Regime Change Operation In Pakistan – A Russian Perspective
By Nasir Kiyani
Since April 11th 2022, Pakistan’s political situation is still volatile and with every passing day the crisis worsens. In an exclusive interview with Reporter’s Diary, American Moscow-based political analyst Andrew Korybko, comprehensively discussed the current political situation of Pakistan, the regime change operation and the role of the Establishment. The future of Pakistan-Russia relations is also part of the discussion. The interview is republished here.
Question: How do you see the removal of Imran Khan from the PM Office? In your analysis, why did all of this happen?
Andrew Korybko: According to former Prime Minister Khan, he became aware of the opposition’s plot against him last summer, which coincided with his famous response of “absolutely not” to the question of hosting US bases after America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. In hindsight, it appears as though the controversy over the next spy chief might have been connected to this in that the former leader could have felt that the next spy chief would play a decisive role in that scenario.
The no-confidence motion (NCM) that ultimately ousted the former Prime Minister couldn’t have succeeded without The Establishment. Moreover, it’s unlikely that The Establishment would have sat back and let this process unfold without first receiving approval from America. Up until former Prime Minister Khan’s trip to Moscow, the US hadn’t yet greenlit this domestically driven regime change operation.
Washington clearly didn’t like the Pakistani leader’s independent foreign policy but it hadn’t crossed any so-called “red lines” in spite of his refusal to host US bases. That declining unipolar hegemon was focusing much more on the run-up to what turned out to be Russia’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine, but it’s precisely for that reason why former Prime Minister Khan’s trip to Moscow at the end of February angered America so much.
Without intending to, he humiliated US President Joe Biden, the latter of whom had been trying to humiliate him over the past year by refusing to call the Pakistani leader as punishment for former Prime Minister Khan’s perceived closeness to former US President Donald Trump. Immediately after that, the US presumably gave the approval for the preplanned and domestically driven regime change to be carried out against him as the final punishment for his independent foreign policy.
Those members of The Establishment who passively facilitated former Prime Minister Khan’s ouster did so for several reasons. First, he was much too independent and they felt uncomfortable that they couldn’t control him, especially his fiercely multipolar rhetoric that they worried had unnecessarily offended the US despite it being based on national self-respect and not so-called “anti-Americanism”. The second reason thus becomes self-evident in that they felt they could control the opposition more.
Third, since The Establishment had become concerned with former Prime Minister Khan’s rhetoric, they probably thought that America would approve of his ouster, though it clearly didn’t greenlight this operation until shortly before it happened and after his trip to Moscow otherwise it would have likely unfolded much earlier. Fourth, “cable-gate” confirmed that the US signalled that “all would be forgiven” in relations with Pakistan if the NCM succeeded, which would have emboldened The Establishment.
Fifth, The Establishment didn’t expect Donald Lu’s cable, having instead anticipated a smooth so-called “post-modern coup” through superficially democratic means upon finally receiving foreign approval for this. That’s why they pushed the false narrative that those politicians who participated in this plot did so purely to “save the economy” and not to change his foreign policy. That claim was discredited after the economy subsequently collapsed, cable-gate happened, and ties with Russia become complicated.
Had it not been for cable-gate, then all suspicion of a foreign hand in the sequence of events behind former Prime Minister Khan’s ouster would have been dismissed as a so-called “conspiracy theory”. It was that black swan event at the onset of this complex process that disproportionately shaped its emerging outcome in accordance with the precept of complexity theory. Had there been no foreign factor, then The Establishment probably would have pushed for early elections to defuse the crisis.
Not only that, but if there wasn’t any implied approval from America over this regime change process, then The Establishment would have presumably at the very least postponed the NCM in order to comprehensively investigate everything connected to cable-gate. The rushed nature in which they concluded that no conspiracy allegedly happened very strongly suggests that they promised to remove the former Prime Minister through the “post-modern coup” scenario as soon as possible.
Question: Do you believe that Imran Khan was “punished” for his Russia visit?
