Elections 2018 – Connivance and Convergences

Elections 2018 – Connivance and Convergences

Saad Khattak

In a previous article, I have highlighted the factors and reasons that make the election 2018 different from the past elections. In this article I am going to dilate on the factors that have led to some of the previous rivals, competitors’ even enemies converged together to undermine the foundational pillars of the state, only to achieve their mutual political objectives, notwithstanding its cost for the integrity and solidarity of the country and its people. I would deal the issue from the perspective of both, domestic and international connivances and convergences separately and then leave it to the readers to make conclusions for making their choices for upcoming elections.

First the domestic scene. For shielding their rot, corruption, poor governance and attaining supremacy over political rivals most of our political forces have historically been trying to keep the establishment and judiciary on its side. This though was at a cost of true democratic norms in the long run but good for the country as most of our political elite unfortunately remained oblivious to sensitive national interests for their petty political gains. With the third force emerging on the scene to be reckoned with, and the common masses getting fed up with 70 years long mismanagement of successive politico military governments, these forces of status quo started to feel the heat of public wrath, perhaps for the first time. Having thrived themselves on the goodwill and covert support of the establishment, no longer available and tenable, mainly due to their dubious and corrupt practices, these forces of status quo looked for other allies to fight their battle of survival. For achieving their political ends, even amidst the ongoing war on terror, the worst these forces could do was to target certain state institutions to further aggravate the existing ethnosectarian cleavages within the country. The sudden emergence of PTM on the national scene openly holding army (that sacrificed thousands of its men of all ranks) responsible for all woos in war on terror is by no means accidental enjoying the tacit backing of known anti-state sub-nationalists and a segment of pseudo liberalists with their strings pulled from well-known directions in return for dollars. These stagnant forces also mutually connived behind closed doors to protect each other’s corruption and target the forces of hope and change. This much their love for genuine democracy!!

Now the international scene. With the regional geopolitical environment fast evolving and Pakistan`s geostrategic importance to multiple major players clearly visible, the emerging regional scenario is unacceptable to the entrenched forces led by the US. Having left the Middle East in tatters with no worthwhile country left to challenge Israel`s supremacy, the international establishment led by US, Israel and UK are diverting all its assets to Afghanistan to check the growing influence of SCO (read China and Russia) in both Central and South Asia. At the same time, these forces are upping the terror ante in Pakistan to create the desired instability having regional implications besides putting the ongoing democratic process in jeopardy. Pakistan`s active engagement with both Russia and China on multiple fronts is also seen by the US as an ally slipping out of its orbit that it critically needs for an honorable exit from  Afghanistan.

The mobilization of ISIS assets to Afghanistan`s adjoining provinces with Pakistan and its claiming responsibility for recent terror strike in Balochistan bears testimony to our genuine fears of anti-Pakistan nexus creating anarchy dreaming of creating a caucus-belli for intervention aiming to deprive Pakistan of its nuclear capability reducing it to an Indian client state. To fulfill these desires of anti-Pakistan nexus, as a reward for saving their fiefdoms and dying dynasties now seen under threat through ballot at the hands of the impoverished teeming millions, certain political forces have unfortunately converged with inimical forces converging on our armed forces as their common enemy. This is the challenging prevailing domestic and regional scenario confronting the people of Pakistan who seems determined to play their decisive role on 25 July 2018.

Regardless of the outcome of elections, its run-up has surely educated the people of Pakistan on real politic to a great extent. Both domestic and international friends and foes stand clearly identified and exposed. The people of Pakistan now seem fully aware and are well equipped to play its decisive role to defeat the forces of status quo backed up by an international nexus bent on undoing Pakistan.

About the Author: Mr. Saad Khattak retired as a Major General from the Pakistan Army, he regularly publishes analysis on important national matters. The opinions expressed in this piece are his own.