The year 2012 has begun with a rift between Pakistan’s fragile civilian government led by Pakistan Peoples Party and the all powerful military & inteligence establishment over a probe into the government’s role in a scandal centered on a unsigned memo that purportedly sought U.S. help in helping the fragile democratic government against the military take-over of power.
The memogate issue is a conspiracy orchestrated by the establishment against democratic institutions to regain the power to dictate the other state institutions and it is being helped by biased judiciary, irresponsible media & right wing political parties. The wife of former Pakistani ambassador Husain Haqqani, Farahnaz Ispahani rightly points out that the civilian government, elected president & former Pakistan’s ambassador Hussain Haqqani are not on trail, but in fact pluralism, democracy and civilian supramacy on trial in Pakistan
She writes, “The manner in which my husband, former Pakistani ambassador Husain Haqqani, is being treated in our homeland reflects the shrinking political space there for anyone who advocates positive relations with the West or stands up for religious-cultural tolerance and pluralism.”
The most powerful political force in Pakistan; the Military, with four bloodless coup; conspired against the people on several occasions by imposing martial laws and removing democratically elected governments, judicial murder of first elected prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto via Supreme Court & later killing of first woman prime minister Shaheed-e-Jamhoriat Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, to it’s great credit. Now the same un-elected force is bent upon removing the duly elected government, by force unconstitutionally, and with the tacit support of judiciary on the pretext of an unsigned memo/ Khaghiz ka tukda. It was this institution that, on Wednesday, told the elected government that it should mind its language, or face “grave consequences” for the country.
The Economic Times report described this alliance the Pakistan Memo League; an alliance to oust yet another government in the country.
Pakistan’s leading opposition figure, Mian Nawaz Sharif, who has not learned from disastrous lessons of dictatorship. The most disturbing development is that he has decided to become a co-conspirator with the military establishment in yet another plot to dislodge a democratically-elected government. During his Turkey visit, he held a one-on-one meeting with Lt Gen Shuja Pasha in Istanbul in the last week of October wherein it was decided that the establishment and the opposition would work together to get rid of the PPP-led govt. And later he had a one-on-one meeting with the chief justice of Pakistan at his Murree residence and then he finally approached the Supreme Court. Some members of his Muslim league appear to have their own reservations against the former prime minister’s recent move and accuse him of conspiring against democratic regime. His party’s MNA Ayaz Amir openly criticized Mian sahib:
We have no doubt that the powerful Military is conspiring to make democratically elected Government as scapegoat along with Judiciary and Mian Nawaz Sharif as a co-conspirator.
Commenting on the memo issue, the Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa said one cannot name the President, Army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chiefs in a petition but they all accepted it because the petition was filed by Nawaz Sharif.
Meanwhile, the PPP is trying to draw democratic forces to its defence against the threat of the military establishment and a coup.
The prime minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gilani has been talking to various political leaders and diplomats about potential threats to his administration and expressing fears that the army might stage a coup. The Express Tribune reported.
However, the PM House issued a flat out denial: “PM Gilani has not spoken to Thomson in this regard. The AP story is completely unfounded,” adding, “The democratic government, led by PM Gilani, draws its strength from the people of Pakistan – not from foreign powers.”
Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) former president & human rights activist Asma Jahangir says , “It appears that judges are playing the role of lawyers in the Memogate case, and the time will tell the nation that memo was mere a plain paper.”
“We want people’s government in the country, not the rule of Army and judiciary,”, She said.
The legal fraternity launched movement for the restoration of judiciary but the Judges wanted them back on their jobs only, she regretted.
She also said the Judges supposed that whatever they say was law but the law was written in the Constitution.
The memogate was not being probed by Judicial Commission but at a place in Rawalpindi. She added.
The following article written by Mohammed Hanif describes the biased role of establishment friendly media & so called ‘Azad Adliya’ as well as current situation clearly.
As reports of a possible coup show, Pakistan’s army is as corrupt as the politicians from whom it wants to save the country
As the rumours of an impending coup circulated in Pakistan this week, an inquiry commission investigating the death of the journalist Saleem Shehzad submitted its report to the Pakistan government. The report has not been made public yet but members of the commission leaked to the press the only bit of information that mattered: the commission has fully absolved Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the prime suspect in the torture and murder of Shehzad. Hours after his murder most of Shehzad’s colleagues and friends were convinced that it was an ISI job.
Another judicial commission is holding regular hearings to find out how Osama bin Laden managed to live near a military garrison in Abbottabad. Whatever this commission may or may not achieve, you don’t need to be an analyst to predict that it will absolve the army and its intelligence agencies of any culpability.
While a supreme court has been hearing, for years now, the cases of hundreds of missing persons, mostly Baloch activists who, their families allege, have been kidnapped by the military agencies. The bullet-riddled bodies of these activists keep appearing in the towns and villages of Balochistan almost every day. There is not a single bereaved family in the province that has any doubts about who is behind these killings. Yet, army officials, on the rare occasion they are asked, always throw up their hands in the air and say “Who, us?”
It was this institution that, on Wednesday, told the elected government that it should mind its language, or face “grave consequences” for the country.
This stand-off between the army and the government started over yet another investigation that the army is keen on. The army believes that President Zardari, through his ambassador in Washington, tried to lobby the US government to save himself from an alleged coup, after a memo emerged last October. The government denies it. The matter is in the court. Although the media is full of talk of sovereignty and honour once again, everybody seems to have missed the basic fact that in trying to save ourselves from a coup we have reached the brink of yet another coup.
Pakistan’s army has launched four coups and started and lost as many wars with India. Yet it still considers itself the sole arbiter of national interest and public morality. An army that’s not accountable to its own people is not a rare thing even in this day and age, but Pakistan’s army has the singular distinction of waging an almost continuous war against its own people and getting paid to do it. Pakistan’s army is as corrupt as the politicians from whom it wants to save the country. It’s just better at paperwork. If you are a politician in Pakistan you are likely to end up in a jail, or in exile, and in some cases hanged, or just bombed out of existence. If you are a general you are likely to spend your retirement years on a golf course paid by taxpayers, and own a holiday home in suburban Toronto. Pakistan’s president and prime minster may not be great leaders, but between them they have spent 15 years in jails, mostly under military rulers.
It’s easy for the army to give incompetent and corrupt politicians a bloody nose, but to come up with any remedies for an ailing country is another matter. And, lest we forget, it wasn’t the politicians who got this country into this fine mess.
The fact that instead of launching a coup the army has had to rely on rumours of a coup to deal with the government may be read as a sign that the Pakistan army is not as powerful – or shortsighted as it once was. But when it overthrew the last elected government, the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif had a two-thirds majority in parliament, and there was nobody clamouring for military rule. The army then stayed in power for nine years.
The classic garrison punishment for a new recruit is that he is asked to dig a hole in the ground. After the hole has been dug, you get a mound of earth which obviously looks unseemly in an otherwise spick and span training ground. Hence, very logically, the recruit is asked to dig another hole so that this earth can be disposed off. And then another and another till a time the recruit has learned his lesson. Pakistan’s army has turned this quaint little military routine into an elaborate ideology and transformed a promising country into a desolate land full of potholes.