Chief question

Premier knows what others don’t




There are many ways to look at the most significant development that has taken place in the recent weeks. Government operates as the constitution allows it. And institutions operate under certain set rules. There are fixed tenures. There are ways and means to groom second and third (and beyond) tiers of leadership and hence as the institutions grow, the individuals playing out their stated role move on.

But then there are exceptions. The top most posts in a premier institution such as army, the chief executive of the country has to consider so many things before making a decision.  The letter issued from the prime minister’s office states in a matter of fact tone that the existing army chief shall continue to serve in its role for another three years. And the decision has been taken in view of the regional security situation.

While people may have their own opinion about the decision, they cannot question the authority or prerogative of the office of prime minister to take this decision. The security situation on both the eastern and western borders is precarious to say the least. On the western front the United States is itching to start a drawdown of its 13,000 troops the soonest possible so that president Trump could tell his electorate that he has delivered on one of its major promises.  The Taliban are ever belligerent.  Pakistan has erected fence along the most part of the border, but there are cross border attacks nevertheless.

On the eastern front, Kashmir has been under curfew for over two weeks now, the basic human rights are being denied to over eight million people. The Line of Control is on fire. India continues to violate the ceasefire agreement. Just yesterday, there were three civilian deaths and Pakistan army had to retaliate out of self defence.

The prime minister thinks that the situation warrants continuity in the command of army at this critical juncture. There is no harm in letting him have his way this time around. Even if we had not played those clips of him from the past opposing such a move on the part of the then governments, he by now must have realized what it is like to be at the helm. There are many compelling realities that are only visible to those who sit atop the hill. We wish the PM and the army chief have a good three years together and make decisions that are in the best interest of the country and its people.  While there may not be a major change in the regional situation, the PM should now look to address the internal economic situation that is on a downward trajectory since he took office.