Pakistan is going through the most toxic times of its history and many say that the current situation is much more dangerous than the 1971 crisis which led to the division of Pakistan. RAW and other intelligence agencies inimical to Pakistan are using the tool of sabotage and subversion relentlessly.
After successfully poisoning the minds of the Bengalis, they have now poisoned the minds of the big segments of Balochis, Sindhis, Muhajirs, Pakhtuns, and Gilgitis, and have created a split among the Punjabis through subversion. The youth is their favorite target whose raw minds can be easily subverted. Their whole focus is now riveted on the army which they feel is the only obstacle in their way of accomplishing their sinister objective of undoing Pakistan.
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The bigger threat
This silent and invisible war has cloned the minds of the majority of the younger generation. This threat has become more dangerous than the Indian threat or the threat posed by terrorism.
Building a strong defense against subversive war through effective counter Psy Ops is the need of the hour and must be undertaken by the educated elders, teachers, professors and parents in every house and educational institution. The target of our enemies is the trunk of the army, where lies the center of gravity and security of Pakistan. Unfortunately, the ones who are required to provide guidance have become a party and are misleading the youth under misplaced beliefs.
The mostly unemployed younger generation, disillusioned with the corrupt systems and fed up with leaders deficient in morality and leadership qualities, have got misled and distracted by the political slogans of Imran Khan (IK) that were anti-status quo. They have become obsessed with the fanciful idea of gaining true freedom and building a new Pakistan free of corruption and other vices and practicing Hazrat Umar’s model of governance.
While the idea floated by IK a few years ago was brilliant, he could make no headway during his unfinished tenure, since he and his team were unprepared and not qualified to fulfill their delusional promises.
After his premature ouster last April, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise for IK, whose popularity was on the decline, the high wave of popularity has convinced him and his party leaders that victory with the two-thirds majority is within their grasping reach and all other parties would be washed out.
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He now wants to fulfill his rosy promises by returning to power at the earliest and is least bothered about the state of the economy which is at the edge of bankruptcy and is wholly controlled by the IMF, and all the state institutions are compromised and corrupted.
The unprecedented devastations caused by torrential rains and heavy flash floods have ruined the lives of millions and immediate relief and rehabilitation are required.
We need unified national efforts
For IK, early elections are the remedy to all the ailments, but he doesn’t trust the military, the judiciary, the ECP, and FIA and refuses to talk with any political leader or the government which he describes as the band of thieves.
With such a mindset, who will ensure free, fair, and transparent elections from within Pakistan? Would he like law enforcement agencies from abroad to maintain law and order in the polling booths, and a foreign team to come and conduct the idealistic elections? The foreigners would also fail due to hundreds of inherent flaws in the electoral system.
Having created an environment of lawlessness, defiance, distrust and extreme polarization, elections and not reforms are his priority.
He has successfully galvanized the middle class, particularly urban youth and women, veterans, and a large segment of serving officers, but he has yet to explain how he intends to do the impossible in his next rule and what changes he has made to his previous plan, which failed to deliver. Will he now be able to ensure financial discipline and how?
So far, it’s only rhetoric and promises, and no road map has been given on how he would pull out of the country deeply stuck in the 75 years old mess, and how he would remove the misgivings of the IMF, USA, EU, China and the Arab States?
The PTI is mending fences with Washington, but has the latter forgiven IK? The IMF turned down the request made by the KP govt at the behest of Shaukat Tareen and delivered the installment.
The pendulum of power has once again shifted towards the courts which are deeply involved in sorting out political issues since the parliament is almost dysfunctional.
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The top four political leaders, NS, SS, Zardari and IK as well as large numbers of political leaders, are in the grip of the judiciary, which continues to remain selected and prejudiced. Its verdicts are mostly governed by the direction of the wind and not on merit.
As against the desire of the PTI to hold early elections, the PML N wants a level playing field for the elections. In their view, the field will be leveled once NS returns home and cases of corruption against him and others are quashed. Both sides have their arguments and counterarguments and the debate is acrimonious and never-ending.
The military which used to play the role of a referee is finding itself in a weak position for the first time since both the camps feel that they have been victims of military meddlesome roles. The army under Gen Bajwa has, however, reasserted its credibility in the eyes of the public in the ongoing flood relief operations.
The fight between the political parties and between the PTI and the military has been exacerbated and sensationalized by electronic and social media. All limits of ethics are crossed by the latter which is boosted by traditional anti-Pakistan and anti-army brigades, now joined by the veterans and the Pakistani ex-pats.
The effects of media war are so pungent that families have been divided and fissures created in the unassailable tree of the army.
The youth are fully charged up and are waiting for the call of their Messiah to clash with the law enforcement agencies with full force and irrespective of the grave consequences.
The PTI leaders are also eagerly waiting for the change in military command in late November this year, and are very hopeful that things would swing in its favor under the new COAS, not realizing that the military has its set procedures, doctrines and systems, which do not change with the change of top leadership.
With every passing day, IK is losing patience
One reason for his impatience and growing signs of frustration is the dozens of cases framed against him and his party leaders. He is haunted by the specter of his disqualification, and his party getting disbanded.
The beleaguered government under SS fighting for survival has so far failed on all fronts and its reputation is being smeared viciously by the PTI and its fans. The inflation has crossed the figures of 27% which was experienced only once before in 1975. Prices of daily commodities are rising and people are crying in agony. Floods have worsened the situation. It will be another miracle if Pakistan sails out of the choppy waters and reaches the shores of safety unscathed.
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The only achievement made by the incumbent govt is that it has ensured its legal protection from the NAB by clipping its wings, and is now busy cutting down the powers of the apex courts. It is also claiming that it saved Pakistan from default, and is making efforts to put the country back on the rails. For that, it wants to complete its tenure by next September.
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Under the prevailing grim political and security dynamics, there is no scope for dirty politics and greedy power struggles. The only way out of the ongoing multi-dimensional crises is lowering tempers, replacing emotions and pigheadedness with rationalism and accommodation, and sitting together to work out a political settlement that suits Pakistan and its national interests.
No party is in a position to have its way using roughshod tactics
The political polarization is so deep-rooted and the society so sharply divided, that no party can subdue all others and have its way. The concept of an inclusive government seems to be gaining ground over one-party rule. There will have to be a give and take under the policy of reconciliation to break the political logjam which is shaking the foundations of the federation.
Emphasis should be on reforming the judiciary, decentralization of the political edifice, making more provinces, and reforming and strengthening local governments. This course adopted the fascist and autocratic tendencies of the rulers of three mainstream parties and would block the Bonapartist tendencies of the military.
The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran, defense, political and security analyst, international columnist, and author of five books with his sixth book under publication.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.