Pakistani General kept under house arrest, as Army grapples with fear of internal dissent
Pakistan Army has been in a predicament since the last few weeks. The present Chief of Army Staff, General Bajwa’s three year extension was cancelled by the Supreme Court of the country, and one of the military dictators of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, was sentenced to death after he was found guilty of treason.
Adding to Pakistani Army’s woes is a stand-off between myriads of its senior level officers and the Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa. In August last year, Prime Minster of Pakistan Imran Khan and later the President of Pakistan approved a three year extension for Gen. Bajwa. This decision struck the senior officers in the establishment like a thunderbolt as in next three years approximately 24 Lt Gens would have retired with none of them getting an opportunity to be the chief. The move was countered by Lt Gen Safraz, who was the senior most officer in service after Gen Bajwa. He along with six other disgruntled senior officers joined hands with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to block the extension of the present army chief, Gen. Bajwa. The final verdict from the Supreme court whittled down Bajwa’s three years long extension to a mere six months. But Lt Gen Sarfraz had to bear the brunt of being a dissident– he along with his family members have been under house arrest since then. This happened despite Lt Gen Sarfraz having resigned from service on November 26.
Pakistan Army has been going through a tumultuous time as its officers at different levels have started to buckle under pressure with the bone of contention being Gen Bajwa’s extension. Lt Sarfraz has been superseded by Lt Gen Nadeem Raza, who was very recently awarded with the Nishan-e-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan. Ostensibly, Raza could take over as the next Chief of Army staff from Gen Bajwa, as in the past he had been the Chief of General staff and headed the intelligence and operations.
Dousing the fire of dissent within the establishment has been a herculean task for both Gen. Bajwa and Imran Khan after news of Sarfraz Sattar’s house arrest began doing rounds. None of the above augurs well for the populace of Pakistan as the country has already been on tenterhooks due to poor performance of its economy and FATF (Financial Action Task Force) putting Pakistan on grey list due to surge in terrorist activities on its soil.
Engineer by profession, Political Mugwump, Observer and Analyst of foreign affairs and national security.
Originally posted on Resonant News