SO it’s happened, the dust has settled! The wait is over and all those holding their breath can exhale……..or wait! Is it that simple, given the PTI cricketer Imran Khan’s track record? Has the “has-been” prime minister relented or is this his way (as usual) of trying to wrest the prerogative of the “Chiefs choice” from the man who seemingly actually calls the shots – his nemesis Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif?
Imran Khan and his PTI seem to have an uncanny knack for labelling others with their own shortcomings and travails. For example their tirade against the military and break-neck effort to humiliate it, yet accusing the government of trying to incite martial law!
Gen. Asim Munir has been made COAS and Gen. Sahir Shamshad Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff but the haunting question is whether President Arif Alvi left his party chairman Imran Khan’s Zaman Park home in Lahore in a huff and decisively decisive mood or a subservient one, meaning did President Alvi tell it like it is to his party boss?
Imran Khan’s track record illustrates how he has a habit of stymying perfectly peaceful processes, if for nothing else but just to poke the world in the eye. My way or the highway seems to be the order of the day with him. However, this time round someone in PTI seems to have advised the cricketeer not to push his luck with the now irate Pakistan Army against the backdrop of outgoing chief Bajwa’s gleaming daggers drawn, somewhat pointed at others but directly at the balking, u-turning, egotistical, narcissistic, megalomaniacal harbinger of doom who wallows in the misery of losing his prime ministry.
How do the new top Army appointments bode for Imran Khan? General Sahir Shamshad’s becoming Chairman Joint Chiefs Of Staff (CJCS) doesn’t even give him an itch, but one can only imagine the thorn in Imran Khan’s side General Asim Muneer’s becoming Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) is. Why? Well because as IK has been doing with anything not buckling to his ego, he has expressed his displeasure with Asim Muneer when he was about to become PM.
The details of the hurried consultative meeting between President Alvi and his boss Imran Khan are yet to surface so as this is being written, we know not whether IK asked if he could scuttle the top Army appointments and if Alvi told him he’d be playing with fire, or did they agree they’d be playing with fire (pronounced ARMY) if the PTI tried to throw a spanner in the works once again.
The question here is what was all this toing and froing about? Wasn’t it a waste of time and public resources, because it was as necessary as a wind sail on a jet plane! To all intents and purposes, to those of us connected to the Army and who understand its resolve, even the PM’s “authority” is cosmetic at best. The decision the Army made was that the most senior man would be chief, and that’s that! So, if you in government don’t want to ruffle feathers (circa 1999), you’ll buckle down and say you just love the gall-bitter elixir called the Army’s “list of names” they might want as their next boss!
Coming back to the man sulking on the Banni Gala hill, the silence emanating from there is deafening, though let there be no doubt that once that man dusts himself off and has tended to his badly bruised ego, he’ll have a lot to say.
So brace yourself!