Bravo, Raheel Sharif for respecting the Constitution!

Published: January 26, 2016

General Raheel Sharif should be felicitated for not taking over the country when Imran Khan’s “dharnas” paralysed the capital. PHOTO: ONLINE

I thought everyone would be happy that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) announced that he will retire when his term ends and will not seek an extension. This is what happens in practically every civilised country in the world, so why should it surprise us that this highly professional soldier has chosen to stick to the Constitution?

But the way some people in the media and on Twitter have reacted, one would think the country will collapse if the good general leaves and hands over command to another general.

There is a bearded media anchor on TV who was almost in tears today (the day after the COAS’s announcement). He invited his listeners and viewers to call and demand that the COAS take back his decision and continue after his retirement date. He even said that the National assembly and all the four provincial assemblies pass resolutions that the COAS be asked to stay on and continue the war on terrorism. People like him apparently think that this country still exists only because General Raheel Sharif has been the Chief of the Army for the past over two years.

Let’s go back in time.

In 1948, just over a year after the country’s birth, Mr Jinnah passed away. At that time, most people thought Pakistan wouldn’t be able to survive. After all, the country was still reeling from the pangs of independence. Refugees were swarming all over the country, we were embroiled in a war over Kashmir, and the government was still finding it difficult to pay salaries to its employees. Yet the country managed to survive, and no general dared to take over the country to “save” it.

Contrast this with what happened 10 years later.

The country was placed under martial law by a general who was hailed as “the saviour” of Pakistan. For 11 years Ayub Khan ruled the country with an iron hand. But when people came out on the streets, and the time came for him to leave, he handed over power to another general, instead of Abdul Jabbar Khan, the Bengali speaker of the national assembly, as required by the Constitution. There is no doubt in my mind that if he had followed the Constitution, the country would have remained united.

But, unfortunately, he had been brainwashed into believing that only the army could manage the country, as a result of which we had to undergo the trauma of Jinnah’s Pakistan being dismembered.

Why do our people believe in one-man rule?

Is it inherent in our genes?

General Raheel Sharif should be felicitated for not taking over the country when Imran Khan’s “dharnas” paralysed the capital. He should be commended for sticking to the Constitution and affirming that strengthening of institutions is what ultimately counts, and that change at the top should not make any difference.

Our virtually illiterate people (including sycophants like the media anchor shedding tears today) should take note.

Do you think General Raheel Sharif should take an extension?

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Shakir Lakhani

Shakir Lakhani

Engineer, former visiting lecturer at NED Engineering College, industrialist, associated with petroleum/chemical industries for many years. Loves writing, and (in the opinion of most of those who know him), mentally unbalanced. He tweets @shakirlakhani (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Lotus

    Very good narration of the ongoing situation in the Army and the country as well.The TV anchor you mentioned,Amir Liaquat Hussain is the greatest sycophant and turn face among all those who appear on our TV.he should have the courage to Appreciate any right that is being committed or undertaken by anyone,COAS or whomever!Unfortunately,in Pakistan these sycophants are quite abundant because that’s what they do best,either blackmailing some one or acting as his sycophant.the masses being illiterate cannot differentiate between these actions.
    Kudos to Gen Raheel Sharif who has proven an honest,upright soldier,upholding the right as long as he was in the command.Recommend

  • madeeha kafeel

    I also want an answer to this question of one man rule.Perhaps, we need to change our mindsets.Recommend

  • wb

    If Raheel Shareef keeps all his words…especially that of ending terrorism by this year…he’s India’s Hero….all terrorism…all of it.

    The question is…is he honest or is this just a bravado?!!!Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    There is a bearded media anchor on TV who was almost in tears today (the day after the COAS’s announcement).

    And what so you think is happenining in the land of the Talibans, a National mourning for one week .

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Saj

    Great decision from the General. Unfortunately our people have been raised to believe in a Messiah that will save everyone and fix everything rather than a system that will continuously strive to fix things, including itself.Recommend

  • Sridhar Kaushik

    In a true democracy, this is never an issue.
    Army is always under civilian control.Recommend

  • Hassan

    Constitution by definition should be agreement among all societal classes, whereas, ours is ‘majority’s opinion’ therefore it doesn’t carry the weight of constitution.Recommend

  • Jor El

    “Bravo, Raheel Sharif for respecting the Constitution!”
    ??? That’s the basic rule … do u say bravo to a motorist who stops at a red light ???Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    Yes, most drivers in Pakistan think only fools stop at red lights.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    We are programmed to believe this. As kids, we were not allowed to talk in the presence of elders, and anyone who talked back or corrected an older person was punished. The male head of the family was the absolute ruler in the house, whatever he said was considered to be sacred.Recommend

  • Jor El

    That needs to be fixed, not applauded …Recommend

  • mohsinsidhu89

    He is my one of fav personality.Recommend

  • just_someone

    wow, finally a reasonable person speaks…
    ive said this so many time to see many people using exactly the messiah work since this is exactly what pak people want and not what the country/people need.Recommend

  • Saadi

    But we don’t live in a country that has had this precedent very often. Its like praising the Indian society for stopping the killing of infant girls. Most other cultures consider that to be the norm (that is boys or girls are treated alike.)Recommend

  • Saadi

    In a true democracy, you would also not have a 2 party system. But it happens. Our world is far from perfect!Recommend

  • Jor El

    Correct, prevention of female infanticide shud not congratulatd …Recommend