By AA Khalid
“Perverse times have come,
I know the mystery of the beloved
crows have begun to hunt hawks,
and sparrows feed on falcons
horses bear the whipping,
while donkeys graze on lush green
no love is lost between relatives,
be they younger or elder uncles
There is no accord between fathers and sons,
Nor any between mothers and daughters
The truthful ones are being pushed about,
the tricksters are seated close by
The front liners have become wretched,
the back benchers sit on carpets
Those in tatters have turned into kings,
the kings have taken to begging
O Bulleh, that which is His command
who can alter His decree.”
Dear Mr Kayani,
The great Pakistani Army, one of the largest armies in the world which consumes the wealth of this nation more than any other sector has consistently failed in its existence and history. The Pakistani Army has never won a war and has lost wars, territory and committed the most obscene of human rights violations that one can conceive of. It has dragged the name of God and His Prophet (PBUH) through mud and is now dragging this country towards the path of sheer destruction.
When half the country was lost in 1971 your beloved institution doubled military spending and ‘’capability’’. Under the rhetoric of honour and faith, by constructing such perverse falsities your beloved institution has entrenched itself into the very heart of this nation and by God it is a rotting heart. Lies and deception – that it seems is your way of communication.
This Army has spent more time embarking on audacious social engineering (for which we pay the greatest of prices today) through the so –called ‘’Islamization’’ programme or renting the country to foreign powers (for the right price of course and for that we commend your fantastic sense of economic acumen), butchering your own citizens (The Baluchis are enemies in their own homeland and have been pushed to desperation), consolidating your financial and economic power (once again I commend your entrepreneurial spirit in turning the Army into quite a profitable venture, after all war is good business) and of course making wise political decisions from behind the scenes. I trust your frequent meetings with political leaders are only in the ‘’interest of the nation’’, and that you only ‘’advise’’ rather than directly intervene, but then again you must be busy by giving the likes of Mullah Omar a sample of this Army’s fine traditions of hospitality and security. As for that terrorist Osama Bin Laden – I think the less that is said about that matter the better it is for you, wouldn’t you agree Mr Kayani?
But enough of your and this great military’s achievements Mr Kayani. Your Army is unquestionably the defining institution of this country. Mr. Kayani I commend you on your fantastic grip on power – it almost echoes the majesty and strength of Pharaohs of old. No accountability, no transparency, no questions and no scrutiny – people are wasting their time crying out for the Army to change its ways because Mr Kayani you have no incentive to do so. There is no ”civilian-military” balance, because let us be frank Mr Kayani it is you who calls the shots and which is why the children of this country remain illiterate, starve and suffer from poverty when money that should go towards education and health goes towards missles and other ingenious devices of death and destruction. You only know who to destroy but have no idea how to build. (Apologies, you know how to build for yourself and for other Generals of this fine Army – that is why this Army reserves for itself the finest hospitals, schools and institutions in this country). Pakistan is not a nation with an army, it is unfortunately an army with a nation.
But Mr Kayani please do not talk of ‘’honour before prosperity’’, because it is clear that you and your fellow Generals have pursued profit, prosperity and possessions forgetting all honour. May I ask, if it does not offend your military sensibilities (I know asking questions is taboo in this Army of yours) as to how large your assets are? May I ask how much tax you pay? May I ask where you got your assets from? May I ask how many Generals there are in your Army? May I ask why do we need so many Generals? May I ask why you believe the Army is beyond the constitution, beyond accountability and by the account of your actions beyond God? May I ask why it is that you still feel to go against the Constitution of this country and to overstep your boundaries as a mere military man? May I ask of the nature and acquisition of the wealth that the Generals of this fine Army have amassed?
I hope you will agree when I say, ”Thank God for Wikileaks!”.
How come there have been severe security lapses in this country when this nation gives most of its wealth at your service? May the citizens of this country be so bold as to ask how you spend this money? May the citizens of this country may be so bold as to ask about the total wealth of the Army and how it lives in palatial luxury while the people of this country suffer under iniquity and hardship? Why do you consistently fail – is it out incompetence or complicity?
