Friday, November 8, 2019

Bollywood Movie #Panipat - ‘Panipat’ Faces Backlash From The Afghan People – OpEd


Bollywood Filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker enters the ground with another epic movie, of which the teaser was just released a couple of days ago which takes the audience back to the 1700s. Some think the movie will be a huge success in the box office and be a blockbuster, yet others are not too impressed with the film’s lead actor Arjun Kapoor as the Maratha warrior Sadashiv Rao Bhau because of the unfair matching of his image to the role. The trailer has grand sets, a lot of sword-wielding and a blood bath. “We hope that the audience likes the trailer. We have tried to live up to the expectations,” said Ashutosh.

The release of the teaser prompted the people of Afghanistan, many people went on to social media and expressed harsh reactions towards the content of the movie, calling it an alleged picture of the great Afghan emperor Ahmad Shah Abdali. Although the lead actor Sanjay Dutt expressed in an interview that if the movie were an insult for Ahmad Shah Abdali he would not play the role, yet many of the Afghans are still concerned claiming that the movie highlights a negative image of Ahmad Shah Abdali and an insult for the Afghan history.

Former Afghan ambassador to India Shaida Abdali has tweeted: “The Indian cinema has historically played a key role in strengthening India-Afghanistan relations. I hope that our shared values and history have been taken into consideration.” Indian journalist Awik Sign also tweeted: “People of Afghanistan have huge respect to Abdali, but people in India hate him. I don’t think history has been displayed properly. India and Afghanistan have strong relations but these kinds of movies only earn money, serving no other purpose.”

Acting Afghan Ambassador to India Tahir Qadiri told Pajhwok News Agency that the movie was yet to be released and its content was yet to be determined. he added “We are in contact with Indian officials and have shared them the Afghans’ concerns. Ajmal Alamzai, cultural attaché at the Afghan embassy (New Delhi), said he knew about the movie two years ago and has already launched an investigation in this regard. “We have emailed the film director to share the scenario with us but no response from their side yet. We have tried several times to contact the director, but failed.” He further added that the film officials had told them that sharing the movie content was against their policy because it would diminish the value of the film in the market.

The movie showcases the Third Battle of Panipat between the Maratha Empire and the Afghan King Abdali Baba that happened on January 14, 1761. Abdali won the battle after killing more than 50,000 Indian soldiers. The director of the movie is veteran Indian film director Ashutosh Gowarikerm, who has also previously directed some controversial movies such as Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar.
Afghan critics of the film think that:
that the movie is only for business purpose and not for any political or any other purpose, on the other hand the content postured in the movie has sparked concerns among ordinary Afghans, with many in social media expressing their fear saying that making such controversial movies could possibly harm the relations between India and Afghanistan. 

Former Pakistani Attorney General Sardar Latif Khosa says Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has a bright future

