by Zafar Bangash (Main Stories, Crescent International Vol. 51, No. 5, Dhu al-Hijjah, 1443)
Seldom in stable condition, Pakistan’s latest engineered political crisis was both unnecessary and completely detrimental to its future. Why was Imran Khan’s government overthrown through what can charitably be described only as a soft coup, when the country was on the verge of taking off economically? Whose interest did it serve to derail the economy?
We have, in the previous issue, identified the long list of crooks and assorted criminals that are responsible for this state of affairs. Manipulating from behind the scenes is the Pakistan army (or more accurately the army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa) who in turn receives instructions from the Americans, the most despicable bunch of criminals and outlaws in the world.
Inflation has hit the roof; prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed and the vast majority of people are reeling under these blows. Already high, poverty is rising adding to people’s misery.
Two opposing narratives are being presented. Imran Khan and his supporters insist that his government was undermined through a foreign conspiracy engineered by the US. The opposing view, presented by the army, is that there was no conspiracy and that they are “neutral” in the current political crisis. Few Pakistanis inside the country or abroad buy the army’s claim of neutrality.
While it played no role in the creation of Pakistan, the army has for decades interfered in political affairs installing and removing governments. Often, it has stormed the corridors of power to take over directly, making an even bigger mess of things.
The bunch of thieves, murderers, drug peddlers and money-launderers that have been installed in power accuse Imran Khan for messing the economy during the three years he was in power. Facts belie their claims.
Imran Khan’s government managed the pandemic remarkably well winning global accolades. At the same time, Pakistan’s economic growth exceeded the set targets. In 2020-21 (during the pandemic), the growth rate jumped to 5.7 per cent, more than double the initial target for that year set by the government. For 2021-22, it was even more impressive: nearly 6 per cent, again considerably higher than the set target of 4.8 per cent.
These figures become even more impressive when viewed against the backdrop of three years ago when Pakistan’s economy actually shrank, and was minus 0.5 per cent. That is what Imran Khan’s government inherited from the previous regime run by criminals and thieves.
This overall growth came on the back of 4.40 per cent growth in Agriculture, 7.19 per cent growth in Industries, and 6.19 per cent growth in Services — meaning that all three major sectors surpassed their targets of 3.5 per cent, 6.5 per cent and 4.7 per cent, respectively, according to the Pakistan Economic Survey.
Pakistan’s exports also achieved remarkable growth surpassing $30 billion, as did remittances from overseas Pakistanis, against exceeding $30 billion. The large remittances reflected the confidence overseas Pakistanis had in Imran Khan’s government. He was seen as clean, honest and sincere, something borne out by his personal conduct over the years long before he became prime minister.
So, the question that needs addressing is, why was he removed from power? It is clear that there are forces that do not want to see Pakistan make progress. The primary mover behind this is the US which acts at the behest of zionist Israel. The Americans operate through the Pakistan army with which it has always maintained close links regardless of their relations with the government of the day.
Despite being nuclear powers—the US has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world and zionist Israel has several hundred—they do not want Pakistan, a Muslim country, to possess them. Further, the Americans want to disrupt Pakistan’s ties with China or Russia, both seen as US rivals. And Washington is demanding that Pakistan accept subservience to India and recognize zionist Israel.
Since Imran Khan’s ouster, moves are afoot to force Pakistan to accept these conditions. The current crop of criminals at the helm are willing to surrender to these demands. The battering of Pakistan’s economy is part of this plan. If it defaults on paying interest on the loans, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will step in to demand that Pakistan divest itself of major assets including nuclear weapons, at the behest of the US.
Under instructions from the army, major TV channels and other media outlets in Pakistan do not discuss these issues, social media is full of such details. There is also much greater awareness among the people about who is responsible for the current crisis. The army’s carefully crafted image has received massive blows. It was always a false image; their much-touted valour and as defenders of the state were false narratives meant to block scrutiny of their actions and discussion of their failures.
Imran Khan is demanding that elections be held because he is confident that the masses are with him. While his assessment of people’s support is correct, as is evident from the very large numbers of people attending his rallies, his faith in elections under the present circumstances appears misplaced. After all, those who will supervise elections are the same bunch of dishonest people that were responsible for overthrowing his government in the first place. They will not let him come back to power, regardless of the people’s support for him.
So, what is the solution? Crescent International has long argued that it is the system that needs changing, not faces through elections. So far, a game of musical chairs has been going on with the army playing the music. A system that replaces one set of criminals with another is not worth saving.
Imran Khan and his inner core have some crucial decisions to make. They must gear up to paralyze the illegitimate government and the system. True, the army will use violence against the people but that would simply expose the top brass as anti-people. After killing a few hundred or even a few thousand civilians, the soldiers will refuse to obey orders to shoot. That will be the end of the game for the men in khaki.
Once that stage is reached, a new election commission must be established, supervised by retired justices with a track record of honesty and integrity to ensure fair and transparent elections. The army must be sent back to the barracks or the borders and told in no uncertain terms that it is not their business to decide who rules the country or interfere in politics.
Without these drastic steps, Pakistan’s future appears grim. It will stagger from one crisis to the next falling deeper into debt until it is declared bankrupt and the country is taken over by a conglomerate of American, zionist and Hindu interests. That will be the end of Pakistan.
Is this what the people of Pakistan want?