Abbasi Warns Prevailing Crises Could Attract Military Takeover

Abbasi Warns Prevailing Crises Could Attract Military Takeover
Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has warned that the prevailing economic and political crises could attract a military takeover, saying army stepped in, in the past in 'much less severe circumstances'.

While speaking with Dawn News, the PML-N leader urged the political forces of the country to sit down for a dialogue to avert such a situation.

According to the PML-N leader, martial law always stands as a possibility if the system collapses or when there is a conflict between the institutions amid an inability of the political leadership to resolve issues.

“Pakistan has had many long periods of martial law in very similar situations,” he said. “In fact, I would say Pakistan has never witnessed a [more] severe economic and political situation before. In much less severe circumstances the military has taken over.”

Abbasi also warned of anarchy if the friction within the society or between the institutions goes too deep, saying such a situation, too could compel the army to step in.

“It has happened in many countries,” he pointed out. “When the political and constitutional system fails, extra-constitutional [measures] take place.”

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He, however, hoped that the army was not considering the option of stepping in. “I don’t think they are considering that but when they are left with no choice, the old speeches of ‘merey aziz hum watno’ are heard.”

If this happens, the senior politician maintained, it would only make things worse, not better.

“A political dispensation is the only way forward,” he added. “Every political party today has been in the government for 12 months but they have not delivered so far. It’s a deep crisis. The visible phase is the economic crisis."

Abbasi cited constitutional and institutional, political and judicial, and the establishment's failures, to substantiate his point.

On whether or not the army should play an arbitrary role with an aim to resolve a political deadlock, he opined that there's nothing stopping institutional heads to sit down and work something out.

“In fact, it’s a responsibility [of theirs],” he insisted. “We have an extraordinary situation. We need to look for an extraordinary solution. There is no other solution. In most democracies, and even in Pakistan, elections did always provide the solution but unfortunately this time they won’t.”