If I recollect my memories, the first memory of a uniformed officer brings a picture of a handsome man-Tom Cruise. My crush on Army men continued and in between, I had Sunhere Din, Alpha Bravo Charlie and recently Sinf e Ahan. The crush transformed into love and then Ishq. I remained in that ishq until I had an accident on April 9. 2022. An urgent transplant of the heart, mind and eyes was made through a short operation, which was planned externally may be via telephone or Zoom or Team meeting but executed locally. I don’t know if I was unconscious or maybe in disbelief. The locals aka neutrals facilitated the operation and it was successfully completed resulting in a new me with new eyes, brain, heart and maybe lungs too. Though the donor very generously donated all organs but being a recipient, my body reacted differently. I could see differently, I could feel differently, oh God, I reacted differently-I didn’t lie in bed, but I was out on the road on April 10, 2022. Oh my God, I could see many recipients, may be in millions, whose minds and souls were changed overnight. They could see through the thick curtains, which had been dropped before our eyes since 1947. The pain was indescribable, it was excruciating. The trust, the reverence, the love, faith and belief-everything changed. I was with my new transplanted heart, broken and fatigued. I wanted to fly and emerge as a powerful regional player, but my operated body refused to do so. I prepared myself for so long for this very moment, but my goalpost was changed. I wanted to remain a powerful player in my region but was forced to creep towards the west-Aah, I cried as all did, I complained, as all did-but it didn’t help-I am a child of a lesser god. But, despite my discomfort, I smiled as I stood corrected. I must acknowledge that my argument in my research thesis was validated on April 9, 2022-YES-a big day for me. Let me explain, what I did and try to prove there. There is a plethora of literature, which holds the Pakistan Army responsible for the use of force against its countrymen and the first instance quoted is the uprising in Balochistan in 1948. I defended my Army by heart and soul stating that how come a force associated with a country that was not even one year old, could make a decision and yet against its people. It was not any “Pakistani” but rather Sir Douglas David Gracey, a British General who was the chief in command until 1951 and had ordered his trained recruits to attack the people resenting within the territory of Pakistan. My army has remained the controlling authority on behalf of the superpower but it generously allowed the civilian governments intermittently. My pride, my army was in total control of a British General until 1951 with a Pakistani face of General Ayub Khan. The power player in global affairs shifted from a small British Island-once Great Britain to its colony-the United States of America-so was the case of my army. Their command changed from Brits to Americans. Pakistan signed its first defence agreement with the US on May 9, 1954. America is a champion of democracy and has made several expeditions to impose its western style of democracy in countries like Iraq, Libya, and recently Afghanistan, but avoided deputing an American officer. In the case of Pakistan-the neo-colony in the neo-colonial system-America never needed to attack and impose because all its commands were made by its stooges deeply entrenched in the system since its nascency. Pakistan’s policy-be it internal or external-has been controlled by these stooges and planned as per their demands and commands. There is no “please” but an order to do it else “you will turn into stone age.” It was under American influence that the stooges—oh no, my army signed different agreements largely defence agreements—but in this corporate world, there is no free lunch. So why the superpower was so affectionate towards my army. Yes, because it facilitated to enhance American influence in the region. 1)-During Afghan Jihad in the 1980s, Zia provided a conduit to Afghanistan along with jihadis and in return Kalashnikov, heroine and religious extremism that tore off the very fabric of Pakistani society-but it legitimised 11-year military despotic rule. 2)- Another American expedition in Afghanistan-Global War on Terrorism but this time against the jihadis (which were previously created to fight against Soviets) and yet again it was my army that facilitated the NATO forces led by America to control and attack using Pakistani soil and Pakistani men; and in return almost 400 drone attacks, 80,000 casualties, the unimaginable damage to our infrastructure and railway transport, arms smuggling, turning erstwhile FATA into a militants’ nursery, millions of internally displaced persons, and a long list of missing persons-but it legitimised Musharraf’s 10 years long martial law. My army has remained the controlling authority on behalf of the superpower but it generously allowed the civilian governments intermittently. How come the superpower, who itself claimed to be the champion of democracy would not allow the democracy to flourish in its colonies-so should the intermittent tenures not be sufficient enough to showcase? Democracy be it sham is ‘democracy’-degree to degree hoti hai, asli ho ya naqli. In the garb of the democracy, my army calls the shots-yet remained neutral. How dare someone can say no to them…no one should dare to think about it…absolutely not. No one is allowed regardless of a democratically elected leader of 220 million people. The writer is a freelance columnist.