The Pakistani media has highlighted the fact that the delegation showed their “anger and frustration” at the government’s
attitude towards economy. More importantly, they disclosed that their business units were getting closed one by one leaving countless labourers unemployed. The business tycoons stated that if nothing was done on an “emergency basis” the situation
would deteriorate further multiplying the problems. The meeting comes at a point when Pakistan’s GDP growth is touching its lowest ebb while inflation is persistently rising and resulting in halting of economic activities. Furthermore, government’s
collective debts (domestic plus external) rose by a cumulative Rs. 454 billion to Rs. 32.24 billion.
Amongst those who were present
in the meeting with COAS Gen. Bajwa included the former president of FPCCI Zubair Tufail, Arif Habib, Mian Mansha, Hussain Dawood, Ali Mohammad Tabba, Ali Jameel, Javed Chinoy, Zubair Motiwala, Ijaz Gohar, Aqeel Karim Dhedi, Zubair Tufail, Siraj Qasim Teli,
Saqib Shirazi and some other textile tycoons. While the who’s who of Pakistani business attended the session, there does not appear to be any solution in sight to Pakistan’s economic woes. Thus, not only has PM Imran Khan alienated a section of
the business community, it appears that he has also with his words while in the US recently, angered the military community.
have been doing the rounds that ever since PM Khan returned from the US after addressing the UNGA, that the Army Chief was unhappy with the manner in which the Pak PM made statements and remarks which were not part of the official Army brief. This has led
to speculation that Imran Khan could be replaced shortly. This speculation was further heightened by unverified twitter comments that the leave of all personnel of the Pak Army 111 Independent Infantry Division had been cancelled and that all personnel had
been asked to report for duty by 04 October.
The 111 Independent Infantry Brigade, though officially operates under X Corps in Rawalpindi,
actually functions under the Pak CoAS and is tasked with the security of the Prime Minister and the Islamabad region. Point of note is that Lt. Gen. Athar Abbas, current Commander of X Corps is also from the Baloch Regiment, the same Regiment of the Army Chief.
Anas Malik writing in “In Political Survival in Pakistan: Beyond Ideology”, states that “Brigade 111 is notorious because it is well-positioned to detain civilian leaders and take over the federal government’s administrative centers
as a coup unfolds.” So there is another drama being enacted, that of a possible coup to dismiss Imran Khan, with perhaps Gen. Bajwa becoming President! The obvious question is would the CoAS want to become another Musharraf and become history? Highly
unlikely. More likely that Imran Khan will be replaced by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. What will actually happen only time will tell.
The current situation in Pakistan is best summed up by Hussain Haqqani, currently at the Hudson Institute in the US. He writes: “Pakistan’s generals look at their country as a wholly owned subsidiary of General Headquarters and consider
themselves its board of directors. The role of a prime minister in this scheme of things is not to provide political leadership but rather act as a manager implementing the wishes of the board of directors”. This is precisely what Prime Minister Imran
Khan is required to do, if this does not happen, he may be shown the exit door sooner than later.
18 Oct 19/Friday