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PAKISTAN'S VISION 2030
AT THE TIME  OF WRITING IT IS STILL TO BE CONFIRMED IF THE PTI RALLY AT THE FAMOUS MINAR e PAKISTAN WILL PROCEED AS ENVISAGED ON SATURDAY MARCH 25 2023.  IMRAN KHAN HAS CALLED IT A POWERSHOW. IT IS BEING HELD IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF POLITICAL VICTIMISATION   AND HARASSMENT BY THE EXISTING POLITICAL AUTHORITIES. UPTO 1000 PTI PARTY WORKERS HAVE BEEN ROUNDED UP,  THOUSANDS OF HOUSE RAIDS, CONTAINERS BLOCKING ROADS, INTERNET OUTAGE TO  STOP THE RALLY AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION CURBED. 

THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY NEEDS TO STAND UP TO BANANA REPUBLIC POLITICS AND PRESSURISE THE SHARIF PROXY GOVERNMENT TO ABIDE BY THE RULE OF LAW AND CONSTITUTION OF THE COUNTRY. IDEALLY SANCTIONS ARE REQUIRED ON THE CORRUPT LEADERS INCLUDING FREEZING THEIR MISAPPROPRIATED ASSETS IN WESTERN JURISDICTIONS AND RETURNED TO PAKISTAN. 

IT IS CLEAR THAT THE BATTLE OF WILLS BETWEEN PAKISTAN's PEOPLE AND ENTRENCHED OLIGARCHY MOVES ONWARDS TOWARDS A CRISIS. PAKISTAN HAS ARRIVED AT A DEFINING MOMENT IN IT'S HISTORY AS IT HAS A POPULIST AND POPULAR LEADER WITH THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION  BEHIND HIM. THE PAKISTANI ESTABLISHMENT NEEDS TO REALISE IT'S MONOPOLY POWER SHOW IS COMING AT AN END.  IT WILL BE MAKING A FATAL MISTAKE IF IT CONTINUES WITH MEASURES TO SABOTAGE THE PAKISTANI PEOPLES WILL AND MAKE  THE PEOPLE ANGRY. AS THE PENT UP RAGE OF 70 YEARS  WILL ENGULF ALL AND SUNDRY.

THE OPTIONS OF BOTH THE RULING ALLIANCE AND OPPOSITION ARE BEING NARROWED. THE OPTIONS FOR THE POLITICAL PARTIES TO BE EITHER IN JAIL OR IN POWER AND GOVERNMENT IS DANGEROUS. THE POLITICAL PARTIES NEED TO GROW UP AND LEARN TO COEXIST IF THE NATION IS TO PROGRESS AND DEVELOP.  PAKISTAN's ABSENCE OF THE RULE OF  LAW , LACK OF CIVILIAN SUPREMACY AND THE LAW OF THE JUNGLE NEEDS TO END. THIS CAN ONLY BE DONE BY BREAKING THE IDOLS AND CHAINS OF FEAR WHICH HAS IMPRISONED THE NATION SOON AFTER INDEPENDENCE. 

MORE IMPORTANTLY THE POWERSHOW's SIGNIFICANCE NEEDS TO BE REVIEWED IN THE LIGHT OF CONSTITUTIONAL ELECTION REQUIREMENTS.


NEW SONG FOR JALSA 2023 
JAAG UTHA HAI SARA WATAN
IMRAN KHAN SONG MINAR-e- PAKISTAN 






LIVE: PTI BIG POWER SHOW IN LAHORE 
PTI IMRAN KHAN's HISTORIC ADDRESS AT MINAR-e-PAKISTAN LAHORE





PETITION FILED IN SUPREME COURT TO IMPOSE ARTICLE 6
ON ECP AND SHAHBAZ







IMRAN's JALSA AT MINAR e PAKISTAN & PROJECT 1985
Orya Maqbool Jan





NEW RECORD | PTI HISTORICAL MINAR -e-PAKISTAN JALSA DECISIVE MOMENT
Imran Riaz Khan Today


IMRAN KHAN's HISTORIC  JALSA AT MINAR-e-PAKISTAN LAHORE 
Lt Gen ® Amjad Shoaib 




WATTAN HAI TO SUB KUCH HAI AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE

Lt Gen ® Amjad Shoaib



FEAR OF IMRAN KHAN - REASON BEHIND DELAY IN ELECTIONS
Lt Gen ® Amjad Shoaib







https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnbl8aJK75w
Reply
THE PTI RALLY AT THE FAMOUS MINAR e PAKISTAN ON MARCH 25 2023  WILL GO DOWN IN PAKISTAN's POLITICAL HISTORY AS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT EVER.  IMRAN KHAN'S DETERMINATION TO PUSH FOR EARLY ELECTIONS HAS STRUCK A CHORD WITH THE NATION. HIS PARTY IS A TRULY FEDERAL PARTY UNITING AND UNIFYING THE DIVERSE PEOPLES OF PAKISTAN. THE MASSIVE CROWDS WHO HAVE RALLIED TO HIS CALL DESPITE ALL THE BARRIERS PLACED IN FRONT BY THE PAKISTANI ESTABLISHMENT IS TRULY AMAZING. HIS POLITICAL NARRATIVE OF HAQEEQI AZADI OR REAL FREEDOM HAS CAUGHT THE IMAGINATION OF THE NATION . AND IS TERRIFYING HIS POLITICAL OPPONENTS INTO A PANIC. HIS LEADERSHIP CAN ONLY BE MATCHED WITH MUHAMMAD ALI JINNAH FROM THE 1940s. HIS PTI IS THE WORLD's 6th LARGEST POLITICAL PARTY IN ONE OF THE MOST POPULOUS MUSLIM COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD. 

IT WAS  HELD IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF POLITICAL VICTIMISATION   AND HARASSMENT BY THE EXISTING POLITICAL AUTHORITIES. UPTO 1000 PTI PARTY WORKERS HAVE BEEN ROUNDED UP,  THOUSANDS OF HOUSE RAIDS, CONTAINERS BLOCKING ROADS, INTERNET OUTAGE TO STOP THE RALLY, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION CURBED AND MEDIA COVERAGE BANNED. 

HIS NARRATIVE AND POLITICAL MOBILISATION HAS TERRIFIED HIS POLITICAL OPPONENTS INTO A PANIC.
THE CORRUPT CIVILIAN DYNASTIC BUSINESS AND MILITARY REGIME BLOODSUCKING THE NATION DRY SEES IT'S POTENTIAL DEMISE. THE DELAYS TO THE ELECTION WHICH HAVE BEEN POSTPONED TO OCTOBER 2023 ARE BEING CHALLENGED IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PAKISTAN. IT NEEDS TO ASSERT IT's AUTHORITY AND IMPLEMENT THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE.

THE INITIAL REACTION BY THE PROXY GOVERNMENT TO
THE POWER SHOW WAS TO DECLARE HIM AS AN ENEMY AND THREATEN TO PHYSICALLY ELIMINATE HIM AS THEIR OPTIONS HAVE RUN OUT ON HOW TO DEAL WITH HIM. THE DELAYS TO THE ELECTION WHICH HAVE BEEN POSTPONED TO OCTOBER 2023 ARE BEING CHALLENGED IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PAKISTAN.  IT NEEDS TO ASSERT IT's AUTHORITY AND IMPLEMENT THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE. 

THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS BY THE PROXY GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO BE RAISED GLOBALLY BY THE PTI.  POLICE STATE ACTIONS AND THREATS OF ASSASSINATION BY ANY INTERIOR MINISTER IS UNACCEPTABLE AND SANCTIONS MUST BE BROUGHT INTO PLAY. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY NEEDS TO STAND UP TO BANANA REPUBLIC POLITICS AND PRESSURISE THE SHARIF PROXY GOVERNMENT TO ABIDE BY THE RULE OF LAW AND CONSTITUTION OF THE COUNTRY. IDEALLY SANCTIONS ARE REQUIRED ON THE CORRUPT LEADERS INCLUDING FREEZING THEIR MISAPPROPRIATED ASSETS IN WESTERN JURISDICTIONS AND RETURNED TO PAKISTAN. 


IT IS CLEAR THAT THE BATTLE OF WILLS BETWEEN PAKISTAN's PEOPLE AND ENTRENCHED OLIGARCHY MOVES ONWARDS TOWARDS A CRISIS. PAKISTAN HAS ARRIVED AT  A DEFINING MOMENT IN IT'S HISTORY AS IT HAS A POPULIST AND POPULAR LEADER WITH THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION  BEHIND HIM. THE PAKISTANI ESTABLISHMENT NEEDS TO REALISE IT'S MONOPOLY POWER SHOW IS COMING AT AN END.  IT WILL BE MAKING A FATAL MISTAKE IF IT CONTINUES WITH MEASURES TO SABOTAGE THE PAKISTANI PEOPLES WILL AND MAKE  THE PEOPLE ANGRY. AS THE PENT UP RAGE OF 70 YEARS  WILL ENGULF ALL AND SUNDRY.

THE OPTIONS OF BOTH THE RULING ALLIANCE AND OPPOSITION ARE BEING NARROWED. THE OPTIONS FOR THE POLITICAL PARTIES TO BE EITHER IN JAIL OR IN POWER AND GOVERNMENT IS DANGEROUS. THE POLITICAL PARTIES NEED TO GROW UP AND LEARN TO COEXIST IF THE NATION IS TO PROGRESS AND DEVELOP.  PAKISTAN's ABSENCE OF THE RULE OF  LAW , LACK OF CIVILIAN SUPREMACY AND THE LAW OF THE JUNGLE NEEDS TO END. THIS CAN ONLY BE DONE BY BREAKING THE IDOLS AND CHAINS OF FEAR WHICH HAS IMPRISONED THE NATION SOON AFTER INDEPENDENCE. 


