The information ministry of Pakistan was a bit shaken on April 27. Firdous Ashiq Awan who was serving as Special Advisor to Prime Minister (SAPM) was denotified and replaced with Retired Lieutenant General and Ex-DG ISPR Asim Saleem Bajwa. Further, PTI Senator Shibli Faraz was also appointed as Minister for Information. According to media reports, Awan was changed on alleged corruption charges. The shuffle has come in a time when Pakistan just like the entire world is fighting with coronavirus.
Prime Minister Imran Khan is facing criticism for his focus on non-issues when he should be concerned with improving the state of health and economy of the country.
Firdous Ashiq Awan Being Replaced by Asim Bajwa
Imran Khan’s cabinet is not stable since he came to power in 2018. Even just recently, the Supreme Court ordered the removal of Dr. Zafar Mirza PM’s assistant on Health; a verdict which was heavily backfired by the public. Now when a retired general has replaced Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan there is no end to criticism that the government is facing.
It is not sure if removal of Dr.Awan will help reduce corruption. However, the cabinet’s source of entertainment is gone.
Some people have still expressed their gratitude by this replacement but the speculative interference from the military does not show good possibilities.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan is often called as selected by his opponents since they believe that he came to the government with the help of military establishment. Now when many ex.generals are occupying key positions in different government departments the critics of the establishment have got some solid arguments to prove their case.
Why people are wasting their lives in politics if a proper and just system cannot be established in Pakistan
Military Establishment and Technocrats Meddling in Political Affairs
Pakistan is not new to military rule. The country has remained under overt military dictatorship for almost 40 years. Critics believe that the current government is just another dictatorship in the guise of democracy. Now when PM Imran Khan has appointed an ex-Army General as his special advisor on information, folks are arguing that there is no doubt in the current government’s being a puppet to the establishment with technocrats onboard instead of Parliamentarians.
The senator from opposition party thinks that the appointment is not even legal.
The dismissal of Firdous Ashiq Awan has basis in accusation of corruption against her. As per media reports, Dr. Awan demanded 10% commission from the government advertising budget.
What’s worse than replacing Awan is choosing somebody who doesn’t represent the civilians of the country and has a military background. It seems that there is nothing like retirement for top ranks of the military if their power and authority are still deemed relevant by the government. There could have been a lot of honest and talented people waiting in the pool. Even for the Chief of Army staff, they had opportunities to fix their top order but they extended the tenure of Qamar Javed Bajwa a decision that also met a fair share of criticism.
Pakistan is a country that is struggling with democracy and civilian supremacy since it came into being in 1947. Wars with the arch-rivals India on key issues like that Kashmir has given military a more stronghold. But, Pakistan’s civilian institutes continue to remain under-developed mainly due to colonial legacy.
The general perception is that interference of militablishment in the affairs of state and politics just makes matters worst since that personnel have different training and they can’t fathom the exact needs of civil society. No wonders, why such reactions are now appearing.
Blind Trust Can Lead To Unwanted Scenarios
The people of this country are blindly divided into different sects, classes, groups, and parties. Thinking power per individual is very low so they cannot make their own choices. Vetern corruption masters are fully aware of this and then they exploit the nation whenever they get a chance.
A Death Blow to Pakistani Media
People also think that appointment of Asim Bajwa as SAPM will lead to the tightening of the noose around the neck of otherwise ruthless Pakistani media.