In July 2018, when Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan claimed victory in the national election, it was clear that Pakistan Army had installed him in the office of the prime minister. The claim derived authenticity from reports of selected targeting of media not seen sympathetic to Imran Khan during the election campaign, alleged harassment of candidates from other parties, preventing voters especially women from casting their votes in many areas deemed strongholds of Nawaz Sharif’s party and most importantly delay in declaration of official results in dozens of constituencies in Nawaz Sharif dominated Punjab province.
It was said that the Pakistan Army wanted to make sure Imran Khan was seen as winning the election, allegedly rigged by a master, to install its puppet in power. Imran Khan’s party still fell short of the majority mark in the national assembly. The puppet-master relationship of Bajwa with Imran Khan has by now, evolved and come to the juncture where it now comprehensively serves Bajwa, Pakistan Army, and China.
Tenure Extension: Need of the Hour?
Pakistan Army, since the exile of Musharraf, has acquired the beautiful art of Puppet governance. Whosoever has been an impediment, has been systematically swept aside. Judiciary has long been compromised after the Musharraf episode, and no longer politicians are the representative lot of the locals. Be it PPP’s Zardari-Bilawal combine or the PML Nawaz Sharif’s party, all else also have been brushed aside, either by propping up pseudo-popular hollow movements of Imran-Maulana or else by rouge tactics of false charges and political indictment, reeking of a Judiciary’s submission to Orders of Army. These charges, despite lack of evidence, have been used as instances to belittle or decimate a valid political voice.
While the previous extension was of Kayani, however, that was openly known to be at the behest of Americans and the war against insurgency at Afghan Border. While since then, the systematic dilution of Judiciary and media has been quietly been effected, to cater to the needs of the Army and to pave way for the CEPC sell out to China.
Bajwa ensures puppet Imran gets Majority
Right from the appalling levels of electoral violence, including an election day suicide bombing in Quetta that killed at least 31, the result was predetermined by Pakistan’s powerful army, which engaged in electoral malfeasance. The army was hell-bent upon securing Khan’s victory and even encouraged political parties with overt ties to terrorist groups, to field several hundred candidates, alongside some 1,500 candidates tied to Pakistan’s right-wing Islamist parties. These right-wing groups helped forge Khan’s electoral coalition, underwritten by Pakistan’s army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the intelligence agency that implements the Pakistani army’s dirty work at home and abroad.
Bajwa Takes Reins of Economy in his Hands
In October 2019 Bajwa met Business leaders of Pakistan. While the publicized aim was said to be to give reassurance to the stakeholders about government policies amid a slowdown, it was nothing but a push towards CPEC and towards Chinese oriented economic overdrive. Very subtly as put by Yousuf Nazar, a former Citigroup Inc. banker and author of a book on Pakistan’s economy: “The growing role of the military in the economy’s management in addition to its traditional dominance of the security matters is nothing but a soft coup that is a setback for the democratic process,”.
Bajwa’s yearly pilgrimage to Xi Jinping
An official Chinese statement in 2018 visit, of Bajwa to China goes like this, “China places a “high premium” on its relations with Pakistan and believes a key economic project will be successful, President Xi Jinping told Pakistan’s army chief”. The Bajwa extension is blessed by China and is primarily entwined with CPEC, and was pretty much visible, as far as a year back too.
Again, in October 2019, Bajwa accompanied Imran Khan to China, during key meetings with top Chinese leaders here, confirming that he is seeking greater role in the country’s affairs, and also that blessings of China are being repeatedly confirmed, both to his country as well as to his prospective successors, in Pakistani Army. At the backdrop of tenure extension, the message was simple and clear. It was a blessing to Imran-Bajwa to combine, to further Chinese imperialist aims in Pakistan.
Independent Judiciary and disgruntled Corps Commanders?
“Orchestrated Grand Show directed by Bajwa”
Pakistan Army has managed to churn out a completely new image of itself, which is at odds with what it held just before the so-called clash between the judiciary, Prime Minister Imran Khan and the army chief.
While the Pakistani judiciary is seen as independent and gutsy, the Pakistan Army, which has been criticized for being the real power, now maliciously appears to be an institution that is not in control of everything in Pakistan. The event came across as if the Pakistan Army Headquarters or deep state is not the ‘real’ government and does not control the Imran Khan government. The bigger and the more important outcome is the projection of the image that Pakistan was being seen as a democratic state.
It is unimaginable that a random petitioner, advocate Riaz Hanif Rahi, would challenge the Pakistan Army chief and a three-member bench will take up the matter forcefully without any guaranteed protection to their future, especially their life in a country where people critical of the deep state suddenly vanish or are killed. All challenges to Bajwa has already lost out either on promotions or simply implicated. Process of a purge of dissidence began in 2018 with one of them making headlines “Retired Lieutenant General Javed Iqbal was jailed for a life term, meaning he will serve 14 years in prison under Pakistani law. Retired Brigadier Raja Rizwan was sentenced to death” as in May 2019. Hence present so-called disgruntled Corps Commanders, have already been on board with the Bajwa era of Chinese sellout.
However, the Public show continues, for the economically distraught public of Pakistan.
In August this year, China welcomed Khan’s move to extend the term of Bajwa for three years, calling him an “extraordinary leader of his military and an old friend of the Chinese government”. This Chinese endorsement of Bajwa, who in 2019 has showcased skills to revive and put back on track, the CPEC projects, by arm-twisting Pakistan’s business power horses, kept Army in line by effectively purging all dissent in Pakistan Army and creating the Aura of a genuine democracy while decimating legitimate democratic PPP’s Zardari and PML’s Nawaz Sharif’s challenge.
To provide legitimacy to Bajwa’s tenure, vis legislative and Pseudo Democratic process, the required pivot is essential. Which is what the build-up across LoC, is going to serve Bajwa and Imran. Pakistani media, astute as fabricated stories experts, shall concoct some unimaginable story of aggression by India, and how that will be, but an apt catalyst for Bajwa to get an extension, by legislation.
Last two years of framing this ballad of Pakistani Democracy!! How brilliant, resonating with previous other tactical masterstrokes, which however proved to be just as hollow and worthless in the long term, as this one is to be. This is what that had damaged Pakistan in the past, mostly beyond reprieve.
Era of the Chinese economic colonization of Pakistan is entering the throttle mode, and there is no turning back. China even has an equipped militia in form of Pakistan Army, to keep Pakistan in the imperialist churn, for the next two decades. It is for the common Pakistani to rise above the Mullah-Army combine, to defeat this neo-imperialism, and for Baluchis, Sindhis and Kashmiris to realize, they are none else, but an expendable asset, ready to be sold to the highest bidder, the Chinese
31 Dec 19/Tuesday Written by Fayaz