Let us put aside talk of honour Mr Kayani. Let us speak of justice – and when we speak of justice let us be candid. Let me direct you to the pages of the Quran (I am aware that being a busy man such as yourself you do not have time to read this book even though your Army claims to be a custodian and guardian of its principles).
In the Quran we read that even God does not will injustice for his creature (3:109), so how can you be as so bold to cast aside justice? Why do you and the other esteemed Generals of this country cast aside the commandment of God in the Noble Quran:
God commands you [people] to return things entrusted to you to their rightful owners, and, if you judge between people, to do so with justice : God’s instructions to you are excellent, for He hears and sees everything. (4-58-59)
When do you plan on giving this nation back to its people? When do you plan on returning the trust and patience of the Pakistani people back to them? When do you plan to help in alleviating the oppression and hardship facing these people? You speak of not sacrificing honour before prosperity. There are millions in our country starving and struggling for dignity yet you insult their intelligence (but since when did you Generals consider us ‘’civilian’’ as your equals) by talking of honour. Millions live in the cruel hell of poverty and all you have to say about their suffering is that ”honour should come before prosperity”?
Mr Kayani, if I may be so bold as to ask you to say that to a starving man struggling to feed his family, provide for his children in the slums of Karachi or Lahore with a straight face and true heart? I understand this may be impossible for you to do so hence I advise you not to make such statements of hypocrisy. Our Quran and Prophet PBUH have warned against hypocrisy.
Consider this verse Mr Kayani:
‘’ You who believe, uphold justice and bear witness to God, even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or your close relatives. Whether the person is rich or poor, God can best take care of both. Refrain from following your own desire, so that you can act justly– if you distort or neglect justice, God is fully aware of what you do.’’ (4:135)
I leave you to mull over these words of wisdom and ask if you could be as bold to conquer your own Ego. The Prophet PBUH stressed that conquering one’s Ego was the greater jihad (it means to struggle not violence). But of course Mr Kayani if you can live with yourself on this accord then please do not pretend to adhere to Islamic teachings, or any other sort of moral code for that matter. Don’t insult our intelligence Mr Kayani – don’t pretend to be the fountainhead of reason because reason is not your forte – but then again Mr Kayani given the events of recent days it seems even military strategy is not your forte.
But let us pursue this question of justice and ask why the Army has forsaken it in pursuit of hatred and prejudice. Your beloved Army has been fed on and feeds others on a diet of perpetual hatred, conspiracy and prejudice which has clouded any hope for justice. The Quran warns us not to let prejudice get in the way of justice but it seems that your Army’s desire for propaganda against our neighbours particularly the Indians has blinded you to the course of justice.
You who believe, be steadfast in your devotion to God and bear witness impartially: do not let hatred of others lead you away from justice, but adhere to justice, for that is closer to awareness of God. Be mindful of God: God is well aware of all that you do. (5:8-9)
May I ask why you have gone against the very commandment of God:
God commands justice (16:90)
Why do you speak of honour, pride and other such frenzies of the Ego whilst forsaking justice?
Your Army’s consistent distortion of truth about this nation’s history are doomed to fail since whenever there is a free and open competition between truth and falsehood, truth prevails. Your falsehoods prevail only because you enforce them at a point of a gun– because coercion and truth are as far apart as the Quran is from the Devil. But even then you do not confront those brave enough to speak out – rather they seem to disappear mysteriously. This form of cowardice is low even for fine Generals such as yourself – unable to reason with the truth you resort to tools of fear, torture and murder. To this day our ”free” media hesitates in questioning your authority – once again congratulations.
Your power inspires fear and loathing – do not mistake the respect that you receive from the people today as something genuine and heartfelt because when you leave and one only has to read history Mr Kayani to know the fate of tyrants, you will be shown as much dignity as you have shown to your fellow countrymen. You will be shown as much dignity as you have shown to our Balochi citizens.
