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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

A Bangladeshi Perspective: Pakistan Can’t Afford Anarchy

The architects of the judicial coup to depose Imran Khan had underestimated his popularity among the people – from urban to remotest rural areas of Pakistan. It made him more popular and acceptable than ever before and solidified his leadership for years to come, which at the same time cemented further the national unity and solidarity in Pakistan. The private citizen Imran Khan is more powerful and popular than the premier Imran Khan.

By Mohammad Zainal Abedin

Visuals of Imran Khan’s April 21 public meeting in Lahore. (Photo courtesy Economy.pk)

The political tempest in Pakistan that prematurely toppled the democratically elected Prime Minister Imran Khan, is proving to be great folly for the action’s beneficiaries in Pakistan and their nearest and distant overt and covert perpetrators.

The cross-sections of Pakistanis overwhelmingly rejected the change in their country and spontaneously took to the streets in support of Imran Khan.

The largest gathering held at Karachi’s Bagh-i-Jinnah on April 18, which according to Awami Muslim League leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, broke the record set by Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s sister Fatema Jinnah, challenged and dismayed the Nawaz-Bhutto families-led alliance. The earlier rally in Peshawar was so large that the lens of high-powered cameras could not reach or cover its last point, the largest in the city’s history.

The architects of the judicial coup to depose Imran Khan had underestimated his popularity among the people – from urban to remotest rural areas of Pakistan. It made him more popular and acceptable than ever before and solidified his leadership for years to come, which at the same time cemented further the national unity and solidarity in Pakistan. The private citizen Imran Khan is more powerful and popular than the premier Imran Khan.

Analysts opine that toppling the Imran Khan government may have proven counterproductive for its perpetrators, and their followers in Pakistan, as their action benefited Imran Khan. Their mistake was that they failed to comprehend how popular Imran Khan is among Pakistanis.

They opine that if a free and fair election is held today, Imran Khan will return to power by winning a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly.

Seeing the sea of people in Karachi, Peshawar, and Lahore, if the perpetrators have a minimum sense of shame and possess real respect for the popular sentiment, they should allow democracy to progress in Pakistan.

Political observers opine that India, being Pakistan’s adversary, was also an architect of the current upheaval. It is desperate to create political chaos and instability in Pakistan. Pakistani leaders should remain vigilant and solidify national unity against the evil motives of its neighbor and allies.

The role of the Chief Justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court Umar Ata Bandial raised controversies and questions about whether the ouster of Imran Khan was lawful or not. given the CJ’s actions, one wonders if the Chief Justice is superior to the President of Pakistan or can he control the functions of parliament by issuing unusual orders to the Speaker of the National Assembly?

In a parliamentary democracy, the president despite being the symbolic figurehead is the head of the state and chief of the Armed Forces.  The Chief Justice, under no circumstances, can instruct the President when he should call the session of the Parliament.

Can the Chief Justice instruct the President or the Speaker to complete the voting of the National Assembly within a specific timetable? This is perhaps the maiden instance in the world that occurred in Pakistan.

It is still not clear by doing so whether the Chief Justice overstepped his constitutional authority or undermined the authority of the President and the Speaker of the Parliament.  It is surprising to see how the democratic world welcomed such unethical and undemocratic change in Pakistan and how some of them openly expressed their desire to meet the new leaders in Pakistan who are enjoying their blessing? Many analysts outside Pakistan believe that the Chief Justice clearly proved that he was partisan and hellbent on implementing the blueprint of some external powers and their local lackeys.

They insist that free and fair elections are the only way to save Pakistan from complete chaos. The more elections are delayed the more Pakistan may submerge into instability and chaos, which will be disastrous for it.

I personally pray to Allah to protect Pakistan, as our forefathers (British Bengal Muslims) sacrificed a lot to create Pakistan in 1947 and enabled us to create Bangladesh in 1971, another Muslim abode in the subcontinent. If Pakistan was not created in 1947, we could never create an independent Bangladesh.

No Pakistanis should forget that Prime Minister Narendra Modi openly invited the people of Balochistan, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to go to India to get military training to disintegrate Pakistan. Now the same Modi offered friendship to his newly-installed counterpart Shehbaz Sharif and wrote a letter to him. Sharif should cautiously deal with Modi, who is committed to wiping out the Muslims from the subcontinent.

The writer is a New York-based Bangladeshi journalist and veteran of the Bangladesh War of Liberation.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of the PakistanWeek.

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