The latest political crisis in Pakistan

Starting demonstrations

Since the governmental system of Pakistan is federal, in 2013 parliamentary election Muslim League (N) won in Punjab and Tahreek Insaf of Imran Khan won in Khibar Pakhtonkhwa and Muslim League (N) in parliament allied with Jamiat Ulamai Islam of Fazlurahman and other small parties. On the other hand PTI of Imran Khan together with Jamiate Islami party jointly made a government; in national parliament Muslim League Nawaz won the election and Nawaz Sharif become the prime minister.

The current political crisis has roots in 2013 general election, in which PTI party accused Nawaz Sharif’s party for widespread voter frauds. Imran Khan asked for audit in four parties in which one was Nawaz Sharif’s party, but Nawaz sharif’s party rejected the allegations and called the election transparent and in accordance with international standards.

Besides, in June of 2014 Panjabi police in Model Town opened fire on demonstrators related to Tahir Alqadery in Menhaj ul Quran Office, in which 14 were killed and 84 others were injured. This incident was reflected in media in which the police are clearly seen while firing. After the incident, Awami Tehreek called for filing FIR for the incident which did not take place for months. 

These all led to demonstrations and marches by Imran Khan and Tahir al Qaderi on the Independence Day of Pakistan (14 August) in Islam Abad, which resulted in killing and injuring of hundreds of people.

Several questions about the current situation in Pakistan are not answered, for example what will be the result, or what will be its impacts on Afghanistan?


Long march, the only tool in hands of opposition

Long march has a historical role in Pakistan’s opposition parties’ positions against the ruling governments. The opposition brings people to demonstrations against the governments to the streets and converge them to the Pakistan’s capital city Islam Abad.

In 1977, Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) was formed against Zulfaqar Alli Butto and started demonstrations. They also had the same demands like the opposition has now. They were insisting that the voter frauds must be addressed and because of FIR case Butto came to trial. Butto was the founder of PPP and has been executed in 1979 in spite of suggestion from several leaders of the world for releasing him.

Pakistan witnessed several other long marches in the latest decades, which had visible impact. The current long march by Imran Khan, which they call as Freedom March, has been launched after not auditing the ballots of votes and not responding to their demands. Last week, Shah Mahmood Quraishi, the former foreign minister and TIP member, said in parliament that they had demanded the government but the government did not respond to their demands and they chose to come out to streets.

Along with Imran Khan’s Insaf Party, the protesters of Tahir Alqaderi’s party also came to streets under the title of “revolution“ because they claim that FIR against their killers has not been filed and demanded resignation of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, the prime minister of Punjab province.


The latest revolutions; whether towards failure or success?

After announcing Long March in Islamabad attentions were paid towards Imran Khan. Some were considering his decision as his political suicide and others thought that he will resist till the end and will make the prime minister resign.

The people who think that Long March is political suicide of Imran Khan is viewing it like the decision of Napoleon’s war in Waterloo, which led to his failure, but the people who think that Imran Khan will be standing till the end consider his resistance as Tariq Bin Zaiad who burnt all the boats behind him and was ready for confrontation, as it seems that Imran Khan will stand against Nawaz Sharif until Nawaz Sharif will leaving the power.

But the latest positions of Imran Khan shows that he is committing political suicide, for instance attacking the national TV, sending Shah Mahmood Quraishi instead of himself, or insisting on -1 formula, which says that Nawaz Sharif must leave the power and the rest of his demands are not that much important for him; these all shows that he tries to pretend that he is winner in political negotiations.

The demonstrations of Tahir Alqaderi (revolution) are a bit different from (Freedom) march of Imran Khan. His protesters want the trial of their killed members and want changing the governmental system from federal to parliamentary system, but analysts say that demonstration of Tahir Alqaderi is not a challenge for government rather than the Imran Khan is.


