In the line of revenge

The NAB court’s decision is being termed flawed by numerous pundits and analysts for many good reasons

Dawn’s distribution has been disrupted by the deep state. Apparently, it is being denoted to the newspaper’s blunt and bold perspective against the NAB court’s decision against Nawaz Sharif and his family last Friday. The decision was expected. After all, the rift between Nawaz Sharif and the military is no secret. Furthermore, some of his statements published in Dawn had a role to play in this.

The NAB court’s decision is being termed flawed by numerous pundits and analysts for many good reasons. It will have a long term impact on Pakistan’s democracy. A democracy that the military establishment never wanted to flourish. No doubt, history will take this is another attempt to do away with a national political leader who was becoming too influential for the establishment’s liking.

The use of groomed amateur politicians to support military coups has been a regular feature of Pakistani democracy for some time. Many politicians have used this path as a short-cut to power. Nawaz Sharif was no exception. The politicians who deviated from the military’s dictation after coming into the limelight were subject to vengeful punishment. It seems therefore, that this is a country meant for sacred cows.

Many Pakistanis strongly believe in the undoubted integrity of their country’s military. But does this integrity apply to the military’s leadership? And who should have the right to make strategic decisions related to the fate of 220 million people? Should decisions related to their fate be made by the military command or should such matters be left to the civilian regime in the parliament? In case of difference of opinion between the civil and the military authorities, what forum should be used? And what of Pakistan’s constitution, which gives no space to the military to interfere in such matters?

Let’s remember how the military leadership’s decisions affected us in the past, just four decades back. Was there any good rationale for General Zia’s decision to jump into an American proxy war in Afghanistan in the name of a jihad that went on to distort our society and religion? The decision to take part in such a war would not have been sanctioned by any civilian government, thus a military coup was needed. The alliance of religious parties was instrumental in mobilising the masses against the government. Greed and the thirst for power can easily penetrate the folds of the religious folk too. They are not selfless, nor do they live beyond the materialistic opportunism. So, the mullah-military nexus eliminated Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

At the end of the first part of the Afghanistan war game, General Ziaul Haq was killed along with several leading generals. On them were the allegations of deceiving the US, massive corruption in arms deals and exporting drugs. All allegations died with the killing of the entire top military leadership. The GHQ released no public report about the ‘tragedy’.

I strongly believe that if Pakistan had a civilian government from 1979 to 1989, US plans would not have been executed in Afghanistan in connivance with the military leadership

I strongly believe that if Pakistan had a civilian government at this point in time, US plans would not have been executed in connivance with the military leadership. The next four civilian governments were all ill-fated, also at the behest of the military establishment. The second dark period began with the adventurous commando General Pervez Musharraf’s coup in October 1999.

Conveniently, the 1999 military coup acted as a prelude to 9/11, and aided the US when it returned for another misadventure in Afghanistan. Then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had already refused the US request not to go far nuclear tests. So, who else could have been a best choice for the US plans than a military dictator who could follow in the footprint of deceased General Zia ul Haq?

Again I strongly believe the democratic government would have averted this darkest chapter in Pakistan’s history. The last decade of democratic and political governance has led to many good omens, including political stability and economic growth. With the advent of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan is to be destined to harness the large economic benefits besides playing its role in reshaping the region. The emerging face of the region is surely against the notorious US plans. So, as a prelude to the next darkest chapter in Pakistani history, it may be necessary to wipe off the political and democratic forces supporting and strengthening CPEC. Therefore, kicking out of Nawaz Sharif from the future political scene by hook or by crook seems to be necessary.

Maryam Nawaz has already announced her and her father’s return this coming Friday. Her husband Capt. (Rtd) Safdar has already surrendered to the law, and is in jail. The PML-N has given a protest call after the Sharifs would arrive in Pakistan next Friday. The situation may lead to delay or cancellation of the general elections. Most likely, it will lead to a significantly weaker government in the future. This would only benefit to the khakis when they negotiate their vested interest in accordance with the US’s nefarious plans to distort and dismantle the CPEC regime. The establishment needs to consider the nation and the national interest first before playing the US’s games in the region again.

The writer is an Islamabad-based policy advocacy, strategic communication and outreach expert. He can be reached at devcom.pakistan@gmail.com. He tweets @EmmayeSyed

Published in Daily Times, July 10th 2018.