Everyone is asking what is going to happen on August 14? With the “Azadi March” (Freedom March) of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) coming close, the political temperature of the country is going up, affecting the socio-economic structure of the country.
Some foreign investors, including Chinese companies which were about to make deals of investment, are poised at the moment to wait and see the outcome of the Azadi March. Also, the diplomats representing their countries in Pakistan are very concerned and closely watching the day-to-day updates and statements of various stakeholders. Expatriate Pakistanis are also very concerned and praying against any negative or untoward consequence. Everyone is getting affected; however, the degree of this effect varies from person to person and institute to institute.
Showing bearish trend the Karachi Stock Exchange declined by 666.24 points on the very first day after Eid holidays. No doubt, like foreign investors, local investors also have strong fears due to the prevailing political mess up in the country. In its latest meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif the PML-N top brass announced not to support any undemocratic and unconstitutional move emerging out of the existing political unrest in the country. The prime minister has also sought support from parliamentary leaders to help control the situation.
He also offered talks with PTI leader Imran Khan demanding postponement of the march for two months until completion of army operation in North Waziristan. The PTI leadership has also been conveyed a message regarding security threat to the PTI leaders and workers due to ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb. Pakistan People’s Party, which was earlier been playing the role of a friendly opposition, has taken strong exception to the PML-N decision of calling army in the capital city under Article 245 of the constitution and has become unfriendly now.
However, PML-N leaders are still engaged in backdoor diplomacy in the form of meetings with PPP leaders and convincing them to mediate to control the anarchy. The PPP leadership is still supportive to the PML-N on the point that they would not support any undemocratic force in toppling the democratically elected government, unlike the PML-Q, which was ready to support any extreme. A majority of the political think tanks of the country believe that the PML-N has remained unable to manage the situation and stop it from further escalation so far and the party’s government took wrong decisions one after the other.
These actions include selection of wrong time for police action to remove barriers installed by the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) outside its Model Town headquarters, police firing and killing of 14 workers of PAT, inability to take proper action against those involved in the Model Town, although Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and CM’s personal adviser Dr Tauqeer Shah were removed from their offices, however justice was not provided to the PAT as per the law of the land.
Later, diversion of the plane of Tahirul Qadri form Islamabad to Lahore, demand of Imran Khan regarding recount in four disputed constituencies and imposition of Article 245 and calling in military in Islamabad was the last decision, which was like sprinkling petrol on fire. On the other hand Imran’s janoon (passion) to go to any extreme started working and stirring the political waves of the country. Although it is a common saying that mature political parties and their leaders must not reach a point of no return because parties need to remain flexible to do their politics.
However, contrary to this notion Imran Khan has reached the point of no return as he has taken a firm stand with the situation of “come what may” and he is very hopeful of getting positive outcome in his party’s favour. The captain by showing his unilateral stance and commitment to show up his strength in Islamabad has muster up support not from within his party but from other political forces of the country.
The military establishment of the country is also watching this situation very carefully. Earlier this power was considered backing PTI and PAT on the issue of Geo News following its differences with the civil establishment. However, now August 14 day is a challenge task not only for the civil establishment but also for the military establishment because PML-N has called in military to help manage the situation in the capital city. One other reason the civil and military establishment should be on the same page is the ongoing military operation against terrorists in the North Waziristan.
PML-N needed to learn from this situation and mend its style of governance and provide justice to those killed in Model Town incident besides properly addressing the demand of vote recount by Imran Khan. On the other hand Allama Tahirul Qadri being a religious scholar needed to avoid inflammatory speeches and promote peace to avoid any unrest in the country.
In another development, which can be termed as a positive move to save and strengthen the democracy, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has involved some PPP leaders and Mahmood Khan Achakzai for mediating talks between PML-N and PTI. It is expected that senior politicians and military top brass would perform their required role for the betterment of this country, which cannot afford at adventure at the moment. Under the prevailing situation arising for some recent positive developments one may hope that the civil and military establishment would jointly tackle the issue, which is also a need of the hour, and nothing bad is going to be happened in Pakistan on August 14 day.
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman and former President Asif Ali ...