Nisar cautions the ex-officials

Source:  Pakistan Herald Published in Current Affairs on Thursday, July 03, 2014

A seemingly icy statement conjured in a formal statement-styled cautionary motion by Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday reprimanded that the retired army officials should be careful in making statements pertaining to issues concerning national security, or issues with high importance and secrecy protocol. Chaudhry Nisar was pushed to make this stroking move in an apparent reaction to a former Army spokesperson’s remarks, which were regarding the ex Chief of Army Staff and his decisions regarding full strike operation in Waziristan.

The man in focus is DG Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen (retd) Athar Abbas who in an interview to BBC Urdu on Monday, shared his personal thoughts (this is what could be made of it, for now) about Gen (retd) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s reluctance in launching a military offensive in North Waziristan back in 2010. Athar Abbas in the interview said that “the military leadership of the country was in favour of launching the offensive in 2010, however, it could not due to the indecision of Gen Kayani”.

In a reactionary statement Chaudhry Nisar issued a formal statement advising that officials who have remained a part of strategic national issues should hold their breath as it does not help to say such things. He advised officials who have been a part of important national decisions to be ‘reticent.’

Ch Nisar said that “Being tactful and strategic is better for the nation and the country”.

Putting weight on ‘confidentiality’ and calling it essential for the development of the nation, the minister cautioned former military officials and said that “in this media age, a ‘little slip of tongue’ can cause havoc”.

Chaudhry Nisar emphasised that army needs the support of the whole nation and no pity disputes should catch the eye of media since there is none. He pressed for the need of unity of nation and said that it was vital for Pakistani nation to stand united with its army at this critical juncture. He also cautioned the media to not make an issue out of this or to somehow portray as a point of contention.

Meanwhile, Maj Gen (retd) Athar Abbas said that “his statement regarding the military operation was given in response to a question”.

Speaking at a seminar organised by South Asian Free Media Association (Safma), Athar Abbas said that “a huge number of militant casualties should not be expected out of the Zarb-i-Azb operation. He expressed optimism that all big cities of the country would be ‘cleared’ in a month”. Both the minister and retired army official emphasized the need for nation’s full backing and support to the armed forces during these times of turbulence.

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Written by Maliha Naveed

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