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No politician for peace in deluged Pakistan

No politician for peace in deluged Pakistan

-By Samuel Baid

Pakistan has been going through the most alarming phase of its 75-year-old chequered history where almost all political parties are divided into two irreconcilable revengeful camps as the Army cloaked in so-called neutrality may be checking at politicians waiting to pounce.

 

You listen to top Pakistani leaders or see the country's media, you will not find a faint suggestion for reconciliation for the country's good. You only hear battle cries for revenge - as hysteric as the cries "Islam is in danger". The current bosses of the coalition government - the Nawaz Muslim League and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) - want to crush the head of Imran Khan's Pakistani Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) now that they are in power. The July 17 clear victory of the PTI in the Punjab Assembly by election showed that its poison against the Nawaz Muslim League and the PPP is seeping through the masses who are under heavy economic burden.

The current Pakistan situation is: i) The PTI does not recognise the present Shahbaz Sharif-led Federal government which had taken over after overthrowing Imran's PTI government through a no-confidence motion on April 9. Imran says that Shahbaz, as also 60 per cent of his government's members are on bail. "When I come back to power I'll put him and his son in jail," he says. Imran alleged that the United States was behind this no-confidence motion because "I stood for neutral foreign policy". He also alleged that the Indian and Israeli Press was happy at his ouster - meaning that India and Israel were also behind his ouster. He didn't say why.

Since August 2018, Imran has been talking only about corruption of Sharif family and the PPP leaders to explain his helplessness on the economic front. His condemnation of the Sharifs and the PPP leaders has been hysteric, full of exaggeration and half truths. He appeals to the people not to vote for those whose wealth is abroad. This means top leaders of the Nawaz League and the PPP cannot get vote as they have been thoroughly maligned by Imran. In a TV talk, Imran's former Cabinet Colleagues Sheikh Rashid said that people would not turn out to vote if Imran tells them so.

In the 2nd week of August the Pak govt targeted the private TV channel ARY as it did a great job in building up the image of Imran and his party. It is said it became the most watched TV channel in Pakistani homes. The government found a chance to pounce on it when Imran's confidant Shahbaz Gill gave a call to Army men not to obey their senior's illegal orders during a talk on ARY on August 9. The government took it as treason, arrested Gill and took away ARY's licence. It was alleged that Gill was beaten up and sexually assaulted; nothing shocking in Pakistani context.

Sheikh Rashid gives a clear warning of unmanageable violence whenever elections are held. Imran's public statements have the effect of preparing people for street violence. He keeps repeating in his public speeches that he has no faith in the Election Commission of Pakistan, courts or the Army. He has no faith in the people who do not support him. Then, where is the solution? In the streets? He has set up a force of young people by his own name, the Imran Tigers, although the Constitution does not allow private armies. Thus, Imran will not allow national reconciliation at any cost even if power is returned to him.

As said in the beginning, this is the worst alarming phase of Pakistan's 75-year existence. One may counter it by saying 1971 was the worse phase when Pakistan lost half the country. But that was measured by the Army brass and a section of politicians in West Pakistan.

Imran has been maligning government leaders and abusing country's institutions unchecked while the Shahbaz Sharif government has been grappling with the harsh results of complying with the IMF's conditions that eroded its public support. The July 17 by election to 20 seats of Punjab assembly produced results that shocked everyone who thought Punjab was with Minister Shahbaz's Party Nawaz Muslim League's home ground. His party got only four seats against PTI's 15.

Shahbaz's government became immensely unpopular when it began fulfilling Pakistan's commitments to the IMF for the revival of a $6 billion bailout package. Imran, as Prime Minister had dithered over complying with IMF conditions, not wanting to put people in economic hardship. But thereby, he put Pakistan in imminent danger of bankruptcy. Nawaz Sharif said that the Shahbaz government had to take difficult decisions due to the failure of the Imran government.

On July 14, the Shahbaz government was electrified to offensively counter Imran's one-sided unbridled propaganda when the IMF confirmed a staff-level agreement to release $ 1.17 billion, part of the IMF's $6 billion programme in Pakistan will was finally approved on on August 29. The next day (July 15), the government formed a committee under Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar to suggest whether treason proceedings should be initiated against Imran and some of his party colleagues for trying to thwart Opposition's no-confidence motion in April against the Imran government. On April 3, Deputy Speaker of the National assembly Qasim Suri dismissed the motion as un-constitutional and backed by foreign power. That was a reference to Imran's charge that it was backed by the United States. However, voting on the motion took place on April 9 on the intervention of Supreme Court. Imran was out despite all his boastful claims that the opposition had no guts to bring a motion of no-confidence against him.

On August 2, PML(N)s' Supremo Nawaz Sharif gave a call to his party from London to take immediate legal action against Imran in the light of the disclosures made by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) about illegal foreign funding of his (Imran's) party and concealing some of bank accounts." It has been proved that Imran is the biggest thief to Pakistan's history," he said. On August 2, the ECP issued a show-cause notice to Imran asking him why illegal funds of his party amounting to $2,121,500 should not be confiscated.

In the wake of this, the Shahbaz government directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to investigate PTI's financial irregularities. The FIA announced it would conduct the investigation in the light of ECP's findings. On August 4, the government's coalition partner, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) filed a case for disqualification of Imran from holding public office.

Imran snubbed two notices sent to him by the FIA to appear before it to reply to charges of foreign funding to his party. The FIA had traced five companies in the USA, Australia, Canada, Britain and Belgium related to Imran's party but not mentioned in the reports submitted to the ECP. Imran asked the FIA to take back the notice because "neither am I liable to answer to you nor is it liable on me to provide information to you."

Imran Khan got into another trouble on August 20 when he was booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act for threatening top police officials and a female Additional Sessions Judge during his public speech in Islamabad. The FIR said that Imran in his speech had terrorised and threatened them with the aim of stopping them from performing their functions and abstained from pursuing any action against any individual tied to his party. At his public meeting, he was fuming over the treatment given to his America-returned confidant Shahbaz Gill for telling the Army men on ARY TV not to obey their senior's illegal orders.

The Islamabad High Court took up the government's petition against Imran and issued a show cause notice to him on August 23 and asked Imran to appear before it on August 31 for his threat to a woman judge.

Since his ouster from power on April 9, the police has registered 17 cases against Imran relating to graft, terrorism, hate speeches, contempt of judiciary and incitement of public against state institutions specially the military when he sarcastically calls it neutrals who did not stand by him when he faced opposition's no confidence motion in April.

The court granted bail to Imran till September 1. The current scene in Pakistan is: a) Nawaz Sharif, the guiding light of not only the Nawaz Muslim League but also the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) that toppled Imran's government, is bent upon getting Imran disqualified from leading a party and fighting elections by the supreme court as was he himself in 2017. Thus, there is no hope of a compromise, unless, the Army plays the peace maker. But the Army had itself fathered the present crisis by trying to denude Pakistan of its top mainstream political parties and foisting Imran on the country by brazenly rigging the July 2018 elections.

While the chances of peace in Pakistan look very remote, climate change lashing the country reminds one of the deluges of Noah's time.

Source: IANS

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No politician for peace in deluged Pakistan

About Gopi

Gopi Adusumilli is a Programmer. He is the editor of SocialNews.XYZ and President of AGK Fire Inc.

He enjoys designing websites, developing mobile applications and publishing news articles on current events from various authenticated news sources.

When it comes to writing he likes to write about current world politics and Indian Movies. His future plans include developing SocialNews.XYZ into a News website that has no bias or judgment towards any.

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