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Pakistan’s Turmoil Orchestrated by Domestic and External Actors

Paper No. 5778                                        Dated 01-Sept-2014

By Dr Subhash Kapila

The Pakistan Army stands at the centre of facilitating the ongoing besiegement of Pakistan’s democratically elected Government by its political stooges and notably synchronising it with escalation of border clashes on the India-Pak borders.

Pakistan Army’s end-game is patently clear and that is to engage in calibrated escalation of the dubious political demonstrations in Islamabad through its minions, namely, PTI Chief Imran Khan and the parachuted Pakistani Canadian cleric Tahirul Qadri, combined with ceasefire violations escalation on its Indian borders so that a combustible mix occurs justifying any impending military coup.

The Pakistan Army needs to answer as to how these political demonstrators were allowed to penetrate into Islamabad’s ‘Red Zone’ housing the Pakistan National Assembly, PMs House and other constitutional organs of Pakistan. Nobody seems to be asking the question as to how when the security of Islamabad was handed over to the Pakistan Army preceding the siege, how did Imran Khan’s motley crowd succeeded in penetrating the Army -secured Red Zone area.

The infamous 111 Infantry Brigade at Rawalpindi is tasked for the security of Islamabad besides being more famous as the spearhead of all Pakistan Army’s coups against democratically elected governments. Why is it been found wanting to adequately secure Islamabad’s nerve centre of governance? Or, is it that it is being made to wait the calibrated plan of the Pakistan Army to declare Martial Law on the pretext that both Pakistan’s internal security and Pakistan’s external security along the Indian borders stands threatened?

Pakistan’s domestic actors in the ongoing political turmoil are obviously the Pakistan Army and its political stooges like Imran Khan and Qadri who preferred to collude with the Pakistan Army rather than following the constitutional route of seeking redress from the Pakistani Courts.

Noticeably, the present political turmoil seems to be confined to Islamabad only without reverberations in Pakistan’s heartland of Punjab.

Imran Khan’s PTI Party won only thirty four seats in the National Assembly and is disputing rigging in four constituencies. Presuming that even all these four seats are given to PTI by any Election Commission verdict which Imran Khan has not awaited, he still could not overturn Nawaz Sharif’s Government which commands a comfortable majority. Or is it Imran’s claim as the main disputant that massive rigging took place in all the over three hundred plus National Assembly seats?

This flies in the face of verdicts given by European Union’s election observers and also those from the United Nation, both of whom certified that Pakistan General Elections 2013 were by and large fair.

Obviously, Imran Khan has willingly played along the tunes orchestrated by the Pakistan Army and the ISI. This is also revealingly being unfolded by the statements of his own PTI President and that the forced march to the Parliament House which was not on the PTI agenda was ordered by Imran Khan two nights back on instructions from someone. This obviously seems to have been done on the Pakistan Army’s instructions so that political violence is provoked and Pakistan Army has a ready- made ‘cassus belli’.

India would be misreading the situation in Pakistan if led to believe by Pakistan Army press releases that it is not in favour of toppling of a democratic government but the Government should reach a political settlement. Why has the Pakistan Army not insisted that Imran Khan and Qadri should seek judicial and constitutional redress for their political grievances?

Moving to the external actors that come into play in any political crises in Pakistan generated by the Pakistan Army, these are the United States, Saudi Arabia and China. All these three patrons of the Pakistan Army have made substantial investments in the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Army’s strategic utility to serve their respective strategic investments.

United States-Pakistan Army relationship is a sordid saga of Pakistan’s experiments with democracy being put aside on grounds of American political and diplomatic expediencies. In the instant case too, I have been informally airing that with the impending exit of US Forces from Afghanistan, the United States would prefer that the Pakistan Army is at the helm of Pakistan in terms of political control. The Americans in strategically challenging situation prefer to deal with Pakistan Army Generals.

Saudi Arabia’s regime rests heavily on Pakistan Army shoulders both in the conventional sense and in terms of nuclear deterrence in relation to the Iranian threat. The Saudis have also played politics in Pakistan’s political dynamics by offering sanctuaries in Saudi Arabia for dispossessed Pakistani political dignitaries and also Pakistani Generals.

China gives the impression that it is only a passive spectator in Pakistani politics but we cannot forget that when China cracks the whip as it happened during the Lal Masjid incidents some years back the Pakistan Army swung forcefully into action.

The United States has made perfunctory noise initially that America does not favour any change of a democratically elected Pakistani Government but it now seems to be awaiting a Pakistan Army military take-over. Saudi Arabia and China are content with Pakistan Army being in power in Pakistan.

Regrettably, the Pakistani silent political majority has not made any counter-moves to defeat the Pakistan Army-Imran Khan-Qadri dubious nexus to topple Pakistan’s democracy by unconstitutional methods of political disruption.

Since America and the Army (Pakistan) display no signs of preventing the toppling of a democratically elected Government. The silent political majority in Pakistan can only invoke divine intervention of PBUH The Almighty Allah to instil better sense in the Pakistan Army Generals to forestall the impending military coup which can take place any time.

 

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