Four Reasons To Suspect That Something Serious Is Going On Behind The Scenes In Pakistan
The importance of what just transpired and the curious timing just before the planned appointment of the country’s new Chief Of Army Staff mean that this weekend’s four major news items can’t be ignored by intrepid observers since they compellingly suggest that something serious is happening behind the scenes within its powerful Establishment at this pivotal moment of Pakistan’s converging crises.
Pakistan has been mired in economic and political crisis since the US-orchestrated post-modern coup against former Prime Minister Imran Khan in early April imposed an unpopular clique of crooks on this country’s proud people. This regime change, which wouldn’t have been possible without the collusion of The Establishment’s elite elements, was punishment for his refusal to host US drones or permit related transit through his nation’s airspace as well as a response to Pakistan’s growing ties with Russia.
Following his superficially democratic ouster, former Prime Minister Khan inspired millions of his compatriots to peacefully rally for free and fair elections as soon as possible so that the people themselves can directly choose who they want to lead them instead of being forced to accept what he accurately referred to as his country’s imported government. His PTI party thus quickly evolved from an anti-corruption movement to a pro-democracy one and ultimately a freedom-liberation movement.
It’s little wonder then that it won a series of by-elections to emerge as his country’s most popular political force since PTI truly embodies the will of the Pakistani people. Instead of accepting this reality and subsequently organizing free and fair elections as early as possible in order to restore the political certainty required for saving the economy from its ongoing meltdown, the post-modern coup regime brutally cracked down on the opposition and even attempted to assassinate the former premier.
That unsuccessful plot completely discredited those elite elements of The Establishment who’ve been pulling the imported government’s strings this whole time and risked totally destabilizing Pakistan. Not only would that scenario be contrary to the country’s objective interests, but also those of its restored America overlord, which envisaged its post-modern coup catalysing the geostrategic reorientation of South Asia with a view towards facilitating the reassertion of its regional influence in the New Cold War.
Large-scale civil unrest and the bloody imposition of martial law immediately afterwards (like some speculate was the plan had former Prime Minister Khan been assassinated) would destabilize, discredit, and isolate this US proxy state, thus scuttling its grand strategic designs. Seeing as how it’s in the US’ interests to avoid that scenario, it therefore follows that it might seriously consider a credible pressure valve for averting that sequence of events.
Therein lies the significance of the rumoured channels of communication that it allegedly established with former Prime Minister Khan, which were reported upon in August and September. These could serve the purpose of scoping out his political intentions in the event that the US pressures its proxies to hold free and fair elections as early as possible, thus enabling him to democratically return to office. At the same time, the US could also leverage its influence among The Establishment’s elite echelons to that end.
While some might have dismissed the preceding scenario as wishful thinking, four recent developments over the past weekend very strongly suggest that something serious is indeed going on behind the scenes in Pakistan that could add credence to this possibility. The importance of what just transpired and the curious timing just before the planned appointment of the country’s new Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) mean that the following news items can’t be ignored by intrepid observers:
1. The Post-Modern Coup Regime Allegedly Reached Out To PTI Via The President
According to the Express Tribune’s unnamed sources, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s Friday meeting with President Arif Alvi partially involved the post-modern coup regime asking Pakistan’s formal head of state to explore whether PTI (of which he’s a member) would be interested in holding dialogue on resolving political issues. The outlet reported that the leadership of the country’s most popular party (implying the former premier) showed willingness and authorized the President to begin the requested process.
2. Imran Khan Clarified That He Has No Problem With Whoever Is Appointed As COAS
Continuing his recent trend of clarifying that his prior critiques of The Establishment were directed against just several of its elite elements and never against these patriotic institutions as a whole, former Prime Minister Khan told a rally on Saturday via video link that “I have no problem with whoever they want to appoint as army chief. Now these people [government] are trapped from both sides.” The timing suggests an intent to publicly repair relations with those institutions amidst possibly secret talks.
3. An Investigative Journalist Implicated The Outgoing COAS In A Massive Corruption Scheme
Pakistani journalist Ahmad Noorani released a detailed report on his website FactFocus on Sunday implicating outgoing COAS Bajwa in a massive corruption scheme. That military official is widely regarded as the elite member of The Establishment most directly responsible for ensuring the success of the US-orchestrated but superficially democratic post-modern coup against former Prime Minister Khan. The timing of Noorani’s latest report suggests that The Establishment is experiencing intense infighting.
4. A Whistleblower Claims That The PMLN Chief Ordered His PTI Rival’s & Arshad Sharif’s Killing
The London-based spokesman of the post-modern coup regime’s senior PMLN coalition partner claimed on Sunday that he has evidence proving that party chief Nawaz Sharif ordered Imran Khan’s and famous independent journalist Arshad Sharif’s assassinations. Just like with the preceding development, this one also suggests that there’s intense infighting within The Establishment right now, which coincides with the inflection point in Pakistan’s long-running crisis brought about by those two interconnected plots.
Taken together, the four news items shared above are obviously related, and their timing on the exact same weekend clearly isn’t a coincidence. Considering the tense context within which these four events are rapidly unfolding, it certainly appears as though some responsible elements within The Establishment are indeed trying to pragmatically de-escalate their country’s crisis by exploring the possibility of early elections, whether on their own prerogative or at the urging of the US.
That would explain the Express Tribune’s report about the post-modern coup regime allegedly seeking to enter into dialogue with PTI in order to avert the worst-case scenario of large-scale unrest and the bloody martial law that would inevitably follow if everything isn’t peacefully resolved soon. It would also account for former Prime Minister Khan’s recent trend of clarifying that he was only always critiquing just a few elite members of The Establishment and never those patriotic institutions as a whole.
The post-modern coup regime’s public puppets couldn’t ever entertain the possibility of talks with the ousted premier (even indirectly via the President) without The Establishment’s approval, yet it appears as though these influential military-intelligence structures are divided over whether those talks should even happen. That’s not surprising by itself since two distinct schools of thought exist within them: the traditional pro-US one responsible for the coup and the newer multipolar school that opposed it.
It’s here where the analysis admittedly veers into the realm of speculation since it’s impossible to know exactly what the interplay between these two schools is at the moment. There’s no doubt, however, that Noorani’s report and the influential PMLN whistleblower are intended to discredit their targets, COAS Bajwa and Nawaz Sharif respectively. Their timing also isn’t coincidental since it’s unbelievable that they independently occurred on the same day without any prior coordination.
This leads to the suspicion that both COAS Bajwa and Nawaz Sharif are opposed to those elements of The Establishment that authorized their public puppets to seek the President’s mediation with PTI. From there, it can be extrapolated that the report and whistleblower are connected to those from a different school of thought who also unilaterally authorized the post-modern coup’s outreach effort, though it remains unclear whether they’re acting on their own prerogative or at the urging of the US.
If this is an accurate assessment, then it means that the multipolar school is trying to save Pakistan from the worst-case scenario, to which end they went behind those two powerful pro-US figures’ backs. The US might even have earlier asked COAS Bajwa and Nawaz Sharif to do this but could have been rebuffed if they “went rogue” for selfish reasons. In any case, those two found out about the talks in this interpretation of events, tried to stop them, but were then discredited by the report and whistleblower.
Both were already in the works as backup/contingency plans and were thus activated in strategic self-defence as part of an intra-Establishment power play by the multipolar school against the pro-American one at this pivotal moment in Pakistan’s crisis. This doesn’t mean that they’ll succeed, and their possible failure might either be ridiculously spun as a “mutiny” or just swept under the rug, but something of the sort arguably appears to have just taken place behind the scenes even though it’s admittedly unclear.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.