An Officer and A Politician

Major Jamal Sheran Baloch, was martyred in a suicide attack in Hayatabad, Peshawar. He had served in different roles across the country, and taken part in Zarb-i-Azb, where he fought valiantly in Bajaur, Khyber and Mohmand agencies. Two years back he got posted to the Frontier Corps (FC) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP); and, with the launch of the counterterrorism operation Radd-ul-Fasaad was appointed as the commanding officer of the FC’s Special Operation Group, where he led successful missions against the terrorists.

The young army Major was married seven months back.

Major Jamal Sheran Baloch is one of the many soldiers and officers who have fought bravely for their motherland and have laid down their lives defending the honour and freedom of Pakistan. They fight so that we may live in peace.

This is but one side of the story.

A frenzied media is so engrossed in the ongoing Panamagate scandal and investigations, that the sacrifice of men such as Major Jamal Sheran Baloch are merely mentioned as an aside during News Hour. It seems it is far more important to discuss and fight over the alleged corruption of a few, with new revelations coming out every day, where it has been all but proven that there has been deceit and lies all through the Panamagate saga. The incessant wrangling continues over who did what, and when, and how. Amidst all this, men like the young Major continue to fight to restore the writ of the State and protect Pakistan, while others appear to be hell bent on destroying the last vestiges of honour for personal gain and power. These others hold fake employments abroad to facilitate their travel from Pakistan and strut around in endless air conditioned convoys with fake number plates with no care about what happens to the reputation of this country.

There is the Chairman of SECP who is on pre-arrest bail but continues to serve as Chairman SECP. There is the British National who is serving as Head of National Bank of Pakistan, without actually possessing any banking experience. There are the State Owned Enterprises, such as PIA and Pakistan Steel Mills, which have all but succumbed to corruption and mismanagement. The list goes on of people who have been appointed based on cronyism and nepotism, and instead of resigning when exposed they continue to cling to their benefits and perks. For them sacrifice implies being ousted from their exalted positions. For them building Pakistan and its institutions is an alien concept, for they have little or no stakes in the country. Such people can never comprehend the meaning of sacrifice or understand why Major Jamal Sheran Baloch laid down his life.

Every day we keep hearing about the rapidly deteriorating economic conditions of this country, with the key economic and financial indicators pointing towards a potentially precarious situation. Yet the country continues to borrow and the borrowers continue to be happy, lending to Pakistan. Projects are not delivering as expected and stories of embezzlement and fraud keep circulating. Amidst all this the country chugs along as people try to get through each day. The socio-economic pressures are building as the resources come under increasing strain with a burgeoning population. Yet for the time being Panamagate is the prime existential threat to Pakistan, or so it is made to appear.

One hopes that the sacrifices of our young soldiers and officers do not go in vain, being overshadowed by shallow, lying, politicians who appear more concerned with their personal ambitions, rather than the true betterment of Pakistan and its people. The politicians have an easy way out once out of power – leave Pakistan and live in the lap of luxury abroad. For men like the young Major, Pakistan is the only homeland and they continue fighting to save it.

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