PTI IS SENDING THE CLIP OF RANA SANAULLAH TO UN AND
ENTIRE WORLD



WE WILL STAY HERE NOT THEM-
IMRAN KHAN ANSWERS RANA SANAULLAH






EITHER IMRAN KHAN OR US- RANA SANAULLAH TALKING STRANGE ABOUT KHAN 




EU WILL WRITE LETTERS TO SHAHBAZ SHARIF OVER THE DECISION OF ECP




HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AFTER REGIME CHANGE OPERATION IN PAKISTAN | PTI vs PDM



FROM MARCH 1940 TO MARCH 2023
ULEMAS AGAINST QUAID -e-AZAM AND IMRAN KHAN 





MINAR-e-PAKISTAN : IMRAN KHAN 10 POINT AGENDA
AS PM OF PAKISTAN .   MARYAM IN PANIC/ESTAB?






8 GENERALS,  5 POLITICIANS RESPONSIBLE FOR PAKISTAN's DEVASTATION! MAFIA FIGHTING BACK! WHO WILL WIN ?


Dr. ZUBAIR ON PAKISTAN's ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL ELITE CAPTURE BY GENERALS, POLITICIANS AND BUSINESSES




Dr. ZUBAIR ON HOW PTI's, 3 YEAR ECONOMIC REFORM PLAN WOULD'VE BROKEN PAKISTAN's ELITE CAPTURE



DECODING PAKISTAN'S ARMY




MARTIAL LAW, TECHNOCRATS OR IMRAN KHAN ,
WHO IS THE BEST ?
Lt Gen ® Amjad Shoaib











INTERNAL CHAOS 
https://www.dawn.com/news/1744625


THE incumbent government seems to be having great trouble asserting itself while remaining within the limits of the law. With the interior minister making it clear that he is willing to go to any lengths — “democratic or undemocratic; principled or unprincipled” — to counter the PTI, he has just confirmed the worst fears of political analysts and observers who have been warning about Pakistan’s gradual slide towards totalitarianism.

‘There are no laws and no rules’ binding the government any longer, to paraphrase Rana Sanaullah. In other words, the PDM government will abuse state power if it needs to in order to neutralise the once again resurgent PTI. “It is us or them,” as the interior minister quite candidly explained in a recent interview during which he made these remarks. This hardly bodes well for national stability.

However one may interpret Mr Sanaullah’s statement, the PML-N is clearly struggling to counter the PTI politically. It may not acknowledge this, but the large rally in Lahore’s Greater Iqbal Park late Saturday was a clear enough message that using state-sanctioned violence to cut the party down to size does not appear to be working.


The rally was, by most independent accounts, quite well-attended despite the Punjab administration’s efforts. The arrest and disappearance, respectively, of two prominent young faces in the PTI — lawyer Hassaan Niazi and head of the PTI’s social media team, Azhar Mashwani — reports of the detention of lower-level party organisers and their family members; police raids at supporters and sympathisers’ homes; and the willy-nilly blocking of Lahore’s roads with containers and other impediments on the day of the rally all failed to have a chilling effect on the PTI’s supporters. No wonder the interior minister feels frustrated.

Brute force only looks like an ‘answer’ where politics fails. We saw this when PML-N activists were rounded up in July 2018 to sabotage the PML-N’s electoral chances, and we see it happening to a different set of actors today. In both cases, the forces behind the campaigns of abduction and harassment appear to be the same.

In both cases, the shameful acquiescence of civilian leaders — clearly hoping to derive political benefits from the violent repression of their opponents — allowed rogue actors to expand their influence in the political domain. Mr Sanaullah — himself a victim of the state’s excesses — should have known better.

The enforced disappearance of Mr Mashwani and other workers, regulatory bans on the media’s coverage of the PTI, frivolous arrests of political workers and unleashing the police on the citizenry will not win the PML-N any ‘free and fair’ elections.  Instead, they will worsen the anarchy that the interior minister himself concedes is prevailing in the country. Perhaps Mr Sanaullah should consider setting better precedents rather than repeating the mistakes of the past.
Reply
PAKISTAN's GAME OF THRONES IS FORCING THE COUNTRY's LAWYERS AND JUDGES TO INTERVENE TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION AGAINST ANY MAFIA MOVES TO SABOTAGE HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE COUNTRY.  THIS MAYBE A VITAL AND CRUCIAL INTERVENTION FOR THE COMMON GOOD.

HOWEVER AS THIS POWER PLAY CONTINUES THE PAKISTANI PEOPLE's NEEDS ARE NOT BEING ADDRESSED BY THE EXISTING GOVERNMENT. THE PAKISTANI ESTABLISHMENT SEEMS TO BE ENTIRELY FOCUSSED ON AVOIDING NATIONAL ELECTIONS AND TO END THE POLITICAL CAREER OF IMRAN KHAN AND HIS POLITICAL PARTY THE PTI.   SOMETHING MUST GIVE WAY AND MAY THE TRUTH PREVAIL OVER FALSEHOOD.



PREPARING TO OFFER 5 CONDITIONS TO IMRAN KHAN
TO HOLD ELECTIONS




WILL THERE BE ELECTIONS EVEN IN OCTOBER 2023 ?
CHIEF JUSTICE TARGET OF ALL FASCIST FORCES AND
CONSPIRATORS?




LAWYERS ARE STANDING BEHIND CHIEF JUSTICE UMAR ATA BANDIAL AND SUPREME COURT  






IMRAN KHAN'S EMERGENCY SPEECH AMID PDM's CONTROVERSIAL JUDICIAL REFORMS







IMRAN KHAN IS SUPPORTING JUDICIARY AND SPEAKING ABOUT NA MALOOM AFRAD




SHAHBAZ SHARIF IS GOING TO PASS A BILL TO COUNTER JUDICIARY AND SUPREME COURT





STUNNING STAND TAKEN BY THE SUPREME COURT JUDGES OVER ELECTIONS 




















PAKISTAN IS HEADING TOWARDS ELECTIONS AFTER THE REMARKS OF SUPREME COURT 





SUPREME COURT JUDGES CHALLENGE 'ARMY CHIEF's ONE MAN SHOW'




HOW CAN PAKISTAN ARMY REFUSE TO PROVIDE SECURITY
Justice Munib Akhtar




LAST  PLAN AGAINST IMRAN KHAN
Lt Gen ® Amjad Shoaib



DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN: OF THE ELITE, FOR THE ELITE BY THE ELITE

Civilians and the military have taken turns to rule Pakistan, but the system, arguably, has remained the same, ‘unscathed’ by democracy.
Touqir Hussain
https://www.dawn.com/news/1744795/democr...-the-elite


There is another problem. Countries at varying stages of democratic evolution are all called a democracy, which adds to the confusion, as we, in our mind, expect all these models to be equally responsive in meeting the needs of society. That makes us tolerate and endure a system that is not quite democratic and may never become so.

One of the most perplexing debates around is on the subject of democracy, where it is easy to confuse concept with practice, form with substance and illusion with reality. In Pakistan,

democracy remains both illusive and elusive. What we have is something that looks like democracy, but does not work like one. Democracy is a dynamic, not static, process but Pakistan’s “democracy” is stuck.


If any “good” has come out of the current crisis, it is hopefully the realisation that the conventional wisdom that Pakistan’s problems are due to a lack of civilian supremacy, or because the “democratic system” has faced repeated interruptions by the military rule, or that elected governments have not been allowed to complete their full term may not be quite true.

Has the current crisis — and the way politicians’ brazen preoccupation with the struggle for power is ripping the country apart while it burns — left any doubt that the “democracy” we have has been part of the problem, not the solution? In fact, it is this very “democracy” that has provided legitimacy to bad governance, produced weak governments opposed to reforms for fear of losing elections, and has kept recycling. Above all, it has lacked substance.



Form and substance

True democracy has both form and substance. The form manifests itself in electoral democracy, sustained by a process of free and fair elections, and peaceful and orderly change of governments. But the form must embody good governance to empower people, and it can do so only by resting on free and representative institutions, constitutional liberalism or any other value-based system, strong rule of law, and a just and equitable social order. That is the substance. Without substance, democracy remains hollow. It has no soul.



The intelligentsia in Pakistan, especially the liberal/secularist segment, is most passionate about the Western liberal model focusing on freedom of choice, free speech, civil liberties, independent judiciary, and of course elections.



Much of this class lives emotionally disconnected from the rest of the population and their harsh challenges of survival and means to cope with them. It feels that all you need is elections, free media, independent judiciary, and the Constitution. Voila! You have democracy — and it will take care of the nation’s problems, including those of the poor.



Democracy and progress

The secular/liberal class as a whole, and Western-oriented sections of it in particular, are right in seeing a causal connection between democracy and progress in advanced industrialised countries. They are, therefore, justified in emulating a similar democratic political system and having high expectations from it.



Where they are at fault is that they do not grasp the full picture. Most of them forget that democracy, which ostensibly brought progress in the West, was more than a political system.

It was also a society’s organising idea, whose substance was equality of opportunity, fairness, rule of law, accountability, safeguarding of basic human rights and freedoms, gender equality and protection of minorities.



In sum, democracy’s core idea was humanism. And the whole objective of giving people the right to choose who will govern them on their behalf was to ensure the implementation of this very ideal.



Otherwise, what is the purpose of self governance? Given the chance to self govern, would people like to bring themselves to grief with their own policies? Certainly this was not the intent.



Unless a nation shows this fundamental understanding of democracy and takes steps to put itself on the road to democracy, it will never get there. It will keep moving in circles or going backwards.



The poor cannot ‘feed’ on democracy

For much of the liberal class in Pakistan, especially its more affluent stratum, the form is the substance. It looks at democracy as simply black and white — there can be no gradation.

