Was A Fourth Military Coup Averted In Pakistan?

Posted by Ahmed Quraishi on Sep 28th, 2010

Was A Fourth Military Coup Averted In Pakistan?

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The paranoid elected government of President Asif Zardari has been out battling shadows and ghosts, whipping up anti-military sentiment when the military never planned a coup of any sort against him. His problems are with the Supreme Court on legal grounds. To calm frayed nerves, it appears Gen. Kayani agreed to let Zardari and Gilani issue a statement on the three’s commitment to ‘defending’ democracy. Pakistani military could also be bound by ’sovereign guarantees’ given as back as 2007 stating that Pakistani military won’t destabilize a government created through the US-sponsored NRO deal.


Tuesday, 28 September 2010.



ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Hardly. Better still, there wasn’t a coup to start with.

Monday’s well-timed meeting between the so-called ‘troika’ – the President, Prime Minister, and the Army chief – is being widely interpreted as having averted a possible collapse of the elected Zardari-Gilani government. There is no word from the military’s media people on the meeting but the president’s media office took the liberty of releasing a statement renewing the commitment of Gen. Kayani, and that of the President and Prime Minister, to defending democracy.

If there’s anyone who created a frenzy about an extra-constitutional [read: military-engineered] change, it is the elected government when it opened indiscriminate fire at shadowy and unseen enemies, warning it will defend democracy, pleading its American friends to issue pro-democracy statements, prodding ministries and NGOs to place newspaper advertisements extolling the virtues of democracy, and unleashing a frontman like Abdul Qayum Jatoi to sentiment. By choosing Balochistan and Akbar Bugti’s house as a venue for Mr. Jatoi’s provocative lines, it was a clear message to the Pakistani military that, if toppled, the Zardari government will use Balochistan against the federation. It was naked blackmail. It came on top of other forms of blackmail – the waving of the so-called Sindh card, Zulfiqar Mirza’s statement about breaking away from Pakistan after Benazir Bhutto’s death, and coalition partner ANP’s recent bold statement linking respect for the military to respect for the elected government.

This paranoia by the elected government worsened when the ruling politicians saw the military winning hearts and minds in interior Sindh and Balochistan, where people saw soldiers saving them when politicians in power diverted flood water to save their lands. Another thing that sent shivers down the spines in the PPPP government was to see the Pakistani military gaining ground once again in America’s war on terror, forcing Washington to become dependent again on Pakistani military’s goodwill.

So, did Gen. Kayani deliberately become part of the ‘defend-democracy’ meeting on Monday?

No doubt about that. He must have been told about the statement that would be issued after the meeting and he accepted it. Or President Zardari might have wanted to test the waters with the general on the post-meeting statement and Gen. Kayani simply said yes [what else could he do? Say no?]. Or maybe it was Gen. Kayani’s initiative to suggest such a meeting in order to calm the frayed nerves of the government. It could be any one of the three scenarios, we don’t know for sure. There are also rumors that either Mr. Gilani or Gen. Kayani brought up the question of expelling some figures who occupy key positions in the Zardari government. Again, no confirmation from any quarter about this, but it’s important to recall that a similar understanding was reached between the troika last year after the Kerry-Lugar bill fiasco and it seems the government reneged later, benefiting from the military’s distraction after a bold terror attack on the GHQ building in Rawalpindi.

All of these reports are important and cannot be ignored but they remain unconfirmed. What is confirmed, however, is that the military wasn’t planning any coup.

Here is a key point that analysts forget when debating this point: whether it likes it or not, the Pakistani military is one of the main guarantors for the Mush-BB-US-UK deal of 2006-7 that created the piece of law called NRO and the incumbent coalition government in Islamabad. For the Pakistani military to remove this government would amount to staging a coup against the whole set of ‘sovereign guarantees’ that Gen. Musharraf left Pakistan and the military saddled with. Apparently these guarantees include a lot of secret clauses about US activities in Pakistan, in addition to committing the Pakistani military to avoid destabilizing this government. [Yes, despite US criticism about the corruption of the current Pakistani government, Washington won’t ditch it so easily. Just ask the US ambassador in Islamabad how much busy time she spent earlier this year quietly convincing opposition politicians ‘not to rock the boat’!].  

The day the Pakistani military turns against this government would be the day Pakistan would opt out of America’s failed war effort in the region.

So, has a fourth coup been averted?

Hardly. Conditions for a military intervention in Pakistan continue to exist. After all, this nation can’t spend the next nine decades of this century with this kind of a messy and porous political system. But for the time being, whatever problems the government faces are with the Supreme Court. And only a fool would advise the military to stage a coup and stop the politicians from doing such a wonderful job of proving they are not fit to rule now or in the future, without inducting new faces and, more importantly, a new mindset.


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9 Responses for “Was A Fourth Military Coup Averted In Pakistan?”

  1. Ammar Shafiq says:

    Good Job, Ahmed!

  2. Tariq says:

    The Islamic System ran Islamic Spain for 800 years, this is not a dream, it is a fact.

    You know there is nothing more stupid than repeating the same mistake.
    The recurring nightmare is continuing to repeat the same evil system that produced the same evil people PPP, and musharaffs. again and again.

  3. Ishfaq says:

    It seems nothing less than a French revolution can do any good to Pakistan this time.

    • Tariq says:

      The question is not as claimed by some, that democracy has not been applied properly. It is that democracy is the cause of the problem, it is a sham, and has never, and can never exist in reality. It was dreamed up only to fool the ordinary man, by the rich elite.

      It is not only the ruling system that is at fault ( so claimed democracy) , it is also the economic system which is inherantly rigged to feed the top predators, the west. These false systems have naturally produced such noxious, nasty, selfish, fraudy personalities that have brought ruin and catastrophe for the ummah.
      What country on earth allows foreigners to run the place ? !!!