Andrew Korybko: Former Prime Minister Khan’s visit to Russia was the so-called “tripwire” that finally convinced the US to approve the preplanned and domestically driven regime change against him that The Establishment at the very least passively facilitated through their “neutrality” that caught most observers off guard. Even though The Establishment confirmed that they supported his visit, some within them – perhaps among the most elite echelons – could have mischievously known that this would be the final straw for the US.
To explain, it’s in Pakistan’s objective national interests to continue cultivating increasingly strategic ties with Russia, especially in pursuit of strengthening its food and fuel security. Furthermore, closer relations would also aid Pakistan in its quest to de facto expand CPEC to Central Asia through Afghanistan via February 2021’s agreement to build a Pakistan-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan (PAKAFUZ) railway that could ultimately connect with Russia.
All of this is in line with the first-ever National Security Policy’s geo-economic vision, hence why no stakeholder could credibly oppose former Prime Minister Khan’s visit without arousing suspicion. Nevertheless, as was speculated above, some of them might have predicted that the timing would tip the odds in their favour with respect to finally getting the US to approve of the preplanned and domestically driven regime change in order to replace him with the much more compliant opposition.
It should also be noted that there arguably exist two schools of thought within The Establishment: the pro-American and multipolar ones. The first believe that Pakistan’s interests are best served by remaining within that declining unipolar hegemon’s orbit as its perpetual “junior partner” since they predict that the costs of obtaining true independence are too high and success too unlikely. The second, however, want to liberate Pakistan from unipolar hegemony and make it independent despite the costs.
Up until former Prime Minister Khan’s ouster, it appeared as though the multipolar school had replaced the pro-American one in terms of more powerfully influencing Pakistan’s foreign policy, yet recent events proved that the pro-American school was secretly plotting a comeback this entire time. This explains why they at the very least passively facilitated the opposition’s preplanned NCM that only finally succeeded after America presumably approved of this outcome following the Moscow visit.
Question: Imran Khan was reluctant to give military bases to the US. In your opinion, will this happen now?
Andrew Korybko: It’s unclear what will happen now, but it was very concerning that the new US Ambassador to Pakistan was so evasive in his answer to the question of whether bilateral talks concern the topic of drone bases. Furthermore, it was disappointing that the new government didn’t immediately reply with an “absolutely not”-style response. These interconnected developments add credence to speculation that the issue might be currently discussed behind closed doors.
That said, nobody can know for sure what the outcome would be if there are indeed any such discussions being held, which are only in the realm of speculation for now. One scenario is that the reason why the US isn’t pulling the IMF’s strings and getting it to disburse much-needed aid to Pakistan more quickly is that it wants the economic crisis to worsen to such a degree that the new authorities agree to drone bases or at least “overflight rights” in exchange for this.
Keeping in mind the arguable existence of two schools of thought within The Establishment, it’s possible that the multipolar one is passionately making its case about why hosting US bases or even just granting overflight rights would be contrary to Pakistan’s objective national interests. This could explain why it hasn’t happened yet but compellingly seems to still be on the table considering what was mentioned above regarding the US Ambassador’s interview and the new government’s reluctance to react to it.
Question: Do you think that the US implemented the same regime change tactics in Pakistan as the CIA did in Chile and Iran?
Andrew Korybko: What happened in Pakistan more closely resembles Brazil’s regime change in the prior decade with respect to being carried out through superficially democratic means via so-called “lawfare”, or the weaponization of legal instruments for political ends, which in this case is regime change. The comparison is imperfect but both can be described as post-modern coups because the foreign factor is greatly obscured and the process was carried out most directly by domestic elements, not foreign ones.
In addition, both the Brazilian and Pakistani Establishment’s have pro-American and multipolar schools within them at every level, which explains why certain elements of each state’s apparatus at the very least passively facilitated the regime changes against their multipolar leaders. They could have decisively intervened to stop both of them due to the connection to foreign factors, which is the CIA-derived so-called “anti-corruption evidence” from Operation Car Wash and Donald Lu’s damning cable respectively.
