STRAIGHT TALK by Hafeez Khan

Hina Rabbani Khar, in her 2nd term in Foreign Ministry, came up with a novel explanation about the intervention memo. As reported, she stated it was Donald Lu’s personal opinion! Those of us who have an understanding of the workings of institutions like State Department find this explanation ridiculous. A responsible official like the Assistant Secretary of State for this region does not call meetings with Ambassadors without a purpose and preparations.

Just because Mr. Lu got off on the wrong side of the bed, or he got into an argument at home should not trigger an urge to call the Ambassador of a nuclear state and give him a dressing down. Policy decisions seeking a regime change go through a thorough review at multiple levels. There is a stringent whetting process. Conclusions are reached, issues are framed, a rollout strategy prepared after discussions with the stakeholders. Before delivering the knockout punch it is checked and re-checked whether all the ducks are in a row.

Whether you call it planning or a conspiracy is semantics. They amount to the same thing. The implementation of this plan was in many parts. First an agreement was made with the opposition parties to adopt the path of a vote of no confidence. It was set in motion at the time of USA’s exodus from Afghanistan. The blunt pronouncement by PM IK of “absolutely not” placed him in the category of “persona non grata”. Extensive contact and deliberations were held to win over the disgruntled members of PTI. Once financial transactions were finalized with these turncoats, the next step was to wean away the coalition partners.

Once the deal making was complete, the next step was to table the no confidence motion. Mr. Lu knew about it on 7th March even before it was officially filed on 8th March! The minutes of the meeting were communicated by at least three channels. It was a definitive position taken by the State Department to ensure the removal of the PM IK. There were no grey areas or ambiguity in this message. IK has raised a very interesting question. Who was this message intended for? Since IK was the target, he could not possibly be the recipient. It did panic parts of the establishment and judiciary enough to chaperone this sham vote of no confidence to its logical conclusion.

“Regime change” is 21st Century name given to US State Department’s long history of toppling governments for over 7 decades. A review of de-classified records clearly shows their role of removing Prime Minister Musadiq of Iran or President Allende of Chile. Their footprints are all over South America, Africa and Asia. In all their physical interventions including Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, USA left with a bloody nose. Those efforts were dictated by the Pentagon. They have learnt their lesson. State Department via CIA’s methodology was far more successful and cost effective. Instead of dumping trillions of dollars on “boots on the ground”, a regime change in a corrupt society was much easier.

It is interesting to compare what happened in Pakistan to the onslaught of CIA in previous efforts. It took them a few years in Iran and Chile. It was concluded in Pakistan within three months. We are so corrupt to the core that our parliamentarians and politicians fell like nine pins once the sellout price was agreed. A very close friend of mine who is an accomplished lawyer on reading my last article commented “You don’t need the Supreme Court commission! The proof of foreign intervention is already right here!” A fair comment, however the need of the commission is to expose the blatant intervention in a nation of 220 million. It was so easy to topple a duly elected regime by bribing 20 to 25 corrupt, degenerate parliamentarians with a few million dollars.

USA and all other participants in this nefarious scheme made a huge miscalculation; the reaction of the people of Pakistan. This is the age of social media. It can become a behemoth when a clean leader steps up to lead this protest. Over 120 million Pakistanis continue to fuel arguably the most popular twitter trend “imported government is not acceptable” and it continues to grow.

The writings are on the wall for all stakeholders to see. It raises some serious questions. Will USA stand behind a corrupt regime of criminal money launderers? Can they afford the ill will towards them generated by this blatant intervention? Can the Establishment afford to put down a grass roots movement seeking new elections? Will they fire on their own people? Will the Courts continue to intervene in the Parliamentary process despite clear separation of powers in the Constitution? Will they brush under the carpet the issue of foreign intervention and give findings on the defectors?

The lava is boiling. PM SS cannot step into public without being called a “chor”; (thief) whether in a Ramadan bazaar or in Medina Sharif. Prayers by Maulana Tariq Jamil were extremely moving on 27th Ramadan night organized by PTI. The same day, Bugti goons attacked Qasim Suri. It reveals PDM’s intent going forward. This rejuvenation of patriotic Pakistani sentiment requires to be channelized correctly. The puppet regime stands rejected. The democratic solution is to hold free and fair elections through an impartial administration. Nothing short of that will diffuse the eruption of this volcano. Stakeholders don’t misread the situation again. The future of Pakistan that is at stake!

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