Destinations : Getting ready for Martial Law [updated]

The way the media campaign is being orchestrated right now against Zardari and in praise of  Army, I honestly believe ground is being set for Martial Law. To borrow a phrase from FiveRupees on the situation, Zardari is the favorite punching bag of the nation at the moment. The following links give an excellent analysis of the situation. There may be overlaps as all are discussing the same situation but each one has something to add.

From BBC

Criticism of Zardari hides a political game:

And indeed, the current anti-Zardari campaign in the media started before the floods hit the headlines.

The criticism began after British Prime Minister David Cameron made remarks in India on 28 July where he accused some in Pakistan of “looking both ways”, exporting terror to neighbouring countries.

On 31 July, Pakistan’s Geo TV reported that the chief of the ISI intelligence service, Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, had cancelled a scheduled trip to the UK because of Mr Cameron’s remarks, but Mr Zardari was continuing with his planned trip.

Pakistan’s ubiquitous TV news presenters began questioning President Zardari’s patriotism and personal integrity.

One of the best pieces on the topic, from Cafe Pyala:

Burn Baby Burn?

Here’s the other myth that is being perpetuated: that the flood relief efforts that the army is undertaking are somehow divorced from the government’s response, almost, it would seem, in opposition of government directives. Is the army separate from government? Isn’t the military hardware being used in the airlifts and food drops, as well as the soldiers, paid by the government and people of Pakistan? And to take nothing away from the brave work of the jawans who endure hardship and danger to rescue people and provide them food, but why are we being made to feel that the army is doing the people of Pakistan a favour? As if this were not really their job but are doing this only out of the goodness of their hearts?

From The Independent

The man who really matters in Pakistan

Yet, it [the world] has chosen to ignore that the real wielder of power – General Ashfaq Kayani – may be quietly tightening his grip and burnishing the credentials of his ever-ambitious army.

Even before the onset of the catastrophic floods, which prompted Kayani to head to the worst affected areas of the north-west ahead of any other political leader, it was clear that the military was gearing up to expose the government as unfit to look after Pakistan’s interests.

Lastly, Mosharraf Zaidi has this to say about the situation (slightly weaker than above posts but worth reading in full) :

A hyperactive cocktail

The impact of the floods can be captured by the word confidence. Or, rather, lack thereof. Within government, the NDMA doesn’t enjoy the confidence of Interior, which doesn’t enjoy the confidence of the GHQ, which doesn’t enjoy the confidence of the KP provincial government. The people don’t have any confidence in government–no matter what turf issues they might have. International donors don’t have any confidence in the federal government, and little confidence in the provinces. The provinces don’t have the confidence to deal independently with the international donors, or the INGOs. They also don’t have the confidence to cede a reasonable degree of their executive authority to the NDMA.


Mrs. Obama is also facing flak in US media for her travel to Spain when the country is going through economic crisis and even called a modern day Marie Antoinette. From the Independent:

Let them eat tapas?

Unpacking back home in Washington yesterday after a holiday with her daughter Sasha, the first lady found herself in the middle of a political tempest – accused of taking a page out of Marie Antoinette’s book and living it up while the country limps through an economic crisis.

Conservative critics seized on details of her itinerary to paint her – and by extension her husband the President – as at best tone-deaf and at worst feckless.

So its not only our non-chief-executive President who faces criticism for pleasure trips when the country is facing its worst crisis.


3 thoughts on “Destinations : Getting ready for Martial Law [updated]

  1. Crisis always help to cement relationship amongst fellow countrymen.I pray people realise that our existence & safety lies in helping each other at this time of peril & disaster.Political leadership appears disorganized and have shown least enthusiasm in helping the stricken people in floods.

  2. I agree… but I wonder how they will go about it. I am sure they know that an opportunity like this won’t come again for a long time when the govt is this unpopular

    Shaheen Sehbai wrote that it would come down to the amry using the supreme court, but I’m not sure.

    • If you are following the news closely you must have 7 to 8 months ago that Kyani may be granted extension. From what my sources tell me, it had been agreed at that time that Kyani will be given extension. However a month ago before announcing Kyani’s extension, the rumor was that government is backtracking from its promise to grant him extension. The army had started spreading the very rumors that the coup is about to take place wherein Supreme Court will ask Army to implement its various decisions as the executive appears non-committal. This caused panic in the government and resulted in middle of night shortest speech of Prime Minister in history of Pakistan granting him not one nor two but three years extension. Since then, there have been little noise from Supreme Court against the government which means that Supreme Court will not be used by Army to invite themselves in.

      However, the PR that the army is gaining in the current crisis at the expense of civilian government, Army has again started rumors that there will be a coup after Eid. From his part by being at every place, Shahbaz Sharif is at least trying to thwart the designs of Army in Punjab. But we shall have to wait and see.

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