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Does Pakistan Army Have Contingency Plans to Handle Escalating Political Crisis?

Discussion in 'Pakistani Siasat' started by RiazHaq, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. RiazHaq

    RiazHaq SENIOR MEMBER

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    Haq's Musings: Pakistan Army's Contingency Plans in Response to Escalation in Political Crisis

    As the protest marchers led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's PTI and powerful cleric Tahir ul Qadri's PAT enter Islamabad, the political crisis in Pakistan appears to be escalating amid serious attempts to defuse it. There has been some progress in averting street violence on the streets of the nation's capital but the outcome remains far from certain.

    [​IMG]
    Pakistan Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif
    If Pakistan's history is any guide, the nation's military will most likely be the final arbiter in the event that the crisis continues for an extended period of time. The Atlantic Council's Shuja Nawaz is a younger brother of Pakistan's former Army Chief late General Asif Nawaz Janjua. He continues to have close ties with top military brass in Pakistan. He personally knows Pakistan's current Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and some of the corps commanders. Nawaz says the Pakistani military always has contingency plans to deal with all possible crises, including political unrest, that could threaten national security. Such plans are triggered into action by a series of events included in them.
    In the current crisis, there is a range of possible military responses. Military intervention could be soft as seen in Kakar model or the Kiyani model. The Kakar model is named after General Abdul Waheed Kakar who forced the quarreling President and Prime Minister in 1990s to resign and hold fresh elections under a caretaker arrangement. The Kayani model refers to the phone call by Gen Kayani in 2009 to stop PMLN's march by assuring them the former Chief Justice Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry will be restored to his post by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
    A soft intervention is much more likely given the military's current focus on Operation ZarbeArb in FATA to rid Pakistan of the Taliban and other terrorists who have claimed the lives of over 50,000 Pakistanis in recent years.
    In the unlikely event that soft intervention fails, the military could be forced into directly taking power for a period of time to bring back some semblance of order.
    Will escalating political crisis draw Pakistan Military into the fray? How will Gen Raheel Sharif and his corp commanders handle the situation if the politicians fail to resolve the crisis? Mr. Shuja Nawaz, Pakistan's top expert and author of books on civil-military ties, joins ViewPoint from Overseashost Faraz Darvesh and panelists Misbah Azam (politicsinpakistan.com) and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)
    Here's a video discussion on the subject of possible military intervention in Pakistan:
    https://vimeo.com/103522159



    Haq's Musings: Pakistan Army's Contingency Plans in Response to Escalation in Political Crisis
     
  2. Psycho Pakistani

    Psycho Pakistani FULL MEMBER

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    Everything is under control, nothing is going to happen with the government
     
  3. AZADPAKISTAN2009

    AZADPAKISTAN2009 ELITE MEMBER

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    Pakistan Army should put a stipulation that Nawaz Sharif , ask forgiveness from Musharaf shahib before he is allowed to leave to Saudia
     
  4. Psycho Pakistani

    Psycho Pakistani FULL MEMBER

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    Musharraf Sahib my foot, I don't want to make a racial comment against him otherwise I have "a lot" to say about that shameless person.
     
  5. AZADPAKISTAN2009

    AZADPAKISTAN2009 ELITE MEMBER

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    A kiss on his hand would also be reasonable ...
    [​IMG]
     
  6. batmannow

    batmannow BANNED

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    & then if you do so, we can put your dam foot in to your mouth, like right now we are doing to Noora king?
     
  7. RiazHaq

    RiazHaq SENIOR MEMBER

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    Excerpt from Wall Street Journal: Pakistan Army Chief Names New Head of ISI

    The new head of the ISI was among six appointments made Monday by Gen. Sharif, all promoted from major-general rank to lieutenant-general. The six include a new commander for the army corps in Peshawar, which runs operations in the militant-plagued tribal areas, and a commander for the India-facing strike corps at Mangla.

    Previously, Gen. Sharif's top commanders were his near-peers, many of whom had joined the army about the same time as him and had been appointed by the previous army chief.

