Are PML-N`s Days Counted Now?
The police action that initiated from removing the barriers placed in front of Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri`s house turned into a massacre after the whole day`s clash between Police and PAT`s workers. About twelve people including two women were shot dead and over 85 injured. The brutality committed in the name of removing security barriers by Lahore Police did not only make the political atmosphere very tense, but also badly damaged the harmony which had emerged for the military operation against terrorists.
Political analysts had already predicted that the federal as well as provincial governments of PML-N would be inclined to disturb the PAT`s rally of June 23 to be held on the arrival of Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri. However, the “bravery” of Lahore police against PAT`s supporters in advance was really so shocking for them too. The way Punjab government implemented the “state`s writ”, can be called nothing else except the crime against humanity. The question is, was removing security barriers from the PAT`s secretariat more important than the human lives? Secondly, if those barriers were really illegally installed, why did the Punjab government choose the time to remove them when Pakistan was badly in need of the political harmony?
Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri claimed that the government did all that just because it was afraid of PAT and secondly it wanted to drag the attention of Army from its operation “Hazbe Azb” against the extremists. The question is, is this really true?
No doubt PML-N was very much unpleased with Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri and his future political moves against the present government. That was quite apparent from the remarks and statements of PML-N`s leaders against TUQ. So, one of the reasons of police action must have been the government`s rivalry with PAT.
In addition, it is an open secret that PML-N`s head Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had always been opposing any operation against Taliban. From the day one, he had been in favor of negotiations with Taliban despite the continuous terrorists attacks which took thousands of lives of innocent Pakistanis. In this context, we cannot ignore the shameful aspect of 11 May`s general elections in which TTP targeted PPP, MQM and ANP, but extended its full support in favor of PML-N, PTI and JI. Taliban`s terrorist attacks, on one hand, made it difficult for the under-attack parties to run their election campaigns, but, on the other hand, they paved the path of victory for the right wing parties. Needless to mention, Nawaz Sharif`s PML-N was the biggest beneficiaries of Taliban`s terrorism. Of course, if Taliban had not influenced the general elections that way, it would not have been possible for PML-N to form the federal government so easily. This was a special favor to PML-N from TTP.
Considering this, army`s operation to root out the TTP terrorists must have offended the PML-N leadership. This was also the back ground why political analysts noticed the announcement of launching “Zarbe-Azb” from Army first instead of the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Why did the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif fly to Tajikistan while the COAS General Raheel Shareef preferred cancelling his already scheduled visit to Sri Lanka due to the on-going military operation, is also being seen in the same context. Of course, these two altogether different acts on the same point imply that government and Army are not on one page as far as crushing TTP is concerned.
Analytically speaking, the relationship between Army and Nawaz Sharif have not yet come on the same track that there used to be during 80`s. Pervez Musharaf`s case has already been existing as a bone of contention between the federal government and the Army. Additionally, Defence Minister Khwaja Asif`s declaration to stand by his speech of 2006 criticizing army has further widened the distance between them.
Taking into account all these aspects, it looks to be convincing that Punjab government`s act was more than just removing barriers due to political rivalry. However, if it is assumed that the Model town tragedy was not a planned move to divert the attention of the army from the operation in Waziristan, then the immediate strict action against the Policemen could have been taken by Sharif Brothers to satisfy the victims. However, registering FIR by the government itself, holding TUQ`s son responsible for killings, police`s attempt to tamper medical reports and then the murder attack at MQM`s female MNA just after criticizing its leadership by PML-N endorse the same theory.
So, if this is the reality behind all the violence in Lahore which has altogether turned the political harmony into disunity in the country, then PML-N`s leadership seems to have dug a deep well for its own government. God knows the best whether the Army will go for a military takeover or not, or even if it decides so, when, but at least PML-N`s leadership has itself provided a valid justification for an extra-ordinary move from army. If we see such a military action against the government in the days to come, the political future of Sharif brothers may come to an end forever.