      The military has claimed they can only defend the security and they cannot intervene in politics. This is a ridiculous claim, it IS the POLITICS that IS the CAUSAL factor. It is not a question so much of who rules, bhutto no.1 is just as bad as bhutto no.2, the question is how, and what do we rule with. (The answer is Islam.)
      I want AQ or the military to answer this …
      How exactly are they defending the security of pakistan when foreigners are rampant inside, and foreign economic system has strangled pakistan, and when foreigners are partnering with the low life to extract our wealth ?

      What we need is for the system to match the peoples values.
      We need to expel the USUKPPP, and install Islamic systems for The Islamic people. This is the Sunnah. If you dont like it, go and live with your peers in the west.

      • Ishfaq says:

        Pakistani Muslims have forgot their Muslim pride, they have been hijacked by the (as you call) western perception management ‘well oiled lying machine’. It seems you Pakistani Muslims have become too disciplined good boys to except any system which they dictate to you. The Islamic system is a dream now, just kindly take care of to get a very simple basic people resistance against public wrongs.

  4. sam says:

    Military will take over ( or shall i say take its turn) sooner or later but only on American nod. Net result will be more chaos as Military best brains in the past has proved to be somewhat incapable or enjoying a distorted mindset ( eg Mush etc ).

    The Prime Minister’s Adviser on Law, Latif Khosa said that asking a Swiss magistrate to try President Zardari is tantamount to insulting the people of Pakistan. Killing or selling people of Pakistan is a pride of our elite , political or military alike.

    We have a lot of manoeuvring taking place in the political circle where jor tor is in full swing. Its like watching an Indian soap opera and then people of Pakistan would vote for them and expect them to stand tall to India. If we keep behaving like lambs then no sympathy will be shown when we are taken to slaughter house. Alas we are not even sure if we fall under category of Islam as per Allah’s book, let alone being the true Muslims.

  5. Shams Z.Abbas says:

    Agreed.The COAS Reportedly Negotiated the NRO with Benazir Bhutto

    The Government is imposing fresh taxes with effect from 01 Oct’10 under instructions from the IMF.
    People of Pakistan are already on the verge of collapse but the Government is unmoved because of unjustified commitments to IMF.There is very little hope of a change.
    The recent meeting of the President and the PM with Gen Ashfaque Pervaiz Kayani, who reportedly helped negotiate the infamous NRO,with Benazir Bhutto, has diminished all hopes. It would thus not be realistic to look towards the Army Chief.
    The Army is understandably not interested beyond the security paradigm. This suits PPP, PML (N).Their mutual interests converge.
    In view of this, the people of Pakistan can only be saved by the Judiciary, the Media and the civil society. The judiciary has to operate within certain ‘Restraints’.
    The civil society is fragmented. Though motivated, it has to be organized into a cohesive voice. This is only possible through the media. Let the Media of Pakistan set an example. It should become the torch bearer of a movement for ‘Saving Pakistan’.
    The ‘Media heroes’ of the ongoing struggle against exploitation and corruption must continue their brilliant and valiant efforts. We appeal to them: And many others: please continue to lead the way and show direction to the people.
    Hitherto the political parties have been leading civil protests .But now their interests are for mutual protection. This runs against the interest of the people and the Courts. Only a people’s movement will bring a change. The people have to be galvanized.
    There is no hope from Nawaz Sharif,Chaudhris,Humayun Akhtar’s or Imran Khan. They are too small for the occasion. Moreover the Sharif’s and Gilanis are scratching each other’s backs and mutually protecting their wealth.
    While,Sharif pays only Rs 5000 as income tax,Yusuf Raza Gilani paid only Rs 82000/- in 2008 but no taxes before 2008.
    25 Ministers do not pay any taxes.
    The Government will continue to butcher the people of Pakistan in the name of democracy. They will not reduce their expenditure, Ministries or luxuries. Corruption and loan write offs are the order of the day.Gilani wrote off his own (wife) debt of 30 crores while being PM. There will be no end to it.

    It is hoped that civil society encouraged by the media, will continue to stand up against exploitation, guide the people and SAVE Pakistan.


    Shams Z.Abbas,

  6. Tariq says:

    Project for New Islamic Century PNIC: 786
    The system in Pakistan is rigged, it has to be abolished. The zamindars have to emigrate to their mansions abroad, and leave us real muslims to take care of the affairs of the people.
    Why should corrupt rich people be allowed to even run for rulership of Pakistan ?
    They are completely shameless, and have lost all respect. GO GO GO
    Their criminal 10% partnering with their masters, the west, has now completely ravaged the people to death. Their systematic blood sucking of Pakistan Ummah has to be stopped. The USUKPPP have to be ejected and kicked out forever, their sham democracy has been exposed for its reality, it doesnot , and can never exist.
    Enough of this decades of enslavement that has surrendered the whole country to cow worshippers and idolators

    What we want is for this catastrophe to be turned into an opportunty, we want this to be a catalyzing effect, we want the military to give support to the new sincere leadership that will free pakistanis from this perpetual enslavement, and establish Islamic Ruling System, the same system that succesfully ran Islamic Spain for 800 years
    Its either this, or you can bury pakistan under the boot of the usuk.

  7. Syed Mumtaz Haider says:

    There is no need to be happy that military did not took over once again. Our beloved democratic leaders are trying hard to take the country on the verge of disaster. So sonner or later military will be forced to take action by these champion of demcoracy against themselves. Since they themselves are paving way for military coup through their such a great performance.
    Such a high class defamed, corrupt, dishonest leaders no nation has in the world that Paksitan have.

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