The Global Social Network
Former Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Sharif has alleged that the Pakistan Army Chief and the ISI leader orchestrated his conviction on corruption charges and his subsequent ouster. In a clear departure from prior allegations against "the establishment", Mr. Sharif has named names of the chiefs of the Army and the ISI in his anti-military address over the telephone from London to a joint opposition rally in Gujranwala. Where does he go from here? Is he following in the footsteps of MQM founder Altaf Husain? Has Sharif given up on any hope of returning to claim power in Pakistan? Is the end of his political career for all practical purposes?
Pakistan's two major political parties PMLN and PPP have joined Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) as the joint opposition movement under Maulana Fazlur Rehman go from here. In a show of strength, PDM has held two big political parties in Gujranwala and Karachi. Their objective is to force Prime Minister Imran Khan's resignation, followed by fresh general elections. How far will the PDM leadership go to achieve this objective? Will they succeed in bringing large numbers of people on the streets to create chaos? How will the Pakistani military respond to it? Will the majority of Pakistanis support any military intervention to end chaos and bring order? Will such intervention be a direct military takeover of power or will it be in support of Prime Minister Imran Khan's government?
Dr. Moeed Yusuf, Prime Minister Imran Khan's National Security Advisor, has said that "we have evidence to the T" of India's links to several terrorist attacks in Pakistan. In an interview with Indian journalist Karan Thapar, Dr. Yusuf mentioned specific terrorist incidents with Indian intelligence agency's fingerprints on them. Specifically, he mentioned terrorist attacks on Army Public School in Peshawar that killed 149 people including 132 schoolchildren. “Malik Faridoon who masterminded the attack from Jalalabad (in Afghanistan) was in touch with handlers at the Indian consulate as children were massacred in broad daylight,” he said. Yusuf also mentioned India's links to terrorist attacks on Chinese consulate, Pakistan Stock Exchange and Gwadar 5-star hotel. Kulbhushan Jadhav "has been caught with his pants down" India recently spent $1 million to bring about TTP, 4 other militant organizations' merger in Afghanistan Kashmiris should be made 3rd party in any India-Pakistan talks.
Is Dr. Yusuf beginning to build a common Pakistan narrative on Indian sponsorship of terror in Pakistan? Can he do it with without it getting politicized in Pakistan by anti-military and anti-ISI politicians and activists?
Pakistan's economy has been hit hard by one-two punch: a balance-of-payments crisis and the coronavirus pandemic. Food prices have soared in Pakistan and the world as uncertainty about the pandemic has increased speculation and hoarding of basic foods. Bloomberg Agriculture Subindex, a measure of key farm goods futures contracts, is up almost 20% since June. There's anger and impatience among Pakistanis that is creating an opportunity for PDM to direct it at Prime Minister Imran Khan's government. Will the PTI government be able to address these issues and survive the Opposition's onslaught?
ALKS host Faraz Darvesh discusses these issues with Ali Hasan Cemendtaur, Sabahat Ashraf (iFaqir) and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com).
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