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ThePakPolitics • Is This the Dead End? : NATIONAL ISSUES
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Is This the Dead End?

Issues relating to Pakistan's Internal Security and It's Foreign Polity.
Unread post Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:54 am
Mirza Ghalib User avatar
Senior Moderator

Aug 12
Is This The Dead end?

The horrifying state of The State

By Shaheen Sehbai

WHY HAS the Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani been forced to repeatedly state that the time had come for The State of Pakistan to take crucial decisions, “whether these are tough or easy?”
What is the situation that The State is facing today? Some of the following existing facts may explain:

- The Pakistan Army, which has carried out an operation very successfully against terrorists and their financiers and collaborators, now says the political government has become a roadblock in its plans. The latest statement after the Aug 12 commanders’ meeting explains it all.
- Major political parties, mainly PNL-N, PPP, JUI, ANP, have ganged up to block the Army/Rangers operations, in Sindh, Punjab and elsewhere.
- The National Action Plan (NAP) has become a football, which everyone kicks not to score goals but to hit the head of political and perceived establishment rivals.
- The terrorists, backed by their local and foreign supporters, are having a field day hitting soft targets, which are the basic responsibility of the political governments to safeguard.
- The complete support and backing that the army and rangers should have received from elected political governments is missing because the Prime Minister has been caught with his pants down in the Panama leaks and the Sindh Government (read Asif Ali Zardari) has absconded after threatening the army with hitting bricks.
- The Parliament has turned into a jokers debating club, where spineless barbs are exchanged, farcical drama scenes are enacted, fake walkouts and hollow handshakes are done only for the media, meaning nothing.
- The Federal Cabinet is a non-entity with none of the ministers having the guts to speak before the Emperor, lest he may get annoyed and give a shut up call, as was done recently to Justice Ramday’s brother.
- One good/bad cop, Choudhry Nisar Ali, has been let loose (or he may be a genuine dissenter in the cabinet) who speaks the language which the PM either does not like or is forced to tolerate. Nisar, nevertheless, has not been able to get his way.
- Nisar on Friday confirmed what many analysts have been saying for months --- that the government and opposition are on the same dirty page, called a muk-muka, and the main issues of their mutual interest have been saving each other in the Panama leaks and getting the PPP touts Dr Asim Hussain, Ayaan Ali and others released.
- The corruption problems of Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari have consumed all their energies for the good part of this regime and all other key matters of The State including NAP, bringing the cases of arrested terrorists and financiers to their logical end, giving a free hand to security agencies all over the country to work with the confidence and support of the nation they deserve, have gone into the gutter.
- An intrinsic fear has crept in the political set up that the military and security establishment is preparing, or always conspiring, to topple the system. This has happened despite assurances by Rawalpindi to the contrary but the trust deficit is huge and apparently unbridgeable.
- In this situation, desperate opposition parties, Imran Khan’s PTI, Allama Tahirul Qadri’s PAT and some parts of PPP, MQM and others, are already out on the streets with their protest containers and agendas which may converge sooner than later.
- The judiciary, which could have played a balancing role and could have helped stop the tensions and bridging the trust deficit has not played any role so far.
- All other state institutions like the NAB, Election Commission, FBR, FIA and many others have crumbled and collapsed before the political might or bribes offered by the politicians.

This in brief is the larger picture of The State, which Mr Raza Rabbani is worried about. But what can be done without resorting to extreme measures by any side and without upsetting or overturning the constitutional system?

The government narrative that has been built through a well-conceived strategy using the media, money and monkeys is that all problems of Mr Nawaz Sharif will evaporate when Army Chief General Raheel Sharif retires and goes into oblivion.

This narrative has been built in such a way that General Raheel felt the pressure months ago to make an unprecedented announcement that he would not seek an extension in his term.

Even then the fears did not go away and Mr Nawaz Sharif and his team of strategists continued with delaying every key decision, buying time, delaying matters, setting up committees and task forces, using the parliament as a tool to obfuscate and postpone decisions. He even used his sickness as a political tool, never revealing convincingly what was the problem and how it was resolved.

One glaring failure of the military establishment so far has been not to counter this government narrative that only General Raheel Sharif was the problem and once he is out of the way, everything will turn into milk and honey.

Rawalpindi should have declared in unequivocal terms months ago, that the policies being pursued, the operations and actions against terrorists and their financiers, the corrupt who were funding anti-state activities, were not the policy of one man but a considered and well-judged policy of the entire institution.

It should have been loudly stated that even if there was a change of leadership in Pindi, the same policies will continue with the same enthusiasm and vigour, whether anyone likes it or not.
General Raheel has made such statements many times, including the one issued on Aug 12, that these actions will continue until the terrorists are uprooted and eliminated. But the politicians have not received this message.

They continue to throw trial balloons that General Raheel could be given an extension or elevated to a Field Marshal but if General Raheel does not want to stay as a powerful COAS, why would he want to become a toothless Field Marshal.

The icing on the cake was a statement made after lengthy meetings between the political and military brass this week that Operation Zarb Azb has been tasked to end in 75 days. How will that happen and who will achieve this huge task? How ridiculous to even mention such a thing.

The underlying message was that in 75 days General Raheel will be on his way out and with him will go the operation. This may be too ambitious a target to achieve.

So now with a deadlock out in the open and The State now at a crossroads to take “crucial decisions, whether tough or easy” as the Senate Chairman has pointed out, what are the options.

The reality is the political set up will not deliver, as it seems to lack the capacity. It will instead try to block any criticism or silence any dissent. The military will not be able to complete its task because of the hurdles created in its way at every step. The terrorists will not stop and continue to hit The State. The corrupt will not be caught, as no institution is ready to play its required role to catch the thieves.
While the army may not like to take direct action, although in the past it had intervened and upset the system even on much weaker justifications, it is the judiciary, which may now be the only hope.

Many political opponents of the regime have gone to the superior courts against the government but probably the time has come for Rawalpindi to use its constitutional muscle.

Like the General Kayani-Pasha era when they went to the Supreme Court in the Memogate case, General Raheel and his associates may send all their complaints to the Supreme Court and ask it to take the crucial decisions that the Senate Chairman is waiting for.

The options are simple. Either the system corrects itself, applies the brakes and stabilizes the boat or drastic measures may be needed.

The one option that is not on the table is to let the boat sink or the terrorists, the looters and plunderers win.

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