Anti-establishment wave in Pakistan

By Farman Nawaz


Pakistani army, media and some political segments are, overtly and covertly, terrifying the government of the consequences of Prime Minister’s interview published in People’s Daily of China as well as seducing the public to stand against the government for sabotaging the visit of Chief of Army Staff to China. However no one raised the issue that why a friendly country like China allowed its state controlled media to propagate such views while COAS of Pakistan was on official visit to China.

It should be kept in mind that People’s Daily of China, just like Pravda of Russia, represents the official view point of Communist Party of China. PM Gillani is fortunate in the sense that his interview is published in Chinese media otherwise if it would appear in Indian media; he would have been declared a security threat to Pakistan’s solidarity and integrity.

US and UK have issued their statements, suggesting Pakistani institutions to abide by the constitution and not to cross the limits. Now the question arises why PM Gillani resorted to confrontation when Supreme Court has taken a soft stand in NRO case and issues with army were somehow solved.  It seems that there was some thing wrong at the bottom. Probably Government may see some underground conspiracies from establishment side in NRO and especially Memogate case. Asma Jahangir has also clearly exposed the historical affinity of judiciary and establishment. In Memo case army and Supreme Court have broken the rules in the sense that COAS and ISI Chief bypassed the “Through proper channel” rule while Chief Justice, who is in habit of rebuking the heads of institutions, ignored this blunder of COAS and ISI Chief.

Nawaz Shairf who always criticized ISI involvement in politics and differed with the government on the extension of the tenure for COAS and ISI head, now camouflaged and came out in protest against the interview of PM in Chinese media. However the aspect that all our analysts are ignoring is the Chinese media interest in publishing PM Gillani interview. The interview questions are always selected by the interviewer. Now ‘why Chinese newspaper asked questions in this way’ provides a research point for Pakistani media.

Pakistan army may have refrained from imposing martial law or any other unconstitutional attempt because internationally it may lose support, but I think that Chinese government permission to allow its media to publish Gillani’s interview would have also compelled establishment to ‘think before leap’. China always supported Pakistani establishment but this time it is strange that its media supported civilian government against strong establishment.

Though Zardari’s government seems getting weaker in the past few months and it is said that Pakistan People’s Party is trying to become ‘political martyr’ but I think that PM Gillani interview has given an upper hand to Zardari to bargain with the establishment. COAS sought PM permission before issuing his clarification. It shows the subjugation of establishment before the civilian government on one side and also reminds COAS that he has committed mistake to bypass the civilian government.

Now the tabling of a resolution by Asfandyar Wali Khan of Awami National Party will surely initiate such an antiestablishment wave in Pakistan that it will become a last nail in the coffin of the establishment which is already infamous for playing a dual game in the so-called war on terror. Musharaf rightly said once that his martial law is the last martial law in Pakistan. French Revolution is considered the mother of revolutions while the next elections in Pakistan will be the mother of elections in Pakistan. The hue and cry of People’s Party government will create such an environment that no one will trust the establishment which even did not bother to defend its own fabricated National Reconciliation Ordinance.


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