(1) SouthAsia’s cover story last month on Pakistan’s armed forces was a much-needed break from the usual army-bashing that has been going on in the country for a while. As rightly pointed out by your writers, some recent incidents may have damaged the reputation of Pakistan’s armed forces, they in no way can mar these guardians of the integrity and sovereignty of the state. It is time that the Pakistani media stops following the foreign media in maligning the army and instead highlights that which the international audience cannot comprehend – the complex and diverse settings in which our military has to work.
Sara Baber, Islamabad, Pakistan
(2) The general public in Pakistan has always held army in highest regards and has loved it to the point of deification. But post OBL operations, things have changed. There has been seething anger and feelings of betrayal not only amongst the masses but also within the army ranks. And it is here that Pakistan’s military need to take notice. While the army calls itself the ‘ideological frontiers of Pakistan’, it also needs to wake up to the harsh reality that not all is in its hands. It needs to accept and settle down with the fact that no matter how much ‘militarized’ Pakistan’s history has been, politicking its self will gain nothing but deviation from its main responsibilities – protecting the sovereignty of the state. The soon they realize this, the better for the country.
Hina Paul, Los Angeles, U.S.