Rattan Mall

‘Youth frustrated by Imran Khan’s unfulfilled promises will vote for Bilawal’
FORMER Attorney General for Pakistan Sardar Latif Khosa told The VOICE this week that even youth who were mesmerized by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan are now frustrated because of the meltdown of the economy and the policies he has pursued. Khan had made “lofty promises” during the election campaign, but not one of them had been fulfilled.
Khosa, who was on a visit to B.C. this week pointed out that Khan as part of his election manifesto had promised 10 million jobs and 5 million houses. Instead the country was facing a recession and a trade deficit.
Now those very youth whom Khan had inspired to come out and vote for him in the last election were going to vote for Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who at the age of 31 is Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party. Khosa called Bilawal “a young, talented and dynamic leader.”
Bilawal is the grandson of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the son of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. His father, Asif Ali Zardari, was President of Pakistan and co-chairperson of Pakistan People’s Party.
Khosa said: “I think he’s shaping up very well and he is very vibrant. He’s outspoken as well. He faces the international fora very eloquently. He has the command over languages; he has the vision and passion for politics just like his grandfather and the strength of character and perseverance of his mother. He is also courageous and conciliatory like his father. And I am sure he is going to shape up and People’s Party has a definite future. He has a very brilliant and very bright future ahead of him. He’s certainly the only young leader of the country because Imran Khan who claims to be 67 years, you can’t call him a young person!”
Khosa was pointing out a very interesting feature of Pakistan’s population. A 2018 report states “64 percent of the nation is younger than 30 and 29 percent of Pakistanis are between 15 and 29 (an age group which we define as the youth). Pakistan now has more young people than it has ever had, and this is forecasted to continue to increase until at least 2050.”
The Pakistan People’s Party is the governing party of the province of Sindh. Sindh has Pakistan’s second largest economy, while its provincial capital Karachi is Pakistan’s largest city and financial hub.
Khosa was on a three-day visit to attend the award ceremony of his son Dr. Faisal Khosa who is an Associate Professor of Radiology at University of British Columbia and is the winner of numerous national and international awards. The senior Khosa, who is a lawyer as well, was secretary of the Pakistan People’s Party for four years but decided not to run for election this time because of his professional commitments. However, he is still a member of the central executive committee of the party and also heads its lawyers’ forum. He is also the lawyer for Asif Ali Zardari and also represented Benazir Bhutto in her judicial matters. He was President of the High Court Bar Association three times and has been chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council. Khosa was also governor of Punjab – the largest province of Pakistan. His Khosa Law Chambers is the oldest law firm in the country and has branches all over the country.
THE VOICE asked Khosa about the massive protest that Imran Khan has been facing in recent days. Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) has been leading the “Azadi March” in Pakistan, which entered the seventh day on Wednesday, to pressure Imran Khan to resign.
Khosa said that nine Opposition parties “have united to voice their grievance because there were reservations over the electoral process that was held in which Imran Khan emerged as the victor and the Opposition had their reservations that it was not a free and fair reflection of the people’s choice.”
Nevertheless, the opposition gave the government about 15 months to deliver results, but it has consistently failed to do so. Khosa noted the irony of the current march as Imran Khan had pioneered and championed this tactic of agitation in 2014. Now Khan’s own invention has come back to haunt him.
Khosa said that the Pakistan People’s Party wants a change to take place through constitutional methods whether it’s a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister or the government or even mid-term elections. He added that PPP remains opposed to any extraconstitutional steps for the removal of the Prime Minister.
