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Monday, April 15, 2024

Strategic web of regime changes in Pakistan

The Pakistani parliament voted no confidence in Prime Minister Imran Khan in the early hours of 10 April, in a culmination of tensions that had been building for some time. Khan’s main opponents, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), had long insisted that his victory in the 2018 general elections was the result of military interference.

Here comes the end of a long meeting, audience and attendees emerge exhausted and clueless. A policy study talks and so boring, I said to myself; as I walked off the road to catch my bus I was getting late for my class. Suddenly, one thing struck me hard, and that was a Question? asked by someone in the audience.

Will you shed light on “The policy of strategic depth”?

if I can recall it, the gentleman went into great length in detail to answer but he failed to deliver a logical answer.

But this question in itself had brainstormed me, echoed and flashed out a lot of memories of auditions of other policy study talks and some long last media interviews in this relevance.

Read more: DG ISPR sets the record straight on Pakistan’s key issues

Understanding the matter better

If I can recall a talk by Neil Joeck a senior scholar at the school of international studies at the University of California and Christine Fair, an interview of the late Pakistani president Mr Zia where took an audience with US broadcaster John McLaughlin and both these audiences said a lot about this cocktail idea in my words which is known to many as “Strategic depth Policy”, will develop a new paranoia for many in long-standing in terms of its emergence as a new socio-political system of governance with a blend of tradition, democracy, theocracy and socialism.

In today’s world and the current international political scenario, no idea or event takes place in seclusion but many local, regional and international factors influence such occurrences.

By looking into the historical ingress of human society, to a certain reality we live in a global village where local and regional phenomena are no more indigene but in today’s world the financial scheme and tools vs environmental effects I.e.; climate change is unilateral and global, so to understand the very fact of this global nation-state, its placement or functioning defines the roles of members.

When there is no idea or theorem is local so as the meanings and its implications, then for survival and ingress nations had to adopt such ideas as a strategy for being relevant in this course.

We lived through pages of history from monolithic society through ages in the formation of the family to a city-state and gone through the course of authoritarian rules and republic of sage Socrates and platonic ideas, “An unexamined life is not worth living”, “Man is a social animal” .and “Only the dead have seen the end of war” are phrases always echo our thoughts. 

Read more: Pakistan’s nuclear program to stall as PAEC defaults on payments

Why all this long introduction before commenting on the current political situation of Pakistan?

YES, it’s an obvious and very logical question one may ask but my short answer would be that at the micro-level in days to come all those ideologies, theorems and ideas will play a major role in shaping the political landscape of Pakistan which will affect the regional politics on one hand and will shape new idea which will bring resonance to geostrategic and political arena internationally.

This whole situation looks like a Chessboard or More precisely If I can say Solo-chess game, where a player is playing on both sides of the board countering and placing his bits rather than calling them moves.

I will start very later where against all odds and imaginations PTI decided to resign from parliament today; in a parliamentary committee meeting after all deliberations, Mr Khan announced that he is going to resign from his membership in parliament. When asked he said; if that might be just his resignation.

I talked about historical ingress or development of human society, here is my point; masses outpoured the streets all over the country a few nights ago reflecting that idea. In a society so diverse ethnically, religiously and socially where no serious efforts were made over the last 75 years on human development and to a criminal extent very little spent on education still such political awareness is displayed leads me just one thing, that this

X-Factor came from one major move of this chess player

He sensed after his long struggle of 22 years on the streets and 8 years of provincial and national govt, that he cannot challenge the set rule of the game in a place where the status quo consists of the military, judiciary, Media, civil bureaucracy and labral intelligence along with dynastic political elite, so to bring about any change or reforms he took a very challenging route and these last events paved the way for this transformation.

And very cleverly he exposed every player in this saga, without giving them any reasonable ground to counter his narrative, corruption and misgovernance became so prevalent arguments in any political debate which are very rare in 3rd world countries or societies due to the very fact that the very fabric of these societies is so much rotten that no one buys such idea with any seriousness.

