To see a dozen chaps waving green placards captioned “Pak Fauj Zindabad” saddened my heart.
Saddened me that Gen. Bajwa’s poor attempt to redeem his tattered reputation and legacy has come to this laughable spectacle.
Square placards cut in perfect “military precision” dimension.
Perfectly calligraphed slogans in white over a green background carried by burly men clad in white shalwar kameez “mufti”.
What a mockery of the great institution! What a humiliation of the Army!
Is this what Gen. Bajwa’s attempt at redemption has come down to?
Is this an example of Gen. Bajwa’s sorry and pathetic attempt to win the hearts and minds of the people of Pakistan by hiding behind the shield of the Pakistan Army?
Does anyone think that a dozen sloganeering Army jocks in civilian mufti (the military’s term for soldiers in civilian clothes) carrying these placards, likely made at 502 Workshop, will cause even a ripple?
Does anyone think that this pathetic attempt will turn the anger in the hearts and minds of the vast majority of people of Pakistan in General Bajwa’s favor?
Does Gen. Bajwa think that these ham-handed attempts on social media depicting him as a “Saviour of Democracy” will cut any ice?
Does Gen. Bajwa think that this overwhelming evidence, manifested in the unprecedented show of hatred and anger against him will die down?
Does Gen. Bajwa think that these emotions do not run in the hearts and minds of the rank and file serving and retired soldiers and officers of the Pakistan Army?
Does he not understand the consequences of this terrible emotional conflict he has unleashed in the hearts and minds of the rank and file of the Army, who universally favor Imran over this gang of looters and plunderers that he has placed in government?
Does he not understand that hiding behind the Pakistan Army to redeem his reputation is causing immense damage to the reputation of the Army?
Does he not understand the tremendous damage and havoc he has unleashed in Pakistan?
Does he not understand the horrific consequences if he continues in this vein to protect his own person?
Does he not understand the massive damage his actions in ousting the government of PM Imran, have wreaked on the Office of the Chief of Army Staff and its unity of command?
Let me be clear on one simple fact.
Today, the Pakistan Army and General Bajwa are not synonymous. They are two completely different entities.
Gen. Bajwa’s highly dangerous and inflammable attempts at associating him and his actions with that of the institution of the Pakistan Army are near existential.
No enemy of Pakistan could have conspired a better outcome than this, which is to create the perception in the body politics of pro and anti-Army polarization.
The Pakistan Army’s strength comes from its tremendous discipline, its unity of command, and its unquestioning obedience to orders from their superiors.
But to put all these under tremendous pressure, because Gen. Bajwa made a massive error in ousting PM Imran and replacing him with this bunch of vagabonds, criminals, looters, and plunderers, is most dangerous.
Gen. Bajwa, the people of Pakistan have spoken against you.
Look at the crowds.
Look at the near mad anger against those you brought in.
Look at the sad events in Saudi Arabia, where people showed their anger in a manner that cannot be condoned.
But look at why these people behaved in a manner completely contrary to what one would accept in these Holy Places.
Gen. Bajwa, if you have some sense left.
If you realize the massive near existential mistake you committed.
If you realize that if things are not controlled, we are headed towards very serious consequences.
If you realize all this, then my humble request to you is to resign and go home.
Please do not stay on and keep adding fuel to this ever-increasing anger and fire.
Please do not stay on and put the Army’s rank and file under tremendous stress and risk its greatest strength. It’s unquestioning obedience to authority and the unity of command.
I am a second-generation military man.
My father, Col. S.G. Mehdi M.C. wrote letters to the Quaid e Azam in 1944 and 1945, on the letterheads of his army unit, openly and running the risk of a court-martial in the then British Indian Army.
In his college days, he traveled hanging outside the Quaid’s compartment in his train journey to the famous 23rd March event in Lahore in 1940.
He donated his 25 acres of prime agricultural land to the All India Muslim League, which he received in lieu of his Military Cross for valor in Burma. And he came from a humble family, where this was a fortune. Such was his love for Pakistan.
I carry his blood in my veins and his love for Pakistan, much before 1947.
So please don’t question my loyalty or patriotism or love for the Army or Pakistan.
But if I’m forced to choose, Pakistan will win always and every time.
Gen. Bajwa, please resign, go home, and reflect on your errors.
Pray to Allah SWT for forgiveness for the great injustice, treachery, and betrayal you have inflicted on Pakistan and the Pakistan Army, by bringing back those who have devastated, destroyed, looted, and plundered this country.
Those who have roundly abused the Army for years.
Those who collaborated with our enemies.
Those who, with your help and the support of a foreign power, managed to install themselves in government.
Those who never mentioned Kulbashan Yadav.
Those who never raised their voice for the plight of the Kashmiris.
Resign and go home, Gen. Bajwa, before events overtake you and the country.
Let the people decide who they want to govern them. Not you.
Go home, Sir. Leave us to sort out this mess.
Let Imran fight it out in the courts and all the means he can muster to right this wrong you have inflicted on us.
Go home, Sir. Go home!
Salaams and Prayers
Haider Mehdi is a Geopolitical commentator/blogger on national and international affairs. Formerly a media anchor, corporate leader, management consultant, start-up entrepreneur, and military officer, he tweets @SHaiderRMehdi and blogs on shrmehdi.com
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent those of PakistanWeek.org