Pakistan is going through some turmoil again. Rare opposition unity, Nawaz Sharif naming the Army, Pak rangers kidnapping an IG of Police and speculation of chaos beyond the normal chaos. A new Pakistani dusk is dawning. Will there be a DAWN? Pakistanis do not know. They have never known. Pakistan entered a Tunnel of Perpetual Dusk on 23 Oct 1947 when it invaded Kashmir. It has not got out of it. Every chaos extends the Tunnel of Perpetual Dusk. The PDM Jalsa in Gujranwala extended the Dusky tunnel. However for the first time the Army has been brought into the ring. To get a sense of what Pakistani thoughts are on current topics, some excerpts from Opinion pieces from ‘Dawn’ are put forth. It makes interesting reading. If you click on the paragraph heading you can get to the original article.
The ‘State above a State’ Bombshell Which Started it All
The bombshell was Dropped in an ocean of people
PML-N supremo and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday accused the security establishment of being behind his ouster as prime minister and for “bringing Imran Khan into power”. He questioned who made the state above a state and who was responsible for the two governments in this country, among other things, going on to name COAS Bajwa.
“This is your doing,” he said. He also named Lt Gen Faiz Hameed as being behind everything. “You can label me a traitor if you want, seize my properties, file false cases against me […] but Nawaz Sharif will continue to speak for his people.”
“Who are patriots? The ones who destroyed the Constitution, who broke the country into two halves.” He questioned why retired Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa, who this week announced he was stepping down as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, was still not facing any cases for reportedly amassing assets beyond known sources of income.
“How can he continue to work as chairman of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority?”
He can since Asim Saleem Bajwa serves hot pizzas to the entire lot of Pakistanis General Businessmen and Chinese expeditionary force in CPEC.
The battle in Pakistan is being conducted in classic outer and inner lines. The Outer Line is from UK with Nawaz Sharif taking on the Deep State
Nawaz Sharif’s no-holds-barred virtual speech at Gujranwala where he named names has once again shifted the battle lines: it is not the security establishment but its commander that is the target. The former prime minister’s latest narrative has changed the line of attack.
It may not be the first time that the military leadership has been blamed for conspiring against civilian dispensations in this country, but Sharif’s tirade has more serious connotations. It is not a military ruler but a serving army chief against whom wrongdoing has been alleged. There has been no mincing of words……
The shelf life of Pakistani elected civilian leaders in office is usually not very long, but the decline of the Khan government is indeed phenomenal. It has failed on almost every front. That has provided the opposition a very favourable situation to launch an offensive. The prime minister finds himself in a more precarious situation with fewer allies who too do not seem fully on board. He has the rare quality of pushing everyone into the opposition camp. It is now virtually the PTI versus the rest.
The Inner line is by PDM taking on Imran Khan.
The winner will be …………….The Army. Who else ?
Pakistan has more Lord Voldemorts than Harry Potter could dream of. The Generals who cannot be named and a funk less media.
It represented a watershed moment in Pakistani politics as, for the first time in recent history, he identified the elephant in the room and was quite open about who was responsible for the state of affairs in the country as a result of transgressions of the Constitution and the law.
Informed journalists in the media are clueless, playing it safe. I may be less informed than them but fall in the play-safe category. Hence, the cautious reporting which saw certain key elements of the Sharif Gujranwala address not quoted verbatim. He named names, we didn’t. Old habits die hard.
The Pakistani press is scared to the bone to take names. They play safe!
Somethings never change even after 72 years !
Even a cursory look at Pakistan’s ruling arrangements — whether civil, military, or hybrid — would confirm that stability, inclusiveness, and rule-following are not their most obvious traits. Personalised rule constantly holds intra-party factional intrigue at bay; military elites provide guarantees for repeated concessions till the moment they don’t; the bureaucracy switches between total submission and complete indifference. In most cases, exogenous events — inflationary pressures, geostrategic considerations, global corruption scandals — throw arrangements into disarray, but very rarely change the underlying logic and hierarchy of rule.
The exogenous moment this Monday is non-existent economic growth and inflationary pressure. The opening is further provided by the fact that the ruling party only has a limited amount of political capital to spend in some parts of the country.