    "These appointees are taking key positions and they owe their jobs to Raheel Sharif," said Hasan Askari Rizvi, a defense analyst. "This is Raheel's first set of senior appointments and it strengthens his position."

    The ISI chief, in particular, is a crucial player in both internal security and Pakistan's dealings with its neighbors, especially Afghanistan and India.

    ----

    Relations between the government and the military were put under further tension in April, when Geo, Pakistan's leading news channel, broadcast accusations that Lt. Gen. Islam was behind the shooting of its star news anchor. The military protested against the allegations, while the government was seen to side with Geo over the affair.

    According to some senior aides of Mr. Sharif, Lt. Gen. Islam is backing the political protest, along with some other outgoing generals. Gen. Sharif, however, has told the prime minister that he isn't involved, these aides say. Many security analysts believe it would be impossible for an ISI chief to run such an initiative without the army chief's consent.

    The information minister, Parvaiz Rashid, has publicly alleged that former ISI chief Mr. Pasha is "advising" protest leader Imran Khan. Mr. Pasha, who retired from the ISI in 2012, hasn't responded to the charge. Mr. Khan has denied any links with the military.

    In a press briefing on Sept. 12, the military's spokesman, Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa, said that "the army has nothing to do with the ongoing political crisis." He also said that "the army strictly follows the directions of the army chief."

    The new ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Akhtar, has also previously served in the tribal areas, as an infantry division commander, giving him experience of both counterinsurgency and, with his experience in Karachi, counterterrorism.

    Political parties are deeply involved in the criminality in Karachi, including extortion and land-grabbing, police say. Security forces come under intense pressure from politicians not to arrest their supporters in the city. However, Lt. Gen. Akhtar is credited with carrying out an operation in the giant metropolis that didn't favor any side. The operation, in its later stages, also tackled the presence of Pakistani Taliban militants, who had come to dominate Karachi's fringe areas.

    "He's honest, straightforward but very tough when needed," said Shahid Hayat, a senior Sindh police officer and Karachi's former city police chief who worked closely with Lt. Gen. Akhtar. "There is no compromise as far as the enforcement of the law is concerned—he will take whoever breaks it to task. He's totally committed to that."

    Lt. Gen. Akhtar's training includes a 2008 course, as a brigadier, at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. There, his research paper—entitled "U.S.-Pakistan Trust Deficit and the War on Terror"—said that Pakistan "must reform its governance, improve the economy, confront and eliminate Islamic extremism, and create a more tolerant society. Most important, it must aggressively pursue rapprochement with India."

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/pakistan-army-chief-names-new-head-of-isi-1411380826
     
  8. VCheng

    VCheng ELITE MEMBER

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    This article should be read with attention:

    Dangerous contradictions - Newspaper - DAWN.COM

    Dangerous contradictions
    By Babar Sattar

    YOU can call for reform of a dysfunctional constitutional order. You can declare that the existing order doesn’t work and needs to be replaced by a new one. But what are you thinking if you seek to delegitimise an existing order, cast aspersions on its institutions, inspire hate against its procedures and outcomes, and then appeal to the same institutions to produce outcomes of your liking? PAT wants a new constitutional order (even if it is coy about it). What about the PTI?

    The latter’s conduct raises serious concerns about its commitment to our constitutional order. Its demands and tactics seem to be challenging foundational concepts of justice, otherwise settled by now: ‘innocent until proven guilty’; ‘right to trial by a neutral arbiter’; ‘no one to be a judge in own cause’; ‘legitimate means produce legitimate ends’; ‘rights and responsibilities go hand-in-hand’; ‘not to yell “fire” in a crowded theatre’; ‘your freedom ends where my nose begins’.

    Article 225 states that no election can be called into question except by an election petition presented to the election tribunal. Imran Khan insinuates that election tribunals are either incapable or in Sharif’s control (except when they rule in PTI’s favour). Thus an ordinance must be brought in (without parliamentary debate) that somehow dances around Article 225 and enables a judicial commission to not only call into question election results in selected constituencies but also the overall electoral outcome across Pakistan.

