WEB DESK: A week after its visit to the region by Senator McCain-led US congressional delegation, posters appeared in a number of our cities calling upon Army Chief General Raheel Sharif to forget about retirement and take over or in other words stage a military coup.
“Talk of leaving has become old. For God’s sake come now,” is what the posters were inscribed with, along with a picture of the general and identity of caller, as leader of a little known entity ‘Move on Pakistan’. One would be naïve to think the posters were some kind of follow-up of Senator John McCain’s wish that General Sharif should ‘continue’. The American leader, as has since been clarified, made the remark in the broader context of the highly successful military operation Zarb-e-Azb.
Unlike many other parties that seek removal of the PML (N)-headed government, do so through democratic means, including sit-ins and other legal avenues, for the newcomer a military take-over is a better option. Given that General Raheel Sharif had publicly committed that he would not seek or accept extension, the GHQ promptly reacted; and posters were removed from all over the place. “Army or any of its affiliated organisations has nothing to do with it,” tweeted the ISPR chief.
But how come a political entity which is registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan and styles itself as a democratic outfit is so openly violative of the constitutional dictate under which such an act amounts to high treason and is punishable under Article 6 of the constitution. Probably, its call draws sustenance from the past when confronted with an all-to-see spectre of a government failure the military would oblige the protesting masses and take over obligingly.
And, that would be widely hailed and celebrated. Exception however was the last military take-over, by General Pervez Musharraf, which was declared an act of high treason by the Supreme Court, although it was initially validated under the ‘doctrine of necessity’ by the apex court. However, the earlier takeovers were invariably condoned by the Supreme Court under the same doctrine – a phantom who never sleeps. Legally speaking, by ‘calling’ for subversion of the Constitution the leadership of the Move on Pakistan is guilty of high treason which, thanks to the 18th Amendment, “no court shall validate”. It is indeed quite intriguing that no action against the said party’s call for Bonapartism has been initiated thus far.
But as we talk of the juridical aspect of the demand made through the posters it would be only fair that we also take into account the political situation as it obtains in the country today. For one, one may ask where the government is. For full 48 days the chief executive of the massively problem-ridden country was abroad, almost incommunicado with people at home, though he was occasionally spotted moving around in parks and stores.
Who doesn’t know that the kind of heart surgery he underwent is a routine affair in a number of hospitals in the country? And now that he is back he would like to function from his home in Lahore, while the Prime Minister’s House in the Capital is as well-equipped as any home could be.
Why not function from the federal capital? And, as far as most of the federal ministers are concerned, their only worry is the fallout from the Panama Papers. Then, came a week when almost the entire top civilian leadership was out of the country on one errand or the other, followed by a weeklong Eid furlough. Rightly then, given the opposition’s threat to paralyse the government after Ramazan – as if it is not already – the people apprehend another spell of chaos and unrest.
In the past, in times as dire as now, there used to be rumours of military takeovers such as the call by the ‘Move on Pakistan’ aired through the posters. Of course we reject it and would like the guilty to be taken to task. But we would also like to emphasise that the democratic forces and elected entities should perform as expected – because they haven’t so far. One must therefore not lose sight of the fact that it was not a lone voice in the wilderness.
Source: Business Recorder