Monday, December 09, 2019
facebook
Jammu Kashmir

Posted at: Dec 2, 2019, 7:19 AM; last updated: Dec 2, 2019, 7:19 AM (IST)ON THE FRONTLINE

Pak’s pitch for Bajwa’s extended tenure worrying for Kashmir

Pak’s pitch for Bajwa’s extended tenure worrying for Kashmir

Arun Joshi

Pakistan supreme court has granted six months’ time to the Imran Khan government to set its house in order by bringing a law on the tenure of the army chief of the country. This is not merely the question of the extension in the tenure of Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, but also the moves that it might be having in its kitty for internal politics and designs in the geopolitics of South Asia. Kashmir is in irretrievable focus of Pakistan’s politics and foreign policy.

There is something more than what meets the eye in Pakistan government’s push for the extension of Gen Bajwa’s tenure. It is an extraordinary move even by Pakistan’s own standards of being under the unfettered influence of the army in its day-to-day affairs as also the external policy. It doesn’t happen every day that the law minister of the country resigns to defend the government’s move on the extension of the army chief’s tenure in the supreme court.

And, it happened in Pakistan, where the law minister Farogh Naseem resigned and represented the government in clearing the government stand on Gen Bajwa. That, of course, meant that Gen Bajwa was deemed to be a strategic asset by Pakistan.

Since August 5, when the Modi government scrapped Article 370 and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories of Ladakh, and the rest of J&K, Pakistan has upped the ante. It is continuing to seek fresh troubles in the Valley, it is a different matter that its attempts have been effectively foiled by the security forces and the people.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tweets tell it all. A between-the-line reading of Khan’s tweets on Thursday within minutes after the Pakistan supreme court snubbed the government and demanded that it should have a law regarding the appointment and tenure of the army chief makes it clear.

He had tweeted: “Today must be a great disappointment to those who expected the country to be destablised by a clash of institutions. That this did not happen must be of special disappointment to our external enemies & mafias within.”

It needs no emphasis that Pakistan considers India as its enemy no. 1, because of Kashmir. On August 16, Gen Bajwa, while interacting with Pakistan occupied Kashmir’s president Masood Khan, had assured him “Pakistan army’s full support and commitment to the Kashmir cause and its people.” This was in less than a fortnight’s time after Pakistan had gone all guns blazing following the August 5 decision.

The Indian army’s strategic heads are trying to make sense of the brazen push for the extension of Gen Bajwa’s tenure by the Pakistani establishment. It could mean that Pakistan has some dangerous designs up its sleeves on Kashmir.

Gen Bajwa might be having a task to do. It is a signal of dangerous times for Kashmir. It was on Gen Bajwa’s watch that Pakistan engineered the Pulwama massacre of the CRPF personnel on February 14. He was with Prime Minister Khan during their US visit in July where the US president Donald Trump had offered to “mediate” between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.

Pakistan has outsourced its internal policy making and foreign policy to the army. Prime Minister Imran Khan has legitimised this the way his government has acted in the Supreme Court. The media and Pakistani intellectuals have termed the embarrassment caused to the PTI government of its own making, because of inept handling of the sensitive matter. But PM Khan has read it as a positive development, and that should be worryingfor India as Gen Bajwa has been given full control of everything – this is the return of the army rule in Pakistan.

More than what meets the eye

There is something more than what meets the eye in Pakistan government’s push for the extension of Gen Bajwa’s tenure. It is an extraordinary move even by Pakistan’s own standards of being under the unfettered influence of the army in its day-to-day affairs as also the external policy. It doesn’t happen every day that the law minister of the country resigns to defend the government’s move on the extension of the army chief’s tenure in the supreme court. And, it happened in Pakistan, where the law minister Farogh Naseem resigned and represented the government in clearing the government stand on Gen Bajwa. That, of course, meant that Gen Bajwa was deemed to be a strategic asset by Pakistan.

COMMENTS

All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On