They didn’t, however, which speaks to the fact that the pro-American schools within each had been secretly plotting to return to their traditional positions of premier policymaking influence after having been recently replaced by their multipolar counterparts under former Presidents Lula and Dilma in Brazil and former Prime Minister Khan in Pakistan. The primary role that domestic forces actively and passively played in these coups with indirect foreign support explains why they can be described as post-modern.
Question: After the ouster of Imran Khan, do you think that Pakistan will remain outside of “bloc politics”?
Andrew Korybko: The multipolar school of thought still retains a presence within The Establishment since all that’s known to have changed since early April is the composition of the government, not the permanent policymaking bureaucracy comprised of the military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies. That said, the multipolar school’s influence has been largely neutralized, though it hasn’t been completely extinguished, at least not yet.
This explains why the new Foreign Minister has publicly confirmed the continuance of Pakistan’s principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Conflict. From that development, one can presume that the multipolar school still wields some sway even if it’s no longer the premier policymaking force within The Establishment. It appears as though they’ve been able to have somewhat of a moderating force on their pro-American counterparts who swiftly returned to power after Prime Minister Khan’s ouster.
These individuals are very passionate about their worldview, Pakistan’s place within the global systemic transition to multipolarity, and the most pragmatic policies that it should implement in pursuit of its objective national interests. While their perspective differs from the pro-American school’s, it’s very compelling and might have convinced their counterparts to slow down some of what they might have planned to do upon returning to premier policymaking influence after recent events.
The problem, however, is that the economic crisis that was exacerbated as a direct result of the post-modern regime change against former Prime Minister Khan risks eroding the independent basis of Pakistani policymaking that the prior government worked so hard to create over nearly the past four years. At the brink of bankruptcy and careening towards a Sri Lanka 2.0 scenario, Pakistan might be coerced to change its policies under American pressure in exchange for a US-approved IMF bailout.
Realistically speaking, any pivot from the principled policy of non-bloc politics back to the old one wherein Pakistan took one bloc’s side over another’s would be disastrous for its national interests, hence why it hasn’t yet happened. Even the pro-American school seems to understand that it would risk national suicide by unnecessarily provoking suspicion from China, with whom Pakistan cooperates on CPEC, which is BRI’s flagship project and integral to the country’s economic future.
Nevertheless, with the regime change against former Prime Minister Khan having in hindsight been nothing by a pyrrhic victory for the pro-American school of thought after it collapsed the economy that The Establishment’s domestic political partners promised everyone they’d fix, Pakistan now has its back against the wall and is in the unenviable position of potentially considering unilateral concessions on issues of objective national interest in exchange for emergency US-approved IMF aid.
Nothing short of a miracle can save the independent basis upon which Pakistan had hitherto formulated its policies under former Prime Minister Khan’s government. There were of course certain limitations to the extent to which he could independently flex his country’s objective national interests, but those who replaced him are much more constrained by the economic crisis that their regime change is directly responsible for worsening.
Only American incompetence can save even a vestige of Pakistan’s previously independent foreign policy in these circumstances. The US holds all the cards and might even have tricked The Establishment into going through with its domestically driven and preplanned post-modern coup against former Prime Minister Khan after calculating that this could catalyse the country’s economic collapse, following which it could then blackmail it with the IMF to host bases and return to bloc politics in exchange for aid.
Question: How do you see the role of Pakistan’s Establishment in the country’s current political crises?
Andrew Korybko: The Establishment can be described as having two schools of thought within it: the pro-American and multipolar ones. The first-mentioned were traditionally dominant but their influence started gradually giving way to the multipolar school’s around the time that CPEC was announced, after which their counterparts finally came to policymaking prominence upon former Prime Minister Khan’s election. In the intervening four years, however, the pro-American school secretly plotted its comeback.
This took the form of some elite members considering his replacement by the opposition through the NCM. His rivals are much more compliant than he is, especially because they’re corrupt and will practically do anything in order to escape justice. Unlike former Prime Minister Khan, they’re not really passionate about anything except their personal interests, which means that there’s no likelihood of them “going off script” harshly criticizing the US’ desire to return Pakistan to junior partner status.
