Despite active engagement on the borders amid escalating tension with India, the military is closely monitoring the evolving domestic political situation in the wake of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) threat to shut down Islamabad after Muharram in the event that the prime minister does not present himself for accountability and the institutions fail to take any action, it was learnt reliably.
Sources privy to the development told Business Recorder that although the military is actively engaged on the Eastern border with India as well as on the Western border with Afghanistan and providing security on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route, senior policy managers in the military are keeping a vigilant eye on the opposition parties’ protests against the government’s lack of action to probe the Panama papers.
Sources were quick to maintain that irrespective of the domestic political scene the army is unlikely at this stage to either intervene directly or indirectly in the process; or support any undemocratic move to derail the democratic process.
Military sources further said that Imran Khan’s latest move to march on Islamabad was not encouraging especially when India was making every effort to isolate Pakistan through launching a false propaganda campaign. Additionally, the nation needs unity at this critical hour when external enemies of the country are making efforts to create hurdles in successful completion of CPEC, they added.
“Although the army is closely monitoring political parties’ activities, yet it would be unrealistic to say that the military is thinking of taking any extreme step at this stage when it is actively engaged on the border with India and elsewhere in the country against terrorists,” said an official privy to the discussions within the military establishment.
Given the past history of military intervention in domestic politics sources said that the military may intervene to defuse the political conflict that resurfaced and which threatens to shut down Islamabad.
“Democracy needs to mature and to put the right people in the right place, the army and agencies so play their part,” the source acknowledged. Talking to Business RecorderBrigadier Masood-ul-Hasan (Retd), secretary general of Ex-Servicemen Association, said the military under General Raheel Sharif will never go for ‘any misadventure’ to derail the democratic process.
Criticising the government’s response to India’s belligerence in the diplomatic as well as the military arena, he said a clear response which was supposed to be given by the rulers is coming from the military side or an opposition party.