Since the last one month everything has suddenly gone topsy turvy in Pakistani politics and now all everyone talks of is the Lucky Imrani Circus coming to town on May 11th.
To the uninitiated it might seem very accidental and sudden but as a wise man once said, there are no accidents in Pakistani politics. There are strings, puppets, marionettes and dances of marionettes galore.
Consider the casting of the usual suspects and their opening acts:
- Why did Imran Khan suddenly turn against Judiciary and GEO after one whole year?
- Why is the chabi wala baba Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri suddenly back from Canada? Why has his chabi been wound precisely now?
- Why is Col. Haroon Rasheed (unofficial spokesman and mystic masseur of Pakistan Army) claiming that the US isn’t happy with this democratic government and wants it gone?
- Why have certain media personnel been activated and launched in “Mahol Banao” mode by the army and are being given total support, even confirmed by their spokesperson Col. Haroon Rasheed?
- Why “Dr. Babar Awan”, the most notorious lawyer in Pakistan, who was the frontman against the independent judiciary and used to distribute cash in bar councils for their support against judiciary is now the lawyer of ISI against GEO in PEMRA?
- Why did Dr. Danish of ARY start promoting ISI and trying to prove that is ‘number one best aijency’ in the world just a week before attack on Hamid Mir?
The Crimes of the Civilians:
The answer to these questions lie in certain developments which are seen in a very suspicious light by the Pakistan army. These developments include:
- It is a ‘Now or Never’ situation for the military establishment, whose business and political monopolies have been threatened for the first time. Since this democratic government has taken key steps to reform and restructure the economy, there have been a series of healthy changes in all economic indicators. The seeds for economic rebirth and prosperity planted by the current civilian democratic government are going to flower and bear fruit in the next years. If the current civilian government gets the credit for economic rebirth, Pakistan army will find it difficult to sell its dentonic of ‘Saving Pakistan’.
- The last 5 years of PPP, PMLQ, MQM and JUI-F government installed by Pak Army through NRO was a tactical retreat by the army to discredit politicians and rebuild their damaged image during Musharraf’s tenure. Army was all set to topple Zardari as well but the project to restore Martial Law was temporarily shelved due to the humiliating defeats of the army during Abbottabad incident, Memogate drama and Raymond Davis’s escape masterminded by DG ISI Lt. Gen Pasha.
- After releasing the first Internal Security Policy, the civilian government is working on launching its first Defence Policy and Foreign Policy, which has always been the exclusive domain of military establishment in Pakistan.
- Pakistan is advancing at extraordinary pace with game-changing development projects such as:
- Massive energy projects
- Metro bus projects in Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan and other large cities.
- Karachi circular railway
- Lahore-Karachi Motorway
- Economic corridor connecting China with Gwadar
- 3G/4G activation
- There has been no major corruption scandal during the tenure of this government. Comparing this with the 1st year of PPP government, it is obvious how the people’s faith in democracy is being restored. If this government completes its 5 year term it might become much more difficult for the army to destabilize civilian governments.
- The establishment (aka army) fears losing their political and commercial interests permanently making it much more difficult for the army to acquire golf courses, capture DHA plots and secure jobs in Fauji Fertilizer/Askari Cement/Askari Bank etc. For example, the restarting of freight trains at great pace by Saad Rafiq threatens army’s NLC, who currently run their transport business and were even in the process of taking over freight railways for their commercial interests(!).
- The economy is showing extremely healthy signs leading to considerable heartburn and shortage of pepto-bismol. Anti-democracy pundit brigade who had bet on rupee’s tailspin depreciation are at their wits’ end trying to reconcile a 10% gain in the rupee’s value. As the economy strengthens, Pakistan has reduced the total net debt from $63 Billion to $59B since the government took over. The World Bank has additionally approved soft loans in the amount of $12 Billion in coming years for development projects and China has also committed to investing more than $30 Billion in Pakistan during next few years.
The Usual Suspects
- Sheikh-ul-Islam Maulana Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri: Like a villain from some 80s evil dead movie, the good doctor keeps getting re-animated repeatedly. Musharraf had him elected to the assembly in 2002 but TuQ wanted more. TuQ did not take part in 2013 elections and is not victim of any alleged election rigging, but he will be using his Minhajul Quran employees and students to support establishment who brought him to assembly in 2002. Air Vice Marshal (r) Shahid Lateef has been reported to be member of TuQ’s university’s Board of Governors and has been promoting ISI and TuQ on the TV non-stop.
