DESPARDES NEWS ANALYSIS — Days before combined opposition’s ‘planned’ Azadi March –led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman to the capital to seek ouster of PM Khan and demand and fresh elections, the JUI-F chief reportedly had a discussion with Army Chief General Bajwa– the ‘intellectual general’ who weeks ago announced that Pakistan seeks enduring stability in the region with continuity of democracy– a tall order though many observers say– given the security dynamics post-Modi 370 in occupied Kashmir and India’s overt/covert penchant to try destabilize its western neighbor as it spins Hindutva within.
The Maulana-Bajwa meet which was revealed in a private TV channel show by its anchor on Wednesday, has been reported with details by The News.
Other things being equal and Maulana’s right to protest notwithstanding– a perfectly legitimate exercise as long as rule of law is maintanable, the Army Chief is said to have somewhat made clear to the religio-politician that national security factors outweigh the merit and intent of the exercise– a domain which has hitherto been hard to sell to players for various reasons.
That the meeting took place a few days back as the Maulana (supported by major opposition parties PML-N and PPP) formally announced he would undertake a long march to Islamabad dubbing it the ‘Azadi March’ is significant as it crosses a narrative many have been whispering that “the establishment is backing the March”.
The timing, the co-relations and the common factor behind Lebanon, Hong Kong, Spain and Chile protests are under scrutiny by several discerning observers. ‘A somewhat similar move in Pakistan even if it is unrelated, will send wrong signals and raises eyebrows,’ some independent observers said.
The gist of the meet (below) kind of rests the 5 Ws many had in mind about Maulana’s March.
THE NEWS ADDS: The army chief while assuring the Maulana that he stands by the Constitution and democracy, reminded the ground realities: Kashmir situation, Afghanistan peace talks, Iran-Saudi tension, etc.
“We have been doing what the Constitution asks for,” reportedly the army chief said. He also reminded Maulana Fazl that he is a responsible political leader and must be aware that regional situation is critical. The situation on the border with India is volatile due to Kashmir development and likewise Afghanistan’s situation is also a source of trouble. The army chief reportedly also referred to Iran-Saudi affairs and told Maulana that it was not a proper time for staging the protest since the economy has been brought on the right track after herculean efforts in the country and abroad.
According to the co-host, the Army Chief made it clear to the Maulana that they wouldn’t permit destabilization at this moment. The army chief also ruled out the possibility of minus-Imran concept by saying that he is a constitutional prime minister. “Neither me nor you could minus him.” According to the co-host, the army chief made it also clear that if the Maulana insisted to wage protest, then some more minus could take place. For the sake of stability, if some causalities take place and the Constitution provides it, such an action will be taken without hesitation.
The co-host further claimed that the Maulana made another phone call to someone else and sought the blessing for holding march only with the assurance that he wouldn’t go for sit-in and even there will be no public meeting, but he should be provided permission for holding march.
The co-host said the Maulana was harshly forbidden for doing it as well.