Pakistan army should butt out of politics: Asma Jahangir says it like it is

Clip from Crossfire in which Asma Jahangir, the indomitable Chairperson Emeritus of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, says it like it about the Pakistan armed forces, in a talk show with the  ever sensationalist Meher Bokhari, on Dunya TV on May 26, 2011. View the full programme at the PkPolitics website. The clip posted here starts with Meher Bokari summing up the current discussion – the demands on one hand to support the army, and on the other for army accountability. Parliamentarian Marvi Memon talks about the need to support the army and keep their morale high – but not at the cost of ignoring their indefensible failures. Then Meher Bokhari asks Asma Jahangir to comment on a demand made at the District Corps Commander meeting on May 24 that every citizen of Pakistan should support the armed forces; she asks if, in order to “give proof of our patriotism” journalists and citizens should call for improvements or stay silent about this issue. Asma Jahangir’s blistering response, roughly translated:

Asma Jahangir“I don’t need to get a medal for patriotism especially from those who belong to the establishment. We must talk harshly and realistically. I remember during the Bangladesh war, we heard the same discourse. People said that those who criticised the army action in Bangladesh were not patriots. My father was imprisoned; many people we know called me the child of a traitor. But I know that the army’s policy – they are duffers, political duffers (idiots). If you go along with their policy the way we have been doing, Pakistan will not progress.

“I don’t care what people in America or Africa think. I want our people to be saved from the army. They have put us in a situation where terrorism is cropping up at every corner and neighbourhood. They encourage and support it, detract from debate. They’ve got a whole propaganda machinery going. I am not saying that this goes for all soldiers, but for these generals who play golf and laugh, and keep an eye out for plots. What happened in Karachi – there was a wedding hall at that sensitive place. They’ve made us their slaves.

“It is time to say please, with folded hands, go back to your barracks, let our children live. We don’t want bloodshed. If you want acclaim, go and fight – and win — a war. You fought Kargil, killed the Light Infantry soldiers. You’ve become used to making young boys into human shields. You can’t fight, or run the country, or make policy. You are the ‘qabza group’ (land grabbers) of this country.

“Politicians and everyone should say this clearly. If you ask me, I can give several examples of their stupidity. We need to take out a procession on Mall Road, with folded hands, to say please go home, you ‘eating drinking’ party.”

4 Responses

  1. […] Pakistan army should butt out of politics: Asma Jahangir says it like it is […]


  2. Asma Jehangir for Minister of Defense. Put her in charge of these asshole Generals. She’ll sort them out. She realizes that Pakistan is the only state that exists to serve its military.


  3. […] those of you who do n0t understand Urdu a rough translation from the blogger Beena Sarwar is provided […]


  4. […] by supporting the armed forces, following the US operation against Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad. Asma’s measured response was that she didn’t need to prove her patriotism to anyone, particularly the security […]

    Liked by 1 person

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