Many political and security pundits are intrigued who is running Pakistan after the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif by Supreme Court in Panamagate verdict.
The ruling party, PML-N, ostensibly indulged in cold war with the establishment to gain political advantage.
The PMLN supremo believes it’s the military which ‘steered’ the Supreme Court verdict against Nawaz.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif’s comment about Haqqani network and Hafiz Saeed in a Q&A session at the Asia Society in New York stirred up a hornet’s nest.
The comment that Hafiz Saeed is a liability for Pakistan conflicts with the state’s policy towards Jamaat ud Dawa and its leadership.
DG ISPR’s comment on October 5 press briefing about Milli Muslim League, a political face of JuD, corroborates the divide.
Responding to a question about the Milli Muslim League’s political role, Asif Ghaffor said: “Every Pakistani has the right to participate in the polling process.”
The confusion whether Hafiz Saeed is a liability or asset still haunts the mind of ruling PML-N.
Why he is an asset for establishment and a liability for PMLN?
Why Khawaja Asif had to clarify his ‘liability’ statement on his return to Pakistan? Why can’t civil and military leadership be on same page regarding policy towards ‘state owned militias’?
Hafiz Saeed has a long history of state tutelage.
Factually he and his outfit stood side by side with army in Kargil war and also took part in Kashmir jihad.
On basis of mere accusations and no substantial proof from India against Saeed, Pakistan’s civil and military leadership many a times rubbish such ‘unfounded’ allegations.
But after Dawn Leaks saga, it’s evident that PMLN leadership wants to get rid of Mr. Saeed, wherefore, risking their present and future government.
Not just on the foreign front, ruling party wants to change the internal policy too. A couple of days back a controversy triggered between Rangers and interior ministry on the deployment of Rangers at judicial complex where ousted prime minister was present for trial on corruption references.
Ahsan Iqbal, interior minister, lashed out at Rangers for not allowing him to enter the court premises and alluded at rendering his resignation if he’s to be considered a puppet minister and also purported Rangers of being a part of deep state.
A couple of days after the remarks by interior minister, Rangers withdrew from the security of parliament without the knowledge of civilian administration, leaving Islamabad’s political horizon in tohu-bohu.
A country whose eastern and western borders aren’t secure and facing Trump’s stern, flawed South Asia and Afghanistan policy is engaged in trivial point-scoring.
The grievances being shared by Khawja Asif with US secretary of state Rex W. Tillerson has further aggravated the prevalent row.
Will the statement by Tillerson that US wants stable government in Pakistan help alleviate the ongoing rift between state institutions?
Pakistan has long being accused of harboring outfits such as JuD, Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network who US and other countries believe conduct cross border terror attacks.
Pakistani state has had always denied such allegations and showed the world resolve to exterminate such rogue elements from the country if found operating within its territorial boundaries. But what has suddenly changed the mind of civilian administration? Do they have solid proofs of their presence in Pakistan and their physical onslaught in other countries?
Unbridled extrajudicial killings, summary trials, death sentences of terrorists and military operations in South and North Waziristan haven’t calmed down the fury of US and India of not taking meaningful action against militants.
It’s been seen that despite our monolith sacrifices in curbing this threat, the world seems less satisfied.
The duplicitous narrative by civilian administration must come to an end or otherwise if they’re convinced and have proofs of Mr. Saeed’s involvement in cross border terrorism, they show proofs and convince all of the regional advantage Pakistan can have in taking Saeed to task.
Until then they should stop embarrassing Pakistan at international level.
The establishment should also rethink its policy towards JuD. If they think Saeed is fighting a legitimate cause, they should convince the ruling PML-N that his presence is advantageous to Pakistan.
And if they think so, they should take confidence of civil government by arguing about Saeed’s efforts that helped develop a suitable milieu which can be beneficial for Kashmir freedom struggle.
Otherwise this rift between state institutions will only benefit poverty, deprivation, and lawlessness.