He said the government had been “obstinately rebuffing all the demands that were being raised.” and Parliament had been “made into a rubber stamp,” because no decisions are being taken in it. The Parliamentary forums “are also being made redundant and the Opposition doesn’t have any other choice but to go on the streets.”
But he added: “I see no danger to democracy. I see no violation of the constitutional rule in the country and we stand firmly behind the Constitution. So, if Imran Khan is replaced or [not], it doesn’t matter because the state should be strong. The state institutions should be strong. Individuals come and go, so it doesn’t really matter.”
He said the opposition would like free and fair elections and that “the new Parliament that comes into power should be the voice of the people of Pakistan.”
He said that there would definitely be difficulties because the GDP growth had gone down from 5.8 per cent to 2.8 per cent. Prices were skyrocketing. “This year more than millions have been rendered jobless. … So I think there are horrendous challenges that the state of Pakistan will have to [tackle],” Khosa added.
However, he also stressed: “Certainly the opposition doesn’t want chaos, the opposition doesn’t want any clash, the opposition believes that the institutions should be impartial, neutral, independent, respected and strong. Maybe it does take some time. I am not foreseeing that the government is readily going to surrender. But sense should prevail on both the sides because from the opposition side we are always prepared to talk to the government.”
He advised the government not to “continue ridiculing the opposition and all their leaders” and added: “But from our side, we are in no hurry and we want the constitutional dispensation to prevail.”
ASKED if he anticipated any military intervention as had taken in the past, Khosa very confidently replied: “I do not see any reason [for it] this time because the Supreme Court had very emphatically taken a stand that no military intervention will be tolerated and you’ve seen already with General [Pervez] Musharraf facing a high treason case. We will always stand with our uniformed services, especially in the current scenario when there are many security challenges at the border.”
Khosa added: “Pakistan already has problems on the eastern side with India and Kashmir – India, unfortunately, annexed Kashmir by removing Article 370 from their Constitution. This was in total violation of international covenants and commitments made way back in the year 1948. India was committed to a plebiscite and unfortunately India has never held one – absolute obduracy on that. And the curfew imposed in Kashmir for the last 90 days – enslaved the people of Kashmir, not giving them the rights.”
Khosa felt that with Pakistan facing challenges on both its eastern and western sides, the army would remain neutral on the political front, especially with the judiciary “very firmly backing the constitutional dispensation and with General Pervez Musharraf’s fate still hanging [in the balance] and [he] being declared an absconder, a fugitive from law and justice, no one would like to have the same fate.” He added: “The army is very patriotic and committed and they are a professional force and Pakistani nation feels proud of their army. I don’t see the army interfering.”
REGARDING peace between India and Pakistan, Khosa recalled what he told a visiting delegation of lawyers from India when he was governor of Punjab many years ago: “I said we have thrown 1.5 billion people in the abysmal dismay of poverty over the tensions created between India and Pakistan. These borders have been created by human beings and not God and this bickering should end. Why can’t we really follow the rule of law?”
He added: “The rule of law necessarily demands that the United Nations resolution [on holding a plebiscite in Kashmir] should be acted upon and it would end the entire hatred and the bickering and all that we are spending on the mad race for armaments.”
With that money, both countries could be transformed into developed countries.
“These hate speeches must end. There should be interaction between the people of both countries. We believe in peace and amity and resolution of disputes through mutual dialogue and through discussions. So why can’t we sit and talk and resolve all these issues? There is a lot of goodwill between people of both the sides. Nobody wants this tension to escalate,” he asserted.
He wanted more exchanges of intellectuals, journalists, lawyers, Parliamentarians and showbiz people. He hoped that people from both countries would bring about peace and amity in this region because this was vital to their well-being.
“We don’t want our future generations again to go into the hate and be again inflicted by wars,” he said.

