Military Coup Imminent in Pakistan?

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by ajtr, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    Military Coup Imminent in Pakistan?


    Politically at least, Pakistan is a land of possibility, and a military coup is looking increasingly possible. Do not confuse possibility with opportunity – where anyone could hope to climb the greasy pole of power. Political patronage remains concentrated in the hands of the country's traditional ruling elites: Punjabi landowners, Sindhi industrialists, and the Army.

    Among them, the tectonic plates of power and influence are in constant flux, producing a carousel of fortunes. The devastating floods which continue to drown the country have, again, upset the kaleidoscope of power; the fallout is impossible to predict.

    Civilian governments in Islamabad know they are only ever minutes away from being deposed. Just up the road in Rawalpindi is the Army's General Headquarters, known locally as GHQ, and home to the notorious 111 Brigade. Every aspirant General has needed to deploy its infantrymen when dismissing an opponent's government. And there are stirrings in the barracks again.

    The government's faltering response to the floods has been damaging. Indeed, opposition to President Asif Ali Zardari reached a new high-watermark after he refused to cut short his European tour and return to Pakistan. Instead, the Army has been left to coordinate the entire rescue effort with almost no input from the civilian government.

    Could the Army dismiss yet another civilian government? Najam Sethi, editor-in-chief of the influential Friday Times, broke rank earlier this month by saying: "I know this is definitely being discussed. There is a perception in the army that you need good governance to get out of the economic crisis and there is no good governance."

    Away from the floods the Army is busy, too. Chief of the Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has secured a second term until the end of 2013. A former chief of Pakistan's much-feared and shadowy intelligence service, the Inter-Service Intelligence [ISI], he enjoys de facto control over intelligence, defence and foreign policy. His reappointment suggests the impotence of Zardari, who would rather have jettisoned his increasingly powerful General.

    Last month, Kiyani's growing sphere of influence was on display again. During a crucial meeting with President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, Kiyani convinced Karzai to dump his normally India-leaning security adviser, Amrullah Saleh.

    Acts such as these underscore the efforts being invested by the Army to consolidate their position at a time of renewed public confidence in the Army. This goodwill marks a significant revival in their fortunes after support for the Army – ordinarily very high in Pakistan – plummeted following the Red Mosque Siege in 2007.

    The Red Mosque, a seminary located in the heart of Islamabad's diplomatic quarter, had provoked a massive confrontation with the government after trying to impose Shariah law in the capital. Its students rampaged through the streets, burning down music and film stores, ordering women to cover up, and kidnapping 'prostitutes.'

    The Army responded with brute force. Tanks, helicopter gunships and infantrymen from the 111 Brigade pounded the seminary, killing scores of students . It was a watershed moment for most Pakistanis, their own "Waco" siege.

    The floods have allowed the Army to restore much needed pride by reengaging in humanitarian and relief work – services for which they are regularly deployed in Pakistan's most destitute provinces.

    But it is not just the Army who stand to gain from flood relief initiatives. Official inaction has also presented terrorist groups with an opportunity to provide social welfare services.

    For example, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) has had a number of its relief centers closed. JuD are linked to the banned terrorist group Lashkar e-Taiba, which staged the 2008 attacks on Mumbai. A spokesman for the group said, "There is no reason for this action. We are providing meals twice a day to the affected persons in Pir Sabak. We are not in competition with the army but it seems to feel threatened by our work."

    All this presents a serious challenge for General Kiyani. The Army is still fighting Taliban insurgents along the unforgiving terrain of the Durand line. 60,000 troops have now been diverted into relief work where their efforts are hampered by sporadic fighting with militants seeking to enter the affected areas. Then, too, there is ongoing tension with India which continues to preoccupy Pakistani minds.

    Kiyani has consequently secured massive increases for the defence budget, despite widespread cutbacks elsewhere. Ordinary Pakistanis are, for example, bearing the brunt of sporadic but daily gas and electricity outages, unchecked inflation, and an unprecedented upturn in terrorist violence.

    Although at least 16 relief centers operated by terrorists have been closed in the North-Western Frontier Province (now known as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa), the implications of the floods extend far beyond relief for those affected. If the government and Army are unable to deliver aid effectively, the Taliban and associated movements could capture large swathes of Pakistan. If the Army's influence and prestige continues to grow, a coup is not unimaginable. After all, the Army already enjoys almost complete autonomy over some of the most sensitive policy areas: intelligence, defence and foreign affairs.

    The leader of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), Altaf Hussain, recently called on "patriotic Generals" to initiate martial law and sweep aside interfering politicians. Certainly, the civilian government is increasingly seen as meddling for political gain.

    Lieutenant General Nadeem Ahmad is known to be "deeply unhappy"say officials from the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), trying to ensure that their support is given preference for aid. Following the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, Ahmad was appointed Chief Military Coordinator of Relief Commission, and later Deputy Chairman of the Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Authority.

