Reality of Controversial Statement And Security
Reality of Controversial Statement And Security
— Subarna KC
When an army general’s statement was made public through Nepalese media that became hot cake in Nepalese political circle. The statement became very expensive to respective general, when the Government of Nepal and his own commander took it as a very serious matter. As a result, decision has been made to take serious action against him. My effort in this article is to give diminutive analysis based on my personal views whether that statement was really sensitive and controversial or that is a kind of routine phenomenon for a military commander?
Nepalese Army after fighting Counter Insurgency with the Maoist, are confined to their barracks since the truce made with the rebels. When the entire nation is committed for ongoing peace process, the army seems to be also showing their support towards peace process by staying away from any sorts of dispute. It is better for the nation that they remain in their own barracks on undisputed manner until the nation needs their contributions to safeguard vital national interests. However, in the course of peace process there are lots of incidents that are taking place, which poses serious threats to national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. Army being a one of the key instrument of national power must remain vigilant to prepare to take on any challenges when government constitutionally opens the way to mobilize them in the crisis.
On Feb 5, 2007 Division Commander, Western Division of Nepal Army organized a conference and briefed his own subordinate commanders in his headquarters. He had foreseen possible deployment of Nepalese Army to control the ongoing Terai crisis on the role of aid to civil power should the need arises. He gave clear instructions to respective commanders to keep their men in “high alert” that are deployed in Terai belt of his area of operations. When this news was spread out, rumors flared up through out the country by portraying his statement as a conspiracy to possible military coup in the country.
In military, giving warning order to troops under command to remain in high alert during crisis situations is considered as a routine procedure. In the General Rana’s case his target audience was no other than his own subordinate commanders, no matter who all were invited for that function. He as a field commander gave his analytical views of the situation along with warning order that he received from his higher formation to keep men under him on “high alert.”
It is universal truth that the role of military force of any nation in peacetime is to prepare for possible future war. If they prepare well during the peace time then only they can effectively tackle the crisis. If the army is caught in surprise, it will be very complex for them to fulfill their tasks no matter how sophisticated they are. Such environments create chaos, uncertainty and instability in the crisis situations, there by the army may not be able to achieve their assigned objectives.
The point to be noted here is that General Rana’s analysis was mainly irritated to the Maoists, who still maintain a private army and considered Nepal army as their main rival force on their path to establish communist totalitarian regime in Nepal. The Maoists is continuously persuading Nepal army’s irreverence in different forum by making use of various pressure groups. This time they got yet another opportunity to make an issue out of Gen Rana’s statement. As a result the government and the parliamentary committee were bound to raise their voice against the army.
The Chief of Army Staff of NA who is in shaky position due to various reasons also over reacted and gave his harsh comments against Gen Rana without proper inquiry. In fact, he was expected to take stand on this issue. He might have tried to keep himself away from the dispute by making Division Commander as an escape goat. Indeed, it is proved by one of the local weekly news paper “Jana Astha” that the order to keep
Army in “high alert” for possible deployment in Terai for “Aid to
Civil Power” was indeed an order given by the army headquarter itself which was further disseminated by Gen Rana to his subordinates.
On the contrary, it is sad to say that no one could raise voice against anti national statements of the Maoist leaders in national and international forums. The Maoist Supremo Prachanda is the first person to mention requirement of deployment of army in Terai crisis. He in his exclusive news conference had put across the idea of deploying
Nepalese army and rebel army on the ratio of 2 is to 1. No one dared to say any thing against his remarks. Similarly, the Maoists leader CP Gajurel expressed in one of the program in Jawaharlal Nehru University in India that “if the Maoists feel the process is not going according to their game plan, they can take up arms from the container and come out into the streets within one hour.” This statement is not complying with their commitments to the peace process. Surprisingly, no voices rose from any side against the Maoists. Even the UN Mission in Nepal is silent on this matter. Do we believe that the legislative parliament have enough courage to summon the Prachanda in parliamentary committee for Gajurel’s anti-constitutional speech in JNU, same way that they did with the Chief of Army Staff for the remarks made by Gen Rana in Pokhara?
In present Nepal, people are not in position to say truth due to fear from the Maoists. So far as Gen Rana’s analysis is concerned nothing wrong could be seen in the text. Any apolitical person who is a student of political science or strategic studies or military analyst will make similar conclusions as Gen Rana in the context of present situation in Nepal. He spokes the truth and gave real picture of the ground reality, perhaps based on intelligence he gathered from different sources. In fact, all democratic leaders must appreciate him for furnishing eye opening facts. Politicians in post April scenario often mentions about need of democratization of army but same leader seeking military leaders to be penalized on speaking his own personal thoughts on his related forum. No matter how sensitive his statement was, it certainly revealed the attitude of the political groups towards the national army. Therefore, army must understand this fact and deal accordingly in the days to come.
Regardless of any circumstances the NA is indispensable elements of the country for national security. The NA must remain as one of the most important instrument of national power and need to act as a key element of government in nation building process. Army must not lay any obstacle in peace process if the process is taking desired direction for positive outcome. However, the NA should not stay blind and dumb inside the barrack by compromising its primary role. The NA must always be prepared to safeguard national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. In order to do so their commanders at all level must analyze the true picture of the country and stay in “high alert” accordingly.
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