Pakistan Heading Towards A Second Bhutto Moment Courtesy Of Army – OpEd

By Dr Subhash Kapila
Pakistan Army is notorious in exterminating duly elected Pakistani Prime Ministers who politically dare to assert civilian supremacy over Pakistan Army Generals. PM Bhutto was executed in 1979 after being deposed in a military coup by General Zia. PM Nawaz Sharif was deposed in a “Judicial Coup” by Army in 2017and left to rot in Pakistani jails denied expert medical treatment.
Late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was President of Pakistan from 1971-1973 and Prime Minister from 1973-1977 when he was deposed in a military coup. Thereafter, on trumped up charges he was imprisoned and executed in 1979, in a retrial after being acquitted the first time.
Ailing Nawaz Sharif a three time Prime Minister of Pakistan was deposed by the Pakistan Army Generals through ISI sponsored weeks long sieges of Islamabad colluded by Imran Khan to emerge as Prime Minister. Pakistan Army considered Imran Khan would be a compliant PM not questioning Pakistan Army by “being on the same page” with them.
The final nail was getting then PM Nawaz Sharifs’ “Political Disqualification” for life by Pakistan’s judiciary forcing him to demit as PM three months short of competing his five year term. Pakistan Army Generals had assessed that in the ensuing General Elections PM Nawaz Sharif would be back as Prime Minister and he would be more emboldened to establish civilian supremacy over Pakistan Army.This time Pakistan Army did not dare a direct military coup but with collusion of then Pakistan Supreme Court Justice got him “Disqualified” on corruption charges which had yet to be proved legally in Court, three months before he could complete his full term. In my Paper at that time I was the first to term this as a “Judicial Coup”.Thereafter Former PM Nawaz Sharif stood lodged in jails and denied both bail as well as expert medical treatment. It is only lately when doctors raised alarms on his rapidly declining platelet counts and kidney disease that he was given limited bail for medical treatment, Pakistan Army did not want that the end of Nawaz Sharif takes place in jail as such a martyrdom would endow him with the halo of a “Shaheed of Punjab” felled by Pakistan Army.
Pakistan Army could get away from the contrived execution of late PM Bhutto because he hailed from Sindh and was a Shia.. This did not raise the hackles in Punjab’s Heartland Punjab Province. But ailing Former PM Nawaz Sharif hails from Punjab and his Party had ruled Punjab for years with wide political support. Can the Pakistan Army weather the political storm and disturbances likely to follow in the wake of what can be termed as a ‘slow death’ perpetrated by Pakistan Army and the colluding PM Imran Khan though from Lahore but a Pathan by descent.
Why were the Pakistan Army Generals afraid of former PM Bhutto forty years back and lately PM Nawaz Sharif? Why did the Pakistan Army need “Judicial Collusion” of Pakistan’s Supreme Court in the execution of Bhutto and the ‘slow death’ of Nawaz Sharif? Which factors embolden Pakistan Army Generals to attempt extermination of strong Prime Ministers? Why Pakistani mainstream political leaders cannot unite to put an end to Pakistan Army Generals stranglehold over Pakistan’s political dynamics?
Pakistan Army Generals were afraid of Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif because after long years in elected political office at the political helm of Pakistan they both felt politically empowered to attempt establishing civilian supremacy of the politically errant Pakistan Army Generals. Pakistan Army Generals considered this as an existential threat to their hold on Pakistan’s political governance and foreign affairs.
Pakistan Army Generals, even those with democratic instincts, were loath to return to military barracks and view civilian supremacy as a threat to their over-riding claims on outlandish oversized Defence Budgets and their vested corporate interests in the Fauji Foundation industrial empire. In short Pakistan Army Generals combine at any moment of time is hungry for political power having tasted it for decades.Furthermore, since both Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif were initially ‘political creations’ of Pakistan Army Generals they considered it as an affront that the very hand hat fed them was now ungratefully ready to bite that hand.Ironically, by the same token, Prime Ministers Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif were deposed by Pakistan Army Chiefs handpicked and selected by these two Prime Ministers bypassing Generals senior to them—General Zia ul Haq in case of Bhutto and General Qamar Bajwa in case of Nawaz Sharif. In case of PM Nawaz Sharif the Pakistan Army Chief did not resort to direct military coup but under corporate pressure of Pakistan Collegium of Corps Commanders contrived a ‘Judicial Coup” abetted by then Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court.
Pakistan Army over the last seven decades having lost all wars of aggression to India and contributed to the fragmentation of the 1947 Pakistan by genocide in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, has manged to project itself as the ‘Saviours of Pakistan & Defenders of Islamic Faith of Pakistan”. This has been achieved by Pakistan Army by a mixture of public deceit in suppressing reports like the Hamidur ur Rahman Commission condemning Pakistan Army for the breakup of Pakistan by its genocidal actions and misleading propaganda to the gullible Pakistani masses.
Pakistan Army also stands emboldened to liquidate Prime Ministers considered inconvenient to Pakistan Army or threatening its stranglehold over Pakistan’s governance mainly because it well knew that the external Powers that matter to Pakistan Army—United States earlier and China now—would not intervene to stop Pakistan Army Generals from heinous acts of exterminating their Prime Ministers. The United States and China have to historically share this blame of thwarting Pakistan’s democracy.
The last question is the most significant and that is as to why Pakistan’s mainstream political leaders have failed for seven decades to discipline the Pakistan Army Generals and establish civilian supremacy over the Army Generals. Multiple reasons can be ascribed for this failure. To begin with Pakistan Army Generals followed the British colonial practice of ‘Divide & Rule’ of the Pakistani polity. This has been achieved by a mixture of political inducements, political threats, blackmail and intimidation.
The above process could have been averted if Pakistan’s Supreme Court had the spine to uphold Constitutional provisions and democratic norms. Sadly for Pakistan, it's Supreme Court at various stages critical for Pakistan political dynamics entered into collusive suppression of democracy with Pakistan Army Generals either out of fear or own volition to further personal ends.
Pakistan today seems to be heading towards a ‘Second Bhutto Moment” where Former thrice elected PM Nawaz Sharif has virtually been on ‘death row’ and placed in a ‘slow death’ mode by denial of necessary expert medical facilities and advanced medical treatment abroad to save his life. The last minute temporary reprieve given by the Pakistan Army Generals through their selectee PM Imran Khan of temporary bail was to pre-empt Nawaz Sharif’s death in jail.
Concluding, it needs to be emphasised that Former PM Nawaz would be more dangerous dead than alive for Pakistan Army Generals as his ‘slow death’ by denial of medical treatment would make Nawaz Sharif a “Shaheed (Martyr)of Pakistan’s Heartland-Punjab” with unpredictable consequences. Turbulence so generated will not only hit Pakistan but more tellingly on China which today holds Pakistan in a colonial grip- courtesy Pakistan Army.

What Can We Learn from the US State Department’s Terrorism Report on Pakistan?