    A military coup would present a mixed bag to the West. Certainly, military governments tend to produce more stable administrations in Pakistan (discounting the chaos that plagued the last days of Pervez Musharraf). Yet, it would also strengthen the Army's hand – and longstanding view – that the West should cut a deal with the Taliban as part of some power-sharing agreement.

    This approach is fraught with difficulty. In the embattled tribal provinces Pakistan has already tried to negotiate with the Taliban, signing around six different peace deals in the process. They have frequently failed within months of being enacted prompting a renewal of hostilities. In the meantime, of course, the Taliban are able to regroup and take stock of their position.

    Yet, the misguided view that we might be able to reach an amicable agreement with the Taliban is already finding supporting in some parts of Washington; a change of government in Pakistan might signal its triumph.

    Related Topics: Shiraz Maher
     
  2.  
  3. Solid Beast

    Solid Beast New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    63
    Military and especially intelligence always runs the country in the background, whether or not civilians are ruling Pakistan. In an average home, you have no electricity for up to 14 hours a day or more, because it is being diverted to run nuclear production and light officer messes. It is the nature of the country, military always rules. You don't need a coup detat in Pakistan when Kiyani has received a rare extension. Zardari has ruled like a mouse due to the heavy presence of the military in domestic and foreign affairs.
     
  4. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    4,404
    Likes Received:
    2,783
    Location:
    Gangtok, Sikkim, India
    What difference does it make to us? Either ways, we still get issues.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  5. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Bihar, BanGalore , India
    I dont think Kayani will be fool enough to go for coup . He already enjoys all power and has no burden at all . power is for military and burdens are for Civilians government . Pakistan is already on verge of bankruptcy .If there is a coup now inflow of free dollars will stop and they will collapse. Army is there as pakistan is there . If there is not Pakistan there will be no army.
     
  6. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    1,378
    Location:
    Hyderabad and Sydney
    Its not going to be a coup like Musharraf or Zia era but slightly subtle
    PML-N worker is saying similar stuff inARABNEWS- leadin Saudi English daily

    Nature is angry; so is the public - Arab News
    For millennia, Nature has been working in her own coordinated but mysterious ways. According to “butterfly affect”, it can bring a tornado in Florida from flapping of a butterfly’s wing in Beijing. The unchecked industrial development in recent centuries has put this coordination in jeopardy. For example, a group of scientists links the devastating floods in Pakistan, the scorching forest fire in Russia, and the torrential rains in China with the man-made global warming. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), this year is the warmest since reliable temperature records began in the mid-19th century.

    The shattering heat wave in Russia has brought the worst drought in decades, which has disturbed world grain markets, driving wheat prices up at the fastest rate in more than 30 years. It made Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announce a grain export ban from Aug. 15 to Dec. 31. The heat wave also led to forest fires that have brought human miseries and death. The smoke from fires is likely to stoke global warming by hastening a thaw of Arctic ice causing unprecedented rains. It may also dust Himalayan glaciers with black soot that absorbs more heat than reflective snow and ice and so speeds a thaw causing floods in countries such as Pakistan.

    It is the same story in China, where nearly 1,500 people have died in mudslides and flooding caused by heavy rains due, primarily, to a build-up of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels by releasing the heat-trapping carbon dioxide.

    A second group of scientists, influenced by the corporate authorities and backed by American mindset do not agree with this theory. They say it is impossible to pin the blame solely on burning of fossil fuels. To support their view they argue that one cause of a shift in monsoon rains in Asia seem to be a knock-on effect of La Nina that causes natural cooling of the Pacific region thus clearing field for torrential rains. They also argue that El Nino — the male counterpart of La Nina — causes periods of dry spells and massive oceanic storms. They term the whole phenomenon as normal periodic turns of nature. Coming under increasing pressure from the followers of this group, the US Senate majority leader Harry Reid abandoned Climate Change Legislation in July this year. One should remember that the United States, the No. 2 largest greenhouse gas emitter behind China, is the only major industrialized nation with no law to cut emissions.

    It is ominous to see the corporate-backed scientists are working as double-edged swords supporting projects that interfere in the normal working of nature on the one hand and blaming the normal phenomena of nature to protect the man-made damaging tools on the other hand. Crudely speaking, it muffles any difference between the mindset of these liberal scientists and the narrow-minded Taleban. Both are twisting facts to suit their individual commitments — for material gains by the former and religious satisfaction by the latter. No wonder the Taleban in Swat have been telling the flood victims that they have been punished by Allah for what they did to Taleban by supporting the infidels.

