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Opinion

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September 13, 2015
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The Raheel Doctrine

Opinion

Capital suggestion

September 13, 2015

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Trias politica is the doctrine of separation of political power. The doctrine of trias politica gave birth to Montesquieu’s tripartite system of “separation of power among a legislature, an executive and a judiciary”. The doctrine of trias politica prescribes a certain model of governance and the doctrine itself goes back to the 18th century (at least). Fast forward to 1971, when we embraced the prescription prescribed by the doctrine of trias politica. Fast forward to the 16th of December, 2014 when brutal murderers martyred 132 students at the Army Public School in Peshawar. To be certain, our doctrine of trias politica is diseased and the Army Public School tragedy is a symptom of that disease. Remember, a symptom is evidence of disease.
The Raheel Doctrine, born in the vacuum created by a diseased trias politica, is laying down the general contours of an alternative model of governance. In December, the federal government was forced into drafting a 20-point National Action Plan (NAP). In January 2015, ‘apex committees’ were formed at the federal as well as at the provincial levels.
The modus operandi of this hybrid apex committee-based model of governance starts out by taking ruling politicians onboard. In Phase II, the rulers are ‘advised’ to change course; to separate militancy and politics, for instance. The ‘advice’ is followed by a lag. And if there is no change of course there’s unilateral action. For the record, the raid on Nine Zero took place on March 11, several weeks after having been ‘advised’ to change course.
On May 16, Lieutenant-General Naveed Mukhtar, V Corps Commander, addressed a seminar and for the first time hinted at separating corruption from politics. On June 4, the Sindh Apex Committee met and the political component of the Committee was ‘advised’. For the record, the raid on Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) took place on June 15.
By July, the lag between the

‘advice’ and ‘action’ had shrunk. On August 25, the COAS was briefed on Karachi and Dr. Asim Hussain was arrested the following day. In the post-August 26 period it became clear that the architects of apex committees had moved from arresting culprits on List B to constraining offenders on List A. At the same time, the ‘targeted operation’ in Karachi had gone ‘comprehensive’; from ‘terrorism’ to ‘corruption’.
General Raheel Sharif has two constituencies: army rank-and-file and public opinion. Right now, the general is on the right side of rank-and-file and also the ‘most favourite’ in public opinion. The two strengths behind the Raheel Doctrine are: the institutional vigour of Pak Army and the personal popularity of General Raheel Sharif. The weakness: the law. It has been nine months and the apex committees are yet to be notified. Imagine: the committees have no TORs.
White collar crime is difficult to catch in the best of environment – we have an environment where everything is actually in favour of the white collar criminal. Please mark my words: NAB will fail to frame the proper charges even if the Rangers arrest the devil himself. On top of that, the conviction rate at our Accountability Courts is five percent while expectations behind the Raheel Doctrine are sky high. To be certain, the consequence of these two factors will be disappointment on a national scale.
Under the diseased trias politica Pakistan had lost territory to the militants. Under the diseased trias politica we had lost 60,000 Pakistani lives. Under the diseased trias politica Pakistanis had lost confidence in their state. Under the diseased trias politica Pakistanis had lost hope.
The Raheel Doctrine has established the writ of the state. Under the Raheel Doctrine Pakistanis are reestablishing their ties with their state. Most importantly, the Raheel Doctrine has brought back hope.
The billion dollar question is: can the Raheel Doctrine can take this campaign to its logical end?
The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @saleemfarrukh

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