The fact is that Pakistan is, and is not, democratic.



Pakistan’s “democracy” is advanced enough to satisfy the liberals’ love of liberty and enjoyment of certain human freedoms, but regressed enough to be exploited by the elite for their purposes at the expense of the people.



In her book, ‘Thieves of State’, Sarah Chayes focuses on corruption in Afghanistan. Sarah, who spent a decade in Kandahar, concludes that the concerns of most people did not have much to do with democracy. Pakistan is, of course, no Afghanistan but the book has a message that applies here as well.



Democracy is no doubt the best form of government but go and ask the masses in societies that are grappling with serious state and nation-building challenges what is most important in their lives. What is important for them, they will tell you, is social and economic justice, human security and dignity and the hope for a better future. And they will like any government that provides this kind of life.



A USAID official once asked me what the people of Pakistan want. Development or democracy? Prompt came my reply — if democracy brings development, they want democracy; if it does not, they want development. Basically, you need a democracy that satisfies the human aspirations for freedom as well as improves the quality of life for citizens at large. Freedoms are meaningless if they do not provide for the whole society’s welfare and progress.



Pakistan’s ‘democracy’ a political tool for power

In Pakistan’s case, “democracy” is just a political tool for the dominant social groups to maintain their wealth and status. The other instrument is military rule.

But the beneficiaries are roughly the same in both models — the whole panoply of power comprising the top tier of politicians, bureaucrats, the military and judiciary, “business folk and the landed”, who among them monopolise the country’s economic resources.



The civil and military leaderships may compete for power, but eventually cooperate to maintain the status quo. Both use each other — the military using the failure of the politicians as a pretext to come to power or to dominate it, and politicians using the alibi of military interruption or dominance for their own failure. They are allies as well as rivals.



In Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson trace the evolution of political and economic institutions around the globe and argue that nations are not destined to succeed or fail due to geography or culture, but because of the emergence of extractive or inclusive institutions within them.



They write:

“Extractive political institutions concentrate power in the hands of a narrow elite and place few constraints on the exercise of this power. Economic institutions are then often structured by this elite to extract resources from the rest of the society. Extractive economic institutions thus naturally accompany extractive political institutions. In fact, they must inherently depend on extractive political institutions for their survival … political institutions enable elites controlling political power to choose economic institutions with few constraints of opposing forces. They also enable the elites to structure future political institutions and their evolution.”

In light of their thesis, we can see how powerful groups or institutions have long dominated Pakistan’s body politic by taking advantage of its security issues, place of religion in its national makeup and its feudal social structure. The political system that emerges from this body politic is designed to empower only the powerful and privileged and does little to foster the rule of law.

Musical chairs


Civilians and the military have taken turns to rule Pakistan, but the system, arguably, has remained the same, ‘unscathed’ by democracy. There was no fear of accountability, and no obstacle to electability. They did not need the people, so they did very little for them. And neither of them faced the full wrath of the public as each deflected the blame on to the other.

When the cost of maintaining a “democracy” led by civilians would become unbearable, we would tolerate the army’s intervention to help us get rid of them. But instead of returning to the barracks, the military would stay on. Then we’d long for democracy, which would let us down yet again. The fact is that no institution is solely responsible for democracy’s misfortunes in Pakistan. They all provided opportunity to each other to come to power and supported the system.


In the civilian edition that now comprises the ruling coalition, politicians may be divided into political parties but are united by the elites. Henceforth, whichever party comes to power when the ongoing bloody struggle for power is over, it will likely be no different from others in being invested in the system. It may disrupt the system, but will not threaten it.



Liberty and order

Even if Pakistan had a fully functional Western liberal democracy, it was not going to solve the country’s fundamental challenges. The fact is the Western liberal democratic model has become too competitive. In their book, ‘Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century’, Nicolas Berggruen and Nathan Gardels challenge the view that the liberal democratic model is intrinsic to good governance. Examining this in relation to widely varying political and cultural contexts, especially the Chinese system, the authors advocate a mix of order and liberty.


When asked once on the Charlie Rose Show what he thought of Western democracy, Lee Kuan Yew — the inaugural prime minister of Singapore — replied that the system had become so competitive and combative that in order to come to power, the opposition spent all its time planning to undermine the incumbent government by misrepresenting or distorting issues and thus misleading the public. “It would be a sad day when this kind of democracy comes to Singapore,” he said.


In his classic, The Future of Freedom, Fareed Zakaria states that Singapore follows its own brand of liberal constitutionalism, where there are limits on political freedoms — and it happens to be one of the most self-content countries in the world.


It boggles one’s mind that we in Pakistan tolerate the civil-military led political and governance structure, which is rigged in favour of the elite, while using the full freedom of a democratic system to play the game of politics at people’s expense. We put up with it as if this behaviour is an acceptable price to be a “democracy”, which incidentally does not quite happen to be a democracy. Indeed, there are institutions that one finds in a democratic system, but they lack autonomy and integrity. They have failed in the moral strength to serve the people, but not in the capacity to sustain the system.


You can see how millions of good Pakistanis are glued to TV or their phones every day following the comings and goings of politicians as if they were going to solve the country’s problems. We forget that their fights are about themselves, among themselves.


Democratisation is a revolutionary struggle

You cannot change what you do not know. The creation of a true democracy is a revolutionary struggle. And it must begin with the realisation that the “democracy” we have will not solve our problems regardless of who is in power. We cannot also bank on this “democracy” to become democracy by itself.


Countries change not because they have become democratic. They become democratic because they have changed. In many ways, democratisation is a painstaking struggle, indistinguishable from state and nation-building. Progressive movements and the civil rights campaign in America, political and social movements in Europe and the Meiji Restoration in Japan are a few such instances.


How will this change occur in Pakistan?

That is the subject of a much wider and complex debate. Briefly, one can say the following: Pakistan has enormous strengths — remarkable resilience, faith-based optimism, a sense of exceptionalism, a vibrant media and a promising civil society.


There is enormous talent available within the country — academics, journalists, authors (many of them internationally acclaimed), political activists, retired public servants — both civil and military — who all have shown extraordinary knowledge and commitment to Pakistan. They can inspire and mobilise the young generation yearning for true change that could provide stimulus and critical mass for social movements.


I am not advocating for military rule or a technocratic government. Let the current political process for all its flaws continue. It cannot or should not be overthrown but can be undermined over time.



That will be the purpose of social movements — to remove the obstacles to a genuine democracy in Pakistan. These include a misplaced focus on faith that has fostered extremism and hindered openness and tolerance, and a feudal dominance that has inhibited education, gender equality, openness to modern ideas and a credible political process.

Not to mention the military’s pre-eminence that has led to the dominance of security over development. The latter has skewed national priorities and resource allocation. All this is hardly a life-supporting environment for democracy.


Can Pakistan truly become democratic? Yes, it can. Whether it will remains to be seen.
Reply
PAKISTAN'S CRISIS ON WHO RULES THE COUNTRY OF 220 MILLION PEOPLE IS OBLIVIOUS OF THE CRISIS OF THE COMMON PEOPLE. THE ONGOING GAME OF THRONES ON WHETHER MARTIAL LAW, TECHNOCRATS OR IMRAN KHAN's PTI SHOULD BE THE RULERS NEEDS TO REMEMBER THEY ARE PUBLIC SERVANTS TO SERVE THE PEOPLE. THE RULING ESTABLISHMENT NEEDS TO GET REAL AS THE PEOPLE WILL NOT BE JUST CHASING FOR FOOD BUT FOR THEM NEXT TIME ROUND.

STARVING PAKISTANIS TRAMPLED OVER IN STAMPEDE



IT WAS A CURSE: JOURNALISTS, ACTIVISTS HAIL ANNULMENT OF SEDITION LAW AS VICTORY FOR FREE SPEECH
Journalist Hamid Mir says those exploited the law must say 'sorry' to the nation; lawyer Abuzar Niazi thanks LHC for the verdict.


https://www.dawn.com/news/1744987/it-was...ree-speech


The Lahore High Court’s striking down of Section 124-A of the Pakistan Penal Code, which constituted the sedition law, was received with a chorus of praise from activists, journalists, and legal luminaries who commended it as an emphatic triumph for the protection of fundamental liberties and a monumental stride towards enacting legal reforms in the country.
The law, pertaining to the crime of sedition or inciting “disaffection” against the government, had been a subject of controversy for a considerable period of time over its alleged exploitation by those in power to target their political opponents.

Earlier today, the LHC invalidated Section 124-A of the PPC which pertains to the crime of sedition or inciting “disaffection” against the government, terming it inconsistent with the Constitution.

Here, we take a look at the views of experts regarding the revocation of the sedition law.
Lawyer Abuzar Salman Niazi stated that the sedition law had been struck down for being unconstitutional, as it violated Article 19 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to
free speech.

He also paid tribute to the late journalist Arshad Sharif, noting that it was his idea and lifelong dream to see the law repealed.


Senior journalist Hamid Mir stated that those who had previously used the colonial-era law to suppress journalists and political activists in Pakistan “should apologise to the nation”.
He also recalled that the PTI government had opposed a bill to repeal the law in parliament during its tenure.


Journalist Munizae Jahangir praised the LHC for its decision, stating that it is high time for Pakistan to rid itself of undemocratic and draconian colonial laws that were left behind by the British.


She emphasised the importance of abandoning all laws that curtail fundamental rights and embracing a democratic culture in Pakistan. PTI leader Andleeb Abbas noted that the sedition law had been “a curse for free speech” and expressed hope that a new era of legal reforms would begin soon.


