This is one of the few times that the Army has dramatically underestimated the will of the Pakistani people. Even though I dislike democratic parties in Pakistan; I stand with the Sharifs. The arguments that they are the only corrupt forces in Pakistan is laughable and derisive.
This has to break the back of the Army and I think the time has come to return to the barracks. The fear of Balkanisation in Pakistan is constantly stirred up by the Army to justify its interference.
Pakistanis are not interested in continued aggression with India and frankly there is only force in Pakistan that perpetuates it. I’m very upset with the Military since I dislike hypocrisy.
Imran Khan is a moron, the Bhuttos are just not a serious force (BB forgot to localise her kids) and it’s only the Sharifs that have that tactile touch to rally the population.
A sinister game is underway to install Imran Khan and his ilk. This is the same man who has labeled a sizable number of people of Punjab as donkeys. His right hand man in KP, Pervez Khattak has said in a rally that “wherever I see flags of PPP and other parties flying over homes, I immediately come to know that the residence is occupied by children of prostitutes.” What Imran Khan’s ticket holder Aamir Liaqat has said about Maryam Nawaz is so disgusting that it cannot even be repeated here! This is the mindset which is going to rule this country in the coming days as DG ISPR has already indicated that this year is the year of change.
Mainstream media is completely in chains. Talat Hussain of Geo, a renowned anchorperson whose program on PMLN rally was not allowed to be aired has already been fired by Geo. Asma Shirazi, another bold and credible anchorperson who interviewed Nawaz Sharif has been subjected to a malicious character assassination campaign. The circulation of Pakistan’s most prestigious daily, “Dawn” has been significantly curtailed and news channel “Geo” has been coerced into being “favorable” The ISPR, the military’s media wing has labeled renowned Pakistani journalists as a threat to national security and several of them have been harassed and even severely beaten by ”unknown” men. As such, self-censorship out of fear is the norm.
The way rangers were deployed around the Ittehad Airlines plane when Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam came out at Lahore airport shows the panic and over reactive approach of the military mind. It was initially informed that NAB personal will arrest the ex-PM but what we saw was an entire battalion of armed rangers to do the job. These same rangers, who are supposed to protect the common man in aid of civil administration can be seen in footage ransacking and setting on fire, parked motorbikes and cars of PMLN workers during the PMLN rally. More than 17500 PMLN workers were arrested.
Candidates and workers of almost all parties save Imran Khan’s PTI are being intimidated and harassed. The PPP, the MQM, the ANP and the JUI have all complained that they are being prevented from active campaigning.
On the other hand, candidates affiliated with banned outfits like Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-dawa disguised as Milli Muslim League (MML) and Ahle-Sunnat-wal-Jamaat of Mohammad Ahmad Ludhianvi enjoy full freedom to carry on with their election campaign. The Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) of Khadim Husaain Rizvi is also being patronized only to split the conservative vote of PMLN.
If that was not enough, cases under anti-terrorism act have been instituted against top PMLN leadership.
The amount of pre-poll rigging has been unprecedented. Candidates were forced to change loyalties, strong “undesirable” candidates were disqualified, and new parties were created to damage and disrupt PMLN. Not only that, the entire polling exercise is now under military control.
Manzoor Pashteen of PTM had warned that Taliban have again been allowed to re-enter North Waziristan. We also find a significant increase in acts of terrorism. So far around 160 innocent people have perished in Peshawar, Bannu and Mastung. The claim of “breaking the backbone of terrorists” has evaporated into thin air.
Pakistan has been using proxies in Afghanistan and Indian controlled Kashmir, but now the generals want a proxy (read Imran Khan) within Pakistan territory. An experiment to install a proxy has already succeeded at a smaller scale in the province of Balochistan where members of the provincial assembly were co-opted by hook or crook. The judges of our “esteemed” judiciary declared in a judgment this April that Nawaz Sharif was perhaps the only politician who did not happen to be “Sadiq” and “Amin.” (truthful and honest.)And hence, Nawaz Sharif who was on the brink of re-election has been disqualified for life.
However, for millions of Pakistanis, Nawaz Sharif’s conviction over corruption charges is not credible and today, he and his daughter Maryam Nawaz are the symbols of defiance to an arrogant and oppressive establishment which has always thwarted Pakistan’s evolution as a progressive democracy.
The attempts to create a civilian facade over a state run by the military will fail soon and the day is not far when people power will carry the day!