I am firm believer in Tolstoy’s theory that it is the masses who define the course of battle (and history). The leaders are like 10 years boy sitting the horse cart, holding the reins and thinking that he is guiding the cart.
It is a long war that people of Pakistan are fighting. I call it the battle between power of gun vs power of people. Understanding the Pakistan’s Military Establishment’s mind is not very difficult. Few years back I wrote an article title “Battle is on”, that described how and why civilian political leaders become the target of wrath of military establishment.
To understand this we must remember that there are only two powers, people and gun. And they are two opposite forces, that means only one could be supreme. Military establishment’s survival is dependent on the supremacy of power of gun. Every military officer knows that and ensures that gun power is ruthless and fearsome.
On the other hand, there is this power of people, a power that gives an unbelievable courage to any person who commands this power and has the trust of people. This courage is such that people like Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto can go to gallows but refuse to surrender. The ordinary man like Junejo can stand in front of the mighty general and ask him to give the power to civilian rulers, and the minions like Nawaz Sharif can refuse to sign the resignation. When a civilian leader knows that he has the trust of millions of people and genuinely believes in himself as the leader of the masses, he automatically becomes the enemy of military establishment.
Military establishment has no issues with regular politicians, it does not matter to them if a weak political leader speaks against them or tries to fight against them. The issue only starts when a political leader has the masses support. It was for that reason military establishment will not trust Benazir or Zardari, it is for that reason that they ensured that Nawaz Sharif remains a hostage with a FIR against him for the murder of people. And that is the only reason that Imran Khan is so dangerous for them.
In 2007, Pakistan military establishment had a serious rift between group headed by Kyani (Taliban Military Establishment as I call them) and group headed by Musharraf. The rift was not only serious but bloody. Laal Masjid turned out to be the peak of that rift. Taliban Military Establishment mobilised all possible resources against Musharraf. But Benazir Bhutto was already in negotiations with Musharraf for the restoration of democracy.
On the other hand Nawaz Sharif was in bed with Taliban Military Establishment with the help of his Saudi sponsors. Those who think that Nawaz Sharif is in anyway anti-establishment must remember that this plot that ended up his being Prime Minister in 2013 was hatched way back in 2007.
Stubborn attitude of Benazir Bhutto led to her tragic murder. She was eliminated as she was the only obstacle in that plan. However her death led to a difficult scenario, in which Taliban Military Establishment had to accept Zardari as the President for an interim period.
Imran Khan in this whole affair was used as the smoke screen and an element to distract the masses. Taliban Military Establishment thought that in order to eliminate PPP as the popular political force, Nawaz Sharif will not be enough. They needed a combined force. Hence Imran Khan was supported as part of “Doctrine of Khairulmakreen”. In 2013 elections, PPP was truly weakened partly because of the government performance and extreme propaganda against them with the help of judiciary and partly because Mr. Zardari was in no mood to sacrifice his son after sacrificing his wife. He therefore submitted and easily left the battlefield. In the elections he refused to fight any battle against the establishment.
Taliban Military Establishment thought that it is probably there best executed plan in history. But as usual people of Pakistan thwarted them once again. Imran Khan who was given one province to rule, like all his predecessors started believing in the power of people.
For me it does not matter what Imran said in the past, or what he would say in the future. For me he is at the moment commander-in-chief of the masses against the military establishment. All establishment forces are united against him. They are using the same tactics against him as they had used against Bhuttos.