PML-N’s Supremo, Nawaz Sharif has done away with his “policy of mum” and restored what PML-N circles believe the narrative of “resistance”,(read between the line— challenging the Establishment head on instead of being coy about his stance).
This comes on the heel of rumours that a almost a coup has been staged against Shahbaz Sharif within PML-N by stripping him of powers & office so as to make sure Nawaz Sharif is back in charge of PML-N pulling all the strings from jail.
On paper, it is very innocent: Nawaz Sharif being an opposition leader wants to put out a fight to remain relevant in politics, media, chattering classes and keep the base charged. However, it is quite ominous when paired with recent posturing of other parties/groups.
Let us connect the dots:
Before Nawaz Sharif, PTM, and PPP’s Bilawal Bhutto have more or less similar narrative now raised by the Nawaz camp.
The PTM blames militancy in the country on Pakistan’s Army accusing it of using proxy groups as foreign policy instrument; it says democracy and constitution is trampled and other liberties are being curtailed.
Though it (the PTM) was a fringe voice, the PPP’s Bilawal Bhutto forcefully blasted on the national scene repeating almost the same talking points as the PTM did it. Bilawal has gone even further adopting Indian and the US narrative putting the Pakistani Establishment on the dock for alleged interference in India, Afghanistan and even Iran.
Also Read: PML-N: Resuscitating the lion
Now Nawaz Sharif on the eve of surrendering to jail authorities after his bail application was rejected by the Supreme Court, through a recorded audio message alleged that the entire country being turned into a big jail and accused the Establishment for pulling the strings of power from behind over the last seventy years.
Adopted by other political groups like JUI-F, MQM-London, liberals like Jibran Nasir, lefties and NGOs, the narrative seems to be peddled through under an organised scheme from somewhere, though converging with immediate motivations of these groups (i.e. from protecting corruption, to seeking power sneakingly or foreign sponsorship including monetary benefits etc).
Since the timing is quite interesting and a discernible political pattern is increasingly emerging which can easily be extrapolated with some of the drivers that led to current chaotic situation in Venezuela:
Here is how the template works:
- Create and encourage groups to demand under a legitimate narrative: democracy outcome stolen and hence needed to be restored through streetstruggle;
- Support opposition to come on the streets, pump in money to create scene, and make country’s situation uncertain and edgy through protests campaigning;
- Encourage all these moves to creat chaotic situation on the ground;
- Disrupt normal supply chain creating food shortages and humanitarian emergency;
- Food shortage leads to indignation and more public protest paving way for anarchy like situation;
- Support opposition as viable alternative;
- Target the institution of stability—the army—to encourage split, defection undermining its moral and cohesion;
- Once weaken the army, weaken the regime;
- The advance stage of Venezuelan template is depending on the degree of chaos, and the cohesion of the army, allowing for direct foreign intervention;
- Ultimately civil war and regime implosion will ensure the “regime collapse”.
- In the entire template, the tools of 5th generation war: media and other propaganda expertise will be employed as a force multiplier to amplify the “grievance narrative” of the opposition to unprecedented levels.
To what extend, the current edgy situation in Venezuela leads to the enactment of the entire template of “regime collapse”, is any body is guess but Venezuela will take decades to recover from this crisis imposed from the outside.
Read more: In for more troubles
An apt take away for Pakistan is it has precarious economic fundamentals, huge population and a array of desperate groups from militants— being sponsored by the India and Afghanistan—to mainstream political parties (both the left and the right) religious groups, and NGOs have all in aimed gun on the Pakistan army- the only agent of stability and order.
Any weakening of Pakistan’s prime institution means weakening of the state. Why the spectre of “regime collapse” is not far fetched, is because the drivers of chaos are in place; their narrative being amplified; other tools like media, money, and sponsors robustly engaged.
Watch carefully the next moves of the desperate opposition groups and their auxiliaries and do not underestimate their added capability to pull off a regime collapse as the main agency of their foreign sponsors.
And last but not the least; decide for yourself where you stand?
The views expressed in this op-ed are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Surkhiyan.