Is the Saudi-backed Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, who owns 95% of Pakistani judges along with a powerful section of media, is an ally of TTP and ASWJ, anti-establishment? At best, the current power struggle between Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif (or between ISI and Geo) may be described as domestic dispute between two powerful sections of establishment.
Those Pakistani liberals (many of them working or writing for Jang Group but also certain other pseudo-liberals) who are championing the recent situation in Pakistan as a struggle between the “anti-establishment” Nawaz Sharif and the Army are way off the objective analysis. If anything, the Saudi-backed pro-Taliban, pro-JuD, pro-ASWJ Nawaz Sharif has actually set back the idea of civilian supremacy with his rash attempt to concentrate power in his coterie of cronies.
Just as the Lawyer’s Movement of 2007-08 was never about upholding the constitution, democracy and improving judicial independence, the recent one-sided standoff between the paper tiger of Raiwand and the military establishment is not about giving power to the people or civilian supremacy over the country’s affairs. Credit is due to Yusuf Nazar and other analysts for stating this so emphatically and with such precise articulation at the very beginning of this so-called “stand-off”. https://lubpak.com/archives/312687
Zahid Hussain writes in Dawn (7 May 2014):
“For sure, military and civilian supremacy remains a major issue that has to be resolved for sustainable democracy. But it is increasing militancy and religious extremism that are the principal impediments. The country cannot move forward without combating these retrogressive forces. It is more important at this point to unite the forces fighting the insurgents.
Unfortunately, the political forces are divided on this critical issue threatening the pluralistic democratic system. The situation has become much more serious particularly with the ambivalence of the Sharif government. Any confrontation between the civil and military authorities would further strengthen the insurgents and non-democratic forces. It is crucially important for the two institutions to be on the same page when Pakistan is fighting for its survival. Any confrontation between the civilian government and the military will be disastrous.”
The army was in retreat from national politics and its image had been badly tarnished in the last decade under both General Musharaf and the previous PPP-lead government.
Instead of working on taking Pakistan away from the destructive policy of using radical Deobandi militants for Strategic Depth, Nawaz Sharif did the opposite. In his shameless pro-Taliban stance which he reiterated in his recent BBC interview – describing TTP terrorists as “our own brothers and children”, Nawaz Sharif has taken Pakistan further away from sustainable democracy and development.
Abbas Nasir writes (Dawn, 3 May):
It would be foolhardy for me to generalise but I get a strong sense from my e-conversations with young officers deployed on the frontline facing Taliban-Al Qaeda militants that despite having taken heavy casualties, their resolve to eliminate terrorism remain unshaken.
In fact, when the government announced its decision to give negotiations a try, instead of the widely anticipated military operations, the disappointment of many soldiers was palpable in our discussions. They seemed oblivious to the ‘good’ Taliban concept and keen to get on with their job.
Many of them complained that for years they have been in holding positions and having to take the brunt of the terror attacks. “We just can’t sit and be pounded day in and day out. We are trained to take the fight to the enemy,” I recall one saying to me.
Pakistan needs to move, and move decisively, to crush the existential threats it faces in the shape of terrorism and the all-pervasive bigotry and the intolerance it engenders. The sooner we close ranks and are on the same page the better.
Ayaz Amir writes in The News (6 May 2014):
So it may be time to pull in the horses and cut some of the adventurism that we are seeing. Everyone in this affair – government, Geo and army – has tried to do more than it could safely handle: the government wanting to make a spectacle of Musharraf and failing in that; Geo acting with a sense of papal infallibility in its reporting of the allegations against the ISI chief and then realising it had bitten off more than it could chew; and the army wanting to teach Geo an abject lesson but unlikely to get what it wants.
Nawaz Sharif’s crony capital ventures may fool opportunists, beneficiaries and fellow Punjabi chauvinists but there can be no peace with India as long as the policy of supporting radical Deobandi and Salafi-Wahabi militants of JeM, ASWJ, JuD, TTP is not ended. The Jang group/Geo TV can launch dozens of meaningless Aman Ki Ashas to present a soft cultured face to pro-peace counterparts in India because they still continue to promote JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and ASWJ chief Ludhyanvi Deobandi – this shows the hypocrisy of Jang/PML N in their peace overtures to India.
In the words of increasingly acclaimed Pakistani satirist Riaz Malik Al-Hajjaji:
The humble “anti-establishment” origins of the current hero of Pakistan’s Good Jinnah Liberals and some Leftists, Nawaz Sharif, are on record. Witness the rise of Crony Capitalist Beneficiary and Pro Taliban Comrade Nawaz Sharif aka Amir ul Tajireen. Flanked by other “anti establishment” icons like Ijaz Bin Zia ul Haq and Qazi Hussain Ahmad Marhoom, Comrade Sharif fondly remembers his Sugar Daddy, General Zia ul Haq Shaheed as “Rahmatullah Alaih”. “anti establishment” Comrade Nawaz Sharif steadfastly continues to support the Taliban as per his BBC interview of few days ago and calls out the anti Taliban lobby as “traitors” – an act that requires real courage of the “Sher e Bunjab” Comrade Sharif. These days there is a tiff btw older ISI-JI love child Nawaz Sharif and younger ISI-Jamaat love child Hazrat Imran Khan. But both these sons of Hazrat Zia ul Haq still love the Taliban