Over the last few days, a Pakistani journalist named Shahid Maitela has been publishing the interview he had taken from former Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.  The interview has set off fireworks in the institution which runs Pakistan, as it reveals many sensational home truths, further undermining the authority of the Pakistan Army. Immediately, a petition was filed in the Islamabad High Court  seeking registration of a criminal case against General Bajwa, ex-director general Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Faiz Hameed and the journalist for the revelations made in the interview, as they were a violation of the Official Secrets Act, tantamounting to inciting mutiny and disharmony. Among other things, this interview gives great insight into how the Pakistan runs at the whims of low intellect Army Generals, who are not in touch with the reality of the common people in the country.  The interview is being revealed in parts, and so far 3 parts have been released. After the second part came out,  Bajwa denied giving the interview.

As a country, Pakistan has the most notorious track record for safety and security of journalists. Several have been abducted and simply killed for criticising and challenging the work ethics of ISI and Pakistan Army.  Others have suffered severe torture, blackmail, threats to their family etc.  A considerable number of journalists have had to leave the country to save their lives.  With this kind of precedent, it is interesting to observe how this particular journalist Mr. Shahid Maitela has been surviving and has not even had his voice muzzled so far.

The reins of Pakistan have been in the hands of military generals for the past sixty-five years.  Furthermore, they have been facilitated by powerful circles within the judiciary, bureaucracy and aristocracy. The country has been victim to several failed experiment at the hands of self-interested military generals.  Of all of these experiment, the one featuring Imran Khan and the hybrid government has proved to be the most destructive. In past, after every failed experiment, the military generals would hide behind the politicians until conditions became favorable for them again to take over policy making. As the situation repeats itself, the results of the current failed experiment are looking very dangerous. Project Imran has failed miserably, and this most recent political engineering has left the country economically bankrupt.  Adding to that, there is a serious polarisation on the social level. Economic recovery may happen sooner or later, but the ignorance and hatred created in the society may never disappear.

In the interview given to Maitela, General Bajwa has openly admitted to the failure of this experiment,. He has also admitted that at one time many Army Generals were in complete awe of Imran Khan.  The purpose behind conveying his message to the people through this interview as well as revelations maflde by  Absar Alam, Mansoor Ali Khan and other journalists is to come clean himself.  Bajwa wants to put all the blame on others including his predecessor Nadeem Anjum.  At the same time, he aims to warn the present government. The admissions made by General Bajwa fall under the category of violation of the constitution, which holds severe punishment in the eyes of the law. But this is not all that Bajwa has done, In the guise of these confessions, he has also threatened the current set up, that twelve major generals of the army were promoted to Lieutenant Generals and all these generals are subordinate, read loyal, to him. That is, if a hand is laid on him, the result will be the same as Nawaz Sharif’s attempt to lay a hand on Musharraf. These are no empty threats because at this point, the reins of the system are still in the hands of the army. The so-called political leadership is fast disappearing in the background.

The architects of the hybrid system, General Qamar Bajwa, General Faiz, General Asim Bajwa, General Asif Ghafoor, Justice Saqib Nisar, Justice Khosa, Justice Gulzar etc. are still backing their project, ie Imran Khan, and this is not merely to gain power or authority. After General Asim Munir became the chief, the direct influence of General Bajwa and General Faiz in the army reduced significantly, due to which these people cannot use the military resources as in the past. But they still have control over PTI and the judiciary is still very strong. Apparently these people are following a policy of ‘neither we will play nor we will let you play’. On the one hand, they are creating political instability through Imran Khan. Further, they are using like-minded judges to put pressure on the current judiciary that if they choose not to adhere to the status quo, their careers will be compromised.  As evidence, a senior judge broke down in the midst of full court yesterday, at his ‘incapacity’ to immediately make Imran Khan the Prime Minister.

The real motive behind all this drama is to try and save themselves. Bajwa, Faiz, Saqib Nisar etc. know that this time the damage is so big that sooner or later their black deeds will turn into a noose around their necks. At one side, Imran Niazi is being told through General Faiz, that if we drown, we will ensure you drown with us. Seperately, the county is going through its worst political chaos and PTI is provided all the resources and support of its political allies, to ensure that the current government doesn’t even dream of bringing any of them to accountability. At the same time, the current senior Judges namely Chief Justice Ata Bandial, Ejazul Hasan, Munib, Mazahir Naqvi and Ameer Bhatti etc. through former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, that if we get trapped, your end will also be bad. Therefore, before the more neutral and vocal Judge Faiz Isa becomes the Chief Justice, the judicial system is to be weakened to such an extent that the Supreme Court will not be able to lay hands on any of the Army or political criminals.

While this high drama is being played out, the citizens struggle daily as basic necessities become out of their reach due to high inflation, which stands just under 50% this week. During the holy month of Ramzan, the powers that be keep trampling upon their self respect, as they get stampeded in search of free flour and charity, all in the name of democracy in the supreme Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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