Usama Khilji, an activist, expressed his appreciation for the Lahore High Court’s decision, describing it as “excellent, much-needed, and long overdue”.  “Abuse of the colonial era sedition law was undemocratic & undermined fundamental right to freedom of speech. Glad it’s been done away with as the establishment used it to persecute democratic criticism,” the activist said in a tweet.


Javeria Siddique, the wife of the late journalist Arshad Sharif, expressed her opinion that the sedition law in Pakistan was being misused as a tool to harass journalists and activists.


She pointed out that her husband had been falsely accused in 16 cases under Section 124-A of the law, which deals with sedition, before his untimely death last year. Ammar Rashid, a columnist and activist, described the annulment of the colonial sedition law as a “huge victory for dissent”.


“We also challenged 124A after our arrests for sedition in Jan/Feb 20 but IHC didn’t entertain it. A moment to reflect for those who think the current anti-establishment moment means nothing.”  The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) welcomed the decision to invalidate Section 124-A of the PPC, which criminalises criticism of the federal and provincial governments as “inciting disaffection” or sedition.


The Asma Jahangir Legal Aid Cell said it was a laudable move to restore citizens’ freedom of expression but cautioned that “this victory must not be short-lived”.
Reply
CIVIL WAR IF SUPREME COURT DECISION IS FLOUTED AND CONSTITUTION SUBVERTED AND ASIM SUPPORTS THIS UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACT !




ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK INDICATES PAKISTAN SHOULD
GO FOR ELECTIONS



ELECTIONS SHOULD BE HELD IN PUNJAB ON MAY 14 ARMY SHOULD PROVIDE SECURITY
Reply
ONE YEAR OF OPERATION REGIME CHANGE 
9th APRIL BLACK DAY 
Orya Maqbool Jan



ONE YEAR OF OPERATION REGIME CHANGE
9th APRIL BLACK DAY
Lt.Gen ® Amjad Shoaib




WHICH 13 GENERALS CAN STOP ASIM's INSANITY ?
Technocrats cabinet finalized? Hit list of targets made!




A FINAL SHOWDOWN STARTED AGAINST UMAR ATA BANDIAL AND SUPREME COURT



A STORM FOR SHAHBAZ SHARIF AND OTHERS IS COMING FROM THE SUPREME COURT 





DEMOCRACY IN RETREAT
Maleeha Lodhi
https://www.dawn.com/news/1746827

THE confrontation between the government and the Supreme Court has plunged the country into a more dangerous and unpredictable phase of the escalating political crisis. As widely expected, the SC ordered elections to the Punjab Assembly to be held on May 14, declaring unconstitutional and illegal the Election Commission’s decision to postpone the polls to October. It also instructed the government to provide funds to the ECP and assure security for the provincial poll. The SC judgement upheld the Constitution even if the procedure it adopted provoked controversy and criticism. The legal community generally welcomed the verdict while expressing dismay over the internal divisions exposed in the process.



The ECP moved to execute the SC order by issuing an election schedule. But the ruling coalition ‘rejected’ the verdict and vowed not to implement it. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif struck a defiant note in the National Assembly calling the judgement a “murder of justice”. The law minister warned it would worsen the political and constitutional crisis. PML-N called on the chief justice to resign. So did its alliance partner, PPP. Heads of the ruling coalition declared the apex court’s decision would be “resisted” in all forums including parliament. The assembly then adopted a resolution against the SC’s ruling and urged the prime minister not to comply with it. It also asserted that provincial and general elections should be held at the same time.

Since the Punjab and KP assemblies were dissolved by the opposition in January the PDM government did all it could and deployed every alibi to avoid giving a date for elections. The ECP fixed Oct 8 as the date for the polls, which was then challenged in the apex court. Even before the ruling, Sharif and his ministers went on the offensive to subject the chief justice to pressure and insist on a full court bench to hear PTI’s petition.

With the government’s declaration of non-compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision, the two are set on a collision course. This compounds the political chaos in the country and the already fraught situation created by institutional clashes — between the executive and presidency, between the SC and ECP and now both the executive and legislature at loggerheads with the judiciary. All this is a consequence of the fierce power struggle between the PML-N-led coalition and Imran Khan. Their confrontation has turned these institutions into political battlegrounds. Political disputes have assumed the form of legal battles. Issues, including the election date, that should have been resolved by dialogue and mutual accommodation between political leaders, landed in courts, placing them under unprecedented pressure. And when courts gave their rulings one or the other side accused them of bias and partisanship.

A more dangerous and unpredictable phase of the escalating political crisis is unfolding.

What does all of this mean for Pakistan’s democracy? The political deadlock and breakdown of politics — when political disputes are no longer resolved by political means — have left democracy in a dysfunctional state. Democracy requires give and take, compromise and consensus to make it work. But when polarisation and searing divides make this elusive if not impossible, democracy is undermined. Toxic politics and extreme intolerance has created an environment inimical to democracy and is eroding any semblance of a democratic culture.

With PTI’s unwise decision for its lawmakers to resign from the National Assembly, parliament’s lower house is opposition-less and has become dysfunctional as a result. Moreover, the ruling coalition has hardly used it for legislation in the public interest. Instead, it has become a vehicle for the government in its political war, and is now being used against the judiciary. The resolution rejecting the SC verdict and aggressive speeches denouncing it in the assembly is testimony of this. All this has denuded parliament of its real role in a democracy.



The essence of democracy lies in strong institutions whose independence and decisions are respected by all political actors. But today, with state institutions in the vortex of the raging political conflict they are increasingly riven by internal divisions (Supreme Court) with their decisions being contested. How differences among judges of the apex court play out may have lasting implications for its credibility. As for the ECP, which stepped beyond its mandate and committed a constitutional transgression, its role has made it the object of public controversy. If these institutions serve as the infrastructure of democracy, their erosion and lack of cohesion, for one reason or another, leaves democracy weakened. Polarisation and political turmoil are taking their toll on the country’s institutions and exposing them to the risk of breakdown. The government’s intent now to undermine the SC’s authority and legitimacy by
its virulent attacks, refusal to abide by its decision and mobilise its supporters among the legal fraternity, will only undermine the rule of law, which is the bedrock of democracy. Equally, defiance of the law and Constitution will push the country on the road to disorder and chaos, and eventually entail a political cost for the PDM parties.


This conduct, the unremitting political maelstrom as well as stand-off between the pillars of state pose a rising threat to Pakistan’s fragile democracy. The unmistakable signal it sends to the people who are struggling with a cost-of-living crisis in a deteriorating economic environment is that the political leadership is concerned more with power than public purpose. What is in progress is ferocious intra-elite competition that has little if anything to do with public needs or the public welfare.


A bigger crisis with unpredictable consequences seems inevitable with the PDM government refusing to implement the Supreme Court decision. This is unprecedented in the country’s history. Growing public disquiet over the situation is reflected in an opinion poll conducted by the consultancy firm, IRIS communications. This finds over 70 per cent of respondents feel the country is going in the wrong direction. Meanwhile, Imran Khan has warned his supporters will take to the streets if the government doesn’t comply with the judicial order. This promises more unrest and instability ahead with greater damage to democracy. It also risks reducing democracy to a mere shell shorn of substance.



CONSTITUTION AT 50
https://www.dawn.com/news/1746827


ON this day in 1973, the National Assembly achieved the formidable feat of giving Pakistan a permanent Constitution — the first document to be framed by a house elected directly by the people of this country. Pakistan’s constitutional odyssey up till then had been a haphazard one. From independence until 1956, the country was run under the Government of India Act, 1935, and it was nine years after partition that the country received its first constitution.

However, this document, though holding up the promise of parliamentary rule, was short-lived; the then president Maj-Gen Iskander Mirza would abrogate the document, declare martial law and hand over power to army chief Gen Ayub Khan. The latter would foist his own — and the country’s second — constitution upon Pakistan in 1962, which created a presidential system, and gifted to the country the Basic Democracies. However, this document, too, was put away when Gen Yahya Khan took the reins in 1969.


It is in the aftermath of these constitutional experiments and authoritarian interventions, and amidst the smouldering remains of what was left of Pakistan following the tragedy of 1971, that the quest for a new basic law began.


The challenge before then president Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the constituent assembly that remained after the separation of East Pakistan was considerable. The nation was bitterly divided — as it is now — on political lines, riven by economic, social and economic problems, still not having recovered from the trauma of the eastern wing’s loss. But even in these difficult circumstances, the parties in parliament began the torturous yet vital task of framing a new basic law.


The journey towards adopting the 1973 Constitution was not easy. The gulf between the ruling PPP and the opposition alliance was wide, and leaders from both sides regularly censured each other. The adoption of the Constitution came down to the wire; even a few hours before the document was to be adopted, observers were not sure if the task would be achieved, and whether the opposition would end its boycott of parliament. However, dialogue and statesmanship won the day, when Mr Bhutto’s law minister Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, the moving spirit behind the 1973 document, told a relieved house that the opposition had ended its boycott. There were celebrations as the nation had seemingly achieved the impossible: consensus on a ‘home-grown’ Constitution amidst toxic polarisation.


The 1973 document gave Pakistan the basic structure it has today: a directly elected parliamentary system with a bicameral legislature rooted in federalism. The Constitution has survived suspension, mutilation and military coups, showing commendable resilience. The most brazen assaults on the document came during the Zia and Musharraf eras of military rule, but thanks largely to the indefatigable efforts of Senator Raza Rabbani, the 18th Amendment, 2010, revived the spirit of the original document by ensuring provincial autonomy and undoing the damage done by military strongmen.


Is the 1973 Constitution a perfect document? Not necessarily, but it is equipped with the tools to resolve disputes and address shortcomings, as the 18th Amendment has shown. The only solution lies in respecting the constitutional order and working to implement the lofty goals laid out by the basic law. Tinkering by adventurers — uniformed and civilian — opens the door to ad-hocism, and unleashes forces that threaten the very existence of the federation.

