Behind Pakistan's political instability

 There has been sudden political unrest in Pakistan. The main opposition party Nawaz's Muslim League and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's PPP have merged to form a 13-party grand alliance called Pakistan Democratic Movement-PDM under the leadership of Maulana Fazlur Rahman. 

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for the overthrow of Imran Khan's PTI and those who brought him to power. The alliance wants to bring down the Imran government by holding a long march towards Islamabad in early 2021. The program comes two years after the current government came to power.

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PDM's movement and Imran Khan


The PDM recently officially launched as a concerted effort against Imran's PTI government. The journey of the PDM formed through the conference started on September 22. According to the plan, the alliance will hold a long march' in January 2021 after holding a nationwide rally. The action plan will be completed in March before the 2021 Senate elections. They announced that they would use all means to achieve the goal, including a motion of no confidence in the government.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has not been as flexible as before about the anti-government movement. He said that it was a "big mistake" to meet with opposition leaders, and now questions have been raised about the benefits of the meeting. Because they are using language against the army that even the enemies do not use. 

At a rally on October 16, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accused the security establishment of playing a role in his removal from the PM's post in 2018 and the formation of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. Nawaz's main fight is against them. Although the PML-N and the PPP have allied against the Imran government, both sides are always wary of each other's motives. In May 2019, both sides pledged to protest against the government due to rising inflation in the country.

 They started protesting and tried to remove Sadiq Sanjrani, the PTI chairman in the Senate. It was the first step taken by the opposition to increase pressure on the PTI-led coalition government. Despite their combined majority, the two opposition parties failed to remove the Senate chairman.

Similarly, in October 2019, the PPP and the PML-N, along with the JI-F, announced another movement against the PTI government. Although the PPP and the PML-N have joined the JII-F-led "independence march", they have not supported the final meeting, leaving Maulana Fazlur Rahman and his staff alone.

PML-N leaders are wary of Zardari, the same situation with his opponent. Veteran PPP leader Chowdhury Atajaz Ahsan has warned his party about the alliance. On the other hand, after the start of the PDM's journey, PML-N leader Khwaja Asif said it was "difficult" for him to believe in Zardari.

It does not seem that the PDM will be able to bring down the government shortly or weaken the role of the military in politics. According to observers, the opposition's attempt to oust Imran Khan will again fail.

The PTI government has not only criticized Sharif for "discrediting" the army but has also been accused of trying to destabilize the country.

Sabotage and Chinese targets


In addition to the political front, there have been incidents of damage to Pakistan's integrity. Most recently, 14 members of the Pakistani military and private security agencies were killed in the mineral-rich province of Balochistan, targeting Chinese installations and the Pakistani military. This incident added a new dimension to the Baloch rebellion. China is concerned about the rising security cost of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). 

The Pakistan Army, a special security division of 15,000 members, is providing round-the-clock security to Chinese nationals working on CPEC projects. Also, Chinese officials are appointing their security guards.

The Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) website claims that in the six months from January to June, it carried out sixty-seven attacks on Pakistani forces, killing more than 131 soldiers and wounding more than 100. One armoured vehicle, 10 military vehicles and three mobile networks were destroyed in the raids. However, the US-based non-governmental organization Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) claimed that 95 people had been killed in organized attacks in Balochistan from January to June. 

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According to the ACLED, in the first seven months of 2020, the violence of Baloch separatist groups has increased.
The situation was further aggravated when armed nationalists, hostile to the presence of Chinese and military forces in Balochistan, formed the Baluch Raji Ajohi Sangar (Baloch National Freedom Movement) in November 2016. The Baloch nationalist-separatist group Balochistan Republican Army (BRA), Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) have allied against their common enemy. BRAS wants independence of Balochistan. 

They oppose the presence of outside powers, including China and Pakistan. They are also opposed to extracting resources from here. These incidents are mainly due to Pakistan's strong reaction against India for taking away the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Geopolitical context

Pakistan's two main opposition parties have united to call for the fall of the government at a time when the country is recovering from the horrific Corona infection. Although there is still a risk of a second wave of infection. Pakistan was in a gradual economic crisis when Imran Khan formed the government. 

And to get out of that situation, Imran swore to the allied countries and did not get the expected results and finally took refuge in the disliked IMF. Implementing the IMF program is posing a serious challenge to the Imran Khan government. 

Because it includes tax rationalization, increases in fuel prices. If these programs are not implemented, the IMF will not release their next money. If prices rise at a time when the economy is in shambles, the agitating opposition will have a chance to set the streets on fire. The government certainly does not want that to happen.

Imran has not been able to significantly improve Pakistan's economic situation in the last two years. However, the deteriorating situation has stopped. The global corona infection has paralyzed the economies of most countries. Pakistan is no exception. The value of the Pakistani currency depreciated. The cost of daily necessities and the cost of living increases. Employment in the private sector has shrunk. 

The main field of foreign employment is the return of many manpower from the Middle East. The impact of corona on imports and exports and the overall demand of the economy is clear. It hurts the income of the people as a whole. 

A kind of instability occurs socially. Naturally, it also creates anger among the people about the government. The two main opposition parties, which have been in power for a long time, want to take this opportunity. But this situation alone does not seem to be the cause of Pakistan's new political polarization.