The ruling party is putting its hand in the till of the Pakistan army’s political capital piggy bank fully subsidised by CPEC and PAPA JOHNs
Pakistan’s Response to its myriad self-created problems
IMAGINE you have been parachuted to power to run a country of 220 million with myriad problems of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and malnutrition.
You have also inherited massive fiscal problems from your predecessors, elected and uniformed. And to add to your woes, your country — as well as the rest of the world — has been blindsided by a lethal virus that is devastating entire societies and economies.
What do you do in these circumstances? Why, you just ban TikTok……………..
Tik Tok has since been restored with due apologies to China in 48 hours
A Reality Check on Pakistan
THERE is this pesky thing about reality — it always finds a way to assert itself. You can muzzle it, deny it and spin it away but it will always catch up with you eventually. Perhaps that’s why we call it reality, because it doesn’t go away simply because somebody in a position of power or influence orders it to go away. And for any ruler there are two realities that simply cannot be muzzled, denied or spun away: economics and war……
The reality is that this government is adrift. There is no vision at play, whether for tax reform or on state-owned enterprises. We are told something has been developed for the power sector, but the test of this plan will be their ability to arrest and reduce the circular debt without recourse to tariff hikes.
Reality is asserting itself now, in the data as well as the streets. Time to end the rhetoric.
The Pakistani Reality is Predictably Familiar….old hat!
How can we talk of Pakistan without debt? Pakistan without debt is like ice cream without a topping.
THE power sector’s outstanding debt, known as ‘circular debt’ in common parlance, is reaching new heights as the government gropes in the dark to find a solution to a problem that is becoming untenable. A new Nepra report estimates the debt to have increased by more than a third to Rs2,150bn in the last fiscal from Rs1,600bn a year ago…….
the real issue is of poor governance and mismanagement plaguing this sector and causing the accumulation of debt over the last one decade and a half. The Nepra report acknowledges that electricity theft had increased and more people had delayed or defaulted on payment of their bills owing to financial stress during the pandemic.
Everything keeps going around in Pakistan. That is why it is called circular debt. No one pays for anything in Pakistan. Everyone owes everyone and Everything is free. Including Power!……Only if you are a General!
Without Pakistan roaring at full blast there is no fun in life.
POLITICS is back on the streets. Pakistan is back into default mode.
This is what we like. The defiant crowds and roaring opposition; the spirited sloganeering and frenzied mobs; the mammoth rallies and charged speakers; the music and honking, the dancing and chanting, the vehicular mayhem snaking across jam-packed highways — oh yes we all live for this kind of politics — the impromptu speeches, the rain of rose petals, and the crush of thousands thronging arenas lit with big lights and bigger enthusiasm. This is what defines our politics — not pompous speeches in parliament, not stuffy meetings in boardrooms, not poorly choreographed publicity events laced with rehearsed dialogues — no, ladies and gentlemen, what we want, what we relish and what we love are heart-thumping, high-octane and double-wattage events — the kind that are now unrolling like giant pythons across the plains of central Punjab.
Make no mistake: the mean streets are ablaze with a rising tide of passion amidst a pall of depression cast wide by the pain of ineptitude-driven inflation.
If Pakistan cannot create trouble for others it creates trouble for itself. Is it not better this way? There is a moral in this.
Into the Valley of Death?
In directly blaming the army chief and the head of the ISI for the removal of his government, and saying they will have to answer for all they have done, Mr Sharif has brought Pakistani politics into uncharted territory. By doing so, he has amplified in the public domain what was hitherto fodder for whispers and innuendos.
Whose Death? I am heading to Papa Johns!
The more things Change the more they remain the same
Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has taken notice of and ordered an immediate inquiry into the “Karachi incident”, the military’s media wing said on Tuesday.
In a tweet from its official account, the PPP said Gen Bajwa also called Bilawal “over the telephone to discuss the Karachi incident this evening”. “The Chairman PPP expressed his appreciation to the COAS for taking prompt notice of the Karachi incident and his assurance of conducting a transparent inquiry on the incident,” it added.
The deep state is still calling the shots!
Very clearly the dusk is just dawning, the night is long and daylight even further.
All the best Pakistan.
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