General Kayani makes history... By F Z Khan
09 October, 2013
General Kayani has ended the speculations about his retirement and announced his stepping down on November 29, 2013. His announcement came at a time when the government's offer of talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), led to horrifying terrorist attacks this past month. The reaction from the general public and the intelligentsia was severe: they asked for a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy. Meanwhile, most of the 18 religious parties participating in the national peace dialogue, held in Jamia Naeemia Lahore, urged the government not to hold talks with the Taliban. The resolution, read out by Raghib Naeemi, stated that there should be no dialogue with those challenging the writ of the state but the political leadership of the country, along with a large stream of columnists and anchorpersons, resolved to give peace a chance.
The security forces of the country, with over 10,000 casualties suffered during the last one decade, were not willing to budge an inch from their resolve to fight to the end. Reacting over the killing of Major General Sanaullah in Dir, the COAS reiterated that the army would not allow the terrorists to dictate any terms to the government. With his decision, perhaps General Kayani has conveyed his opposition to holding talks with the TTP. He has fought a war against the insurgents and has lost over 10,000 of his jawans (young soldiers). He knows the situation on the ground, which the PML-N and PTI governments have only recently started to realise. He has made history. Not only has he the credit of saving democracy in the country, but he has saved the institution of the army as well. His statement, that "institutions and traditions are stronger than individuals and must take precedence", will be written in golden words in the history of a country that has faced four martial laws in the past.
F Z KHAN