Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lal Masjid: Providing the "Operations" legitimacy in a deniable fashion

When you want to do something, but don't want to be seen actually doing it, you have to resort to some complicated contortions.

The Islamists in the MMA are now jammed up against a wall. The Pakistan Army wants them to legitimise the operations in NWFP. The line being taken is that the MMA "owes" its seats to the Pakistan Army i.e. if the Pakistan Army decided otherwise, the MMA would "lose" its seats. You understand what I am saying? the Pakistan Army controls the ballot box, so the MMA must dance to its tune. However if the MMA dances to its tune and supports the NWFP operation, then it ends up losing political space in the rest of the country and in NWFP as well.

So what choice does it have? ultimately the NWFP is under a MMA Chief Minister, Durrani. Technically he has to sign off on it, otherwise the absence of his approval becomes a legal issue. Musharraf's name is not so good these days in the courts. If Durrani tries any stunts the Pakistan Army probably has a coffin with his name printed on it. Durrani has to say yes... but also he has to be seen saying no.

That is a lot of jugglery.

That is what was going on when somewhere something went wrong, and Qazi Hussein Ahmad of the Jamaat-e-Islami was "not consulted"... so he put up a token protest. The MMA chair has taken note of the token protest and asked him to "show cause". Wonderful isn't it? now the Qazi can tell the world how the MMA leadership is being coerced by the Army.

In the meanwhile there is a parliamentary drama under way, some musical chairs with the PM's seat in the middle. Some rubbish like appointing Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain as Temporary Prime Minister.

2 Comments:

At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maverick,

On first impression, it seems that the jihadis in FATA and NWFP are particularly targeting the local police and the local paramilitaries. Whether that is deliberate or not, it does create a huge potential problem for the Army.

If the police and paramilitaries are either degraded or deterred to the extent that the Army has to conduct operations without their support, then they are going to have a very tough time. And that is putting it mildly.

You surely remember how hard things got for us during the early 90s in J&K when the JKP was ravaged with desertions and defections.

 
At 7:30 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Anonymous,

I think the Army is taking a pasting. The words "police" and "paramilitary" are being used ... euphemistically for "authority".

The Pakistani Army is large, they can take and hide losses but the loss of prestige.. that is more difficult to hide.

Note the news item about "tribals" dominating the Wana-Tank supply road and threatening to cut off the Wana brigades.

That captures the situation there right now. They are facing an utter catastrophe where a sufficiently large force is isolated and then systematically slaughtered or worse used as hostages by the Jihadis.

 

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