Sacred Duty of Pakistan Army. By Bishop T. Nasir

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As an old soldier of Pakistan Army, this is my duty to defend and deny any or all criticism on Pakistan Army from any or all quarters. In recent times there are a number of people questioning the role of Army in national affairs of Pakistan. Most recently the maintenance of law and order and to strengthen the writ of government and State in Tribal areas of Pakistan is under fire from politicians, writers, journalists columnists, intellectuals, religious leaders and to my surprise some generals and senior retired officers of Pakistan armed forces who are against present government.

Army is the backbone of any country. It has a “Sacred Task” to defend the national and international interests of the nation. It is also the duty of army to defend the country from external and internal threats. It is also the Sacred Duty of army to ensure internal security and safety of its citizens, when Civil Administration fails to ensure internal peace and security. Army is the only pillar that can sustain the entire infrastructure of a country.

Unfortunately the Pakistan Army is being targeted by every one while it is trying to rid the country from “Private Armies” of ruthless feudal lords in Baluchistan and foreign and local miscreants who are trying to disrupt the peace of Pakistan. I am sure that lot of people do not even know what is going on in Baluchistan and South and North Wazirastan and the tribal belt along the Western Borders of Pakistan. After 11th September 2001, lot of foreign terrorists crossed over through the rugged mountains into to Pakistan to find save haven in Tribal Belt. These people are illegal armed aliens who escaped the American bombardment and military action in Afghanistan and the Tribal Lords not only gave them protection but they were free to carry out their armed struggle against Allied Forces in Afghanistan. They violated all laws of State and created a kind of “State within a State” with the backing of Islamic fundamentalists. One the other hand the “Sardars and Nawabs” of Baluchistan became local sovereign heads of their tribes and ruled the common Baluchi people with iron hands. They have their private armies who attacked Installation of vital national interests. The government of Pakistan had to take appropriate action against the foreign miscreants and “Rebellious” Feudal Lords who are involved in all conspiracies against the State. Under such situation no government can tolerate the mischievous people who had ruined the peace in geographical boundaries of Pakistan. No one can tame a pack of voles with feathers. Where self propelled rockets and fairly heavy weapons are used against any government force, how can the actions of military be adjudged illegal by any standard? No army personal has personal enmity with the people South and North Waziristan or the people living in tribal belt or the people of Baluchistan. Army did not go to these areas for personal gains or for any kind of its own interest but to “clean” these areas from illegal foreigners who were causing all kind and types of unrest, bloodshed and were and are still promoting terrorism. Pakistan army did not roll into a foreign land, it went to protect the common interests of every Pakistani. It did not go there to conquer land but to ensure peace and stability in that region. It did not go there to kill but to save local population. Yet it was not Pakistan Army which opened the fire first, almost every where they were fired upon. Was it a sin to fire back or return the fire? Shooting a single bullet at national army is an offence according to the law. It is a rebellious act to wage war against the armed forces, lawfully deployed in any part of the country and rebellion must be crushed. The type of rebellion that exists in Tribal Areas of Pakistan, duly backed by selfish local War Lords with full support of extremist Islamic theocracy is not tolerated any where in the world. Pakistan Army was fired upon, it suffered causalities both dead and wounded, yet no one denounced the rebels. It is sadly surprising that our intellect did not show any sympathy with those officers and men in uniform who lost their life while performing their Sacred Duty, no tear was shed or is being shed for the widows, orphans old parents of unfortunate soldiers. Their sympathy was and still is with mischievous miscreants, terrorists, the people who give these terrorists protection and hiding place and who kill innocent men women and children without any mercy through their terrorist activities.

In Baluchistan, people like Akbar Bugti, Mengal and Murre, treat their own Baluchi people like slaves have become “Heroes” while Pakistan Armed Forces are being depicted as “Villains”. The Baluch Feudal Lords have always opposed all planes to bring prosperity of Baluchi people. They deny all human rights to their “subjects” and yet when checked by the government start talking of their own inhuman rights. Baluchistan does not belong to half a dozen selfish and cruel Feudal Lords, it is very much part of Pakistan. Thus the government of Pakistan has every authority to check the anti state activities of these ruthless self proclaimed “Tribal Leaders” of Baluchistan. The strangest thing that I have noticed that Christians protesting against Army Action in tribal areas and Baluchistan where Christianity is “banned”.

I as an old soldier protest against such protests against Pakistan Army in strongest words that any one can think of. I myself have been taking action against “Bandits” in the Province of Sindh. Our formation lost many men including officers. Yet their was no appreciation expected or demanded by us or our dead colleagues. It was our duty under oath, that ends with these words, “I will go any where by land, air or sea even at the peril of my life”. Strangely enough such voices are heard only when there is military rule yet no body has ever spoken when we are ordered to shoot our own people by the civilian rulers. I still remember my days and nights spent to protect and preserve the rule of Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto from March through June 1977, we had orders from a civilian government to “shoot at sight”. At that time no body protested against the civilian government of Mr. Bhutto, why? Was it legal to be forced to shoot unarmed civilians then and illegal now to fight back those who wage war on Pakistan? It must be remembered that “Waging or attempting to wage war against Pakistan is a Criminal Offence according to Pakistan Penal Code Chapter VI, Section 121, 121-A, 122, 123, 123-A, and 126. Creating so-called “Liberation Armies” is waging war against Pakistan. Then why the “creators” of BLA or Baluchistan Liberation Army should go un-noticed and unpunished? Almost every day all sorts of arms and ammunition are recovered from these miscreants that is collected to wage war against Pakistan. Why the source and funding of this preparation should not be interrogated by Army and why these so-called “Liberators” should not be taken to task under Section 121 that says, “Whoever wages war against Pakistan or attempts to wage such war, or abets the waging of such war, shall be punished with death or [imprisonment for life], and shall also be liable to fine”, and Section 122 reads, “Whoever collects men, arms or ammunition or otherwise prepares to wage war with the intention of either waging or being prepared to wage war against Pakistan, shall be punished with [imprisonment for life] or imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding ten years and shall also be liable to fine”. In the light of the “Law of the Land” which Army did not make or promulgate, is Pakistan Army committing any offence? Can any one claim that finding and destroying “Terrorist Dens” is a crime that Pakistan Army is committing? It is also being demanded that Army should go back to “Baraks”. That means that Army should only come out of “Baraks” only in case of a war, then why we are called by every civil or military government during floods, earthquakes and natural disasters and even collecting Utility Bills”? This was done by Mr. Nawaz Sharif in year 1998.

Fortunately or unfortunately, Army is a the most disciplined force in any country and I am proud to be identified with Army. Therefore we are taken for granted to do every thing that we should not do. Army had to fight terrorists in our “Tribal Areas” and take action against those who are ever ready to wage war against Pakistan. The Tribal War Lord and Feudal Lords always hide behind the human shield. In case of any military retaliation, no body has yet been able to tell or teach the “bullet” or “bomb” to differentiate between men, women or children. In war or war like situation, innocent men, women and children are certainly killed. Yet there is ammunition is yet invented to spare innocent people. If there was, the term “friendly fire” would have deleted from military terminology.

I wish to request all opponents of Pakistan Army, to come and stay with the Army during such “objectionable” military actions, you yourself will beg for a gun when bullets are raining at you and rockets are fired all over by the miscreants. Please give up this useless habit of criticizing Army Actions especially, Pakistan Army. We are as good human being as you are, yet our nature of duty demands what we are doing in tribal Areas and Baluchistan and Pakistan Army is doing its Sacred Duty for peace, prosperity, stability and for the very best interest of common Pakistani.

Major Timotheus Nasir (Retired)

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