Welcome to the “Islamic Republic of Vested Interests of Pakistan”

Nawaz’s ability to hang on is driven by external support and the acceptance of a perception by the USA and their South Asian proxy partner, India, that he is the sole option available to them to advocate peace with India and Afghanistan, but it’s this “Rogue” Army that dents and checkmates his efforts towards better relations.

In reinforcing this perception in the USA and India are countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Gulf States. For all of them Nawaz is a much more benign option, irrespective of his corruption and incompetence and the dangers he poses to Pakistan.

Iran is a mixed bag. Still struggling to survive and reaching out to all who support their position.

For them it’s both about economic survival and maintaining a geo political dominance against an arch rival, Saudi Arabia, which they’ve never had in the Region in the recent centuries.

Hence Iran is doing everything to support their friends, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon to maintain their position and dominance and in this context, would be happier with Nawaz gone, given his support of Saudi Arabia.

The Army, I’m sure, must be cognizant of these factors, both external and the obvious internal ones.

What Gen. Bajwa and Co have to decide is whether they will support the external selfish self-interests of countries supporting Nawaz, or align to our internal self-centered national interests.

National interests in which there is no space for Nawaz or people like him in our Governance.

The Dawn Leaks episode must be seen in this context and it seems for now, Gen. Bajwa may be toeing the line of the external forces, especially USA and Saudi Arabia, in maintaining the status quo, and given his, hence reports of now publicly lauding Gen. Raheel’s role about which he had a different view, earlier. The hurried visit of the Iranian foreign minister is also to be seen in this context.

Clearly discernible from the “chatter” is an emerging picture that Nawaz may have somehow convinced Gen. Bajwa, that all this noise on Social media about Dawn Leaks and PanamaGate on social and electronic media is a figment of hyperventilating people and hence perhaps has bought himself some more time by negotiating a “deal” with the Army Chief. He’s taken advantage of Gen. Bajwa’s overzealous and in my opinion, misplaced, view of supporting the civil administration.

Misplaced not because it’s the wrong thing, but because Nawaz’s position as a legitimate PM has become extremely controversial given the PanamaGate Judgement.

Hence any support to handle Nawaz with “kids gloves,” which in local parlance is called “Noora Kushthee” between Nawaz and Gen. Bajwa becomes seriously questionable!

We must remember that for people like Nawaz waving the ethics or moral card is irrelevant.  His only objective is to survive. Ethics, morality, self-respect be damned. Truly. So, he will say and do anything to convince the General.

There’s news that in his recent address to the garrison in Hyderabad the Chief, amongst a host of other things, explained that Jindal’s visit to meet Nawaz was part of a “back door diplomacy” with India.

If true, this explanation by him to his constituency is very insightful. The key question is, why has the General taken it upon himself to offer this rationale about a very dubious, very secretive and extremely suspicious visit, when the entire governance infrastructure is quiet.

Not a peep from the “Sher khaay ga Kaboothar” PM, nor the effervescent Interior Minister, nor the Minister of Information Maryam with rapidly improving make up, nor the “koi haya honi Chahay” Khawaja Asif and most importantly the impotently, rudder less and clueless step son, our poor Foreign office.

Why should the Army Chief explain an Indian’s highly controversial visit to meet an under-siege PM, when all others are quiet?

How Gen. Bajwa can buy into this hogwash, if he has or does, beats me, given his intellect?

I honestly believe Gen. Bajwa is being lead a merry dance like his predecessor was, by Nawaz, a past master at these Machiavellian strategies and tactics.

I’m not implying that some elements in the Army rank and file, may do something stupid and foolhardy, but Gen. Bajwa must not forget that the anger and polarization we see in our society is similarly manifested in the Army.

The differences in the mood of younger officers and rank and file and the highly privileged 2 and 3 stars is very high.

There’s a high wall between these two groups in the Army, built on the power, privileges, plots, enjoyed by senior officers during service and on retirement.

He must tread carefully, lest events overtake him.

 

Syed Haider Raza Mehdi
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Syed Haider Raza Mehdi

Advisor & Senior Analyst at CommandEleven
Haider Mehdi is the current Convener of The Strategy Study Group, founded by the late Col. S.G.Mehdi M.C, former Group Commander of Pakistan Army's Special Services Group (SSG). Haider, is a former Pakistan Army officer, corporate leader, management consultant, business trainer and serial entrepreneur. Currently based in North America, with deep interest in South Asian, Middle Eastern and Regional geopolitics.
Syed Haider Raza Mehdi
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