By Omar Farooque

How Cyril Almeida gets it completely wrong in his article “Today’s Hero”

Today’s hero by Cyril Almeida

How Cyril Almeida gets it completely wrong in his article “Today’s Hero” (link to the article: The comment by one of the readers is worth reading and we hope that Mr Cyril also reads it and learns from it.

Readers Comment:

Cyril Almeida seems to have really outdone himself this time. He seems so confused, and has taken the opportunity to sow this confusion all around. Right till the end, it is not easy to know what he is trying to get around to.

He wants to know what will happen if Gen Raheel’s decision to take on the militants does not work. From this one gets the impression that the writer is of  the opinion that fear of failure should have stayed the operation against the insurgents.

Having read this, one is hoping that a few lines down the article, he would come to proffer a capital suggestion which promises to root out the evil that has now got us by our collective throats. But we fail to find the epiphany which the drift of his article promises, before ending in inanity i.e if this operation fails, the politicians will get a second chance while Gen Raheel will either be forced to take over, or retire as a failure.

The overall logic seems to be that because he could fail, Raheel should not risk taking on those who are now very near destroying the country i.e that the only force that could be fielded against them, ought to be held back reserve!!

It would have been so nice if Mr Almeida had also suggested where this reserve force will be drilled when the country has collapsed. Let’s talk Yugosalvia.

This will be a very long war and a hard one. It takes years to defeat an insurgency. If anything, we have already waited too long to take the decision to take the gloves off. If the heart-rending deaths of our kids in the Peshawar atrocity have served to bring about clarity on this issue, they will not have died in vain.

Gen Raheel, may God bless him, has not just taken the correct strategic decision, he has done small things right which have endeared him to both the people of Pakistan, and the men he commands. When the Chief spends all his Eids with his men at the front it matters; when he and his wife are there before any of the students on the reopening of the school in Peshawar, it matters; when he flies to Kabul the very next day of the atrocity in Peshawar to garner Afghan support against the terrorists, it matters. And most of all it matters, that having the support of 90 % percent of the people of Pakistan, when the politicians are hated with rare ardency, he has not succumbed to the lure of absolute power.

In the very tough war against the insurgents ahead, of the many things that weigh in the balance, the following will favour military :

  1. the support of the overwhelming majority of the people of Pakistan.

b.except for the TTP, the leadership of most of the other outfits is known, and so are their addresses. So operations can start with the lopping off of the leadership.

So it is up to the military to take on various terrorist outfits at a time and place of its choosing. And this is a huge advantage. Let us hope the army will NOT take them all on, simultaneously.

The one thing that will go terribly against the army is that all its victories will at best remain tactical, unless good governance follows in the wake of such victories. Luckily though, the army is now in a position to force this issue by leading the politicians by the nose.