Islamabad [Pakistan], March 28 (ANI): Pakistan Army is now gearing up to tackle the widespread anti-army campaign launched by former Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) with its own set of systematic campaigns online as well as offline, The Pakistan Military Monitor reported.
The campaign is set to begin at the school level, first in Punjab.
According to Pakistan Military Monitor, Imran Khan had kicked off a massive anti-army campaign on all media as soon as he was forced to resign as the Prime Minister last year by the then army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Once a patron of the former premier, Bajwa and his men were pilloried across Pakistan like rarely any other army chief before. Imran went up to call for the court martial of Bajwa.
When Bajwa left, it was generally thought the new chief would find the atmosphere better. But General Asim Munir had rubbed Imran Khan the wrong way when he was the DG ISI.
Khan forced Munir's removal after he objected to certain pecuniary actions of Khan's wife. It was therefore not surprising that within a few months, Khan began to target General Munir, although not so much with virulence as he reserved for his former patron, Bajwa.
According to The Pakistan Military Monitor, with elections inevitable any time in near future, the army is keen to wrap things around to their advantage in the face of Imran Khan's belligerent popularity. With other political parties unable to match Khan's noise and posturing, the army's priority is to regain the lost prestige and respect, two key factors in their power play at the domestic level.
The army as part of the clean image campaign, has decided to start from schools and other educational institutions. In the past, the school children were the army's first stop for building their image. The army had a flourishing programme called `A Day Out With Pakistan Army` for students where they were informed about the army's various programmes. General Raheel Sharif had similarly launched Know Your Army for school and college students.
The new plan is to launch an awareness campaign in all schools in Punjab, to begin with.
These campaigns will include presentations on how the army is engaged in the protection of country's frontiers, supreme sacrifices by Pakistan armed forces for the country, Pak armed forces' services in suppression of anti-national elements, Pak armed forces' role in elimination of terrorism and Pak armed forces' services for rehabilitation of people during natural calamities including earthquakes and floods.
The District Education Authorities of Punjab have written to all schools to conduct the programmes for the Pak armed forces without delay. (a sample of the letter related to Gujranwala, Punjab).
The plan is to prevent Imran Khan's poisonous campaign damaging the army's prestige among young students, according to The Pakistan Military Monitor. (ANI)