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POLITICAL ANALYSIS

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    POLITICAL ANALYSIS

    An Army
    General in
    Pakistan
    overthrows the
    Prime Minister



    Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

    On Tuesday 12/10/99 General Pervaiz Musharraf - the
    commander of the Pakistani army - deposed Nawaz Sharif,
    the Prime Minister, and placed him under house arrest. This
    took place following the decision taken by Sharif to sack
    Musharraf who was on a visit to Sri Lanka and appoint Zia
    Uddin, the head of military intelligence, in his place.
    Colonel Rashid Qurashi, the Pakistani military spokesman,
    stated: 'The military refuses to accept its division and has
    expressed its support for its leader'. He also said: 'What
    Pakistan needs is good government'.

    Any observer of circumstances in Pakistan and events taking
    place therein, will see that what the army has done is far
    from being a reaction of the general and his supporters,
    towards Nawaz Sharif's decision to sack him. Since, it took
    place in the wake of Nawaz Sharif's disgraceful backing
    down from helping the Kashmiris regarding recent events in
    Kashmir and his humiliating response to Clinton's demand -
    in his recent visit - by withdrawing his fighters from the
    Kargil heights. Immediately after this, observers and the
    media reported recurrent reports that there were acute
    differences between the army and Nawaz Sharif. This goes
    back to the continuing differences between him and the army
    which imposes its control on ruling. Due to these differences
    he sacked the previous commander of the army, General
    Karamaat, and did not accept Musharraf's suggestion that a
    national security council be formed. As for the straw that
    broke the camel's back, it is the army's extreme resentment
    and indignation against Sharif for abandoning the fighters.
    This position had a huge effect on members of the army who
    felt the indignity and loss of honour which has been dragged
    through the dirt by Sharif in front of the Pakistani and world
    public opinion. Especially, this climbdown which is
    considered a victory for India, their bitter enemy.

    The reality of Pakistan is that it is a country subservient to
    America in its foreign policy. It is America which exercises
    influence in the country. And Nawaz Sharif is her agent. The
    army holds the authority to guard the rule. Britain is vying
    with America for influence in Pakistan, and she endeavours
    vigorously to restore Pakistan back to her. She had colonised
    it for tens of years before and after separation from India in
    1947. Also, Pakistan is a member of the British
    Commonwealth, though nominally. The importance of
    Pakistan comes from the effect that it has on neighbouring
    countries like Iran, Afghanistan and India. Pakistan is a
    powerful tool of America which has established, supported
    and guarded the Taliban in her control of Afghanistan. It was
    also behind the occupation of the Kargil heights, and then the
    disgraceful withdrawal so as to support the Janata Party and
    strengthen, its position in the recent elections before the
    Congress Party, which is deep-rooted in its dependence on
    the English. Events in Kashmir were agitated after the
    decision to hold the Indian elections. So the army moved to
    occupy the strategic Kargil heights in the name of the
    fighters, exploiting army's desire to crush the might of the
    Indian army which had been behind the separatist war in
    Bangladesh against Pakistan in 1971. Victory was assured
    for the Pakistani army in Kargil if the period of skirmishes
    had gone on for a longer time and turned into clashes
    between the two armies. But Nawaz Sharif submitted to the
    American demand and ordered the withdrawal which
    strengthened the position of the Janata Party in the elections.

    This is the reality of ruling and authority in Pakistan. The
    question that arises now is: Why did the army general, or
    more appropriately America, which has the real influence,
    resorted to this method in changing her agent, Nawaz Sharif?

    The answer is that no coup had taken place, in the meaning
    one customarily gives to coups. In other words, the country
    did not shift from the influence of one superpower to the
    influence of another, nor did it liberate itself from the
    influence of superpowers. The President has not been
    deposed, for example, Parliament has not been dissolved and
    martial law has not been imposed. Adherence to the
    constitution was not suspended except after the General had
    failed, after the coup, to force Nawaz Sharif to hand in his
    resignation and failed to establish his coup as a constitutional
    act. Likewise, there is nothing new emerging in the situation
    of Pakistan which necessitates a military coup under which
    the military seizes power in the country. It was quite
    possible to change Sharif and replace him with another agent
    without inciting such a turmoil, which usually takes place in
    the countries subservient to countries that exercise influence
    over them. But the one who observes the progression of
    events will see that America has deliberately used this
    method in changing Sharif after the army's resentment had
    reached the stage where America feared that the
    circumstances and the country could slip out of her influence
    and control. So she made Nawaz Sharif a scapegoat to give
    vent to the army's anger and the resentment of the faithfull
    people in it. With this, she prevented the army from moving
    towards anything other than their interests, after absorbing
    its vehement indignation against its rulers. And through this,
    they prevented other international sides which have their
    own ambitions, from exploiting the circumstances for their
    own interest. And through this action, America pleases the
    self-deception of the army re the restoring of its honour, and
    reinstates its prestige before the Pakistani public opinion.
    Therefore, it is expected that conditions will return (as they
    were) without any great changes.

    Indeed, the situation in which Nawaz Sharif ended up is a
    lesson for those considered to be agents, who have sold
    themselves and their country to the Kafir countries.

    Friday 6 Rajab 1420 AH
    15/10/1999

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