By RSN Singh
21 Sep , 2015
The latest attack at an Air Base near Peshawar in which more than 30 air force and army personnel have been killed has not dented the honeymoon of the general public with the Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif. Gen Sharif is riding a new wave of popularity in Pakistan. This is nothing new. Such messianic moments are a cyclical feature in Pakistan. Nevertheless, Raheel Sharif has gone beyond the past benchmark in many ways. His extension of tenure is but a foregone conclusion.
Raheel Sharif is the sixth Army Chief that Nawaz Sharif is dealing with since he first became prime minister in November 1990. Depending on vicissitudes of the geopolitical flux, each army chief presented new set of challenges to Nawaz. Gen Asif Nawaz Janjua was the first adversary that Nawaz Sharif had to deal with.Of many things, what had irked Asif was the appointment of Lt Gen Javed Nasir as the ISI Chief. Nasir was a votary of pan-Islamism and believed in reaching out to Muslims wherever in distress including China. At that time as per reports, the CIA had also infiltrated into Pakistan’s nuclear establishment through a Pakistani scientist. During the same period,for the first time, Pakistan was put on US watch list of terrorists. Several sources reveal that Janjua was about to impose a martial law when he suddenly died under very mysterious circumstances. Such sudden and mysterious deaths are not alien to Pakistan or to say the Indian Subcontinent.