One month after the dissolution of the national and provincial assemblies, there is still no sign of a date for the general elections due to be held within 90 days under the constitution.
The uncertainty has forced the political pundits to seriously consider what many believed to be a conspiracy theory up until recently that the army is now looking for an excuse to get rid of the democratic façade altogether and officially take over the country.
Senior journalist Sajjad Anwar believes that the army is hoping to get some big investments in from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and if their efforts meet any success, they will project it as an accomplishment of their authoritarian style of governance and impose martial law right away.
Journalist Azaz Syed however believes that the success or failure of the project will have no impact on the situation. “If the army wants to impose martial law, it will. Even if it fails to bring any investments, it can say the economic situation is too uncertain and the country can’t afford to go into elections at this hour.”
Speaking on Naya Daur TV’s flagship programme Khabar Say Aagay (Beyond the Headlines), Azaz added that the constitution and the judges failed to stop General Zia ul-Haq from imposing the martial law; General Musharraf abrogated the constitution twice, he remained untouchable. If the army decides to take over, even a principled judge like Qazi Faez Isa in the chair of the Chief Justice won’t be able to do much, he said.
The political parties, Sajjad Anwar believes, have ceded too much democratic space fearing the Imran Khan-General Faiz combo and now they’re unable to check the army encroaching their turf.
Raza Rumi hosts Beyond the Headlines Monday to Saturday 9 PM on Naya Daur TV.