By Umair Jamal 

 Pakistan took some serious criticism irrespective of the country’s efforts.
The United States Department of State recently published its annual Country Report on Terrorism. The report, which criticized Pakistan for failing to uniformly implement the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations and not taking action against regionally-focused terrorist groups, is important for several reasons.
What is encouraging for Pakistan is that the 2018 report doesn’t carry the punitive language which was prevalent in the 2017 report. For instance, the 2017 annual report notes that “Pakistan did not take sufficient action against other externally focused groups such as Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which continued to operate, train, organize, and fundraise in Pakistan.” In the 2018 report, however, Pakistan’s action against the JeM and LeT is described in terms of the groups still retaining their “capability and intent to target Indian and Afghan targets.” Still, the report considers Pakistan’s actions to contain regionally focused groups ineffective.
Islamabad, for its part, claims that the country has taken credible action against India-focused militant groups. During the last six months, Pakistan’s prime minister has not only condemned individuals and groups trying to endorse the use of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, but has also termed it a threat to regional peace and Pakistan’s efforts to highlight the issue internationally.
However, beyond rhetoric, there appears no convincing evidence that could suggest that Pakistan has choked India-focused groups’ operational capability or capacity to act in the future. Arguably, the focus on Pakistan’s part appears to be aimed at placing the group away from the media’s glare and signifying small steps against these groups’ activities as part of the state’s broad plan to defang the organizations.
Moreover, the report’s content largely focuses on reminding Pakistan that a further expansion of the country’s counterterrorism actions can serve Islamabad’s interests effectively. The noted “uneven implementation” of Pakistan’s National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism is considered flawed as it remains selective when it comes to acting against all forms of terrorist groups.
While the report may not have an impact on Pakistan’s bilateral relationship with the United States, the findings can be noticed by other institutions such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), where Pakistan’s fate hangs in the balance. Pakistan has another four months to implement major reforms required by the FATF to not only tighten its policy against terror financing but also to show that the country has taken verifiable actions to undermine groups such as JeM and LeT.
The report’s content concerning Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan’s instability largely focuses on the support that the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network enjoy from Islamabad. Interestingly, the report calls the Afghan Taliban a terrorist group that has “safe havens” in Pakistan and still targets U.S. interests. This, to an extent, confirms that for the United States, the issue of Afghanistan remains central in its relationship with Pakistan. Additionally, this also confirms that Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s personal rapport, which he developed with President Trump recently, won’t help Islamabad in evading criticism from various other state institutions in the United States.
While Imran Khan and the country’s national security establishment need to work on developing ties that can diffuse international pressures on the country, Islamabad needs to ensure that such acts are followed by comprehensive progress on the ground. Even one of Pakistan’s closest allies, China, which holds the FATF’s president warned the country of serious implications if steps are not taken to control terror financing in the country. “Pak needs to do more and faster. Pakistan’s failure to fulfill FATF global standards is an issue we take very seriously. If by February 2020, Pakistan doesn’t make significant progress, it will be put on the group’s ‘Black List,’” said Xiangmin Liu who recently become the head of the FATF.
On the whole, Pakistan took some serious criticism irrespective of the country’s efforts to manage militancy domestically. However, such reports are annual and Pakistan still has the chance to truly implement its plans that Islamabad has long talked about.

Asif Ghafoor's audacious public dismissal of Imran Khan's waivers to Kartarpur pilgrims demolishes idea that army, govt are on 'same page'