Arguably, the predicament that Pakistan finds itself in today is largely due to abandoning the constitutional framework. Respecting this framework would mean that all institutions act within their constitutional bounds — with the military resisting its saviour complex and yielding to elected authorities; political parties and civilian leaders tolerating each other and finding democratic, constitutional solutions to their disputes, instead of threatening to tear down the system, or rushing off to Rawalpindi for ‘guidance’; and the superior judiciary refraining from any temptation to ‘rewrite’ the Constitution.


As this paper noted in an editorial following the passage of the 1973 Constitution: “a constitution is only as good as the spirit in which the political elites, specially the Establishment, work it”. Those words ring true today as much as they did on April 10, 1973,
and Pakistan’s power brokers can learn many a lesson from the constitution-making process
of 1973.


FULL CIRCLE
https://www.dawn.com/news/1746819/full-circle


ON the anniversary of the vote of no-confidence against former prime minister Imran Khan, it must be asked: was it really worth it? Clearly, the Pakistan Democratic Movement and its allies had no idea what they would be getting themselves into when they plotted to hasten the demise of the PTI government. It had seemed doomed to ignominy had it completed its term. Well before they voted to throw Mr Khan out of PM House, they had been asked, through these pages, whether they had any plan for what would be coming next. It was clear even then that their leaders had not thought things through. For example, they did not really know what to do about the floundering economy, which had started to be tossed and swept by the global commodity price supercycle. The lack of preparation showed as the new government bumbled and bungled its way deep into the fuel subsidy trap set for it by Mr Khan. The rest, as they say, is history.


When all else failed, Mr Khan found success in fibbing his way to martyrdom. The ‘cipher conspiracy’ saga paved his return to relevance when multiple attempts to win back the former army chief’s love and support, sweetened with the promise of a service extension with no expiry date, failed. This same army chief he would later go on to blame for all manner of evil under the sun (though, in some cases, perhaps not wrongly so). During this period and despite being warned not to, he shrugged off his duty to represent his supporters in parliament. He conceded the entire National Assembly to his political rivals, who proceeded to make short work of the country’s accountability laws and institutions to give themselves legal relief. He then proceeded to hand over even the two provinces he did control to his rivals in a display of naiveté that showed just how disconnected he has always been from realpolitik.

What we have 12 months later are two political factions still unwilling to come to terms with
the fact that their nonsensical decisions and positions have not only imperilled the entire democratic order but also exacted a massive and painful toll on the people of Pakistan. Citizens are now so sick of living with the constant uncertainty of not knowing what fresh misery tomorrow will bring, that many of those who have the means are looking for ways to flee the country for good. Young parents feel Pakistan is no place to raise their children, while older citizens say they’ve given up hope of seeing any improvement in the country’s fortunes within their lifetimes. So, if anyone is to ask what exactly has changed in the country over the past year, all one can offer is that it seems to have been gradually bankrupted of its resilience and hope. Commiserations to the nation on this inauspicious year.



MAKING THE CONSTITUTION WORK

Zahid Hussain
https://www.dawn.com/news/1747198


WHAT could be more ironical than a country experiencing a constitutional breakdown while ‘celebrating’ the golden jubilee of its constitution? Speakers at a commemorative convention held at Parliament House vowed, one after the other, to uphold the sanctity of the document. But very few among them seemed to have really understood its guiding principles and the spirit in which the basic law of the country was framed.


Fifty years on, we are still struggling to establish a truly democratic order, in accordance with the aspirations of the Constitution adopted on April 10, 1973. While commemorating the historical event, it is also time to reflect on where we have gone wrong in our constitutional journey.


Since its birth half a century ago, the Constitution has gone through phases of suspension and attempts to change its core principles that ensure fundamental human and democratic rights.

For a long period, the country was under direct military rule. For those uniformed usurpers, the Constitution was ‘just a piece of paper’ that they could tear up at any time. Gen Ziaul Haq, in particular, tried to reframe the basic objectives of the Constitution that are based on the freedom of expression and faith.

But it was not military rulers alone who tried to change the Constitution according to their wishes. Soon after its enactment, an entire community was assigned a minority status through an amendment in the Constitution in 1974. It altered the nature of the state envisaged by the nation’s founding fathers. 


Fifty years on, we are still struggling to establish a truly democratic order.As it acquired the power to categorise people according to their beliefs, the state got deeply involved in matters of religion, with long-term consequences for society as well as democratic values. Gen Ziaul Haq who ruled the country for more than a decade used the document to enforce his version of religion in an attempt to turn Pakistan into a theocratic state.


He redefined the ideological contours of the state that strengthened religious obscurantism. The rise of religious extremism and sectarianism largely owes itself to the laws enforced by the military dictator. Pakistan has never been the same again, with various insertions in the Constitution under the Zia regime.

His incorporation of the notorious Eighth Amendment in the Constitution had long-term implications for the democratic process in the country. But one of the most debated aspects was the change that made the Objectives Resolution, that was formerly a preamble to the Constitution, a substantive part of the document. 


It has been argued that this provided impetus to the religious parties striving to turn Pakistan into a hard-line theocratic state. It was all done to the nation’s detriment. It could never be changed by subsequent elected governments out of fear of a backlash by the religious groups.

Interestingly, some democratically elected leaders too tried to alter the Constitution to strengthen their political powers. While the 13th Amendment made during Nawaz Sharif’s second government abolished the Eighth Amendment in a positive development, the 14th Amendment ensured that there could be no dissent in any political party, and no defection from the latter. It was passed by both houses on the same day that it was introduced.

Nawaz Sharif’s move to pass the 15th Amendment through which he hoped to declare himself amir-ul-momineen was thwarted because of his failure to win a two-thirds majority in the Senate. This episode reflected the mindset of our political leaders desiring to accumulate absolute power. Such moves undermined the democratic process.


Not surprisingly, the government of Gen Musharraf in 1999 reintroduced the powers of the president that he came to enjoy under Article 58(2)(b) of the Constitution. It was back to the days of despotism. 


The Musharraf regime also introduced the 17th Amendment to the Constitution in order to indemnify the actions of the military government. The frequent disruption of the democratic process and prolonged military rule have been a major reason for the distortions in the Constitution. 


It is not only direct military rule but also the establishment’s deeply entrenched power which has been a major reason for constitutional democracy not taking firm root in the country. It may be true that the Constitution is an organic document and there is always a need to make changes in it as society and politics evolve, but they should be in conformity with the basic democratic principles.  


Undoubtedly, the passage of the 18th Amendment in 2010 by parliament, with the consensus of all the main parties, was a landmark development in Pakistan’s chequered political history. It overhauled almost a third of the Constitution, abolishing many of the distortions created by the illegal actions taken by military regimes. It removed Article 58(2)(b) of the Constitution, shifting the balance of power back to the prime minister and parliament. It returned Pakistan to a truly parliamentary system, limiting the powers of the president.  


But the most significant part of the 18th Amendment has been the strengthening of the federal structure of state. It has transformed centre-province relations. The division of power between the state and its units has been amongst the most contentious and recurring issues in Pakistan.

The devolution of power to the federating units removed the main source of tension between the centre and the provinces. Yet another enduring impact of the 18th Amendment is the recognition of children’s right to education and the provision of free and compulsory education to all girls and boys up to the age of 16 years.



Notwithstanding the positive side of the radical changes it introduced, the 18th Amendment left untouched some of Gen Zia’s regressive insertions that have caused the rise of religious extremism. Besides, it did not do away with the clause that bans non-Muslims from holding the office of president, therefore strengthening the sense of exclusion among minority members of society.



Surely, 50 years of our constitutional history calls for celebrations but what is most important is to make the document actually work. Unfortunately, that has not happened.  The country is still struggling to find a way forward. A reckless power struggle has left the democratic process much weaker than before, raising fears of yet another derailment of the Constitution.



NOW OR NEVER
Sakib Sherani
https://www.dawn.com/news/1747410


THE ongoing episode of distress in parts of the US banking industry, caused by the rapid rise in interest rates, has renewed focus on ‘zombie’ banks — barely surviving, financially undead institutions that have large unrealised losses sitting on their thinly capitalised balance sheets. The term has previously been used for firms that are financially unviable but have been kept alive by repeated government bailouts, akin to our state-owned enterprises.

Much like zombie banks and firms, can there be ‘zombie’ countries? Countries where state breakdown is advanced, where the economy has collapsed, which cannot service their debts and obligations to foreigners, and which can only meet their essential import needs by handouts and bailouts from increasingly frustrated, and a dwindling pool of, friendly countries?
Which are nominally sovereign and independent, but only on paper? Where a large swathe of the population has tired of the shenanigans of a corrupt, self-serving elite and are seeking a permanent exit from the country? Where businesses and the affluent are actively moving their capital abroad? In other words, a country ‘hollowed out’ in almost every sense by an asset-stripping, rapacious elite involved in internecine conflict?

If Pakistan comes to mind, let us first consider another country with somewhat similar endowments of natural resources and intelligent, hardworking people that has already crossed the line to failed state status: Lebanon.

Lebanon has endured decades of infighting among corrupt factionalised elites, warring power centres, and competition for influence among international and regional power brokers. The result has been a fractured polity, a hollowed-out economy, de-industrialisation, capital flight and brain drain, endemic shortages, widespread poverty, societal breakdown and social chaos. Not to mention a full-blown bloody civil war.