As a political analyst at distance, I can say that so much was apparent to him when he noticed a full media blackout on his good initiatives like IHSAS, Health cards, and bringing out the country from diplomatic isolation and organisation of OIC events, which made him realised that he is treated as an outsider.

Read more: Pakistan received $2.8 remittance in March 2022

A phrased was conned to call him Selected, where in reality he was deprived of 20 to 23 seats in last elections by last-minute move when they brought down RTS system when they sensed he is winning an outright majority but very smartly he put aside everything and without any complain he joined the hands with forces at the helm of affairs and in my opinion, he was aware of all this at first hand but still to defeat them within he did concede little on his principle stance but he didn’t compromise in entirety.

Recent events were partial results of his 120 days set in back in 2014 where for all those long 3 months, he used to deliver the same boring rhetoric (to many) two times a day like prescribed medicine by a doctor. He knew very well what he is doing? but to many, it was a move to topple the government, like he said on numerous occasions I was waiting for my voters to grow up and stand by his side.

At a local level where rest of his rivals have no intellectual capacity to understand his chess game but it was not the case in regional or international politics where they play with checklists and textbook rules, that’s why they sensed it early and they created the situations that he had to end this, eventually, he had to call off after the IPS tragic event, by that time he had achieved his goals to some extent.

For local commentators and political analysts, it was all to do with local politics but for players of great games, this was not exactly the case. By the 100th day, the entire nation was united under one banner with national flags which was a matter of great concern to many as they saw their billions of investments going down the drain, they used to bring nationalism, ethnic & religious divide and polarisation within the very core of societies in Islamic world i.e., Shia-sunny, Turk– Kurdish and Arab non-Arab etc and much more micro level.

Marriage of Convenience and last ball 

As I said a phrase was conned to brand him as selected by the military establishment vice versa in reality that was not the case at all, for the military establishment he was the last option or least option but they had to go for it for their benefit of rebranding or thwarting off this massive media onslaught pointed at them internationally. For Mr Khan, it was the chance to understand from within this modus of Operandi of the deep state, and handled it very well whenever he got the chance to visit their HQ he went into great length in deliberations.

At the same time when this phrase of Selected surfaced, in his inaugural speech he said; the day when I will bring them (corrupt political elite) into account they will ally against me, the same happened in recent events and they played into his trap without realising that for any political entity a narrative or political slogan is the only source of oxygen to survive and by looking into current political arrangements in Pakistan that are long gone.

Mr khan played his cards very wisely, just to keep them off balance he played with even words very smartly when he said I will surprise them or I have a surprise for them, despite being in collusion and understanding with the military establishment they failed to realise this whole notion. All this helped Mr khan to keep his team in up beats mood and on the other hand, forced the opposition to expose their weaknesses by taking the blame of horse-trading on their shoulders along with constitutional and legal misconduct.

He was well aware of the fact that the House of sharifs have a deep-rooted influence on the judicial mechanism so the only way to expose it was this move to play until the last ball and he played it very well.

Read more: Pakistan in awe of Imran Khan’s powerful Peshawar rally

Strategic web and winning mood

Here, I would like to talk about two things that I mentioned in the introduction about Mr Neil & Ms Fair’s dialogue and General Zia’s Audience with Mr John McLaughlin.

Later Mr. Zia’s illusion in Mr John’s words is my point of reference and this other geopolitical dialogue was about Pakistan’s strategic depth policy…. But this time I am going to deliberate on it with my reference current political scenario.

The whole idea of this long-standing idea of strategic Depth was to thwart off hegemony of our eastern neighbor and other major players on the world stage but these political maneuvers are in total contrast to that idealism where Mr khan did come up with a very niche idea of geo-economics but at the helm of affairs some egoistic minds didn’t comprehend it logically.


The writer is a London-based freelance writer. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.