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Sunday, November 26, 2023

Analyzing the explosive internal situation of Pakistan

The lack of national leadership and direction and the negative role of media caused frictions in society and intensified fissiparous tendencies and provincialism. Differing perceptions of the haves and have-nots kept the rulers and the led apart and both were never on one page, writes Asif Raja Haroon, a defense & security analyst.

There has been a sudden upsurge in acts of terror over the past few months. Hardly a day passes without an act of terror and each attack results in deaths and injuries to the sons of soil performing their duties to defend the motherland. Simultaneously, the political temperature has also been shooting up and has now reached the boiling point. Is it a sheer coincidence or it is in accordance with the plans of the enemies of Pakistan is anyone’s guess.

While the war has been going on for nearly two decades causing immense suffering to the nation, it has brought no change in the pompous lifestyle of the politicians. Unmindful of the horrors of the war, the whole lot of politicians are deeply involved in power politics and are least concerned about the safety and integrity of the country. Their sole mission is to stay in power or to capture power. All of them are rolling in wealth and leading a luxurious life. They are least concerned with almost daily sacrifices made by the defenders to save the nation from the hordes of enemies employing all sorts of tactics to overwhelm Pakistan.

Read more: Pakistan always sacrificed for UN peacekeeping missions

The defenders are constantly fighting the faceless enemy since 2002

Dozens of proxies hired by the Indo-Western-American-Israel nexus have posed an existential threat to the country. Ratio of martyrdom of officers to Jawans is exceptionally high since all attacks put in by the army against the terrorists are led by officers. Astonishingly, there are no cases of desertions, suicides, cowardice, or indicipline in the deployed army units, which is amazing and exceptional.

Instead of bucking them up, the denizens bad mouth them. This is causing more pains to the ones in the combat zone and their families separated from them than the bullets. This deplorable segment doesn’t realise that, but for the herculean efforts and exceptional bravery of the brave hearts, the enemy could have over run the country and these very elements would have welcomed the invaders and happily accepted them as their colonial masters.

After employing all kinds of tactics to derail Pakistan, the enemies have drawn a conclusion that until and unless the security forces are demoralised and their will to resist weakened, no progress can be achieved. For this purpose, they are making use of our media, NGOs, politicians, intelligentsia to smear the reputation of the army by airing concocted stories. Focus of hybrid war is on the trunk of the army and spoils civil-military relations.

This undertaking of spoiling civil-military relations became problematic because for the first time the army and the govt in power remained in harmony and each side behaved responsibly. Not only that, to make matters worst for them, the executive head is not playing the game of the masters and is acting defiantly to which they are not accustomed to.

It has therefore become essential for the external enemies to affect a regime change and once again bring a compliant regime to power. Had there been upright, honest and courageous leaders, they would not have pushed Pakistan into the inferno of the US war, and would not have obediently obeyed their orders at the cost of the interests of the nation and the people. Which leader in his right senses would have given a military base to a foreign power and then allowed it to employ drones on our own people mercilessly?

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No leader picked up the courage to name the enemies of Pakistan

Incumbent govt confined the threat perception to India only, while everyone in the streets knew that it is the USA that calls all the shots. The US barred its teeth in 2011 and never spared an opportunity to cause harm to Pakistan.

Clinton, George Bush, Obama, Trump and now Biden accused and threatened Pakistan on trumped-up charges. Pressure tactics, coercion, threats, sanctions, IMF and FATF are their usual tools to pressurize and browbeat defiant leaders. With this well-known background, there is nothing abnormal if Biden threatened IK. He has also threatened Putin and stated that a regime change in Moscow would be in the overall interest of Russia and for the peace in the world.

The ongoing political imbroglio which has peaked is the link of the same chain. No trust motion moved by a whole lot of opposition has reached a critical point and it’s an outcome which till yesterday was fifty fifty, has today tilted the scales in favor of the opposition. The foreign agenda card misfired since this should have been brought up much earlier.

No confidence motion moved by the opposition in Punjab against highly unpopular and ineffective CM Usman Buzdar prompted IK to direct Buzdar to resign but it was a very belated move. Although offering of CM seat to Pervez Elahi secured PML Q votes minus one vote of Cheema, but this advantage was overturned by BAP from Baluchistan minus Zubaida Jalal and MQM P, both deciding to side with the PDM. Two NA members of MQM have resigned from their cabinet posts. None of the dissident PTI members could be won back.