Tara Kartha
Instead of informing the government and requesting a change in procedure, for whatever complicated reason it had in mind, the Pakistan Army simply announced that pilgrims would indeed need a passport.
Consider that when Imran Khan chose to make his first official visit to the US in a commercial aircraft, his army chief and his entourage came in their own aircraft.
When Islamabad chose to promptly release the captured Wing Commander Abhinandan, was that an Imran initiative accepted by the army or the other way around?
Pakistan can always be relied upon to provide political theatre, usually in the form of satire. There are after all few countries in the world where a prime minister makes a statement that is then immediately shot down publicly by a mere Major General. That’s however what happened recently, when Imran Khan in a burst of camaraderie directed at the Sikh community, declared that no passport would be required for the entry of pilgrims to the revered Darbar Sahib, a mere four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur. The Pakistani Army didn’t agree.
Instead of informing the government and requesting a change in procedure, for whatever complicated reason it had in mind, it simply announced that pilgrims would indeed need a passport; and in parenthesis, the Prime Minister’s Office could go and chase itself around a tree.
Unpalatable but true. All this despite the fact that an agreement had been inked between India and Pakistan, and that all hitches, glitches and such like had been removed well before. In negotiations, India had observed that levying a fee of $20 was inappropriate given the ‘religious and spiritual’ sentiments of the pilgrims. But given that several thousand pilgrims are expected to visit the shrine, Islamabad was hardly likely to give up a nice and easy source of hard cash, that too in dollars. After all, that balance of payment crisis is not going to go away by itself.
In fact, the agreement itself finally did specify the passport as a valid document of identification, but that no visa would be required. In other words, a valid concern of Sikhs who are prone to travel far and wide on business and pleasure was addressed since no Pakistani visa would be evident on their passports. A Pakistani visa stamp is guaranteed to prevent entry into almost any country. Yes, that is the state of Pakistan.
Then came Imran Khan’s generous offer, waiving even the passport requirement and a 10-day prior notification. That when the Major General Asif Ghafoor, DG ISPR stepped in. In an interview on Pakistan Today, he was specific in observing that first, it’s a one-way corridor. No, Sikhs in Pakistan can forget about using this to come into India. Second, the entry would be legal, with due passport verification and all other official actions ensuring Pakistan ‘sovereignty’. Then came a rider with a sting. The DG ‘advised’ that this issue should not be politicised. That was directed at his own leadership, not at India who was merely wondering what the new protocol was now going to be. That was an insult to the prime minister, and no amount of talk of the two sides being like conjoined twins is going to erase that.
It’s not that Pakistan army generals have exactly kowtowed to the elected representatives at any time. For instance, the then president Asif Ali Zardari probably got a facer when he suggested that the ISI chief visit India immediately after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. That would have been a wise move, but the ISI chief never came, nor even a deputy. But the point is that any twisting of arms of the civilian leadership was done in private. Today that veneer has disappeared. Consider that when Khan chose to make his first official visit to the US in a commercial aircraft, his army chief and his entourage came in their own aircraft.
At the meeting at the Oval Office, a Pakistani source quoted a US official as saying that the most powerful president in the world shook hands with the most powerful general in the world. At the meeting itself, there was no attempt to hide who was running the show in Pakistan. Inside Pakistan, the curtain on the civil-military relations has been raised with the army chief made part of the National Development Council. Later he also chose to confer with a group of Pakistan’s top businessmen shortly before they were to meet the prime minister. The veneer of a ‘civilian government’ has also gone. Same page? It would be difficult to find Imran anywhere in the rule book.
None of this is any surprise to Delhi who had quietly accepted the ‘selected’ prime minister's narrative. But it raises some interesting questions. When Islamabad chose to promptly release the captured Wing Commander Abhinandan, was that an Imran initiative accepted by the army or the other way around? When he seemed to most reasonably advise restraint after the Pulwama terrorist strike, was it his own script or that of a cautious army? When Khan then went to the other extreme in taking the unprecedented and disgusting step of abusing the Indian government in print and at the United Nations, was the script written by the army or the work of the foreign ministry? In short — and this is important — does the military want a Khan frothing at the mouth or one that is offering a mending of fences. From the recent ‘corrective statement’ by the DG ISPR on the Kartarpur corridor, they would rather have that table-thumping Khan as prime minister. A second issue is also clear. Any mending of fences with India will be at a pace decided by the army, not by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Oddly enough, the façade of a prime minister and army being on the ‘same page’ was blown apart by an unlikely political actor. Mufti Kifayatullah of the religious party now agitating for the removal of Khan rather sarcastically berated Major General Ghafoor on a television channel. The impassive DGISPR, apparently responding to theories of army backing of the protest, denied the army has nothing whatsoever to do with it, and rather egregiously stating that the army did not side with any political party. To which the Mufti retorted that in that case, the army should have corrected Khan when he was assuring one and all that he was on exactly and totally on the ‘same page’ as the army. He then advised the Major General to remove himself from his post.
While the officer is unlikely to follow his sage advice, there’s no doubt that the ‘same page’ story has fallen apart at its seams. That page if it ever existed, is now part of the familiar archival history of Pakistan. A leader comes in, wants to change everything, and then is changed himself. That’s the only page that exists. Too bad, they didn’t copy that to Khan from day one.