But Mr Kayani your Army’s dealings with the Arab monarchs too are disgusting. We understand that the Army of the nation rules with an iron fist over Pakistanis but why must you lend your support to oppressing the Arab peoples aswell? The Saudis I understand came rushing to your door when the Arab Spring began for ‘’support’’ – I trust you obliged them (for the right fee of course). Is this what I take to be the international achievements of the Pakistan Army – lending support to tyrants at home and abroad? Your Machiavellian dealings with the US and West have been impressive but more impressive is your wilful acceptance of Arab petro-dollars in producing the terrorists of tomorrow in our own homeland. But of course for the right price I can understand how the small matter of Pakistani lives (especially the soldiers of this Army which you must regard as expendable in your quest for power) becomes irrelevant.
Your achievements Mr Kayani apart from your financial dealings number greatly. Extra-judicial killings, torture, beatings and a whole host of other human rights violations. Add to this your consistent manipulation of the democratic process and then to conveniently put the blame squarely on the so called ‘’independent’’ civilian leaders.
A master of deception, a connoisseur of torture, an operator in dishonesty, the high priest of corruption and the all-powerful Pharaoh of Pakistan. Mr Kayani, I must congratulate you but you must not be modest.
You were after all Mr Musharraf’s right hand man, and before attaining the rank of Pharaoh you were his Bulldog. In that glorious reign aswell you excelled yourself as the ruthless enforcer of Musharraf’s Will.
But silence is the shield that you use Mr Kayani. In fact, it is unfair to say that you have not learnt from your predecessor’s fate. You content yourself with action but little rhetoric. Staying behind the scenes away from the scrutiny of the public you deploy your pieces on this most treacherous of chessboards.
This Army of yours Mr Kayani has made this once lush land of hope, compassion and mercy into a harsh desert of violence and injustice. Oppression has conquered this land and you have prepared its path willingly. We pray to God for compassion and for the rains of peace and integrity to once again renew the Quaid’s promise for a Pakistan where not perverse fantasies of ‘’honour’’ but justice is given precedence. This Army I understand is made up of some good men and women of integrity, courage and dignity but those who run it are bereft of these qualities. You send young Pakistanis to their death whilst playing politics behind closed doors. You send young Pakistanis into battle whilst preaching dishonesty from the mighty pulpit of military power. Leadership is a powerful burden Mr Kayani, and with it carries the dangers of tyranny. Civilians and soldiers alike have suffered under the reign of you and your Generals.
Remember the words of the Caliph Ali RA (in his letter to Maalik al-Ashtar):
‘’Take care never to think of bringing yourself at par with Allah, never to think of matching your power with Him and contesting His Glory and ever to pretend that you possess might and power like Him because the Mighty Lord will always humble pitiless tyrants and will degrade all pretenders of His Power and Might.’’
‘’And whoever tyrannizes and oppresses the creatures of Allah, will earn enmity of Allah along with the hatred of those whom he has oppressed; and whoever earns the Wrath of Allah loses all chances of salvation and he has no excuse to offer on the Day of Judgement.
Every tyrant and oppressor is an enemy of Allah unless he repents and gives up oppression. Remember…that there is nothing in this world more effective to turn His Blessings into His Wrath quicker than to insist upon oppression over His creatures because the Merciful Allah will always hear the prayers of those who have been oppressed and He will give no chance to oppressors.’’
And perhaps this is a grave warning from the Caliph RA to leaders such as you:
‘’If on account of your strict measures people get suspicious of your behaving like a tyrant and oppressor, then come out openly before them and explain to them the reasons of your actions and let them see the facts for themselves and realize the truth. This will give training to your mind, will be an act of kindness to the subjects and the confidence thus reposed in them will make them support justice and truth while you will achieve the end you have in view of obtaining their support in the cause of truth.’’
And it is on this note of enduring wisdom I end this letter.