For more than two months, Pakistan has been gripped by an engineered political crisis that is the direct result of a foreign conspiracy imposing a regime of thugs through local collaborators. The characters in this sordid drama are well-known: the despicable bunch of crooks called politicians, judges, and above all, the military top brass, taking orders from the US.
Of the three sets of villains, the military top brass or more specifically the army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa bears major responsibility for the current crisis. Regrettably, the Pakistan army has interferred in politics ever since the creation of Pakistan even though it had played no role in its creation.
In his book, Friends Not Masters, Ayub Khan, Pakistan’s first military dictator had shamelessly narrated that Muslim army officers showed ‘true professionalism’ by remaining completely neutral while the pogrom of partition was underway! Their ‘professionalism’ led to the slaughter of millions of innocent Muslims. No doubt, their British masters were pleased.
Euphemistically called the ‘Establishment’ in order not to offend the men in khaki, they have arrogated to themselves two roles. First, they think they can impose and dismiss governments regardless of what the majority of the people want. Second, once they reach the higher echelons, they become real estate agents and tycoons instead of performing their duty as soldiers. Both have proved disastrous for Pakistan.
The present crisis was engineered by General Bajwa in league with corrupt politicians at the behest of the US. His protestations of “neutrality” have found few takers. In fact, he may have committed treason. In his statement at the Islamabad Security Dialogue, he publicly disagreed with then Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s policy over Ukraine and Russia.
Bajwa is supposed to be subordinate to the prime minister, not above him. While he is entitled to his views, the proper forum for expressing them is the National Security Committee of which he is a member. Imran Khan’s February 24-25 visit to Moscow was discussed and approved by all stakeholders. The army chief’s outburst was completely uncalled for.
By expressing such views in public, he deliberately undermined the position of the prime minister. Even the Karachi daily, Dawn, which is notorious for anti-Imran Khan diatribes, tepidly criticized Bajwa’s public outburst. For this crime alone, he should have been summarily dismissed. It is not his job or that of the army to make foreign policy. They can give their input but the ultimate decision rests with the prime minister as the chief executive.
It is also no secret that Bajwa and his cohorts engineered Imran Khan’s ouster by cobbling together a coalition of criminals, rapists, murderers and plunderers to take-over the reins of power. These people should be in prison for life.
Prior to the April 10 no-confidence vote in the National Assembly, Bajwa held several meetings with opposition figures including Shehbaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari. Under what constitutional authority did he impose these criminals on the people of Pakistan?
There is now a political impasse in Pakistan. The overwhelming majority of people including many retired military officers are solidly with Imran Khan. Never before in the history of Pakistan have people come out in such large numbers to support a political leader. This sea of humanity cannot be stopped.
It is clear that Bajwa and his fellow generals badly miscalculated. They thought once Imran Khan was removed from power, the people will forget him. Instead, they have expressed revulsion at the criminals imposed on them as rulers.
Let us recount who the army-imposed rulers are. Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza are charged with money laundering billions of rupees. Rana Sanaullah, appointed as interior minister is a well-known gangster who is implicated in at least 18 murders of innocent people. He appointed Akbar Nasir Khan as Inspector General of Police in Islamabad. This man was involved in corruption of one billion rupees and was about to be dismissed when Imran Khan’s government was overthrown.
What the IG Police did in Islamabad on May 25 as Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf supporters peacefully marched on the capital was disgraceful. The police not only used tear gas but also fired rubber bullets at peaceful marchers including women with young children.
The police under Akbar Nasir’s command acted like armed thugs of the ruling PML-N illegitimate regime. Even people’s homes were broken into, violating the sanctity of their privacy. This is not only a major crime but a grievous sin. But for criminals, such factors are of no relevance.
While he called off his sit-in because of the Supreme Court ruling, Imran Khan has a simple demand: announcement of the date for new elections. While many of his young supporters were disappointed by the cancellation of the sit-in, circumstances forced him to take this difficult decision. He did not want to fall foul of the court verdict, or he may have been disqualified from running for elections.
He has vowed not to give up until his demand for elections is met. He has also refused to meet anyone—whether political opponents or emissaries of the army—until the date for elections is announced. At the time of writing this piece, while there is no announcement of election date, it appears to be imminent.
Given the massive support he enjoys among the people—young and old, women and children—it is absolutely clear that the present imposed set-up is completely unacceptable to the people, and unworkable. It has also become clear that Imran Khan’s government was on the verge of taking Pakistan to new heights when it was overthrown.
Here are some facts and figures provided by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. After successfully overcoming the pandemic that was applauded worldwide, Pakistan achieved a GDP growth rate of 5.97%. This is the highest GDP growth rate in recent history. Pakistan’s exports reached $32 billion annually, again a new high. Remittances from overseas Pakistani also touched $32 billion. This was the direct result of the trust overseas Pakistanis have in Imran Khan because of his honesty and integrity. This figure would have gone up further but for the disruption caused by the deliberate subversion of his government.
The last two months have made several things absolutely clear. The people of Pakistan have categorically rejected the illegitimate imported regime. They are not prepared to remain slaves of America, the most criminal entity in the world. And while maintaining their trust in the armed forces, people have rejected the machinations of the army chief, General Bajwa.
Pakistani masses have matured considerably during the last three years. This is a hopeful sign and augurs well for the country’s future.