicians are worried about how to fill their pokets.To all this and analysing others we should see 1st in our own collars.

umer September 17, 2015 - 1:25 pm

you either die a hero or you live long enough to be a villain.

Idrees hanif September 17, 2015 - 2:50 pm

Writer has works of these artist in his collection which he has mentioned and infact rr is not a writer but a good theif of words is not always a good writter, all artists he mentioned were very close to him and always considered him a boss and daddy of art may be king of art. So please no,need to take anything serious in this region its all about licking policy u do it u r successfully everywhere.

Mansoor September 17, 2015 - 3:55 pm

A dumb and a very unintelligent article.

instead of focusing on the army, the writer needs to focus on the politicians. Politicians make the claims to to deliver. and then they fail and start blaming their failures on everything else. for the politicians, its always a ‘conspiracy” against them. they do not know that the ‘conspiracy’ lies in their own ignorance, ineptitude, laziness and lack of professionalism

the writer needs to focus on the fact that politicians must change and start delivering. if the writer is a believer in democracy, his worry should be the attitude of politicians and he must go on the offensive to drill home the point that without delivery, they are nowhere.

As for the General, he has taken the hard decisions and has done the country a great service. Does the writer expect the people to ignore this service?

Sajid Saeed September 17, 2015 - 11:51 pm

To say the least,it looks like a very shallow analysis by somebody who surely is not a novice.I am sure he can make a successful attempt on a deeper and more meaningful script,if he fully diversifies the contributory factors and all aspects.

Asghar khan September 18, 2015 - 3:45 am

I tend to disagree with the writer on some of the points he came up with.I don’t think its just a mere perception issue,Gen raheel has delivered,and the nation is seeing it,that why they are behind him.The writer also contradict himself when he does realize that Gen kiyani wasnt a doer while R.Shareef is.But fair play to the writer,good effort.

Umar Bin Riaz September 18, 2015 - 7:23 am

There is no doubt that Gen Raheel has gone an extra mile and did the right things at the right time. Infact this is the real drawback of democracy (others may disagree) that it takes so much time to reach a final decision (things that needs to be done on priority basis, are debated in parliament to bring about a consensus, which in Pakistan is even more slow process as every party try to score points at the cost of national interests). Taliban are our enemies. They needed to be apprehended. So while the politicians were still dubious either to negotiate with terrosits or clamp them down, the formation of military courts came (with persuasion of Gen Raheel Sharif) as a welcome step, when 95% populace agreed that negotiations with anti state elements is a flawed idea. Long story short. Gen Raheel is a doer. 100% agreed. There are many examples of how he actually means business. I storngly favour extension of his service. If Kayani, for no good reason can be given extension, why cant Raheel be given for all the good reasons..?? When any of our politicians will start delievering practically, the nation will give their support to them. For the moment it is Gen Raheel Sharif.. so he deserves all the accolodes.

Name September 18, 2015 - 9:37 am

Sure the army is atop Olympus now. But what prevents the next army chief to topple the govt. In fact I would argue the better the army’s image, the more likely a coup.

Someone needs to strengthen other institutions. That in my mind will be a lasting legacy

Naeem September 18, 2015 - 11:05 pm

Unfortunately we as a nation have tendency to make people controversial by comparing them with others and in the process the feel threatened from each other and the nation suffers, Sad But True.

ali September 28, 2015 - 10:50 pm

A well written article well done sir. For those who think that all this is for extension, please be mindful that the general has brought a change. he will leave a legacy a trend that has to be followed by those appointed after him. He will inshallah leave his chair on time, with dignity and pride and will ensure that the next No 1 of Pak Army is the person who leads the country out of uncharted waters. he is a poised man with strategic vision not some power hungry hound like others. The actions and decisions he took and we all saw needs guts courage and character and a man with such qualities are a rear find. the trend which he brought about, is now a compulsion to be followed because any thing less than that will not be accepted. we will rise Inshallah

Zarmeena Hassan November 2, 2015 - 3:52 am

Only Two Words. Pathetic Article!!


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