The hidden hands behind the demonstrations

However, there are rumours about a hidden intelligence support behind Imran Khan, despite that this is difficult to prove it, but among the 12 journalists who met Nawaz Sharif, Shah Zeb Khanzada has said that Nawaz Sharif repeatedly said that I know who called both of them (Imran Khan and Tahir Alqaderi) and gathered them in London and finally brought them to Pakistan. This journalist said that we journalists repeatedly asked him who were behind this but the Prime Minister did not say anything more.

However, the hidden hands behind Tahir Alqaderi’s protesters seem more likely but he seems not effective in comparison with Imran Khan.

Despite of all these, however the hidden hands behind the scene seems important but the role of protest against the allegations of fraud in election and not registering the FIR seems more important about the protests against the government.


Military’s position on the current crisis

Some analysts think that Pakistan army backs the protests. However, this analysis seems not concrete; but PPP and Asif Ali Zardari the former president of Pakistan accused one of Military intelligence leader that backs Imran Khan, however this issue was forgotten later.

Since the hidden hands behind the current demonstration do not seem credible, all the analysis relies on the apparent causes. When the situation got deteriorated both Tahir Alqaderi and Imran Khan met the head of military; but the issues discussed between them have not been disclosed yet. On the other hand Nawaz Sharif also had some meetings with head of military, which shows that he is in fear from this side.

One of the latest decisions between both parties was to give a mediating role to military. According to this decision, the criticisms raised that who gave the chance to military for involving in politics. Imran Khan and Tahir Alqaderi were criticizing the government, but Nawaz Sharif said that this was decision of both parties. On that day, one of the spokespersons of military said that the suggestion for mediating role was suggested by government.

Now the question is that whether the military might prepare itself for a coup, however General Parviz Musharaf has said that current situation is more like that in 1999 during the coup; but in the current situation the coup and its acceptance seems impossible. America and Britain announced their support from Nawaz Sharif’s government and stated that non republic government would not be acceptable for them. 

The previous coups by military have been backed by the world countries and its reason was the Geo-political changes in the region. The coup of Ayob Khan took place during the cold war, Zia ul Haq’s coup took place while communism attacked Afghanistan; and the Islamic Revolution succeeded in Iran, and kidnapped American diplomats. This and some other situations made the west to back Zialhaq’s coup. 

The signs were showing that General Parviz Musharaf was isolated after his coup. For instance while Clinton traveled to India according to secretary of Pakistan foreign ministry Shamshad Ahmad Khan, Mushraf demanded him to provide just an opportunity for him to give hand to Clinton. He says he made Clinton to come to Pakistan for four hours while his condition was to not take a picture. 

Now if the military play a significant role, it will not be in form of coup; or will tell Nawaz Sharif to resign or tell Imran Khan or Al Qaderi to end their march in Islamabad.


Whether the militant or political Pakistan is good for Afghanistan

The answer to this question that whether militarily or republic Pakistan is good for Afghanistan or not will be answered when Pakistani politicians had control over their foreign policy about Afghanistan; therefore the question is that who make the strategies of Pakistan about Afghanistan?

Pakistan’s history’s study shows that the strategies for Afghanistan in Pakistan are being made by Military or ISI, where the aim is strategic depth according which Pakistan interferes in internal affairs of Afghanistan. 

Still the ISI in Pakistan has control over the foreign affairs of this country; but Kashmir, India and Afghanistan’s strategies are as their own right in the governmental system.

Both the Military and the government has a bad history about Afghanistan. Ayub Khan of Pakistan gave the permit of using Bada Bera air base to U-20 American airplanes, which were interfering afghan territory and were spying over USSR troops. Later the Bhutto government trained people against Dawood Khan Government and paved the way for Pakistan’s strategic depth in Afghanistan. During Zia Ulhaq government the policy of Zia in comparison with Gonijo was worse. But in Binazir Bhutto and Nasirullah Babur governments Pakistan played the negative role and continued.

However, it needs a comprehensive analysis that whether Pakistan’s military or politicians are good for Afghanistan, but Afghan politician like to have a political Pakistan in its neighbourhood, but with all these the military will be at least controlling over the major conflict solving; but after that gradually Pakistan will give the power as Turkey to the politician.

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