    This judicial commission should conduct a summary investigation, consider circumstantial evidence, not afford Article 10-A rights (fair trial and due process) to MNAs, and conclusively declare whether or not the entire electoral exercise in 2013 was a sham. But in doing so the commission is not to consider whether Imran Khan’s basic allegation (that Iftikhar Chaudhry, election commissioners, Returning Officers, Najam Sethi and Geo were all part of a grand conspiracy to deliver a fake mandate to Nawaz Sharif) is true and backed by evidence.

    So the PTI is demanding that the right of individual MNAs to represent their constituencies and the collective right of the PML-N to run the government be taken away without due process or a fair trial. The PTI is essentially saying that we, in view of the conclusive evidence we possess (not yet shared with a competent court) have concluded that we won the 2013 elections, which judgement must be accepted by all and sundry and thus the PML-N must now prove that it did not steal the PTI’s mandate to remain in power.

    And what are the PTI’s means? The prime minister won’t resign just because the PTI is asking pertly. The khakis have clarified that they are not intervening. So is PTI relying on the Supreme Court for a face-saver? If the remedy lay with the apex court why did Imran Khan not file a petition instead of demanding intervention from atop his container? Should the court comply with his demand because there is a mob occupying Constitution Avenue, which might go rogue?

    While one hears about the PTI’s rights, one seldom hears about its responsibilities. The PTI seems to have erroneously imagined that the right to protest includes the right to overthrow a government. The right to protest (which flows out of four fundamental liberties: to speak, associate, move and assemble) comes along with no guarantee or promise of immediate corrective action.

    By protesting against an objectionable action or policy you record your disapproval while appealing to the conscience of the society and/or decision-makers. The demand is essentially moral in nature. If you seek to enforce such moral position through the use of force, you’re demanding right to violence under the garb of protest. Thus in Pakistan and in democracies across the world, the right to protest is subservient to public order. You have a right to assemble to protest. But if the assembly becomes illegal, the right extinguishes.

    The priority accorded to public order means that the right to protest doesn’t come with the privilege to protest wherever and however you wish. Time, place and manner regulation of the right is standard practice across the world. Each Moharram, authorities work with organisers of marches to map out routes etc to ensure peace and public order, because under Article 16 of our Constitution the “right to assemble peacefully” is “subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of public order”.

    Have the PTI/PAT breached any laws while exercising their right to protest? Under Section 141 of the Pakistan Penal Code, for example, any assembly of five persons or more becomes unlawful if the common purpose is to overawe by use or show of force the government, legislature or public servants, to resist the execution of any law or lawful process, to commit mischief or trespass, or to obtain possession of property or deprive anyone of the enjoyment of right of way etc.

    The PAT/PTI protesters violated the initial permission to protest by changing the venue and moving into the red zone. We saw PTV attacked, parliament’s fence broken, its premises trespassed, and police officers beaten up. We saw senior PTI leaders obstructing prison vans, IG police threatened by Imran Khan and the release of arrested PTI workers secured by force by the mighty Khan personally. We see vigilantes controlling the right of way on Constitution Avenue and even Supreme Court judges have to take a detour to reach the court.

    Is this a lawful assembly?

    Abuse of authority by the state has a long, abhorrent history. But the remedy lies in availing legal solutions and moving courts (which exist to uphold citizen rights and check the arbitrary exercise of state power) as opposed to relying on vigilantism. Can responsible leaders incite protesters to attack officials and then disown their responsibility for transforming an assembly into a mob?

    State institutions and their legitimacy are hard to build but easy to destroy. The police uniforms being demonised represent state authority and not the Sharif government. Pakistan can’t expect progressive evolutionary change if its proclaimed agents of change aim to settle partisan scores by hacking at state institutions and state authority. Once delegitimised, the erosion of state authority will affect all uniforms and not just those worn by civilians.

    The writer is a lawyer.

    sattar@post.harvard.edu

    Twitter: @babar_sattar

    Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2014