Wars within and beyond
By Wasib Imdad
What is to happen next is the question that is ambling around the streets of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. A mist of confusion remains around its answer. Everyone who tunes into the 9 PM headlines or places a glance on the morning papers seems to have a different catch on what is going around in the political circuit. The date of Maulana march is marching forth wards and with it is the scenario getting strained and stressed. Maulana, contrary to many predictions, is stiff with his stance of staging a blockade. The government, contrary to past week, is a bit serious with the Maulana march chapter. Their hooliganism and the condescending looks seem to have wilted away with time and here the real game begins.
It’s a real contest when both try to win. When one plays to lose is termed as a fixed encounter and after that the spot fixers are spotted to cleanse off the filth of the game. The contest is growing hotter when Maulana is playing to win and the Government, apparently the favorites to win, doesn’t want to loosen its grip upon its trophy.
So what would be a victory for Maulana? My answer is: any sort of disruption to the current flow of events. What would be a victory for the government? The answer is: dealing with the Maulana spell without any sort of rubber bullet or shelling episode and any sort of arm flexing under the banner of ‘writ of the state’.
Maulana being a veteran, throughout his political career, always found solace in the power corridors and has stayed away from scenarios where risks are involved. It’s the first time that he is doing what he intends to do. Khan himself knows the thick and thins of dharna politics and would definitely think of devising a strategy that he himself would have feared back in the days.
Imran led governing physiognomy needs to stay away from both over estimating and under estimating their opponent. While in a conflict, the realities of the enemy camp; the thoughts in the rival brain are to be known and encountered. Under or over estimating would blur up the scenario. Khan has the uniformed boys at his back, a government in 3 of the 4 provinces and the capital under control. Maulana is convinced that the government has exposed itself in almost every situation that it has confronted the past year and any immature move in the first major opposition show can make a match out of nothing.
Khan needs to hit them where it hurts the most. The opposition parties have a bruised image in the public due to the heaps of evidence in terms of corruption and even the worse of Imran haters deep down their hearts know that he stands better than the rest in monetary terms. Imran opposers know that this is their chance to disrupt else he will come out a winner and, if he passes the Maulana scare with flying colors, he will be unstoppable. Unstoppable with power, brimming with confidence he would munch until the last morsel of corruption evidence found. The government already is itching to register more and more cases and push the as many as they can behind bars. The current Nabbed are because of cases of the past. However, political victimization needs to be refrained from but rule of law needs to be ensured. NAB reforms are up their sleeves and all the wrong doers need to be chased, whether out of the country or out of the government.
The cracks between the opposition need to be widened up but from behind the curtains not in front of all eyes watching. Wiping dust off his plane, Tareen is active meeting people back and forth to devise a way to keep Maulana off his heels. The Chaudharies of Gujrat too have their laces tied. N league is divided clearly with Shehbaz grimacing with pain and holding his back. Nawaz however says that he has nothing to lose and is in no way reverting from his stance of civilian supremacy. Shehbaz knows that the future of N league is Maryam Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz with his son, Hamza, just being their aid provider. He therefore is looking for a respectable exit not going any path that leads to clashing with the power holders. He is right and Nawaz is right too, but who said that politics is the game of all rights and no wrong?
Khan, since making it to the PM’s chair, hasn’t had an empty day. Challenges and more challenges are mob lynching the already frail government. UNGA euphoria hadn’t faded away when he had to rush to China to put away their concerns of Pakistan landing back to the western block. There, he successfully convinced the neighbors that CPEC is on track and everything is going as per the book. He also garnered the much needed positive word of mouth on the tense eastern border with the Chinese President saying that any attack on Pakistan would be an attack on China. From China, he made a visit to Iran straight away to ease up their growing tensions with Saudi Arabia. Khan successfully emerged as an ice breaker as Saudi Arab and Iran have finally agreed to sit and talk with the table being set in Islamabad. Even though Imran Khan said that he hasn’t rushed to Tehran on any special commands but he has, between the lines, stated that Trump and Mohamed Bin Salman wanted him to do so. He now is going to Saudi Arabia and within days would be shutter stocked driving with Erdogan.
FATF black list seems to be avoided. Progress on 36 out of 40 raised concerns has been reported. Turkey, China and Malaysia stand by Pakistan in the ongoing session. As per me, Pakistan will avoid the black list but will stay grey for months to come. A way devised by the international establishments to keep Pakistan sorting out their way from their own created and messed up affairs. America needs Pakistan, be it the Afghan peace process or the recent wave of tensions between Iran and Saudia, where America wants to pull oil and sell arms as well as save its face from the unending wars. Things to stay grey
The writer is an Islamabad based Broadcast Journalist. He tweets @wasib25