INSIGHT AND FORESIGHT

May 26, 2014

The Corporate War: Escalations Within

Filed under: Uncategorized — sharafs @ 6:01 am
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As a security analyst I felt that not only Jang Group but certain anchors from other channels were also crossing an unwritten Red Line in propaganda against the security establishment. Take for example the unrest in Balochistan and its effect on the Economic Corridor. It was high time that Pakistan’s Civil Society and Political parties stepped in to arrest the Invisible Invasion. This script was made in London in 2012-13.

Yesterday’s disclosures by Ex Additional Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Mr. Afzal Khan are disturbing. He said that ECP had made fool proof arrangements to ensure fair and transparent elections. He disclosed that the ECP at the implementation tier was helpless especially when the hare had joined the hounds, a very strong and pungent example (kutti choron se mil gai). During an interview on a TV Channel, he disclosed that the central secretariat of ECP watched helplessly when the mandate of the people was subverted through compliant lower judiciary in Elections 2013.

Coming from a man who looked hyper active at ECP during many briefings and  ably backed the aging Fakhru Bhai was startling. His interview reflected that at some stage the entire electoral exercise passed into the hands of men in league with forces that were bent on manipulating. He thenjustified his ineptness that raise serious questions. A small central secretariat is ineffective and powerless before retired judges who are members of the commission. He said that ECP was toothless for pre-election transparency and post-election accountability. What a pity that central secretariat of ECP threw in the towel without a fight or whimper. To be honest in retrospect is an ethical question. 

The events leading to these controversial elections go back to days when the commission was reconstituted during the PPP regime.  Despite hue and cry from opposition parties and media, the nominations went through with mutual back scratching. A media house played a lead role in maligning many candidates. This was followed by the nomination of Fakhru Bhai and an interim government under a senile care taker Prime Minister. Name of Najam Sethi as care taker chief minister of Punjab was a give and take over nomination of Asma Jehanghir as the interim prime minister. As Shamshad Ahmad Khan the ex-foreign secretary of Pakistan commented to me in an email: – 

“It’s going to be the mother of NROs. The future of Pakistan was choreographed in London at the so-called trilateral summit. There was the fourth ‘invisible’ party at the closed doors. No ordinances, no assembly resolutions. What is happening is the fast forward movement of the unfolding Memo that has already been under implementation. 

Diplomats of this stature are well informed and cannot be ignored. This prompted me to use my own channels to confirm the events. Compelled, I wrote: – 

“Sick and tired of the moth eaten system, all Pakistanis ask a question; would Elections 2013 be a game changer or will they sink Pakistan yet again into the proverbial black hole of Pakistan’s politics? The answer is, come out and vote”.

‘Que Sera Sera’ Nation on 30th March 2013 (http://www.nation.com.pk/columns/30-Mar-2013/que-sera-sera) 

Unfortunately, the people turned up in large numbers but the turnout and choices were subverted beyond doubt. Fakhru Bhai resigned and now his secretary is spilling the beans. All political parties are complaining of rigging. Asif Ali Zardari must be realising that he was never as street smart a politician he thought. 

So what is an ex diplomat implying by referring to ‘mother of NRO’ and ‘fast forward movement of the unfolding Memo’? No rocket science; civilian supremacy over military. Cognisant of the crises that were likely to erupt due to crude handling of Civil-Military relations, I made a comment in this newspaper: 

“For far too long, the ineffectiveness of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) and inability of politicians to enunciate a National Security Policy left a wide vacant space that the military occupied under exigency. In any case, the committee of national defence and security (CDNS), National Security Council or DCC cannot function effectively without an enabling and productive mechanism. Conversely, the civilians and politicians cannot fill this void till such time they build their capacities through education, inputs from research and academic institutions, study of military sociology and evolution of a common strategic language…Till such time civilians do not assume effective control of institutions related to the highest level of national security, a proper transition and balance in civil-military relations and political-military control will never be possible.”

‘Political-Military Context’ Nation 24 August 2013 (http://www.nation.com.pk/columns/24-Aug-2013/the-political-military-context) 

But rather than follow a sure determined route to balance the context, the government eager to enforce an agenda under which it was brought to power, decided to address the balance through a bulwark, confrontational approach. Like 1999, this government once again denies space to other political parties and national institutions. There are allegations of widespread allegations of connivance with the biggest media house of Pakistan. These machinations have been mentioned in, Corruption: The Sink Hole Nation 1 February 2013. (http://www.nation.com.pk/columns/01-Feb-2014/corruption-the-sinkhole

This brings to question the emergence of a corporate media that should never be mixed up with an independent media in Pakistan’s politics. This mega media house (by Pakistani standards) headquartered in Middle East with its group editor based in USA is endeavouring to reset Pakistan’s narrative. Imran Khan of PTI and many competitive news channels allege that this cross media powerhouse is subverting the interests of the state and people of Pakistan through a well thought plan in cooperation with the government in Islamabad and Punjab. The recent unsubstantiated allegations against ISI and Pakistan Army, playing cat and mouse with militant organisations, maligning of top bureaucrats and leaders through media followed up by relentless pressures for their removal through resignations and courts are some of the instances regularly discussed in the media. It is no coincidence that at least seven powerful members of this group now enjoy government jobs. The media house has enjoyed two successes against General (R) Pervez Musharraf and Ex President Asif Ali Zardari. They are now poised to discredit Imran Khan and take on Pakistan’s security establishment head on. ‘Dogs of War’ corporates named as such by Frederick Forsyth consider themselves strong enough to take on Pakistan’s might. This aggregation and accumulation of a media corporate cannot be generated without strong internal and external support. NRO2 starts making sense. 

If there still remain any lingering doubts, ‘The War Indoors’, Nation: 26 April 2014(http://www.nation.com.pk/columns/26-Apr-2014/the-war-indoors) should fill many blanks and make a dangerous real time sequence. Also remember that the first memogate leak came through this media house. This leak effectively pre-empted ISI investigations. 

Pakistan’s self-created crisis is running head on into a very dangerous direction. As a democrat I pray and hope it does not become a Thai Soup. 

Brigadier (Retired) Samson Simon Sharaf is a political economist and a television anchorperson. Email and twitter: samson.sharaf@gmail.com 

http://www.nation.com.pk/columns/24-May-2014/an-escalation-within

 

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