May 9 And Its Repercussions For Pakistan

May 9 And Its Repercussions For Pakistan
The creeping military coup in Pakistan has made significant inroads in the political landscape of Pakistan, ruling out the possibility of amicable political discussions, debate and negotiations.

The onus of this suppression of political voices not only falls on the humongous shoulders of the establishment, which is being singled out for heaping criticism, but also on the civilian political leadership and especially, the current political apposition that has tried to instigate a coup within the military via burning military installments.

It was such a gross miscalculation on the part of Imran Khan, the process of dismantling the whole structure of the PTI has been expedited as core members have start leaving the party.

It was not at all shocking to witness that the first-tier of the PTI leadership abandon the party so readily, throwing accusations both on Khan's politics and approach as it was simply a matter of time because the whole PTI party was born as a result of political engineering.

Had this party been naturally born and had organised itself on the basis of appeal and political ideology, it would have been intact, braving these trying times as was done by the PMLN when it had to face a similar situation.

The reliance of the whole PTI, especially of Imran Khan, on the establishment had brought the party to this deadly end. Khan said that he would not talk to politicians as they are thieves of the nation, meaning thereby that he would only sit with the powers that be. With this thought in mind, Khan tried to provoke the establishment not only by instigating people but also by using various fabricated stories.

But when the military remained silent, giving no response to the shenanigans of Khan, he went ahead, causing mayhem in the country. Instead of focusing on non-bailable arrest warrant, he refused to give in, challenging the writ of the state. His arrogance reached to the extent that he began to think that he could evade anything and get away with it. Though challenging the state and its writ is one thing, Khan went ahead with attacking police with petrol bombs.

Then, come the events of May 9 where Khan’s supporters burnt the country, sensitive installations and other public property in the wake of his arrest by rangers. Initially, Khan accused the agencies for this mayhem, fearing the backlash.

But as people of his party deserted him, abandoning the party, he became emboldened and accepted the fact he instigated this violence. He said that where would people protest if not military cantonments given his arrest by the rangers.

Khan did not stop here. As soon as he was released, he began attacking the Chief of Pakistan Army, Asim Munir. He said that he would not de-notify Munir if he comes back to power again. Such comment by Khan forced the state to take action. Talking of changing a military head is not an easy thing in Pakistan. It can not only compromise the army but also its command chain. It is a sensitive national security issue.

With this backdrop, the state has now decided to settle the matter. The situation has become untenable. Thus, the state has started catching and imprisoning people who have done violence and burnt properties. No one can be allowed to challenge the writ of the state as Pakistan cannot afford further political instability.

From the lens of democracy and civilian supremacy, the past events are not good omen for the country. The military has taken much greater space than ever before. But amid the rise of Khan’s populism and the subsequent attacks on the military instalments has changed the situation. The military now is on the driving seat, thanks to our opportunist politicians, who do not care about the civilian supremacy. Had Khan and the government had any respect for democracy, they could have resolved the political deadlock on their own instead of creating a situation for the intervention of the military.

Last but not the least, Pakistan is going down with each passing day that our politicians fail to understand. The crisis of Pakistan is not the crisis of democracy, military not functioning in its domain. Rather, the crisis of Pakistan is that we have not come to agree on a minimum agenda. It is thus necessary for all the political actors to sit and correct the course of the country by setting a minimum agenda. Else, the institutions of the state would suffer in politics, especially military, taking Pakistan further backward.

The writer is a freelance columnist. He tweets at @Shahzai02364040. He can be reached at