The pro-American school appears to sincerely believe that their country’s objective national interests rest in remaining within the US’ orbit, even as its junior partner, though they hope to still retain excellent ties with China like they’d previously done throughout the decades. This balancing act is difficult to pull off in the current conditions of America imposing zero-sum dilemmas upon its vassals, though the pro-American school still seems to think that they could pull off that balancing act.
In their minds, former Prime Minister Khan was too much of a “radical” and “wildcard”. He harshly criticized the US due to his principled belief in justice, which they thought risked ruining their balancing act. What the pro-American school didn’t realize, however, is that the times are changing and so too must Pakistani policy. It can’t remain tied to the past when the rest of the world has already moved on long ago. Nevertheless, they still thought that his rhetoric was contrary to objective national interests.
This explains why they considered cooperating with the opposition in the latter’s bid to return to power, which coincided with former Prime Minister Khan’s “absolutely not” in response to the question of hosting US bases. This gave them hope that America would greenlight their domestically driven and preplanned post-modern coup to oust him through superficially democratic means. Alas, the US was too caught up dealing with other things and wasn’t really prioritizing Pakistan up until recently.
That country only returned to its radar following its former leader’s trip to Moscow, which embarrassed Biden who’d previously done his utmost to embarrass former Prime Minister Khan. Up until that point, the US might have preferred to let him serve his term and possibly lose the next election due to what they expected would be popular anger for the worsening economy. There wasn’t any urgency to indirectly intervene by approving his ouster through The Establishment’s plot with the opposition.
Once that changed, however, everything moved at full speed and dramatically culminated in the week-long events of early April that have since become infamous. The Establishment remained “neutral” despite cable-gate necessitating what many expected would have been a comprehensive investigation. Instead of doing what many thought, they passively facilitated his ouster through the post-modern coup that was plotted with the opposition and which was set into motion after America gave its approval.
Despite the pro-American school returning to policymaking prominence, the multipolar one still remains in existence despite mostly being politically neutralized. Even so, however, it’s clear that they’ve continued to work behind the scenes to moderate some of the impact of what happened as proven by the new Foreign Minister’s public reaffirmation of Pakistan’s principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Crisis and the fact that they also aren’t hosting any US bases, at least not yet.
Considering the Establishment’s opacity, it’s impossible to know the exact ratio of which members are adherents of the pro-American and multipolar schools of thought, though one can conclude that the upper echelons ascribe to the former while the latter are probably embraced by more of the rank and file apart from some exceptions. Once again, it can’t be emphasized enough that the pro-American school seems to be at the very least influenced by the US judging by what happened.
In practical terms, this was them rushing through their pseudo-“investigation” into cable-gate despite that scandal arguably necessitating a much more comprehensive investigation and the attendant postponement of the NCM in the meantime until it was completed. What they didn’t do is just as suspicious as what they did, and that is continue to refuse early elections to defuse the political crisis that was provoked by cable-gate and their passive facilitation of the post-modern coup via “neutrality”.
Had there been no foreign factor behind his ouster and if it was only carried out for purely economic reasons that truly had nothing to do with changing his independent foreign policy, then early elections would have already been called in order to resolve the political crisis through direct democracy instead of the “indirect democracy” that was employed to carry out the post-modern coup in parliament. The Establishment and their media supporters claim this is “due to principles”, but that’s not credible.
After all, the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Article 63A resulted in discrediting the post-modern coup by determining that lawmakers cannot defect from their party during NCMs. This should have been the legal trigger for calling early elections, yet that didn’t happen, most likely because elite members of the pro-American school agreed with the US to retain the new government until next summer as part of a quid pro quo for repairing their relations and especially over receiving much-needed IMF aid.
