Rumours of “regime change” choke Pakistani airwaves

September 20, 2010

PAKISTAN-FLOODS/

Few in Pakistan believe that the army is going to make a grab for power at this time, but it hasn’t stopped speculation over the fate of the civilian government, widely seen to have to failed to mount an effective response to the nation’s worst floods since its creation. 

The powerful military which is fighting a full-blown insurgency by Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda has raised its standing in the eyes of Pakistanis by spearheading relief efforts. It is unlikely to exploit the vulnerability of the weak civilian government led by President Asif Ali Zardari to itself get bogged down in Pakistan’s enormous problems by staging a coup. 

But rumours abound that the military, which ruled the country for better part of its 63 years as a nation, and has always exerted vital influence over state affairs such as security and foreign policy, is weighing its options to “save the nation”  through an indirect intervention, the weekly Friday Times wrote in its latest edition.

Some conspiracy theories suggest the present government could be toppled by causing dissentions in the ruling Pakistan People’s Party and a new government made up of turncoats and smaller parties could be installed. Others say a new government comprising “technocrats” could be appointed by getting the present regime disqualified from the increasingly assertive Supreme Court on charges of ineptness and massive corruption.

Rumours of change in the government were set into motion last month after a coalition partner of Zardari and self-exiled head of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Altaf Hussain, called on “patriotic generals” to take revolutionary steps against corrupt politicians.

Nawaz Sharif, former prime minister and main opposition leader, strongly opposed Hussain’s suggestion but recently said a “change” could be brought out through constitutional means if the present government did not rectify its wrongdoings.

Rumours of “regime change” are so strong  that even the soft-spoken Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani , who is also vice chairman of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) headed by Zardari, had to address “change-mongers: at a public function.

“PM warns against cornering PPP government,” read the main headline of daily The News on Sunday.

Speaking to businessmen in the eastern city of Lahore on Saturday evening, Gilani said “any unconstitutional act against the democratically elected government will be tantamount to hatching a conspiracy against the federation.”

“The largest party of the federation should not be cornered. We are committed to safeguarding the constitution,” he said.

Gilani’s remarks came a day after Zardari ruled out any “abrupt change” of government at a high-level meeting of the ruling party.

“Water cannot flow over us and we know how to defend our democratic position that we have earned through long struggle and invaluable sacrifices,” daily The Nation quoted Zardari as telling the meeting.

“Those who are talking about technocratic setup were perhaps living in a fool’s paradise as they do not know the PPP.”

At a time when the United States needs its ally’s crucial help to stabilize Afghanistan ahead of its planned troops withdrawal from next year,  any political turmoil in Pakistan would be cause of a major concern for Washington.

“Are you concerned about political situation in Pakistan,” was the question posed to Richard Haolbrooke, U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, during a roundtable with journalists in Islamabad last week. 

Holbrooke said he would not speculate on things which he had no answer as “it’s journalists who focus on this issue and to some extent create this issue”.

“This is a democracy now with a very strong military, with tremendous number of problems that you all aware of and we are going to do whatever we can to help them.”

The News quoted him as saying that Zardari’s government was not “drowning in the floods”.

The Dawn newspaper in a recent editorial said media should be partly blamed for triggering the debate of “vague change” in the country.

“For a country that has flirted with and embraced military interventions so many times in the past, only for these to inevitably lead to disastrous consequences, the media’s sometimes barely concealed cheerleading for extra-constitutional measures is astonishing,” the paper said.

Comments

@Rex

“I have not been to a school where the opponents are called Ignorents, this is something which must be common in indian schools.”

No Sir, you are wrong about India again. India is a land where people follow the King Rama who gave arrows to his opponent Ravana when Ravana ran out of his set of arrows in middle of a battle. We in India are taught to respect our enemies as well. India is a land where people fall in love even with enemies let alone opponents and adversaries.

But when someone says, “I know little of India’s history, constitution, people, etc but India should do this, should do that, blah blah blah” then it is ridiculous and laughable for us.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@Rehmat

Come on man, Rex (pakistan) once taunted me that I should not take things seriously. So why are you taking seriously a person who himself says and demonstrates that his knowledge is so little about India/Pakistan but gives lengthy and often meaningless commentary on India/Pakistan. Just sit back and laugh at his foolishness. He will go on calling all that don’t agree with him with titles like war mongers, hopeless, bitter and so on but don’t worry be happy. Let outsiders comment what they want to why should that change our positive opinions about our country. He is not responsible for India’s future but we are. So as the old saying goes, “suno sabki par karo apni”.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan

“The muslims are a minority in india and should accept this reality but some of those who do not accept the injustice, have the right to protest. if you are a satisfied muslim then get off this blog and do not intercede on behalf of the majority. ”
*** Census shows that Muslims are a minority. So? Of course everyone has the right to protest but what are you protesting about where we differ? How are you an unsatisfied Muslim if you are neither an Indian nor in your own words here to help the Indian Muslim community. I won’t ask you to get off the blog.

“Perhaps you should preach to the Indian muslims to accept the one third of the land they were given today from the remains of the mosque. After all the muslims are not even one third of the population.”
*** Do not get worked up over there in Germany for no reason. If you have followed the news, you would have seen no one needed any one preach them to stay cool and accept the verdict. Perhaps you are the one who needs preaching. FYI, people in India really want to move on, really! You better hurry up.

“I have not been to a school where the opponents are called Ignorents, this is something which must be common in indian schools.”
***Ignorance is not a problem per se. Ignorant about something but having strong opinions is a problem.

777xxx777: @“suno sabki par karo apni”. That’s right!