    Without pondering further over how the ultramodern scientists are construing the laws of nature or how the conservative Taleban are interpreting the working of Allah, let me concentrate on the nature-related floods in Pakistan and the consequences. According to a report, “the floods in Pakistan have been devastating. They’re worse than the Southeast Asia tsunami and the Haiti earthquake.” Over 20 million people have been affected by the flooding, and several thousands have died. Villages that had yet to fully recover from a devastating 2005 earthquake have been essentially washed away. And the rain continues to pour, destroying more lives and keeping rescue efforts from proceeding. Food prices in Pakistan have quadrupled, making basic nutrition unattainable for many. Even after the rain stops in Pakistan, these tragic events will continue to pile up casualties from starvation and disease.

    The democratic government so far has not left a meaningful impression on the public as far as their day-to-day life is concerned. They find that the prices of normal commodities have soared, their income capacity has shrunken, the poverty has increased, their personal security has diminished and communal despondency has mushroomed. On the government side, they see that the good governance has vanished, its authority has melted, the corruption in its departments has multiplied, the law and order has disintegrated and the terrorism has spiraled up. In a nutshell, the government has lost its credibility, control and trust among the public.



    With this poor record, it is faced with having over 20 million people affected directly by the floods. The number sharply rises if one counts its indirect effects surpassing the number of critical mass required to bring a change in a society. The angry nature has played its role to pinch the public where it hurts. It’s up to the democratic government to heal their physical wounds and emotional bruises.

    History tells us that in the devastation caused by World War II, Germany and Japan recovered well with help of the world community. But after poor implementation of the funds in post-earthquake development projects, the world response this time seems lukewarm.

    Discussions have already started in print and electronic media in favor and against the results of relief provided to the earthquake victims. This time, the public will not take it lying down. After seeing the dismal response from the highest leadership during the initial days of the floods, the public sentiments have already steamed up. Soon, they will start shouting for food, water, shelter and basic amenities. The verbal promises by the leadership will not satisfy them. They will demand results. The vibrant media will be ready to project their anger and demands even with exaggeration. Would the government with its long list of poor record be able to satisfy them? This is the sixty four thousand dollar question.

    What will happen if the government fails? Would it be its downfall? If so, would there be a repeat of previous practices replacing one lethargic government with another civilian or military regime? Or would it be different this time? And what would be the role of revived judiciary? Would it sit quietly and let the country take a nosedive? Many won’t agree with that. So what are the alternatives? A military takeover, a bloody revolution, or an unprecedented change spearheaded by judiciary? The army is already overstretched in eliminating terrorism; so military takeover is unlikely. The possibility of a bloody revolution cannot be excluded but there is no example in our history. This leaves us with the third option. Judiciary knows that it owes its revival to the public uprising and vast majority of the public expects judiciary to cleanse the rotten democratic system. It can oblige public wishes by installing a national government with help of the army — comprising of honest politicians, upright technocrats and competent civilians.

    The new setup will have the last chance to purify democracy through a bloodless change — by putting the country on post-flood development track (which should be seen as done), by cleansing the lower judiciary (the higher has already been cleansed), by pursuing the new and pending cases of people involved in corrupt practices from present or previous governments or nongovernmental institutions to legally conclusive ends, by recovering the stolen money in any form or shape from cheaters, by installing an honest and independent election commission and by letting the army hunt the terrorists until the government writ in every part of the country was restored.

    It doesn’t matter how long it takes for the installed government to continue provided it shows the public that the job is properly done and it proves to the foreign governments and funding agencies that their funds are well spent. Let the people be the judges of the government in a real sense rather than vice versa as seen so far through sham democratic practices and engineered electioneering that ignored the public psyche.

    The ball is in the court of the government that is facing not only the angry public but also the irritated Mother Nature.

    Presently;

    — Dr. Ghayur Ayub is adviser on health affairs to Mohammad Nawaz Sharif

    and member of the Central Organizing Committee (COC), Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N)
     
  7. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    11,613
    Likes Received:
    5,670
    It is very unlikely that Pak Army will do a coup de tat. No on would like to be in the ruling position when the conditions are so bad that whatever you do you will still get the blame and PA wouldn't want be one. PA already got good will of Pakistanis as they are the only visible saviors in the immediate aftermath of floods as they are the only ones who have helicopters. Since, Army and democratic governments are seen as two different entities, the credit for such work will go to Pakistan Army while the PPP govt. especially Zardari gets discredited. PA would definitely don't want to change this status-quo now. Kayani has 3 more years left and he has plenty of time to do the coup when things get stabilized.

    And also one has to remember that PA can have its way in both domestic and foreign policy matters and PPP govt. is there just for the name sake.
     
  8. smartindian

    smartindian Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    612
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Mysore, Karnataka, India
    pakistani army will not go for a coup, because ,firstly there country is already in a mess.if there is an coup there will be sanction from international community against the military rule. today situation is so bad that without aid pakistan cannot survive. moreover army general cannot go and beg like paki's fm,

    but today army is in total control of power in pakistan .all other politicians are just poppets in the army . army does'nt care about the people of pakistan they care about them self.


    every state as a army but for pakistani army there is a state
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  9. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    1,378
    Location:
    Hyderabad and Sydney

Share This Page