Pakistan is closer than ever to becoming a ‘zombie’ state. Unfortunately, Pakistan too finds itself on the edge of a similar dystopian condition. While the country has been a weak, ‘at-risk’ state for a long time, its cognitively-inert elites have been too busy in infighting, or looting, to notice.
Widening internal fissures aside, the red flags have been raised even from the outside for a very long time, either in Pakistan’s abysmal ranking in the Worldwide Governance Indicators, or its uncomfortable position in the Fragile States Index straddling the ‘warning’ and ‘alert’ categories.
However, the chain of events unleashed since, and by, the establishment’s regime change operation in April 2022, has accelerated the downward spiral. Pakistan has been thrown into political, economic, social as well as institutional chaos with a heightened danger of unintended consequences and highly uncertain outcomes.

The wheels appear to have come off the political system, with the government, parliament and Election Commission deciding to openly violate the Constitution and flout the judgement of the Supreme Court. In addition, the Supreme Court itself is in turmoil with a number of judges in open revolt against the chief justice.



While these shenanigans are playing out, the economy is in a tailspin. Businesses and industries are closing, many permanently (referred to as ‘hysteresis’). This situation has given rise to massive unemployment, on the one hand, and capital flight and brain drain from the country on the other. In conjunction with historically high inflation and the biblical floods, there has been a sharp rise in the ranks of the poor. While many are experiencing pauperisation, millions face outright destitution.

The bad news could get much worse. After wreaking destruction on the real sector, the economic crisis is headed towards Pakistan’s banks. This is the worst manifestation of an economic crisis, as it gridlocks the entire economy potentially for years.

Banks are facing rising pressure on two counts: first, from mounting losses on their credit as
well as investment portfolios due to a sharp increase in non-performing loans and interest rates respectively; second, from the largest borrower in the system potentially going ‘kaput’.
Government borrowing from the banking system accounts for almost 70 per cent of the latter’s total lending, and 92pc of its entire deposit base. Ten years ago, the figures were 62pc and 81pc respectively. Each T-bills auction requires a massive prior injection of liquidity by the State Bank to allow banks to be able to lend to the government. This is an untenable situation — which is being made worse each passing day by the political impasse.

With Pakistan facing unprecedented challenges and pressures across a broad front, the critical question is: can the dire situation be turned around, or is it too late? An unequivocal and immediate return to constitutional rule and the rule of law is the only way forward. The timely holding of free and fair elections by a credible and neutral set-up, and the transfer of power without impediment or conditions to the elected civilian government will defuse the multiple pressures that have built up.

Unconstitutional measures to delay elections and prop a discredited and failed set-up, or extra-constitutional measures to impose a technocratic government, will only deepen the fissures and not lead to either political or economic stability.

Ultimately, however, the answer revolves less around what needs to be done and more around who will step up. Who amongst the current actors on stage will be able to rise above petty egos and self-interested behaviour, however destructive to the national or institutional cause, and take a stand for following the constitutional path? (Sadly, if even ‘brother’ judges of the Supreme Court cannot demonstrate the requisite behaviour at a moment of extreme national peril, then it is expecting too much from the other lower-calibre players involved. We appear to be well and truly marching to the drumbeat of the March of Folly.)

To be sure, the window of opportunity to stave off the worst possible outcome has become narrower, and a chain of events with its own internal logic and momentum has been set in motion that could lead to unintended consequences and highly uncertain as well as undesirable outcomes.

Each passing day brings us closer to the edge. If Pakistan is to avoid Lebanon’s fate, the time to act has nearly run out.
Reply
I AM SEEING THE WORST TIME OF PAKISTAN IN MY 70 YEARS 
Maulana Tariq Jamil



SHAHBAZ SHARIF WILL TAKE VOTE OF CONFIDENCE AND USE EXECUTIVE ORDERS




Lt.Col ® AKBAR HASNAIN LAYS BARE HOW PAK ARMY TRANSFORMED FROM A PROFESSIONAL TO A MERCENARY ARMY !



THERE WILL BE NO MEETING BETWEEN BILAWAL AND JAISHANKAR IN INDIA



PAKISTAN's GANGSTER GENERALS
https://crescent.icit-digital.org/articl...r-generals


Pakistan is rapidly sinking into a state from which it may not recover. At the root lies the bloody-minded attitude of the generals who act as goons. These semi-literate morons think they know what is best for Pakistan and how people should think. The people have made their sentiments absolutely clear by refusing to accept a gang of criminal politicians imposed upon them by the military, as well as the generals’ over-bearing attitude.


A criminal syndicate of rapists, murderers and thieves have been imposed on the country as rulers. The country is on the verge of economic collapse but instead of accepting the people’s demand to hold free and fair elections, they are going after the one person—Imran Khan—who may have a remote chance of getting the country out of this mess.

While putting the police and rangers in front to attack civilians, it is the small coterie of generals that are giving orders from behind the scenes. They not only dictate policy to the corrupt criminal politicians but also order the judges to deliver verdicts demanded by the generals. And they appear determined to physically eliminate Imran Khan because he has vowed to go after those people—generals, bureaucrats, politicians and judges—who have abused their powers to amass fortunes at the expense of the state and its people.

Since they are all so thoroughly corrupt, they do not want to allow Imran Khan to return to power which he will if free and fair elections are held. The people are overwhelmingly with the former prime minister whose ouster was engineered on April 9, 2022. Since then, Pakistan has been on a downward spiral into political and economic collapse.

The military’s reputation lies in mud. It wasn’t always the case although in the past, its image was carefully built on a false narrative. Muslims are easily enamoured by the image of a horse-riding general wielding a sword. Leading the Muslim army, he will liberate Muslim lands from the clutches of ‘infidel’ forces, it is assumed. Far from achieving any such feats, the Pakistani generals have demonstrably failed in their assigned responsibilities.

They have not liberated an inch of Muslim territory in Kashmir despite consuming more than
50% of the country’s budget. In every war against arch-rival India, the generals have given a poor account of themselves. They have not won a single war, notwithstanding the self-declared victories.

Unable to confront India, they have turned their guns on the hapless people of Pakistan. In the one year since Imran Khan’s ouster, Pakistan’s economy has been destroyed. Poverty has increased alarmingly because of skyrocketing prices. People are driven to commit suicide—
even though this is haraam (forbidden) in Islam—because they cannot afford to feed their children.
And what do the greedy generals do? They live in palatial homes in heavily-fortified gated communities thinking of what else to steal from the country. Why are they so afraid of the people if they are supposed to be their defenders?

All the top generals have properties abroad. Their children have foreign citizenship and as soon
as they retire from service, they flee abroad. In the US, Canada, Europe and Australia, retired generals and colonels have bought massive properties worth tens of millions of dollars. It is not rocket science to figure out that this is stolen wealth. Theft and plunder have been institutionalized into the system in Pakistan. That explains why the generals are so desperate
to prevent Imran Khan’s return to power.

The generals show utter disdain for the constitution. True, it is not a perfect document but it cannot be dismissed as a “piece of paper”, as the generals have often said. If there is no common denominator upon which all can agree, how will the institutions of state function? It is clear that the military—or more accurately, the small coterie of army generals—have arrogated to themselves the power and authority to determine what is right and wrong. They decide who is to rule the country, not the people whom they dismiss as being illiterate and stupid.
If the people are illiterate—this is not quite true because the masses know what is best for them—their lack of education is the direct result of the military consuming so much of the country’s budget. It leaves little for such essential sectors as health and education.
The military’s involvement in politics—directly or indirectly—has stymied the natural development of institutions in Pakistan. That the country is in such bad shape is the direct result of the military’s involvement in every facet of life. These morons have to be challenged and banished from the political and economic arenas before they destroy Pakistan. It may already be too late.
It is time for the people of Pakistan to rise up against these gangsters. Unless they are given a dose of their own medicine, they will not see sense. Indian politicians and generals must be salivating at seeing Pakistani generals destroy the country. Delhi does not have to spend a rupee or fire a single shot to achieve their long-cherished goal: the destruction of Pakistan.

Flag raising ceremonies and military parades, however impressive, do not make a state. They are mere attempts to hide the ugly reality of total breakdown. The people have not only lost faith in state institutions but also respect for them.

The country’s economic condition has deteriorated so rapidly since last April when Imran Khan’s government was overthrown through a soft coup that it is on the verge of default. Traditional sources of foreign funding, mainly handouts from the IMF and friendly Arab countries have dried up. Pakistani exports and remittances from overseas Pakistanis have also declined, the latter because people have no faith in the criminals imposed as rulers by the military.

Imran Khan’s quest to force elections in the country, though admirable, is misplaced. Elections will not help bring about change even if he wins the desired two-third majority in parliament. The entire system is rotten and has to be demolished completely. This will not happen unless the powers-that-be are defanged. That is a tall order and will require huge sacrifices in life and blood.
There is no evidence to suggest that Imran Khan is prepared to take that route at present. Perhaps, he is not sure of his supporters’ commitment. Even within his own party and allied parties, there are people secretly in league with the army top brass and taking directions from them. Under these circumstances, how can fresh elections solve the country’s problems?
When there is a cancerous tumor in the body, it has to be excised to give the body a fighting chance to survive. If the tumor stays inside, it will spread and infect other organs of the body. This is what seems to be happening in Pakistan.

In order to bring about change in society, it is important to analyze the prevailing situation and determine what is wrong with it. Following that, a clear direction must be provided as to where the society needs to go. The ultimate goal and how to achieve it must also be clearly articulated. Then comes the stage of mobilization of the masses.

Looking at the situation in Pakistan, there appears to be much confusion in the minds of those promising to bring about change. It does not help to promise change yet insist on working with the very people and institutions that are impediments to change.

Physical revolution must be preceded by a revolution in thought. Without the intellectual revolution, all struggle ends up as futile pursuit. The chaos that engulfs Pakistan is the result
of such muddled thinking.

