Too much of it can go to your head and I am not talking about that amber liquid either. Acquiring or living up to a reputation, which isn’t real you, can also be quite challenging. The effort is known to have destabilized many. There has to be a term describing this affliction which relates to masquerading as a saint, don or a rebel, whereas actually, one is nothing more than an ordinary person.
Negative characters in movies were the rage in the sixties and seventies. We would resort to all sorts of antics to be recognized as rebels or those defying authority. Calling ourselves rebels was the easier part. Living up to it was totally a different ball game. Wouldn’t like to go into any more details because as grandfathers, we are now trying to be seen as the good guys. This role is equally difficult. I can sympathize with Javed Hashmi, I really can. I know first hand that playing at “Baghee – Baghee” is a pretty tough. You are expected to show it every once in a while to stoke up your reputation. And it isn’t easy. One has to pick the right authorities to defy, attack or slander and, say all the right things to show your defiance. Thereafter one has to wait and hope that the concerned authorities take you seriously. It is pretty risky. For example, the target authorities could totally ignore you. Worse still, your real self could get exposed leaving you without the fig leaf which was your entire strength. There’s more to come. People could doubt your motives and consider you some master’s voice.
Now coming to the point; Javed Hashmi claiming that one or two serving generals were conspiring with the then CJ of SC to facilitate imposition of “judicial martial law” in August 2014 at a time when PTI and PAT had combined to stage a sit-in against alleged rigging in 2013 Elections and Model Town Massacre on 17 June 2014. This is a new one, I mean “Judicial Martial Law “. One cannot fault Javed Hashmi for lack of imagination. This fantastically absurd claim presupposes far too much.
Firstly, it would be very interesting to know Javed Hashmi’s explanation of the manner in which this martial law was to come about?
Secondly, and more specifically, how could one or two serving generals do it all by themselves?
Thirdly, how could they rope in Chief Justice of Supreme Court?
Fourthly, how one honorable judge, even if he is the Chief Justice, could compel the entire superior judiciary to go along with a decision which is solely his own?
Fifthly, was Imran Khan advised claiming planned rigging in Elections 2013 even before they were over to set the stage for things to come 17 months down the road? By whom? By the way, General (R) Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiyani was COAS at that time.
Sixthly, was Model Town Massacre an orchestrated event? So that PAT could join sit-in which would then serve as a jump off point for the judicial martial law?
It gets more interesting from here on. What’s the motive behind this claim by such a senior and supposedly upright politician? Why now; after more than two years?
Is he just trying to live up to a perceived image? One could buy grudge element against army and judiciary which had combined to put Hashmi behind bars for over five years. Or against Imran Khan and PTI for obvious reasons. And, though reluctantly, one could also buy the idea of Hashmi trying to put things right in the land of pure. Unfortunately, there are very few takers for these explanations; it is all in the timings, they say. Some have more serious reservations of personal nature but I don’t buy them for obvious reasons. He hasn’t lost it and it is part of the overall plot.
It is a political move, timed to suit Nawaz Sharif in with a view to getting a respectable entry back into PMLN for Elections 2018. As of now, Hashmi is nowhere on the scene. It has maligned the then Chief Justice and Supreme Court of Pakistan at a time when it is about to hear Panama Leaks case against Nawaz Sharif and his family under a new Chief Justice. Mind you, new Chief Justice took oath at about the same time when Javed Hashmi was breaking this news afresh after a gap of more than two years. Roping in army helps to expand the scope of this so-called conspiracy in the hope of bringing it at par with Panama Leaks. It helps to keep Hashmi in sharp focus and is win-win either way.
Do we see it spilling over to the likely outcome of an ongoing inquiry into DAWN Leaks? A possible preemption to keep an army on the back foot just to be on the safe side? Apparently, it also ties in nicely with the DAWN leaks and somewhat forgotten Rouge Army Advertisement in 1999? Indians and their backers would be doubling over with glee. The Recent American decision to sanction seven Pakistani entities allegedly involved in our missile development program may or may not be linked to it but Hashmi is doing his very best to support the idea. He appears to be getting quite a bit of support from usual suspects; selective linkages in the print and electronic media are on display to support his theory in Goebbels’ style.
There’s is a bit of issue here. Our great army doesn’t allow for individual or even a group adventurism of this kind. All such attempts in the past were caught at a very early stage and the aspirants to fame punished swiftly. We are specially blessed because our organizational structure and leadership keep the Army focused on the job at hand. All attempts to politicize it or create clusters to suit various political preferences have failed so far, Alhamdulillah. Unscrupulous elements have not given up and continue to make efforts in this direction all the time.
Conspiracy galore; never a dull moment in Pakistan. John Le Carre could learn a thing or two from us in putting together classic spy thrillers in the Cold War mold. It would be quite amusing were it not hurting all that should be sacred. Even this move would be welcome were it true and meant to put things right. Unfortunately, it is not so. Politically motivated or purely selfish, it serves only one purpose. It is not helping Pakistan or its institutions but playing right into the hands of our enemies. Who could stop them from calling us an irresponsible banana republic? Non- Rebel with a very narrow personal interest, has exposed himself badly at a time when he could enjoy a lot of respect as an elderly statesman.
The writer is a Retired General of Pakistan Army, prominent TV personality. He does Defense and Political Analysis on TV/Newspaper and tweets at @_GhulamMustafa_