Had that been the Faustian bargain that they brokered like it certainly seems to be, then it appears as though they were played by the US since relations haven’t meaningfully improved beyond rhetoric, the IMF aid has yet to arrive despite the painful removal of subsidies that were demanded in exchange, and the new US Ambassador’s evasive answer to the question of drone bases prompted concern that Washington intends for Islamabad to concede on this sometime before the next elections.
These dynamics very strongly suggest that the elite members of the pro-American school that returned to policymaking prominence after America greenlit the domestically driven and preplanned post-modern coup were manipulated with false promises about improved relations and IMF aid into crashing the economy shortly thereafter so that the country would be forced to seriously consider hosting US bases in exchange for receiving what might have earlier been agreed to.
Again, this is just educated conjecture since no evidence exists in the public sphere apart from reports about cable-gate and everything that transpired in Pakistan since former Prime Minister Khan’s ouster, but the aforementioned interpretation of events provides a solid framework for understanding everything that happened, why it all unfolded, and where it might be headed. The conclusion is that the pro-American school of thought was most likely tricked by the US.
They seem to have realized some of this and that’s why they haven’t changed their policy of principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Conflict under US pressure even though ties with Russia have since become complicated over The Establishment’s lack of direction over their future brought about by speculatively heated debates between the pro-American and multipolar schools of thought. Be that as it may, the elite coterie that’s presently calling the shots still remains dead-set against early elections.
That’s probably because they’re holding out hope against the arguably increasing odds that relations with the US will improve and the IMF aid will soon be dispersed without having to unilaterally concede on any further issues of objective national interests like hosting drone bases or returning to the policy of bloc politics. There’s also the issue of ego too since finally calling for early elections after all the self-inflicted damage that their post-modern coup has caused would be interpreted as a defeat.
Elite members of society, especially within The Establishment, probably feel uncomfortable being perceived as having failed. In hindsight, they had the “face-saving” opportunity to call for early elections and repair some of the unprecedented mess that their post-modern coup is responsible for after the Supreme Court ruled on Article 63A, but instead the pro-American school of thought remained committed to the course of action that they set into motion, which has proven to have been disastrous.
The institutions that they represent shouldn’t be considered responsible for this national tragedy per se since it’s only elite members within them who ascribe to the pro-American school of thought that played any role in all of this. The opposition that ousted former Prime Minister Khan have always been puppets, this time trading one patron for another with respect to doing The Establishment’s bidding as part of all relevant parties’ Faustian bargain with America instead of working against it like they used to.
Everyone should keep this in mind since The Establishment as a whole has proven its patriotism in defending Pakistan and thus perpetuating its existence despite the extremely difficult circumstances in which the country found itself after independence. Their contribution to Pakistan’s security is commendable, yet that’s precisely why so many people are disappointed and even enraged at their elite echelons having passively facilitated this post-modern coup at the very least by remaining “neutral”.
The Establishment’s reputation has been marred by that infamous decision, which in turn weakens the Pakistani state as a whole since their institutions are one of its pillars. Those who made this national tragedy possible should think long, hard, and deeply about what they’ve done and whether it was truly worth it. Whatever ideological or egotistical factors continue influencing their decision to stubbornly stick with the plan aren’t anywhere near as important as resolving these interconnected crises.
That’s what makes this tragedy all the more painful for many since it was completely avoidable and everything that followed didn’t have to be. The sequence of events only unfolded because elite members of The Establishment’s pro-American school of thought went through with their domestically driven and preplanned post-modern coup after finally receiving US approval following former Prime Minister Khan’s trip to Russia. Few could have ever expected that they’d let any of this happen.
Question: How do you see the future of Pakistan- Russia relations after the ouster of Imran Khan?
Andrew Korybko: Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova extended credence to former Prime Minister Khan’s claims in the week before his ouster that the sequence of events carried the hallmarks of a US-orchestrated regime change, yet President Putin subsequently recognized his replacement as the Pakistani Prime Minister. The second-mentioned decision spoke to Russia’s flexible and non-ideological foreign policy wherein it will always attempt to pragmatically cooperate with all interested partners.
