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Is democratic space shrinking?

Riyatullah Farooqui

The writer is a senior journalist.

I don’t always understand Patwaris; even their intelligentsia frequently exhibits hypocrisy to the point that it is mind-boggling. Since Shahbaz Sharif took office, the PTI leader has prevented the nation from being at peace. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah initially sought to browbeat them, but eventually he too grew distant. Therefore, the question of why the government is providing Khan with such big space is raised. The PML-N then began promoting Nawaz Sharif’s narrative via its well-known YouTubers, Twitter brigade, and columnists, claiming that the Army brought this trash and that they would be required to clean it.

The funny thing is that since 2020, I have consistently argued that Khan’s administration should be overthrown by the Army because, in any other case, the damage would be so severe that it would take generations to put things right. Three years ago, I was questioned about why I believe it is inappropriate for the army to interfere in politics since I vehemently oppose it. However, I also demand that a government be overthrown by the army. Isn’t this a clear contradiction?

My response is that if someone throws trash on the ground, you should stop them and demand them pick it up. Even if there was a democratic administration that was incapable, I would not propose that the army overthrow it. But Imran’s government was not a democratic one; it is the Generals’ garbage, thus the army should overthrow it. It’s interesting that my viewpoint is earlier than Nawaz Sharif’s.

Even on his last day at work, General Bajwa was spinning and dealing. Up until November 2022, he was working behind the scenes for Imran Khan. Bajwa was doing it despite the fact that the institution of the army disassociated itself from politics. Therefore, neither the army nor the government of Shahbaz removed the Youthi trash. The new military command eventually took over, and it took them six months to get their bearings. However, given the urgency of the situation, they ought to have completed it in three months. As it turned out, Khan blundered just as General Asim Munir was beginning to cement his position, and the thorough cleaning started.

Fascinatingly, Wajahat Massoud boasted on YouTube a few days after May 9 that the army had chosen to take decisive action against the Youthis. Three weeks later, the same Wajahat Masoud is still complaining on YouTube about how the democratic space is shrinking as a result of recent military actions. Only Masoud has this viewpoint, and the Pathwarkhana as a whole concurs.

When questioned why Imran Khan was not being dealt with by their own administration, you people used to claim that Nawaz Sharif believed the army should handle this matter. Now that army is cleaning the garbage, they are lamenting the steady shrinkage of the democratic space. Why didn’t they think of this before?

My perspective, which came before Nawaz Sharif’s, believes democratic space is not shrinking. I don’t perceive any political meddling by the military. I understand for the reasons that are clear-cut. The first is that I am aware of the army’s overall strategy. The main goal is not merely to undermine PTI. Because Youthias were hired in every institution as part of a comprehensive planning effort involving the judiciary, police, and NAB. Moderate views were silenced and replaced by youthias in government institutions as well as the media. Therefore, simply breaking PTI won’t be enough to resolve the issue.

Even if PTI is destroyed, they will continue to poison the system due to Youthia recruitments at every institution. They won’t permit anyone to lead a democracy. As a result, it is essential that the Fitana Khan project’s designers return the nation to its position in 2010. It indicates that the army is just concerned with one thing; wherever trash is present, simply clean it.

To comprehend the cause of the lack of political intervention, one must first comprehend the inquiry and its response. According to rumors, the Pakistani Prime Minister’s relationship with the Army Chief and DG ISI begins like this; the Army Chief and DG ISI give certain advices to the PM. These suggestions shouldn’t be interpreted as orders. The columnists and anchors are provided tips and tools to launch propaganda against the government even if the dictation is rejected. Political and religious parties will be given the go-ahead to take to the streets if the administration refuses to budge in response to their demands.

Even if a person’s tongue is unable of pronouncing the prophet’s last name, they are nevertheless referred to as the protector of the Prophet’s honor. If Prime Minister like is Nawaz Sharif is, the judiciary is being moved against him. I don’t need to tell you what happened next. Everyone is aware of Saqib Nisar and Khosa like scoundrels’ deeds. So, the question is: Have General Asim Munir and DG ISI been giving Shahbaz Sharif advice or orders? No signs of that are visible. The question is: How do you suppose it got started? The answer is that when the federal ministers suddenly start saying that the government is not going anywhere.

Do you recall that this song was first performed by current government ministers in May 2022? This was the time General Bajwa was dictating the immediate election. The third and last justification is that their political meddling has such a disastrous outcome that they won’t meddle in politics for decades. The army suffered less from Musharraf’s policies than from General Bajwa and Faiz Hamid. In their times, it will be a success if the following three army commanders clean up the mess left by Bajwa and Faiz.

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