What is the way forward? The Prophetic Seerah offers very important lessons. While all Pakistanis, and indeed Muslims everywhere, claim to love the Prophet (pbuh) and will even give their lives to defend his honour, they have not internalized the lessons of his life’s struggle.
He totally rejected the Jahili system in Makkah and refused to have anything to do with it. When he was offered a power-sharing arrangement, before he could respond, it was rejected from on high by Allah. He does not want His committed servants to mix Haqq with Batil. The struggle for justice will face many challenges but these will have to be faced and surmounted in order to reach the destiny ordained by Allah.
Reply
PAKISTAN'S CRISIS ON WHO RULES THE COUNTRY OF 220 MILLION PEOPLE IS OBLIVIOUS OF THE CRISIS OF THE COMMON PEOPLE. THE ONGOING GAME OF THRONES ON WHETHER MARTIAL LAW, TECHNOCRATS OR IMRAN KHAN's PTI SHOULD BE THE RULERS NEEDS TO REMEMBER THEY   ARE PUBLIC SERVANTS TO SERVE THE PEOPLE. THE RULING ESTABLISHMENT NEEDS TO GET REAL AS THE PEOPLE WILL NOT BE JUST CHASING FOR FOOD BUT FOR THEM NEXT TIME ROUND.



DARKEST ERA OF PAKISTAN


WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FAMILY OF HAQEEQAT TV



NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND PTI
Lt Gen ® Amjad Shoaib




CHAIRMAN PTI IMRAN KHAN's INTERVIEW WITH
ORYA MAQBOOL JAN




AMERICA IS USING IMF AGAINST PAKISTAN
Lt Gen ® Amjad Shoaib






THE END OF PAKISTAN AS A STATE
https://crescent.icit-digital.org/articl...as-a-state

Pakistan as a state is dead. It is painful to say this but regrettably, this is the sad reality facing the people. Instead, there exist vested interest groups acting like vultures snatching bits of dead meat from its carcass.


The pack of vultures is led by the military—or more accurately, the army and its high command. They consume vast state resources depriving other sectors of society of vital needs. All of them have properties abroad and their families have also acquired foreign citizenship, that of the US, Canada, Britain, Australia and other countries.

These cowards in uniform are primarily responsible for destroying the country. They have no stomach for a fight against the real enemy: India. With big bellies that they have developed as a result of over-eating after stealing the country’s wealth, how can they put up a fight? They have made clear on numerous occasions that they cannot fight India. If so, what is the point of having such a large army or an army at all?

Regrettably many Pakistani intellectuals still harbour the illusion that the army is needed to defend the country. Pray, what evidence is there for this claim? Did the army defend East Pakistan against the invading Indian army in December 1971? How many inches of Kashmiri territory have these over-paid and overfed men in uniform liberated from the clutches of India? It is time the intellectuals, however well-meaning, wake up and face this ugly reality that the army is the enemy of state and the hapless people residing within its borders.

Imagine the CEO of a major corporation that deals in IT business. If the CEO indulges in activities outside his brief, he will be fired. His job is to concentrate on promoting the IT business and making sure his employees perform the task assigned to them.

Yet the army in Pakistan is involved in every sphere of life except defending the borders of state. The army chief and a small coterie of generals around him decide who should rule the country, what ruling should the chief justice give, and when elections can be held in Pakistan, if at all. Under what authority do these generals make such decisions?

And then there are the businesses the army runs. They are into real estate. They have established gated communities in major cities. They have usurped millions of acres of land. They run factories from fertilizer, cement to cornflakes. Yes, cornflakes. One is at a loss to figure out how the army got into producing cork flakes!

There is ample evidence to charge these generals, current and past, with treason. They should be stripped of all privileges, removed from their palatial homes and dragged into the streets and beaten to death. That is a small punishment for the crimes they have committed since Pakistan came into existence to the present. This is one problem but a major one.

Closely followed by the army is the large army of politicians—almost all of them traitors—who are also busy feasting on Pakistan’s carcass. The level of corruption is so high that it boggles the mind. The two families—Sharifs and Zardaris—are mega-thieves. They are unable—and unwilling—to explain how they acquired choice properties in Britain, France and elsewhere. With the judicial system thoroughly corrupted, there is absolutely no accountability. The law, if it exists at all, is there to terrorise the poor and the downtrodden.

This elite class has no loyalty to Pakistan. So, the question is, why do the people of Pakistan not rise up against these criminals, drag them in the streets and beat them to death? Unfortunately, the vast majority of people have been trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty. They are unable to provide two morsels of food for their starving families. When their struggle revolves around food, there is little time for other matters.

This is deliberate. The elite class knows that if people are engrossed in struggle for survival, they will have no time to think about the plunder underway, or the destruction of the country.Pakistan’s economy has collapsed. It has no funds to service its debt obligations that are piling up by the day. For more than a year, the illegitimate regime imposed on the people of Pakistan by the over-bearing army has been involved in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package of $1.1 billion. Dangling it like a carrot in front of a donkey, Pakistani rulers are being dragged through a series of humiliating concessions. Short of selling their mothers and wives, they have agreed to everything that the IMF has demanded but the money is not forthcoming.

IMF officials know that the illegitimate rulers are thieves. In the past, they have failed to fulfill the obligations they committed to in writing. So, what has changed to convince the IMF that this time it would be different? It is humiliating to see the clownish, army-imposed prime minister of Pakistan making a fool of himself begging for some handouts from foreign rulers. They are getting tired of such begging.


Who can blame them? The elite, led by the army chief and the coterie of generals around him are living in a fool’s paradise believing that since Pakistan is strategically important, other countries, especially the US, will not allow its collapse. There is no evidence to suggest that Pakistan’s strategic importance has aroused concern in any western capital. Even Pakistan’s all-weather friend, China, has got tired of the elite’s devious ways. The Chinese have a simple but effective way of dealing with corrupt officials: put them on trial and shoot them immediately after the verdict. And even charge the official, or his family, for the cost of the bullet!  A bullet in the head of a few generals and members of the Sharif and Zardari families would do wonders to clean the mess.

How did Pakistan get into this mess? It needs recalling that merely a year ago, Pakistan was well on its way to mending the economy. It had achieved a growth rate of more than 6 percent. Foreign exchange reserves were at a record level. There was investor confidence and overseas Pakistanis were sending record remittances, even surpassing total earnings from exports.

This, however, was not acceptable to the moronic army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa. He has publicly admitted that he orchestrated the ouster of Imran Khan as prime minister. This is high treason. He should be arrested and prosecuted for such crimes.

The socio-political and economic turmoil that has engulfed Pakistan over the last year is the direct result of Bajwa’s criminal conduct. Pakistani institutions are paralysed. Even the supreme court’s rulings are being flouted by politicians openly because they have the backing of the army.  Businesses and industries are closing, many permanently. There is massive flight of capital out of the country. With no foreign exchange reserves available, the State Bank of Pakistan cannot guarantee letters of credit for imports.

Unemployment, already high, has sky-rocketed as have prices of essential goods. Millions of people have joined the ranks of the poor. Parents are forced to kill their children and then commit suicide because they cannot feed them. These are frighteningly difficult times for the people of Pakistan.

Anyone who believes that Pakistan exists as a state is either ignorant of the reality or is deliberately misleading people because he has a vested interest in the current set-up. Much   as it may be distasteful to say it, Pakistan’s disintegration is a distinct possibility. The big belly generals and their families will flee the country at the first sign of trouble while the poor masses will have to face the consequences of a situation in which they had little or no role to play.
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IMRAN KHAN HAS BEEN ARRESTED WHILST APPEARING IN COURT BY PARAMILITARY FORCES(ARMY). THIS ILLEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACT CROSSES THE RED LINE OF THE PTI WHICH IS PAKISTAN'S LEADING POLITICAL PARTY.  THIS HAS ALSO TAKEN PLACE AT A TIME WHEN THE RULING REGIME HAS BEEN INSTRUCTED BY THE COURTS TO HOLD ELECTIONS ON MAY 14 2023. IT IS CLEAR THAT PAKISTAN WHICH IS ALREADY IN A DEEP CRISIS HAS ENTERED AN EMERGENCY AND IS ENTERING UNCHARTED POLITICAL WATERS. WHAT COMES NEXT WILL BE FOCUSSED UPON.



DAY 2 OF IMRAN KHAN's ARREST 
Dr. Moeed Pirzada Connects with Wajahat



PAKISTAN's ESTABLISHMENT's WAR AGAINST IMRAN KHAN AND PTI BOYS



IMRAN KHAN ARREST  PLANS FOR EMERGENCY  OR MARTIAL LAW?



PAKISTAN CRISIS:
Imran Khan’s Bombshell Claim Against the Army



IMRAN KHAN’s LAWYER SAYS HIS ARREST IS  “UNCONSTITUTIONAL"




PROTESTS SINGE PAKISTAN ARMY AS IMRAN KHAN ARRESTED FOR CORRUPTION & LAUNCHES WAR ON ISI




HOW WILL SUPPORTERS OF FORMER PAKISTANI PM IMRAN KHAN REACT TO HIS ARREST ? 




PTI WORKERS PROTEST ACROSS PAKISTAN ON IMRAN KHAN'S ARREST


IMRAN KHAN's FUTURE AND HIS JANAZAH







IMRAN KHAN ARRESTED FROM IHC PREMISES IN AL-QADIR TRUST CASE
IHC reserves verdict on legality of PTI chief's arrest; interior minister says Imran failed to appear before the court despite being issued several notices.
Umer Burne
https://www.dawn.com/news/1751782/imran-...trust-case
Reply
IMRAN KHAN HAS BEEN ARRESTED WHILST APPEARING IN COURT BY PARAMILITARY FORCES(ARMY). THIS ILLEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACT CROSSES THE RED LINE OF THE PTI WHICH IS PAKISTAN'S LEADING POLITICAL PARTY.  THIS HAS ALSO TAKEN PLACE AT A TIME WHEN THE RULING REGIME HAS BEEN INSTRUCTED BY THE COURTS TO HOLD ELECTIONS ON MAY 14 2023.