It deserves mentioning that President Putin also recognized former Brazilian President Michel Temer who unseated his multipolar predecessor through a similar “lawfare”-driven post-modern coup. He was even asked by journalists about his counterpart’s collaboration with the CIA that WikiLeaks revealed in 2011 after the December 2016 BRICS Summit. The Russian leader said that “We always work with representatives of a government, and we try to build positive and trustful interstate relations.”
Up until former Prime Minister Khan’s ouster, relations with Russia were rapidly improving and approaching the level of a true strategic partnership. His removal, however, raised questions about whether they’ll ever return to that historically unprecedented level or not, which is entirely the prerogative of those who replaced him since Russia remains committed to developing relations with Pakistan as proven by President Putin’s pragmatic recognition of his replacement.
The new government, however, had sent mixed signals about the food and fuel deals that the former Prime Minister claimed to have been on the cusp of clinching with Russia. They did this both through their own representatives and through members of the media that are considered to be very close to The Establishment (and more specifically the pro-American school of thought within it that returned to policymaking prominence after the post-modern coup).
As the economic crisis worsened as a direct result of Prime Minister Khan’s ouster, those who replaced him began to panic since they realized that they risked being coerced into unilaterally conceding on issues of objective national interest like hosting drone bases if the US makes this a condition for repairing relations and receiving much-needed IMF aid. That explains their belated clarification that they do indeed remain interested in purchasing discounted food and fuel from Russia.
That policy statement was likely only made possible by the immense behind-the-scenes efforts of the multipolar school of thought that continued passionately pleading Pakistan’s objective national interests from the perspective of their worldview to their pro-American counterparts who replacement them as the most prominent policymakers. Had it not been for their valiant moderation of that school’s vehemently pro-American worldview, Pakistan might have ruined its relations with Russia by now.
Hopefully the elite members of The Establishment’s pro-American school of thought who are calling the shots right now in Pakistan realize the mutual benefits of pursuing former Prime Minister Khan’s deals to purchase discounted food and fuel from Russia and didn’t just produce that statement of interest for the sake of optics. Pakistan must reduce its foreign expenditures, to which end it has to reliably receive discounted food and fuel imports, which only Russia can realistically provide.
The US would be extremely displeased with this but might also accept it if there’s literally no other alternative to preventing the full-on collapse of the post-modern coup government in the event that it holds firm and doesn’t unilaterally concede on any more issues of objective national interest in exchange for the hope of repairing ties with the US and receiving IMF aid. That’s admittedly a wishful-thinking scenario, however, and might not ultimately come to pass.
Nonetheless, the point being made is conceptually valid: the pro-American project in Pakistan is at risk of falling apart, especially if the economy continues collapsing, and can only comparatively stabilize and persist even if only a bit longer by reducing its import bill, to which end it follows that seeking discounted food and fuel from Russia is a must. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it will indeed happen, but just that there’s a certain logic inherent to it that appeals to both schools of thought.
The pro-American one could possibly continue definitely delaying early elections while the pro-multipolar one would appreciate that relations with Russia are strengthening, while both should take solace in knowing that Pakistan’s reliable imports of these discounted resources from Russia are objectively helping the country and improving its people’s lives (or at least not making them any worse than they’ve already become since the post-modern coup succeeded and the economy collapsed).
Question: As an independent observer, what is the way forward for Pakistan and how Pakistan can get rid of American influence?
Andrew Korybko: The only sustainable solution is free and fair early elections as soon as possible, but the elite members of the pro-American school of thought who passively facilitated the domestically driven and preplanned post-modern coup that only entered into motion upon American approval following former Prime Minister Khan’s trip to Moscow remain reluctant to do this. The only conceivable reason why is that they made a Faustian bargain with the US to keep their government in power until at least next summer.
This stubborn refusal to do the only realistic thing for defusing the country’s political crisis and thus enabling its public representatives to focus exclusively on resolving the economic one is likely attributable to a combination of that aforementioned factor and the ego that permeates some elite societies. This has proven to be disastrous not only for Pakistan as a whole, but even for their regime change project since the Supreme Court’s ruling on Article 63A discredited their narrative.
