[SATIRE]: Hats Off To Pakistan’s Politicians For Uniting Over Kashmir
Misbah ul Azam recalls how Pakistan’s political leadership displayed its unwavering commitment to supporting the Kashmiris in the wake of the revocation of Article 370 in the occupied valley, and the way all political parties forgot their differences and forged consensus to collectively and effectively raise voice for Kashmir.
Recently, a famous Pakistani journalist, author, and TV personality (I do not have the liberty to release his name and his institution he belongs in my articles without his permission) visited the San Francisco Bay Area to record one of his TV shows. He was invited by a local businessman and I was also invited.
I asked him about the situation in Pakistan and the direction where the country is drifted by the establishment, which is now controlling more than they ever controlled during the weak civil governments. He said that the middle class in Pakistan is growing and it is struggling to take the space in the power which is heavily controlled by the establishment.
He said that the system in Pakistan in which the military wants the maximum power and wants the civilian governments to work as its client is eventually going to fail, because this type of system is never successful anywhere in the world. The middle class will take over control of the country and the military.
He said that Imran Khan does represent the middle class, but he is in trouble because he has relinquished the power to the army and is heavily relying on them to keep him in power.
I asked what if Khan eventually fails the people whom he represents. He said that in that case, he will be replaced, but this struggle will continue until the middle class would takeover.
On my drive home, I started analysing my conversation with a Pakistani system’s insider and asking the question to myself that if it is all true – how long will it take for the so-called growing middle class to take over the country? What will be the threshold where one would declare the victory of the middle class over the all-powerful army?
And last but not the least, would the establishment ever allow the society to reach that level of power which may be the threshold? Army’s weapons are not the guns only, they even have a bigger weapon which they use effectively to encroach everywhere and cut all other stakeholders to size. That weapon is the self-defined ‘patriotism’. Not only do they use it on the masses to quash any demand by the people, but their cohorts and clients in the mass media use it to shake the guilt of the common people.
I came home and went to bed and closed my eyes. I was preoccupied with the same thoughts and I don’t know when I slept.
The next day was Monday so I woke up early. I walked through my living room where my electronic calendar was showing August 5, 2019. During my breakfast, I opened my computer and started looking at my tweets. My Twitter timeline was full of discussions about the annexation of Kashmir by Narendra Modi, who successfully revoked the special status of Kashmir and declared Laddakh as a union territory of India.
Senior journalists and other media people were commenting on the rising tension.
Everyone was speculating about the emergency meeting in the PM house, where PM Imran Khan was discussing the development with his Defense Minister, Foreign Minister, COAS, Naval air Air Force chiefs and DG ISI.
Pakistan Ambassador to New Delhi, UN and envoys to other important countries were connected via the video link. The meeting was going on for the last 6-7 hours. An emergency joint session of the Parliament which was in progress without any lunch or dinner break also caught my attention.
All the government and opposition members and Senators were not only condemning India’s action collectively, but also assuring the government that they are all standing behind any decision the government takes.
The media channels had uninterrupted special transmissions where experts, ex-military strategists and former diplomats were educating the people about the Kashmir issue and discussing why Pakistan should be standing behind the Kashmiris.
I got to work and got busy with my daily routines. Around noon, when I checked the news, I found that the meeting in the PM house was still going on, but the military commanders returned to their headquarters.
The big news was that the PM would address the nation from the parliament floor to apprise the nation about his government’s strategy over the Kashmir crisis. I checked again around 5 PM, but there was no new development other than the announcement that the Foreign Minister has flown to China to start his tour to the world capitals to discuss the issue with the world leaders.
Around 9 PM Pakistan time, Prime Minister Imran Khan walked into the parliament floor. He was accompanied by the Defense Minister and the opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
The PM told the parliament that he ordered the military to move towards the Line of Control, in the forward attack position and a team of Foreign Office is already dispatched to tell Pakistan’s position and India’s accesses in Kashmir. He also told that he is leading another delegation, consisting of his close advisors and aides which is going to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, England, and the US.
A parliamentary delegation led by the opposition leader would also go to the UN and protest the Indian actions.
The next 10 days were very tough for the people of Pakistan, but slowly, the pressure on India started mounting. The strong diplomacy had begun and the Pakistan government kept building pressure.
The army chief locked himself in War-Room in the General Headquarters where he is constantly in touch with the field commanders who were commanding the units on the Line of Control, Air Force and Navy Chiefs, the DG Military Operations and the Defence Minister.
The Director-General Military Operations was 24/7 connected to India’s DGMO to assure that the war would not start because of some misunderstanding. The people in both countries saw their militaries eye-ball to eye-ball before also, but this time things were more serious than before.
Both countries are under pressure by the world leaders to move their militaries back to ceasefire lines, but the PM of Pakistan made it very clear that India has to pull back from its unilateral action in Kashmir, or else Pakistan will not have any choice but to move in.
Now, top journalists and analysts in India also began pressuring the Indian PM to reconsider the move and resolve the issues with dialogue.
On the 30th day of tension – September 5 – the Indian Supreme Court gave the verdict on the appeal filed by some quarters in India. The court ruled that the sovereign assembly’s laws cannot be changed by the representative assembly so, the rescindment of the article 370 will be null and void.
Lots of analysts believed that there was a secret deal where the SC of India’s verdict was used to provide the face-saving to the government. In Pakistan, PM Imran Khan addressed the nation and announced that he already ordered the army to move back from the forward position and he gave the good news that India agreed to do the same.
The DGMOs from both India and Pakistan were overseeing the pullout. At the end of the speech, he told the people that the resolution of the issue is no one’s victory and the real victory would come when Pakistan and India would resolve Kashmir issue, acceptable to Kashmiri people, and began the everlasting era of peace and prosperity.
That night, when the PM went to the joint session of parliament, he received stand-up ovation by the whole parliament. In his short speech, he reiterated that this crisis is no victory or defeat for anyone, praising Pakistan military for its professionalism and bravery, people of Pakistan for their courage; and the unconditional support by the opposition.
That night when I went to bed, I was feeling very proud of being a Pakistani. I got an answer to my question. The threshold has achieved. Representatives of the middle class had demonstrated leadership – better late than never.
The next day, I woke up early to go to work. During breakfast, I looked at my Twitter timeline, and found the routine political bickering, talks about growing food inflation, devaluation of Pakistani rupee, saber-rattling between the government supporters and the opposition, PM’s threats about throwing every opposition leader in jail, and the Islamabad lock-down plan of Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
I finished my breakfast, walked to my living room, and my electronic calendar was showing 21st October 2019.
Disclaimer: The article is a piece of satire.
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