IT IS CLEAR THAT PAKISTAN WHICH IS ALREADY IN A DEEP CRISIS HAS ENTERED AN EMERGENCY AND IS ENTERING UNCHARTED POLITICAL WATERS. WHAT COMES NEXT WILL BE FOCUSSED UPON. IMRAN KHAN HAS BEEN ARRESTED WHILST APPEARING IN COURT BY PARAMILITARY FORCES(ARMY). THIS ILLEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACT CROSSES THE RED LINE OF THE PTI WHICH IS PAKISTAN'S LEADING POLITICAL PARTY.  THIS HAS ALSO TAKEN PLACE AT A TIME WHEN THE RULING REGIME HAS BEEN INSTRUCTED BY THE COURTS TO HOLD ELECTIONS ON MAY 14 2023. IT IS CLEAR THAT PAKISTAN WHICH IS ALREADY IN A DEEP CRISIS HAS ENTERED AN EMERGENCY AND IS ENTERING UNCHARTED POLITICAL WATERS. WHAT COMES NEXT WILL BE FOCUSSED UPON.


WAIT FOR MY NEXT CALL
Imran Khan Important Message to Nation




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WHO CAN STOP PAKISTAN's SLIDE INTO CIVIL WAR. 
IMRAN KHAN V ARMY V  SC



IMRAN KHAN RECALLS 1971 WAR, SHAMES PAKISTAN ARMY 



IMRAN KHAN ATTACKS  ARMY CHIEF :
NO RULE OF LAW IN PAKISTAN



PAKISTAN REIGN OF TERROR :
WHY ARE AMERICA AND THE WEST SILENT?
WILL THEY ARREST IMRAN KHAN AGAIN?



PAKISTAN ON EDGE AS IMRAN KHAN'S FATE HANGS IN THE BALANCE




PAKISTAN CRISIS : IMRAN KHAN PICKS A FIGHT WITH ARMY CHIEF .HERE's WHY



COUP INEVITABLE: PAKISTAN ARMY's PLAN TO DEAL WITH IMRAN KHAN FIASCO



IMRAN KHAN's POWERFUL SPEECH 
Conspiracy Against Corps Commander Lahore? | Pakistan Needs a Deal?



IMRAN KHAN, PM IN WAITING FACES LIFE THREATS






WHY MOVING OUT OF PAKISTAN IS NOT A SOLUTION -
What is Pakistani Identity?





WILL IT BE 1977 0R 1999?
https://www.dawn.com/news/1753076/will-i...77-or-1999

WHAT a dramatic few days these have been, even by Pakistani standards — triggered by the arrest of PTI leader Imran Khan on Tuesday in Islamabad and his triumphant return to Lahore late Friday, after being freed by the courts and given blanket immunity from arrest.


Mr Khan’s accusation that a serving major-general in the ISI was responsible for the attempt on his life and was still plotting to eliminate him, was seen by analysts as the catalyst for his arrest. After getting blanket immunity from the courts, he pointed the finger of blame directly at the army chief.

Imran Khan, who is reported to have opposed the appointment of the current army chief with all his might, said the latter feared that on coming to power “I will de-notify him when I have no such plans”, insinuating that the general wanted him out of the game.

Wednesday’s mayhem saw organised Tiger Force cadres and PTI supporters from among the general public ransacking, setting ablaze key government and military installations — not even sparing the Lahore Corps Commander’s official residence — and it led to the most obvious question. It was becoming clear that the PTI leader had sufficient backers not only in terms of street power but in key institutions too who would fight his corner.

“1977 or 1999?” one friend asked me, elaborating that, in his view, the former situation seemed more likely after Imran Khan’s pointed accusations because it was becoming clear that such a spiral would only leave one of the two men standing at the end of the fight. They couldn’t co-exist.

As the weekend approached, it was becoming clear that the PTI leader had sufficient backers not only in terms of street power, but in key institutions too who would fight his corner. As the courts were giving him relief in older cases and protecting him in newer ones, the state paralysis was indicative of divisions elsewhere.
This was evident in the YouTube live videos by retired army captains and majors (based in the UK and Canada) where they were naming names and directing ‘protesters’ to the homes of senior army and intelligence officers, even furnishing street addresses. This obviously pointed to inside information and support.

It is to Imran Khan’s credit, or discredit — depending on how you see things — that he has polarised and divided not just the people at large, but also families and institutions to such an extent that supporting him is a ‘do or die’ choice.

Editorial: Pakistan, for the first time in recent memory, seems to be flirting dangerously with civil war
Whereas his populist politics may have initially ridden the wave of the massive ‘information’ campaign by his promoters in the so-called establishment, which tarnished his political opponents as ‘chor-daku’ and presented him as Mr Clean and a saviour, he has expanded his support base substantially; it is now embedded in large swathes of the country.

Such a powerful civilian politician on the one hand, and the erstwhile powerful and potent military seeing its influence apparently diminishing on the other, would usually augur well for the country and society and generate hope of a better, brighter future.

But the situation may need to be examined in the context of some other factors too. First and foremost, to what extent have the ‘divisions’ within eroded the military’s influence and authority? Equally, if these divisions run vertically in the organisation, how severely can they potentially handicap the chief?

The answer will become clear in the coming days/weeks rather than months, as the chief will now be focusing on forming his key team. He did move around a few officers on assuming office, but largely left in place the team he had inherited.

As a courtesy to Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, the then retiring army chief Gen Raheel Sharif left all promotions due to three stars — eight, if I recall correctly — to his successor, so he could form his own team. On assuming office, that is exactly what Gen Bajwa did.

For his part, Gen Bajwa promoted some 12 major-generals to three stars (a few more than there were vacancies, in fact) in the final weeks of his extended tenure. This may/may not have restricted the leeway the incumbent enjoyed, but there is no bar on him to form his own team now. Once he does that, any analysis can be based more on fact than desire or speculation that speaks of his isolation. The other significant factor is whether a powerful politician such as Imran Khan, with unprecedented popular and institutional support, can resist becoming an authoritarian leader if he returns to government.

When smoke was billowing from the Lahore Corps Commander’s residence and images of burning buses and bus stations were coming in from Karachi, and flames were rising from the Radio Pakistan building in Peshawar, one Ivy League-educated lawyer admonished those expressing concern by saying: “This is how revolutions happen.”
That may indeed be true. But one was also rem­i­­nded of the mayhem unleashed after the burning of the Reichstag in Berlin in 1933. Those flames be­­­came the pretext for the worst atrocities of the last century, and millions of people perished in them.

Diehard support and pressure tactics by party cadres is one thing, but attacking installations can very easily slide into anarchy, even fascism. Pakistan has suffered greatly at the hands of the military’s meddling in politics and all its political engineering projects.

When civilian leaders with a large support base feel reluctant to rein in trained cadres and other supporters and refuse to condemn violence and arson, they are letting down democracy and the democratic norms and conduct they derive their legitimacy from.

Having failed to revive the economy and feeling cornered by one unfavourable court ruling after another, the governing alliance too has indicated it will seek to assert its own power as much in parliament as in the streets with its sit-in before the Supreme Court on Monday.

What such a continuing spiral can lead to is anybody’s guess. If things spin out of control, the blame would squarely be as much on each of our civilian politicians as it will be on the military’s political engineering over the years.



FORKING PATHS
https://www.dawn.com/news/1753072


BOTH the present and former prime ministers spoke to their constituencies yesterday. Both appeared to have wildly divergent plans on how to deal with the challenges facing them.

One issued a 72-hour ultimatum for the arrest of all those involved in vandalising the Lahore corps commander’s residence, vowing to make an example of the ‘terrorists’ involved in the incident. The other urged his supporters — singling out women in particular — to take to the streets today to help bolster his cause.

It will be interesting to see how the two face off against each other in the coming days. Though it seems unlikely that they are open to engaging with each other cordially, an opportunity exists. Imran Khan has asked that the violence that broke out following his arrest be investigated independently.

In this, his views align with the prime minister’s. Could this be an opportunity for both parties to sit together, set boundaries, fix responsibility and find a way forward? Politics is the art of the possible, as they say.

It may be wishful thinking, however. The federal cabinet is fuming over court rulings in favour of Mr Khan and has decried them as a “black stain” on the face of the judiciary. The PDM coalition will protest outside the apex court on Monday. It threatens to turn into a confrontation.

Maulana Fazlur Rahman has said that if any harm comes to the protesters, “we will retaliate with sticks, fists and slaps.” The Maulana is prepared for a fight, but how does he plan to hold that protest, considering that the administration has imposed Section 144 in the capital? Will the administration relax its restrictions to allow the government to besiege the Supreme Court? How will the optics of its complicity be reconciled in the prevailing tensions between the branches of the state?

If Pakistan had a Doomsday Clock, it would be reading sixty seconds to midnight. For the first time in recent memory, the nation seems to be flirting dangerously with civil war. It is tearing itself apart under the weight of its own contradictions.

The ‘darling’ has turned ‘enemy number one’; the ‘democratic movement’ has acquired a taste for authoritarianism; and the law has lost all consistency or objectivity. As our institutions squander what little credibility they have left, the economy remains in shambles. There is a growing realisation that the social contract needs to be rewritten anew.

Amidst all this, the public’s growing anger and frustration are pushing the country ever closer to a breaking point. There is a very real possibility that we may see the unleashing of total chaos if someone doesn’t push the reset button. Free and fair elections, conducted to the satisfaction of all parties, still remain the best option in present conditions. All parties must reconsider.
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