- Sheikh Rashid: One of the closest aides of Musharraf has also announced launching anti-government protests to destabilize democracy along with Imran Khan. Sheikh Rasheed took a stay against the application in election tribunal by Shakeel Awan for recounting and Sheeda is scared that he could lose his seats that he won narrowly with PTI votes. Sheikh Rasheed’s another problem is the full pace Metro Bus development in Rawalpindi, which will be a nail in his political coffin when completed in few months.
- Imran Khan: Being blackmailed by ISI due to his objectionable video and pressured by the forward block, he has agreed to serve as military’s prophylactic rubber sheath. Imran Khan has a history of backstabbing his benefactors: Musharraf during referendum, Nawaz Sharif from 2007-2009 during democracy movement, former CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry in Judicial movement and finally GEO who supported Imran by giving him extraordinary coverage and partnering with him in humanitarian projects.
- Jamat-e-Islami: Siraj-ul-Haq said TuQ is a very suspicious character in Saleem Safi’s show in the afternoon. In the evening it seems he received some calls from Aabpara and decided to join the TuQ+IK circus. JI has always been B-team of army was given KPK government by Musharraf / ISI in 2002 and they also validated the martial law of 12 October 1999 through 17th amendment.
- Sunni Ittehad Council: Historically not known as army’s asset, Sunni Ittehad Council has shown full support for army and has conducted rallies in their favor.
- Jamat-ud-Dawa: Led by Hafiz Saeed, JuD has showed much love for worlds “number one best aijancee” and is part of DPC (Diffa-e-Pakistan) Clown Posse. It was also previously part of ISI’s game plan during Memogate, Raymond Davis and Kerry Lugar Bill episodes.
- ASWJ / SSP / LeJ: It’s ex-leader Maulana Azam Tariq, who was jailed by PMLN government in late 1990’s was released by army’s government in 2002 and was part of Musharraf’s coalition. These serpents have been fed and nurtured by Pakistan Army in Balochistan where they have been feeding on the blood of minorities. They have also been drafted in to help the project of bulldozing the civilian setup.
- MQM: The 2 suspects in Imran Farooq’s murder are in ISI’s custody, while UK is demanding access to these suspects. The ISI is currently arm twisting Altaf for his support on this issue and MQM enforcers are believed to be responsible for blocking GEO in some parts of Karachi.
- PMLQ: Illegitimate child of Military Dictatorship and created by General Musharraf. It was rejected and humiliated in the last election and has no future in politics other than serving future military dictatorships. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain arranged nationwide rallies in support of army just recently. Funny enough, there were more people in rallies of PMLQ than those who voted for them.
- PMLF: Perpetual part of military propaganda machinery since generations. Met musharraf recently and gave him important message about upcoming military plans for massive change.
- Media Partners: Dunya, Express and ARY
- Media Assets:
- Colonel Haroon Rashid
- Captain Mubasher Lucman
- Captain Moeed Pirzada
- Hawaldar Danish
- Lance Naik Arshad Shareef
- Batman Zaid Hamid
- Colonel Shaheen Sehbahi
- Brigadier Shahid Masood
Given such threatening gestures by the civilians, the army has created a strategic game plan to take back control of the narrative.
Salient features of this sinister game plan include:
- During the period of temporary tactical retreat of Pakistan Army, main obstacles in its path of creating and spreading political corruption were Free Judiciary and Free Media, that were created by the people of Pakistan after an enormous struggle. Pakistan Army is masterminding a vast conspiracy to discredit and control the Judiciary and the Media so that the next elections are “transparent” like 2002 elections. Ehtesham Zameers for the next election have been chosen. The Army wants full control on next elections and has created a vast apparatus of control and coercion: A truly parallel government.
