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Friday, July 25, 2008

Ayaz Mir's banalities and suggestions

Ayaz Amir never fails with banalities. In his latest column he has some of them but he also has come up with a very good suggestion on spreading the army largesse.

* On the sartorial inelegance of the present bunch:"... past-the-hill, gigolo-look-alikes expected to lead the Islamic Republic in battle against the austere Taliban."

* "It is a moot point whether senior ranks are more familiar with the finer points of real estate management than the art or the principles of war. "

I dare disagree with his assertion "While officers need houses on retirement, and no one begrudges them that, what the army command has done over the years is to turn a need into a scandal. "

That is not the government's business. Unless of course the state is rich enough to provide houses to every retiree.

And now the good suggestion:

* The present army chief, Gen Ashfaq Kayani, is trying to improve matters. Let him give thought to this: anyone dying in battle, jawan or officer, his sons and daughters should automatically be admitted at state expense to the best institutions, Hasanabdal, etc. And any jawan or subedar dying in battle, his heirs should automatically get a piece of land in a defence housing authority. Defence housing colonies can serve no higher purpose than this.

As for this perhaps Mr Amir should re think:

* And the practice of doling out agricultural land in Bahawalpur to senior ranks should end immediately. Cato the Elder said that the perfect farm size was eleven acres, land that a farmer could till himself. Let agricultural gifts to army personnel be limited to this size but let this gift be bestowed only on those, whether officers or men, who die in battle. High time the unconscionable pampering of senior ranks came to an end.

The land should go to the landless farmers. The State looks well after the retirees and the fallen.


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