Is it the Ominous Arab Spring of Pakistan?

Written by: Pathikrit Payne
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The situation in Pakistan is going from bad to worse with utter chaos in the capital Islamabad pointing towards something sinister that is about to take shape over there. The joint movement of Imran Khan's Teheek e Insaaf and Tahirul Qadri's followers are now trying to lay siege not just in the city of Islamabad but also that of the Parliament House in their bid to force Nawaz Sharif to quit.

The scenes of street violence and total anarchy in the streets of Islamabad leading to Parliament House, the pictures of police being forced fire at protestors and vitriolic speeches being given by both Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri, instigating their followers to not give up and lay siege on the Parliament, reminds of the similar Arab Spring kind of movements that started in many of the states of Middle East a few years back.

The Memories of Arab Spring and the mayhem they created

The instances of protests in Egypt, Libya and Syria had all started in this manner but eventually took a brutal turn towards violence and armed rebellion. In case of Libya, not only it resulted in Gaddafi being ousted from power and killed but also plunged Libya into total chaos and near civil war kind of a situation.

In case of Egypt as well, the well orchestrated movement of Islamic Extremist group Muslim Brotherhood to out Hoshni Mubarak from power and bring them into the ruling position was followed by efforts to create an Islamic Constitution. Eventually the Egyptian Army stepped in and threw out the Muslim Brotherhood Government.

The worst however is the case of Syria where similar peaceful protests and violent retribution by the Assad Government to quell it led to a situation of a massive civil war that also took a sectarian line of a Shia-Sunni conflict. Most Sunni Arab states led by Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arab sent huge amount of money and also Islamic fighters to fight against the Shia regime of Assad.

Today the Syrian theatre is no more about a civil war but the worst reflection of sectarian violence and external interference by Arab states that led to the creation of a monster named ISIS which from Syria went to Iraq and is now threatening to engulf the whole of Middle East into an endless cycle of violence.

Who is backing Imran Khan?

It is surprising to imagine that a political nonentity like Imran Khan would suddenly have that much mass support to instigate such a well planned agitation and which is on the verge of throwing Pakistan into a state of emergency or anarchy. Is Imran Khan doing it on its own or is it being orchestrated by the ISI and Pakistan Army from behind?

In fact what is surprising is the uncanny timing of all this just as Nawaz Sharif was attempting to improve relationship with India and had accepted the invitation of Narendra Modi for attending the swearing in ceremony of the Indian Prime Minister in the month of May. The Pakistan Army and the super powerful ISI found it difficult to digest the attempts of Nawaz Sharif to improve ties with India since in Pakistan the Army and ISI have always justified their incredibly high stature and right to the highest of privileges by pretending to be the sole protectors of the Pakistani nation from India.

Why ISI and Pakistan Army can never accept good relation with India...

Even though the reality is that it has been Pakistan Army and ISI which have orchestrated several wars between the two countries and ISI is known globally for being factory of producing terrorists, the false portrayal of Indian being the aggressor have always been done very intelligently inside the Pakistani society in order the justify the super prominence of both the Army and ISI and their access to untold amount of resources even when Pakistani society continue to languish.

Thus improvement of relation between Indian and Pakistan is something which the Pakistan Army and ISI as well as the radical Islamic groups can never accept and would always oppose and conspire otherwise if any Pakistani civilian government attempt to do so.

One should remember what happened in the summer of 1999 after the then Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee made a bus trip to Lahore. The Kargil War is still fresh in the minds of Indians. And thus one can relate as to why suddenly shelling and firing started from across the border to India even when it seemed that the Nawaz Sharif Government was attempting to improve ties.

The immediate military coup...and then what?

That Pakistan is heading towards either anarchy or a possible military coup is beyond any doubt. The bigger question that needs an answer is what happens beyond that. It is no more a secret that both the Pakistan Army and ISI were equally unhappy with Nawaz Sharif for initiating major Army operations against the Tehreek e Taliban in the Waziristan region. And it has also come to light recently as to how Tehreek e Teliban have been coordinating with Middle East based ISIS to recruit Indian youth for more sinister terror attacks in India.

Overall as things stand today in Pakistan, a lawless anarchy or another ISI backed Army rule in Pakistan would make things even worse over there. With a dwindling economy, with more possible sanctions (in case of any military coup) and worsening reputation, Islamic radicalism would gain even more prominence there.

Will ISI play host to ISIS in a Pak Army ruled Pakistan?

There is also a strong possibility of ISI eventually playing host to ISIS in order to capture Afghanistan once again. Given the spectacular success of ISIS in Iraq and Syria in spite of some recent losses, the cash rich ISIS is essentially what ISI might be looking for to not just farther their own designs in Afghanistan but also in India.

Therefore one should not be under any illusion that what is happening in Pakistan in the form of mass agitation in the streets of Islamabad is a reflection of democracy there. All that is happening there is through the cleric named Tahurl Qadri and one should not be surprised if all this eventually take a turn towards another Islamic revolution in Pakistan with ISI, ISIS, Tehreek E Tliban all joining hands to give shape to their sinister designs in South Asia. The experience of what mayhem Arab Springs have done to Middle East is proof enough that what is happening in Pakistan right now is only heading towards something more worse.

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