It seems that the opposition has won the number game and it is claiming 180 votes in their bag. Elahi’s excitement would prove short-lived and he is likely to lose his seat of speaker Pb Assy as well. The wind has started to blow in favour of the PDM and the way things are, only a divine help could help the ruling regime.

One possible way to save the crown could be that instead of relying on Buzdar, IK should have made all-out efforts to win over Shahbaz and make him Punjab CM. He was comparatively more flexible and pliable and with little effort from the establishment, this was possible. It could rid the PTI from the blackmailing PML Q, and also helped in veering many other PML N leaders on to its side. Aleem or even Ch Nisar could be tried since it is Punjab which makes or breaks governments.

The selection of Buzdar was the biggest blunder

In case the opposition wins, the outcome will be utter chaos since there is no national leader worth the salt or a political party which can keep the federating units gelled and can tackle the complex internal and external challenges. Too many cooks from different parties with different ideologies and ambitions will spoil the broth and this is exactly what foreign powers want. Already the political hullabaloo has impeded economic growth and impacted macro economics.

What I fear is that the new coalition of large numbers of parties might not come out with another Amdt in the constitution like the 18th Amdt to radically clip the wings of the army and the ISI. This has been the earnest desire of both PPP and PML N.

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Notwithstanding the political instability, the armed forces have remained above board and couldn’t be penetrated by external forces. Alhamdo Lillah, vile efforts of the enemies have failed to make a dent in the motivation and resilience of the army as can be seen by relentless attacks against the terrorists and killing them in face-to-face combats. Their counter actions and offensive spirit has helped in scaling down the intensity of the terror attacks, and hopefully these would be further cut down.

What is however most painful is the continuous loss of our officers, JCOs and NCOs, which devastate the affected families.

May Allah grant highest place in heaven to all the Shaheeds

But if the army is made into a police force and the ISI placed under the ministry of interior, then God help Pakistan.

I have a firm belief that Allah has been protecting Pakistan irrespective of the fact that the performance of our leaders has been below average. The creation of Pakistan was a miracle and it’s survival was a bigger miracle. We absorbed the shocks of the truncation of Pakistan, the devastating nationalization and the self-defeating policy of appeasement which lowered our prestige and compromised our sovereignty.

Most importantly, we stuck to the models given by our erstwhile colonial masters and set aside the Islamic ways as prescribed in Quran and taught by Prophet Muhammad PBUH. We fancy materialism and worldly pomp and show and abhor the golden principles of Islam. The great majority in Pakistan are conservative and are closer to religion but the elite and upper-middle-class that controls all levers of power are secular and are Muslims in name only. The ulemas and Mashaiq are rived in religious differences and are liabilities.

Leadership crisis, political apathy and the negative role of religious leaders collectively failed to gel the heterogeneous society into a vibrant nation. No system other than Islamic system can unite the divided nation. Regionalism has overtaken Pakistaniat. Sindh under the PPP in particular is treading a dangerous path and unless it is brought into the mainstream, it will keep the federal govt in a spin by playing the Sindh card.

Lack of national leadership and direction and the negative role of media caused frictions in the society and intensified fissiparous tendencies and provincialism. Differing perceptions of the haves and have-nots kept the rulers and the led apart and both were never on one page.

Read more: Pakistan’s Lt. Gen Nigar Johar hailed as ‘role model’ in USA

Infighting among the political parties for selfish gains helped the foreign agencies to cultivate them and make them toe their line. All these vulnerabilities have been fully exploited by our adversaries for the achievement of their sinister agenda. They succeeded in 1971 and have once again been successful in making deep inroads in smaller provinces where all the trouble is brewing.

May Allah defeat the conspiracies of our adversaries, and may He keep Pakistan under His benign care and protection.


The writer is retired Brig Gen, war veteran, defence & security analyst, international columnist, author of five books, and 6th book under publication takes part in TV talk shows and delivers talks on current issues. He can be reached at asifharoonraja@gmail.com.  The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.