*[Special report as ruling PPP observes Black Day against the 1977-military takeover]
By Habib R. Sulemani
|President Zardari playing political chess with|
Army Chief Gen. Kayani while the Founding Father
looks on from a framed portrait.—APP
General Musharraf wanted to deceive the Pakistani people besides West, especially the United States, to remain in power until his trusted spymaster General Kayani wove the exit strategy in a crafty way... And now General Kayani seems facing the same situation... Who would be the next Chief of the Pakistan Army?
Both Lt-Gen. Shuja Pasha (ISI boss) and Maj-Gen. Athar Abbas (ISPR boss) have disappointed the big boss but he has no other option! It seems General Kayani has taken the affairs in his experienced hands now as The Terrorland recently claimed that the warring political and military establishments (President Zardari and General Kayani) have signed a secret deal to be on the same page after the Osama bin Laden-episode.
It seems true.
A deal with the military establishment to remain in power is, indeed, a U-turn in the four-decade history of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which is observing a Black Day today as on July 5, 1977, the then Army Chief had dissolved party's government.
The PPP was the only anti-establishment (military) political party in this militarized and Talibanized country. So a deal seems a sea-change in the behaviors of both of the traditional archrivals: PPP and military establishment. This could be the reason that the government is so sure of completing its five-year term now. President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani and Army Chief General Kayani seem at ease with each other after years of scuffles.
The PPP is now totally a Zardarized party which wants to stay in power in any condition. The era of the Bhuttos has come to an end finally.
Let's analyze some recent incidents in Pakistani politics:
- The result of the Azad Kashmir elections came in favor of the ruling PPP, which was not possible without the military establishment's help: either the military remained neutral or engineered the polling or altered the results.
- The MQM left the government in a meaningful way (some people consider it a typical blackmailing tactic of the remote-controlled Karachi-based group). MQM was expecting some seats in Punjab with the help of the military establishment (through the ISI) in the next general elections—but the Kashmir elections proved it a foolish dream.
- The PML-N is talking about a grand alliance of political parties including its foe MQM. It indicates that the opposition parties have realized that the country’s most powerful political party (Pakistan Army) has made an alliance with the ruling PPP... so they should oppose any effort to re-elect the unpopular regime again.
- The PML-N and MQM are considered as political wings of the ISI. They seem very disturbed by the alleged PPP-military alliance. Therefore, they're united in criticizing the PPP as they can't criticize their masters (generals) openly (for sidelining their friends since birth in the 1980s). So they both are very vocal in accusing and abusing the PPP in each and every way possible (for snatching their lifelong lover... their darling ISI).
Why the rightist-military establishment did a clandestine deal with its ideological rival: the PPP? It may have done the secret deal as the generals are facing rage of the 180 million people of Pakistan for the first time since independence in 1947. The people are demanding accountability of the military, which consumes their whole budget and even then is not able to protect the country. The nation believes that the security forces provide shelter to terrorists and kill innocent people as a part of their evil strategy.
In such a hostile situation, the generals have been isolated not only in the country but also in the world. To avert the rage, the coward generals had no choice but to get shelter under the umbrella of the so-called democratic setup. What they did with the Parliament is now history!
Also, retirement for General Kayani and his kitchen-cabinet means jumping into the fire! As his predecessor General Musharraf is facing many cases and threats—the same things are waiting for General Kayani especially the assassination cases of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, Governor Salman Taseer, Minority Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, General Faisal Alvi and elderly parents of a serving Supreme Court judge, Justice Javed Iqbal.
Furthermore, President Zardari can't escape investigations regarding the assassinations and corruption cases. The new developments in the Lebanese premier Rafic Hariri assassination case are very symbolic! The three-year-old Benazir Bhutto case could be focus of the judiciary anytime instead of the ongoing 30-year-old Zulfikar Ali Bhutto case. The tunnel is becoming narrower day by day... for the corrupt and criminal people in the ruling class in Pakistan.
The results of every election are prepared at the ISI Headquarters months before an election every-time. So this time it seems the results have been made over a year earlier! What it could be? Indeed, PPP will win the general elections, the Parliament will elect General Kayani as the new President while Mr. Zardari or son Bilawal Zardari would be the next Prime Minister. The ISI and ISPR chiefs, Lt-Gen. Pasha and Maj-Gen. Abbas, would be members of the new Parliament, and probably the new cabinet!
However, the military-PPP alliance is unholy... an alliance of dishonest generals and politicians. It’s like mixing fire and water together in the hope to make milk! Let's see what would be the outcome of the current nexus of interests. Man proposes but God disposes!
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