A Blueprint To Quit The Bottomless Pit Or Become A Monkey Republic

A Blueprint To Quit The Bottomless Pit Or Become A Monkey Republic

By Shaheen Sehbai

Pakistan has almost been turned into what I call “A Monkey Republic” although no such term exists for a country. The best, or the worst, is a Banana Republic, but we are now visibly way past that benchmark.

Why I say so is that mafias of all kinds are playing havoc, believing that they are unstoppable, as institution after institution crumbles and the ultimate guardians of the State too have in the last six months acted as if a rogue mafia was running it.

The entire institution has been reeling under the weight of this bunch headed by General Bajwa. If someone is not clear what “reeling” means, it is defined in Dictionary.com as “staggering or swaying; unable to walk straight because of a blow, intoxication, etc.”

Only some honourable judges of the higher courts are still considered, or can be the last roadblock to stop the tsunami of devastation and ultimate chaos that is already upon us.

God knows what hit his mind, General Bajwa went berserk in April and let loose a chain of events that overthrew an elected government, brought in corrupt politicians, a gang of criminals to run security agencies, threw aside all rules, regulations, laws, traditions and even the Constitution to unleash a reign of terror.

But within a few hours of removing the Khan government all his schemes went to dogs, in an unbelievable spontaneous outpouring of the people on the streets throughout the country.

Then started a power struggle between the army and the people, led by Imran Khan. The corrupt and the criminals all scrambled under the umbrella of a rogue army gang.

Bajwa and his men surprised the world by acting like tinpot despots, arresting and torturing people, banning the media, arrested undressing and humiliating journalists and politicians, tightening their grip on institutions, foisting corrupt mafias on government institutions, giving special concessions to convicted leaders, hijacking elections and making and unmaking parliamentary majorities — a list that can go on and on.

The target was the unprecedented people’s protest and resentment that grew in numbers and strength in direct proportion to the atrocities like May 25 crackdown on women and children, tanking of the economy and surge of the dollar — all approved and overseen by Bajwa as he was becoming desperate with each passing day his date of retirement inched closer.

The wave of despotic activities turned into murders of journalists, forcing them to flee the country and finally to a botched assassination attempt on Imran Khan to physically eliminate him.

Yet nothing worked. In fact, every action Bajwa took strengthened Khan and his resistance movement. Even when Khan was injured, even in his absence his march continued to grow on the streets.

This unpatriotic behaviour of the Bajwa Bunch brought the army into such disrepute that slowly but surely dissenting voices started being heard inside the top Corps Commanders’ meetings.

All hell broke in the latest meetings this week. Bajwa had to surrender and announce repeatedly that he was leaving to the extent that his mouthpiece ISPR started mentioning his farewell calls on regiments.

But the mess he has created is becoming deeper as panic has struck the criminals and political forces which Bajwa pushed and supported — something the next army chief will never do. Pakistan is in a swamp of intrigues, conspiracies, uncertainties and economic collapse which no one knows how to resolve quickly.

If Bajwa had any sense of patriotism he would have resigned immediately and left the scene, taking away with him the bunch of crony criminals who have made Pakistan a laughing stock in the world.

I had written in April 2022: When political engineering can go on for over two years, those in charge should put the derailed train back on the rails before they wash off their hands. It becomes their national duty under their oath. Bajwa can call a Corps Commanders meeting tomorrow to tell them he has decided to resign… The new chief should declare that the army will not indulge in any political engineering but it will correct the wrongs done by Bajwa by undoing what he has done.”

That call in April was a bit too early but not wrong. The army also took its time to come around and realize that the rest of them will have to undo these grave wrongs. Now probably they may but it is almost, almost too late and too complex to be handled by routine lines written in the law books or the constitution.

Generals worried, politics in disarray, parliament dysfunctional, government non-existent, public furious on streets, media scared, courts confused yet an injured but resolute Imran Khan marching on the Capital. Islamabad and Pindi are banging their heads to stop the freight train.

Many minds are at work and one blueprint is gaining approval in critical circles including the Generals.

It has to be an out of the box solution, bending some rules here and there but with the consent and prior approval of the higher courts. The urgency is obvious as a new army chief has to be appointed, but by whom?

The solution being debated is as follows:

– President Alvi is active behind the scenes and he should seek a Track-2 type understanding from the courts to impose a national emergency, send all assemblies home and appoint, by consensus of all major players, an interim government prior to general elections in 3-4 months.
– General Bajwa should resign now and as per army traditions the GHQ should name a new chief to fill the vacancy. The position cannot remain vacant even for a day. The new name should be the candidate who merits the job and be acceptable to all.
– The Establishment under the new chief ensures that the interim government runs smoothly and elections are held in an absolutely free and transparent way with no engineering.
– The interim government investigates all the major cases of atrocities on politicians, journalists including assassination of Arshad Sharif and attempt on Imran Khan, besides restoring all freedoms and rights and guaranteeing security to journalists who have gone abroad.
– All those accused of corruption, crimes and misusing authority and power, including General Bajwa and his cronies, should not be allowed to leave the country.
– Once elections are completed, political governments are inducted, either the army chief in office be confirmed or a new chief be appointed as per rules.

These actions may appear to be difficult or impossible but for the army to restore its image and respect, nothing short of such drastic steps will be acceptable to the people who have been treated like a herd of sheep.

The roles of the Generals minus Bajwa, the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, the President and patriotic politicians will determine if Pakistan can emerge from this dirt pond.

Drowned in a well, it is fatal to dig down further. A Divine hand must lift this nation back to sanity.


Categories: Current Affairs, Pakistan, Pakistan Armed Forces

Tags: , , ,

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