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@Rehmat
You should have taken the advice of 777! i did not get the impression today that the minority muslim leaders are cool and really want to move on. The majority yes, and the minority on the terms of majority. The majority appearing on the media was urging the minority to give up the one third and let the provisional temple to stay. Israel has been evicting palistinians from their land because the land was reserved for the jews before the arabisation of the land. you are a very conciliatry person but in my ignorant opinion a minority within the minority. Good luck any way and do not take every thing seriously. like we say here what has to happen is going to happen any way. We have always managed to have a good time. If not so what, let us have a drink any way. Have a nice day.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@Rex
“i did not get the impression today that the minority muslim leaders”

Thats the trouble of muslims/hindus/sikhs/christians in India their stupid fool LEADERS. Current set of LEADERS are a problem for every Indian be it hindu (biggest fool leaders), muslim (leaders next on foolishness index after hindu leaders), sikh, christian, anyone else. I agree with Rehmat that ordinary people be it any community want to move on. For Gen Y of this nation it is only economics and security that matters, temple or mosque do NOT matter at all. I have a few muslim friends who care least about a masjid or mandir, all they care about is money and wealth. Supreme court of India will intentionally and cleverly take another 50 years to arrive at a decision and by then no one in either community will care about the issue. Even now people feel that let the land be put to some good use like hospital, school or may be even a power generation facility. As I said u watch idiot box too much and form rigid opinions without investigating deep. And today in India its the Gen Y that is real driving force of the nation and that’s why unprecedented calm in India despite of leaders desperately wanting to instigate violence and surprisingly no curfew declared in any part of India at all. As I said before also since u know little and comment a lot so u shud follow ur OWN advice, and investigate DEEP.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

@777
i fully agree with your logic, but logic is not always the truth. India claims for secularism and the independent judiciary makes a political decision. as long as there are no riots and loss of life, the world is not concerned. i am simply an observer and analyse, i do not influence the decisions.
Most of the Indian citizens have a common culture and most probably a common DNA regardless of their ethnic and religious differences. and yet it is the ethnic dívide and the religious alliances mostly influence their political attitude.
But this is another discussion.
let there be a peace if the people want it and let there be the war if that is what the people desire. We must keep the sence of humour though i do not sence your satire and you do not mine.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@Rex
Judges are also human and to err is human. That’s why there is supreme court and ample legal procedure to follow.

Unprecedented calm in country even in wake of supposedly a fiercely fought issue is example enough that people want peace. No curfew not even in a single city in India and especially not in a single city of state of UP (where Ayodhya is) is a glaring and refreshing vision of young and vibrant India. Message to fools of New Delhi should be loud and clear that Gen Y is coming and we do not want mandir(temple) masjid(mosque) nonsense; all we want is peace and progress for all.

Anyway since we are going way off topic so lets end it here. India internal issues are not meant to be discussed here in this article.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan:
“You should have taken the advice of 777!”
*** That’s exactly what I did. Listened to him and did my own. Complicated?

Your problem is you do not see half glass full and you would continue to have problem even if India approaches utopia.

Relax, no need to give the following statement.
“Israel has been evicting palistinians from their land because the land was reserved for the jews before the arabisation of the land.”

Knowing nothing and talking like a loud speaker is called Bullshitting. That’s what you do. Sorry about my french but I am not that conciliatory.

Perhaps you can tell me what could have been a better verdict keeping in mind the fall outs. Also tell me what would have happened in any other place ONCE a minority religious site is demolished.

Young generation today care more about gadgets and ipods than about these issues. This happened before they were born or were toddlers. It is some outsiders like you who have NO STAKE in India and care less about the fall outs of a decision and some radical leaders and a minority from all communities in India which is a problem.

Just chill and have a drink for the Mosque is coming up, bit smaller than the original and no one has died in the riots. Celebrate life. I will pay for your drink when we meet.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

@R
I guess you do not want a reply to your rude comments. The moderator has refused to accept my reply. Plese do us a favour and do not use a very decent muslim name as your initial if you are worshipping the BULL!
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

@Rex
“Plese do us a favour and do not use a very decent muslim name as your initial if you are worshipping the BULL!”

Now you are trying to insult not only Rehmat but also Islam and humanity as well. Your choice of words is extremely poor.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan
“Plese do us a favour and do not use a very decent muslim name as your initial if you are worshipping the BULL!”

***Who is “us” up there? No need to go after my name now. There are many like me. How many names would u advise to change? You can call yourself Pakistan or Rex Minor I do not care. I look at the point made. My advice is to take a deep breath and RELAX. Think positive. Cynicism will carry you no where.

Feel free to say anything to me. I am not writing back to you on useless back and forth in this blog entry. You can have all the fun you want. But listen this carefully–I am not pack of the herd which you seem to be part of.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan:
typo: [part of the herd]

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive
 

I being a long time observer of Pakistan’s politics and seen its ups and down, I have the feeling that something is cooking up in the direction everybody calls now rumor. May be after a few days it may no more remain a rumor but may take the shape of reality, who is there who can deny his inevitable, facts of the future.

This Power is such a thing that any person/organization that tasted it could never forget its flavor that automatically invites them to taste it repeatedly. Thus if Army takes over there is nothing to be surprised.

I would prefer to observe and see the next steps how it turns the table for good or for worse. Wait, see and follow is the best policy in such cases.

Posted by KINGFISHER | Report as abusive
 

@KFisher
I like your wait and see for the next steps for good or worse. Here is one of the Nostradamus prophecy, which I find very appropriate too:
They shall be driven away without putting up a long fight.
They shall be harried more strongly through the countryside, Town and city shall put up stronger resistance.
Carcassone and Narbonne shall have their courage put to test.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

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