STRAIGHT TALK by Hafeez Khan

It’s in the air, Lahore does it to you. It does not matter wherever you are from, after how long you return to Lahore, the moment you land, you go care free. Your system stops taking stress, you join the Lahoris in their merry ways. Whatever will happen shall happen, why bother? The devil may care mode sets in. It is infectious but I love it. No wonder Lahore is at par with London, Paris and New York as a desirable destination.

I was raveling in this feel good mode, when the peace around me was jarred by the announcement of judgment of former President Pervez Musharraf. What a travesty of justice. This came within days of ravaging of a hospital. Prior to that had been the uproar about extension of the Army Chief, and Maulana’s attempted occupation of Islamabad.

I am not a believer of conspiracy theories but the sequence of events is extremely disturbing and very alarming for thinking minds. All the events listed above are not natural calamities beyond human control. These are well coordinated and orchestrated attempts to derail governance, create severe disruptions and divide the nation. Look at the timing. It came when the entire nation was united to stand behind our Kashmiri brethren and more importantly when Pakistan was on course to becoming a regional power with the development of CEPC project.

I have been following the media reporting and the analysts pushing narratives according to their own affiliations. They pick the latest event and harp on it till people start switching channels from this overdose. But another channel means more of the same, just in a different packing. I see a dearth of in depth analysis trying to make sense of it all searching to go beyond what is on the surface. Some forces through their local actors and puppets are out to destroy the recovery mode of this nation and divide it beyond repair.

Who are these forces and their actors/puppets playing out this poisonous game? The divisions and hatred run deep. Let us start with the contents of latest detailed judgment released yesterday in Pervez Musharraf’s case. The venom of the convicting Justice Seth is clearly visible. Para 66 of the judgment pronounces a sentence that is unheard of in a court of law and outside the bounds set under the Constitution.

This conviction will make us the laughing stock in the civilized world. But then there is a serious resemblance of the justice meted out by the Talibans. Rewind to what happened in the heydays of terrorism and the treatment meted out by these uncouth barbarians in Waziristan. The days of Taliban rule in neighboring Afghanistan, where public hanging and humiliation was the norm.

I believe we have been deeply infiltrated by proxies whose command and control is beyond our borders. We saw an upsurge of positive developments after Prime Minister Imran Khan took power. Accountability was in full swing. The mighty were not only challenged they were dislodged. Nawaz Sharif and heir apparent were convicted. The noose around the second powerhouse Zardari was tightening. Despite the hardship of high inflation the overall direction of the economy was improving. Opening of Kartarpur corridor was a feel good moment on both side of the border.

However in the last few months all the positivity is being unraveled. Nawaz Sharif was able to muscle his way out of jail using false information with judicial support. He was able to leave the country under an unseen pressure that all pillars of power could not withstand. It led to finger pointing that could cause cracks between the smooth working amongst the institution.

This coincided with a purposeless assault on Islamabad by the biggest mercenary in Pakistan Maulana Fazal. It weakened the writ of the Government which is a fragile coalition. Who was pulling this puppet’s strings? The biggest beneficiary was Nawaz Sharif.

This was followed by now the famous suo moto of General Bajwa’s extension. Amongst all the problems that our poor nation is suffering from, for some mysterious reason clerical errors jumped to the front of the queue. This could have led to some serious damage to harmony amongst the institutions. Who is providing the orchestra and background music?

The lawyers rampage facts that have emerged clearly pointing the finger at Sharifs.

However the climax of all these events is Musharraf’s conviction in great haste. It was a revenge that Sharifs had sworn to. The general was given capital punishment for treason determined under a law that was passed nearly five years after the alleged crime. Who stands vindicated by this judgment? The holy Sharifs. The general is a traitor. The crime is suspension of Constitution and confining the judges.

If this is treasonous? What about those traitors who have pillaged and stolen this nation nearly blind? They have destroyed the systems of governance causing irreparable damage to our society making it corrupt to the core. They go scot free. We know Sharifs are all powerful, but being out of power who is providing them this clout?

That is why one is forced to consider that forces beyond our border are at play. But who wants a return to the days of Sharif? Is it India because he was a protege of Modi? Does China have a greater level of comfort with them then the present regime? Is it the Americans who need a subservient regime willing to defame the army? Are the Afghans, fringe actors contributing? I believe their previous hosts, the Saudis have had enough of them. However it is our need to keep the doors locked and clean our stables. The puppets need to be exposed to determine the puppeteers. ISPR’s statement last night was reassuring. Let us find the real traitors!

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