A Pakistani General Resigning?

The Pakistani generals are not famous for resigning, not even when they lose half a country (Yahya Khan) or start a disastrous war without the knowledge of their government (Pervez Musharraf). In fact, when they make huge blunders, they usually tend to sack the elected governments and declare themselves the rulers of our poor nation. We are the only nation in the modern history that has been conquered by its own army four times.

So, the recent rumors that General Pasha, the erstwhile head of the ISI, is likely to resign are rather more of a wishful thinking. No sir, our generals do not go down with the sinking ship, they just leave the ship on their reserved life boats, or, in this case, golden parachutes. So, I will belive it when I see it.

The case against the ISI head is rather strong: Under his watch Osama bin Laden was discovered to have been living, for five years, right next to the very factory where officers are produced. This is not just incompetence; it is rather a deeply ironic and sadly hilarious incompetence. I mean no one would belive this if this had been written as fiction or made into a movie.

Here is an organization that eats up a large chunk of our national budget, is rarely audited, and is not directly accountable to anyone if Pakistan and now we have found it to be extremely incompetent.

If we are setting up the precedence for resignations by our generals, then let us also put the DG MI on this list as well, for it is his job to know such things about terrorists and stuff as well. And also the head of the Pakistani Air Defense–both army and airforce–should also be kind enough to tender their resignations for failing to detect American gunships flying over their territory.

It is hard to resign as a general: there is so much to lose. But I think this time there is no hiding behind the national security skirt as the national security itself has been found to be lacking a skirt.

So, let us have it from our armchair generals: a bit of courage to take responsibility. A resignation, or a few resignations, and public apologies to a poor nation that underwrites their priveleges would be a good start.

I will believe it when I see it!

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By M R

Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Masood Ashraf Raja is an Associate Professor of Postcolonial Literature and Theory and the editor of Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies.
Raja tweets @masoodraja

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