Former Prime Minister Khan was only unseated through superficially democratic means via “lawfare” after members of his coalition defected to the opposition, reportedly after having previously met with American diplomats and almost certainly with the tacit approval of The Establishment that could have otherwise stopped this through whichever creative means they wanted to employ if they were truly against it.
That political sequence has since been deemed unconstitutional, yet the government that remains in power as a direct result of that “lawfare” mechanism (popularly described as “horse-trading” by many) arrogantly chose not to call early elections. This observation adds further credence to the speculation that an unseen and most likely foreign force is behind The Establishment’s decision to cling to their course of action despite it having been legally discredited and thus seen as illegitimate by many.
The interconnected political and economic crises brought about as a direct result of the post-modern coup are now endangering the country’s security, but instead of taking responsibility for this and doing the only realistic thing that could defuse the crisis (call free and fair early elections as soon as possible), the elite members of The Establishment’s pro-American school continue digging an even deeper hole and trying to gaslight everyone into blaming the former leader, his party, and their supporters for this.
The national tragedy that’s unfolding in horror before everyone’s eyes has no parallel apart from the events preceding 1971 over half a century ago, though that doesn’t automatically mean that Pakistan is fated for a similar end, God forbid. The absolute vast majority of The Establishment and the over 220 million Pakistanis who they represent can avert that worst-case scenario since none of them want to see their glorious country experience that yet again.
For this reason, while the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been any time since 1971, history doesn’t have to repeat itself and the worst might still be avoided even if free and fair early elections aren’t held as soon as possible. That said, the longer that this doesn’t happen, the greater the risk that Pakistan’s independence will continue being eroded under the new conditions in which it found itself after the post-modern coup’s pyrrhic victory.
While it’s only been around 2,5 months, it was within this comparatively brief period of time that the contours of the emerging world order began to be shaped. The global systemic transition to multipolarity entered an unprecedented phase where everything accelerated and became more compressed, which can poetically be described as “decades unfolding in weeks”. The post-modern coup unfortunately knocked Pakistan out of the geopolitical and geo-economic game by its own hand.
This created enormous opportunities for neighbouring India and Iran to shape the regional contours of the emerging world order closer to their desired vision that’s more in alignment with their national interests than Pakistan’s. That doesn’t mean that they’ve done anything serious to endanger Pakistan’s interests, but just that Islamabad has fallen so far behind in the span of just 2,5 months that it might not be able to recover anytime soon, especially since its economic crisis will take a long time to resolve.
It more than likely wasn’t a coincidence that this happened when it did either since the US might have wanted to punish Pakistan for Prime Minister Khan’s independent foreign policy and especially his trip to Moscow that embarrassed Biden that it might have viciously predicted all that would happen after greenlighting the post-modern coup in the current global systemic context. Those who passively facilitated it almost certainly weren’t aware of the long-term consequences that followed.
Had they even an inkling that they’d be knocking their country out of the geopolitical and geo-economic game at this once-in-a-century moment to influence the global systemic transition in the direction of its objective national interests, they’d never have voluntarily ceded this to neighbouring India and Iran by remaining “neutral” and allowing the post-modern coup to succeed. That’s not to say that this self-inflicted strategic damage is irreparable, but just that it’ll be a herculean challenge to repair with time.
That’s why so much is at stake and at risk of being lost the longer that the elite members of The Establishment’s pro-American school of thought continue stubbornly refusing to hold free and fair early elections as soon as possible. Not only is Pakistan’s policymaking independence at risk as was earlier explained throughout this interview, but so too is its role in the global systemic transition to multipolarity.
Whereas Pakistan had finally emerged as an independent subject of International Relations by the eve of former Prime Minister Khan’s ouster, it’s since plunged back into becoming an influenced object of International Relations at literally the most important time since its independence. This observation makes the national tragedy that’s unfolding all the more painful since it means that there isn’t any easy fix even in the best-case solution of free and fair early elections being held as soon as possible.