For sometime I have wondered that General Kayani is the Queen (piece) of Chess. While Gilani may have the power of a King after the 18th amendment, but certainly on the chessboard of Pakistani side politics and maneuvering it is the General Kayani – or by and large the army – that takes a lead in making the wider and crucial steps in deciding the fate of the country.
Around half year back, there was a interesting news on the media. Veteran Chief of General Staff (CGS) Lt-Gen Shahid Aziz revealed in a talk show on one of the private TV channels that the former President Gen. (retd.) Musharraf obliged US without informing corps commanders. He further revealed that he, along with other senior Army officers, opposed to give Pakistan’s Jacobabad airbase to the US.
According to the news report:
Lt-Gen Shahid Aziz said the Pakistani troops were moved from Quetta to Jacobabad for taking control of the local airbase, but, according to him: “we were surprised when our troops informed us that the US Army had not allowed them to enter the Jacobabad airbase.” He said that after sometime, he came to know privately from a PAF officer that the US had also taken over the Pasni airbase and as the CGS, he was not aware of all these developments.
What was done was done. Musharraf was still given a nice and lofty farewell despite of his unwarranted actions like the contracting of Pakistani airbases under the pretext of de facto national interest. Once the national assets – the sensitive ones – were dispensed to the United States, Pakistan became worst than a protectorate state – the manifestation of which has been witnessed by Pakistanis perennially.
Today, somewhat similar news popped in on the media which startled me yet again. The excerpts of the news say that “Health relief operations in Jacobabad are not possible because the airbase in the area is controlled by the US.”
This statement which is yet surprising to an utmost extent has been made by the Health Secretary Khushnood Lashari today during an appearance at the Senate Standing Committee on Health.
According to one of the Senator Semeen Yusuf Siddiqui of PML-Q, it is very unfortunate that Americans can launch a drone attack from Shahbaz airbase but the government is helpless even in using the country’s base for relief operations.” She further said that the health ministry should have requested the army to ask the US to allow relief operation from the base.
Understanding the sensitivity of the situation where the flood has submerged 1/3rd of the Pakistan and still wreaking havoc in the country, I assume that – if the news is true – it makes one of the most egregious news concerning the United States of America. At first place, Pakistan shouldn’t be passing around its airbases or such sensitive assets to any country, yet not on contractual basis under any such sensitive situation. Under the present state of affairs, it appears that the whole Pakistan is under the full order of United States. Therefore, talking about one base [allegedly occupied] virtually looks ridiculous but that is how it is: a Pakistani airbase is apparently incapable of providing relief to the Pakistani flood victims. Here, the reason is ridiculous rather!