It would be safe to assume that the Pakistani army stands head and shoulders above many institutions. It is, by far, the best trained, most disciplined and committed institution with a very clear and inviolable chain of command. Retaining only those officers that prove themselves fit at every stage and simply weeding out the rest has always been its hallmark. Even then, it makes sure that there is a safety net for the ones forced by time to bid farewell to their posts. It has also resolutely come to the country’s defence whenever called upon to do so. That is the biggest reason why our traditionally hostile eastern neighbour, with far more money, a much bigger army, and far more weapons, is always cut down to size whenever it dares to violate our territorial integrity. The most recent example, which has come to be known as the Abhinandhan incident, proved its credentials once again. This time, the air force, an integral part of the overall defence force, not just rebutted provocative advances by an Indian fleet but also shot down two of its fighter aircraft and captured one pilot. Even more recently, our navy, the defenders of our maritime frontiers, proved equally up to the task when it scared away an intrusive Indian submarine from trying to enter Pakistani waters. And the land force has sent the enemy back with a red nose far too many times. Also, Pakistan’s Special Forces, trained in the mountains of Tarbela and Cherat, are the envy of the world. Almost every year, they win special forces competitions and war exercises that pit them against far more advanced and better-equipped forces like the US Green Berets and UK Special Air Service. Pakistani military wrote history in the treacherous mountain passes of the frontier region; taking on militants that had gathered under the umbrella of TTP. The military’s snipers also win almost every international competition that features the best of the best from around the world. All these aspects came into play when the Pakistani military wrote history in the treacherous mountain passes of the frontier region, taking on mercenaries and militants that had gathered under the umbrella of TTP not too long ago. Just so nobody ever forgets, this is the first time, any military force (ranging from the British empire in the 19th century to the mighty Soviet Red Army in the 20th century to the mightiest force the world has ever seen, the US army in the 21st century) has ever conducted a successful military campaign in such a region. Just after the job was done, the tribal area was cleared of enemies of the state and the soldiers re-routed to other assignments, the British army chief visited the National Defence University. Expressing shock, he admiringly observed how Pakistani soldiers were the only ones in the whole world who didn’t seem to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, even after concluding very serious campaigns. It is also perhaps the only standing army that orders its generals right to the front whenever a campaign is going on. This is strikingly different from the modern doctrine of “leading from behind,” which shields senior-most officers from life-threatening bombs and bullets that hit the front lines. It is a matter of great pride that the Pakistani generals lead from the front, not behind, and also explains why our officer corps has such a high death rate in active battle. When these facts are kept in mind, it becomes very easy to comprehend where people trying to malign the army are taking their orders from. It also explains why people like the current Indian national security advisor bend backwards to subvert peace in Pakistan and indulge in fourth- and fifth-generation warfare. The only reason why Delhi made such large “investments” in Afghanistan during Ashraf Ghani’s administration was to get a foothold just across our border. This was designed with the hopes of sending enough funds and weapons to TTP so that Pakistan could be kept unsettled forever. But nothing has worked for our enemies precisely because our military hasn’t allowed it. When army officers take their commission, they swear an oath to defend the motherland against all enemies, foreign as well as domestic. Therefore, the whole nation should think twice before questioning their actions on either front. They toil, bleed and die just so we can relax, grow and prosper. We owe them a debt of gratitude that no words can do justice to. Thus, the least we can do is show them with our actions how much we respect and revere them. Anything less, especially in the present circumstances, when all sorts of pressures are growing from within and without, would amount to undermining the sanctity of the beloved state. It can rightly be claimed that our army is the last resort to pull out the nation from any crisis. The army is called whenever there is any national disaster or calamity. The army officials are here whenever there is any law and order situation. The same army is always ready to perform its duties during Moharram, Election Day or any other event to help the civilian administration. So, it is our national obligation to respect every individual of the Pakistan Army because they always serve the nation in every situation. The writer is an old Aitchisonian who believes in freedom of expression, a freelance columnist, entrepreneur and social activist.