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Pakistan: agreement or defeat?
  • Pakistan, agreement or defeat?
    Pakistan, agreement or defeat?
Has been euphemistically called 'agreement', the document ending the siege of Rawalpindi and Islamabad that lasted about three weeks. Euphemistically, because it can be summed up more or less like this: Khadim Hussein Rizvi and his henchmen, belonging to that Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan who flooded petals of roses upon the assassin of Salman Taseer, got everything they wanted: the resignation of the minister of Justice Zahid Hamid, the amnesty for all demonstrators arrested on Saturday and the government commits to pay for the damage caused by the three-week siege. In return, graciously, they will not issue a fatwa to the aforementioned Hamid and will take the containers out of the streets within twelve hours. The total and unconditional government's yield to a few thousand exalted people who have come down the street to `defend the Prophet's honor` outraged by a slight change (immediately canceled) in the oath of judges is due to 'mediation' between Major Faiz Hameed's parties at the request of General Bajwa's chief of staff. And while a couple of thousands of cheap killers praise their victory, Pakistan celebrates the funeral of their own farcean democracy and sets out a series of questions whose response is unfortunately as simple as dramatic. Why was it allowed a band of delinquents to hold hostage the capital for three weeks? Why was the police not sent out before last Saturday to do their job of protecting public order? Who had given tear gas and antigas masks, not to mention sticks and various weapons, to the demonstrators to fight police for several hours and then defeat the law enforcement? And who recalled in the streets of Karachi and Lahore, during the clashes, thousands of other fanatics who blocked every access to the cities demanding the resignation of the government in full? The answer, very clear, came in the following hours. When the government demanded the Army's intervention to restore a semblance of legality and generals responded no, thank you. By inviting the parties (and equating a legitimate government to a band of fanatics) to discussion and dialogue and offering to mediate between the parts. Demonstrating once again a couple of things: that the Army in Pakistan is only commanding itself, and that the generals are doing the good and the bad times. Creating the problem and then solving it, to make it clear to all, if it is needed, that the government and judges do not count anything and would do better keeping silent and play their purely ceremonial roles. In this particular case, sending a clear message to Nawaz Sharif, to stand aside. High Court Judge Shaukat Siddiqi who said `I will soon be missing or dead for speaking out`, argues that the agreement between demonstrators and government is illegal and invalid, and that ISI has no legal role to play as a mediator and to sign the agreement. But legality in Pakistan, as we all know, is just an opinion. For two days, news channels and social media have been obscured, in some areas Internet and the telephone lines were not working, Whatsup was blocked. People were fearing another coup, but at the moment the Army has no need of a formal coup. Power is firmly in their hands and they have once again proved how they can control any civil government using their 'good' terrorists and similar. Why should they take the trouble of staging a coup and then deal with US?
Francesca Marino