STRAIGHT TALK by Hafeez Khan

There is utter chaos and confusion. I would love to be enlightened by anyone who can make sense of what is going on. Pakistan, a nation of nearly 240 million people,has great relevance as the 2nd largest Muslim country. The only Islamic country with nuclear capability is strategically located at the crossroads of power centers seeking to dominate the world. It has unexploited mineral wealth worth trillions. Majority of its population is young. Pakistanhas one of the strongest armies in the world. It was on the forefront of clash of titans, the defunct USSR and USA and its Western allies. It was a frontline State in the longest war of attrition between Afghans and rest of the world.

What has happened to this key State in the last two years? I was listening to IK’s historic speech in UN as the PM. He shone the light on Islamophobia, the plight of Kashmiris, the suppression of Palestinians, the creeping dangers of climate change and above all the right of every nation to live with self- respect. One of the last events of PTI government before being removed from office was hosting OIC Summit. It was attended by Muslim leaders and observers from Global powers.

How badly have we fallen from that pedestal within two years. Our leaders are tongue-tied on the brutalities of Israel on hapless Palestinians. Not a word has been said when Indians claimed they had eliminated their enemies on Pakistani territory. Foreign travel by leaders has become synonymous with a begging bowl. We have a last row seat on every world forum. We have lost trust of our oldest and most trusted ally, China. Our relations with Afghanistan have soured. Our indifference to Iran’s challenges will further cool off relation. Indian attitude is degrading; while our foreign minister seeks trade with them, the Indians insist on calling us a “nursery of terrorism.”

Then we are on the verge of an economic debacle. Our reserves have plummeted,  exports are in sharp decline, and the remittances are dwindling. There are no opportunities for restive youth. The rulers have no plan or clear direction. All the efforts are focused on seeking more loans to increase the debt mountain; whereas the answer is more investments. Foreign investors are shying away,those who invested are getting ready to pull out; like the automotive industry. The local investors are moving their capital out. No one wants to stay onboard a sinking ship.

The common Pakistanis are sinking below the poverty line at a pace never seen before. Survival is turning into a huge challenge as inflation soars. Government has failed to increase their direct tax base. Indirect taxes are literally killing the poor and the middle classes. Utilities, fuel and staple diet items prices are no longer affordable; a hungry nation makes an angry nation.  

Hunger and depravation have become a way of life. It is coupled with the denial of justice, suppression of basic rights, and brutal intrusion of police and intelligenceagencies. It is further stoking this anger. An illegal regime has been foisted through force denying the verdict given by voters on 8th February. These usurpers have no legs to stand on. Masses hate this corrupt coterie of politicians who were resoundingly rejected on election day. Yet they have been brought into power to serve as puppets of the real rulers. Such blatant falsehood will fall apart at any triggering event.

The architect in chief of this entire charade is also the commander in chief. It appears he along with his close Generals have truly lost their bearings. They are so blinded by their need to assert that they have taken leave of any common sense. Their support base is extremely narrow. A compliant Chief Justice driven by his need for revenge, subservient sellouts amongst the bureaucrats, ISI spying on its people and an ECP devoid of all morality. Prolonging this regime is a humungous task especially when cracks are emerging from within the power structure.

The letter from 6 honorable Justices cannot be brushed under the carpet. It will continue to reverberate and haunt the ruling junta. The unceremonious departure of Corp Commander Mangla is being attributed to his dissention from the collision course adopted by his high command. Inquiry of General Faiz by a serving General is yet another move to satisfy Nawaz Sharif’s revenge binge. A tottering regime based on vengeance is indicative of the blinkered approach that shall be disastrous for the country.

Who is the focal person of this revengeful crusade? It is IK who removed General Asim as head of ISI, Chief Justice Qazi whose properties in London were exposed and Nawaz Sharif’s Avonfield apartments bought from commissions of Motorway. IK and thousands of PTI’s workers have been jailed on fake charges. Majority based on the false flag operation of May 9th. IK’s convictions in Tosha Khana, Iddat and cypher case are falling apart under the scrutiny of Higher Courts. How long can they prolong these falsehoods?

What is the breakout of contenders? A few Generals in control, corrupt political leadership, soulless judges and ECP along with some subservient bureaucrats on one side. On the other side you have teeming millions of Pakistanis unwilling to submit, joint opposition ready to roar and the “satanic” social media backed by Overseas Pakistanis. The battle Royale is not far. Universal wisdom dictates that the will of the people shall prevail.                  

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