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June 16, 2014

PM Sharif should install a War Cabinet

Sports

June 16, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif needs to put together a War Cabinet. The current cabinet produced two offsprings — talks with the TTP and multibillion rupee infrastructure projects. The attackers of the Jinnah International Airport have killed them both (talks are dead and no private investment is coming to Pakistan).
In 1916, PM Herbert Asquith of the United Kingdom was asked to form a small War Cabinet. He kept on delaying it and was finally forced to resign. PM Lloyd George then took over and formed a small, five-member War Cabinet to fight the war.
In 1939, PM Chamberlain formed a 9-member War Cabinet. PM Churchill had formed a five-member, bi-partisan War Cabinet. Australia fought the war with a seven-member War Cabinet. President Kennedy formed a War Cabinet in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis. President Bush formed a War Cabinet in response to the September 11 attacks.
The current cabinet’s priorities are completely out of sync with reality. Here’s the reality. Fatalities in terrorist violence: 52,409 (till June 8, 2014). Security forces personnel killed: 5,775. Suicide attacks: 396 (killed 6,021; injured 12,558). Bomb blasts: 4,932.
The current cabinet’s priorities are completely out of sync with reality. Here’s the reality. General officers martyred:Lieutenant-General Mushtaq Baig, Major-General Ameer Faisal Alvi and Major-General Sanaullah Niazi. Here’s the reality. Military installations attacked: GHQ Rawalpindi, Minhas Airbase, Mehran Naval Base and Pakistan Ordinance Factory.
The current cabinet’s priorities are completely out of sync with the mainstream. Here’s the reality. Prominent civilians killed: Benazir Bhutto, Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti.
Now, here are 22 words from the budget speech: “959 KM Karachi-Lahore motorway project …. 892 KM Gawadar-Ratodero Motorway …. 200 KM long Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab Section…. 460 KM Raikot-Havelian-Islamabad Section…the Karakoram Highway.” Let us look

reality ‘straight in the eye and deny it’.
What Pakistan needs is a War Cabinet-a cabinet capable of integrating and directing the war effort both in the tribal areas and urban centers; a cabinet with time-bound powers to establish war-time special courts; a cabinet empowered to restrict war-time individual freedoms; a cabinet with powers to regulate the war-time media.
Pakistan cannot win without denying terrorists three things: physical space, ideological space and funding. What Pakistan needs is a War Cabinet — a cabinet comprising the military high command (to take back physical space), an intellectual segment (to deny ideological space) and a financial wizardry component (to deny funding).
According to Shaheen Sehbai, “….the fact is that Pakistan and its critical institutions have collapsed and it is now time for a major, immediate, almost earthshaking, political and administrative renovation effort, to get back control before everything spins out of hand.”
Pakistan’s democracy has to go to war to save the state as well as democracy. The British democracy went to war under PM Churchill’s War Cabinet. The War Cabinet had the following four characteristics: One - politics was subordinated to military considerations. Two — concentrated authority. Three — the raison d’etre was the successful prosecution of the war effort. Four — democratic accountability to the electorate was temporarily suspended.Can we win this war without a War Cabinet? Who said, “The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it?”