- A parallel government short-circuiting the existing bureaucratic command structure has been set up staffed by senior military officers. Some disturbing examples came to light when the relatives of the missing persons were beaten and mistreated by the police on direct orders of embedded military officers without the knowledge of police officials. In essence, the parallel government bypassed the civilian democratic government by issuing threatening orders directly to lower level civilian staff. Another example: Cable operators across Pakistan have been disconnecting different channels on orders from Aabpaara without knowledge or approval from PEMRA. If that wasnt’ enough, the parallel government is actively controlling what goes on-air at all news channels. Program editors at many channels have received calls to mute a certain anchors. See recent programs of Bolta Pakistan, Bottom Line which were muted everytime ISI, Pasha or Gen Zaheer were mentioned.
- The first line of defence of judiciary is the media, which is being attacked and destroyed by the dark agents of the parallel government through verbal threats, harassment and actual physical torture in case of non-compliance. The next line of judiciary’s defence, the bar council are also under sustained attack. Babar Awan has been recently re-activated working buying loyalties at the bar council level. In that vein, a concerted campaign has been launched against Jang/Geo with the help of its commercial and business rivals. Like a pack of vicious wolves, the media has undergone a feeding frenzy to cannibalize large chunks of itself. Who emerges stronger? Ze ISI, of course! On the other end of this shameless powergrab by the Army is the sustained attack on the judiciary. An entity used to yanking chains has yanked Imran Khan’s collar chain and let him loose on the ex-CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry. With the media eating its own young, it will no longer be in a position to defend the wounded judiciary being ravaged by Army’s hunting dogs.
- The military regime wants to replace GEO with its own loyal network that does not stand in the way of “Free Elections” and “Free Judiciary”. BOL TV has been set up as media channel similar to what PMLQ was installed in politics by army. They are threatening and trying to co-opt senior anchors in all media houses, especially in GEO. Shaheen Sehbai has been given an important task in this regard and he has moved from US to Marriott Islamabad with some intelligence personnel. He has been offered a senior position at BOL and has been holding constant meetings.
- Tobacco seller Sultan Lakhani (Lakson Tobacco) who owns Express Group, famous gold smuggling ring who owns ARY and Mian Amir of Q League who owns Dunya group are completely on board with the master plan to destroy media freedom and bring back the good old obedient days of PTV. These three business tycoons are expecting billions more in profits as they take over GEO’s former market share, reap windfall from 3G and 4G activation and as the army helps them in their other businesses.
- Imran Khan was part of a scandal of very objectionable nature with a young victim but refused to accept responsibility. Imran Khan believes this scandal will be an end to his political career and he has no choice except to bow to establishment’s demands and become their handmaiden. He also realizes that at his age (62+) and keeping in view of performance of current democratic government, he does not stand a chance to become Prime Minister through electoral process under democracy. The evidence also came to the knowledge of Nawaz Sharif but he decided not to exploit the issue for political mileage. The evidence along with the video of the scandal came into possession of some elements in the ISI who are using it to blackmail Imran Khan. Imran Khan excused himself during a recent core committee meeting to attend an urgent phone call. This was around the evening of April 25th when the screw was tightened. This explains his sudden decision to join ISI’s conspiracy of toppling the government together with the usual suspects like TuQ, Diffa Pakistan Council clowns and Jamat Islami. It should be noted that the decision of launching the movement against the government is not unanimous within the PTI. The decision was taken by Imran Khan and Shireen Mazari alone, while the other senior leaders like Javed Hashmi and Shah Mehmood were not taken on board. This means, apart from the big carrot of being a Prime Minister under President General Raheel Shareef, Imran Khan is also being pushed by a couple of big blackmail sticks: Scandal video and the forward block in KPK assembly.
Transition from military tyranny to democracy are always extremely difficult as seen recently in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Syria. It is only the people of Pakistan who have always stood up against every dictator and have won every battle. Starting from Ayub to Yahya, Zia and Musharraf we have punched each and every last one of them in the face with the last Mukka. In the last few years, we as a nation, have defeated the military’s attempts at legal cover, threw out the PCO, liberated imprisoned judges and restored them to their benches.
The army still hasn’t given up attempts to enslave the people of Pakistan and has decided to give its old dusty scripts a try again. But this time (one hopes) the people are awake and guarding their democratic liberties alertly. No Canadian clown, laal topis, laal havelis or dim-witted ex-sportsmen should be able to derail hard-won democratic freedoms. Pakistan was created through a democratic process, broken by a military regime but will be made whole and healthy by us, the civilians.
Let the Lucky Imrani Circus try and see otherwise.
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