Pakistan is now going through the deepest crisis in almost five decades as a state. After the abolition of the special status and constitutional protection of autonomy in Indian-controlled Kashmir, top Indian leaders declared the occupation of Pakistan-China-controlled Kashmir. 

In addition to announcing the Indian Lok Sabha, the Indian move to prepare and defend the defence system seems to be not the only purpose of diverting the public's attention from the Modi government's failure to overcome the Corona infection or economic crisis. 

Earlier, short-term and medium-term preparations were launched for a surgical strike in Pakistan and infrastructure development in the Indian part of the Pakistan-China border. Delhi has a military objective. The Hindustan Times quoted a BJP leader as saying that Modi had fixed the timeline for a military confrontation with China and Pakistan.

Security threat

India's Gilgit-Baltistan in Kashmir and Aksai are a threat to China's occupation and taking strategic steps to do so is a major threat to the security of both Pakistan and China. The geopolitical position of South Asia is such that Pak-China security is closely related to each other. And the division between the two superpowers during the Cold War has changed a lot. 

The United States has begun to reduce its direct role in the Middle East by handing over control of the Middle East to Israel. Allies in the Middle East have been forced to establish normal and diplomatic relations with Israel in exchange for security guarantees of their government and integrity. 

Instead of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain have seen a shift in security and intelligence control. Other countries as a whole are no exception. Even with the countries that have strategic relations with Israel, the Arab countries with new relations have to adjust their relations. 

In a word, the Arab countries have to abandon the agenda of the Muslim world for this.
There are security and integrity concerns for Pakistan here as well. Pakistan was established based on two-nation theory or the agenda of Muslim nationalism. 

The Kashmir issue also originated based on Muslim ethnicity. Countries that have normalized or are in line to normalize relations with Israel, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, and Sudan, have abandoned the agenda of the Muslim world. The issue of Palestine or Al Aqsa is no longer important to them.

 On the other hand, when the Palestinian issue loses importance, the Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC) or the Islamic Development Bank, which was formed based on this unity, will be less effective than it has been for so long. As a result, the OIC will have no role to play in the Palestinian issue, except for the Diasporas. 

And the position on Kashmir will be the same. As a result, Pakistan convened a conference at the OIC foreign minister level and received no response, the country's foreign minister said. Even after revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have conferred the highest honours of the state on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Riyadh's relations with Islamabad continue to be strained as it has not bowed to Saudi pressure to resolve its dispute with India. Islamabad has paid off 1 billion in debt under pressure to repay the loan.

The process of normalization of relations with Israel marked the beginning of the development of India's strategic relationship with the Saudi-Emirati bloc. Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Salman has offered to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in India. He plans to sell surplus oil from the American market to India. 

The UAE also plans to invest heavily in India. The UAE finalized a massive investment proposal to create jobs in Kashmir after revoking its special status. Thus, the closer the Saudi Arabian belt becomes strategically closer to India, the lighter the relationship with Pakistan becomes.

Both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have resorted to pressure tactics as Pakistan has not agreed to soften relations by accepting India's authority in Kashmir as per the demands of the bloc.

Riyadh does not want to go into confrontation as Saudi security is still largely dependent on Pakistan's cooperation, But Saudi Arabia is also cooperating in the UAE's highly active move in this regard. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have a special influence on Pakistan's internal politics and religious institutions. 

All business and installations of Asif Ali Zardari, the supreme leader of the two main opposition parties, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), are Emirati-centric. On the other hand, the Muslim League Nawaz has a huge business in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia pressured Islamabad to forge closer ties with India through the UAE when Zardari was in power and when Nawaz Sharif was in power. 

Under Zardari, Pakistan's intelligence budget shrunk so much that the agency lost quite an effective network. Zardari once referred to Kashmiri militants as militants, whether in the face or intentionally in power. 

On the other hand, Nawaz Sharif appeared in the inauguration of Narendra Modi to take power against the wishes of the Deep State. In return, Modi went to Lahore and bowed to Nawaz's mother. During Nawaz's time, India's intelligence network inside Pakistan was alleged to have become much more integrated.

With this, Nawaz's relations with Pakistan's 'Deep State' deteriorated. As a result, Nawaz had to resign from the government post and political leadership. His efforts to retaliate would go against the state structure. That is not the way to succeed.

Sudden political unrest

This background cannot be ruled out if we want to know the deep significance of the current political instability in Pakistan. The coalition government of Saudi and Emirati parties has started a movement to overthrow the government while the Indo-Israeli axis of Kashmir is being strategically fought on the Pak-China axis and the agreement with the Taliban for peace in Afghanistan is coming to an end. At the same time, there is good reason to believe that the sudden increase in subversive and separatist activities in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is tied to the same thread.


An important question

A question is very important at this time. That is, will Pakistan be able to normalize relations with India and Israel at the behest of Saudi Arabia? If this is done, the same situation may arise in Pakistan as there is in the land of Egypt where the will and interests of the Egyptians have no value today. 

A deep effort has been going on for a long time to isolate the people from the roots of Islamic consciousness in Pakistan socially and culturally. The American war on terror has not only shaken the foundations of Pakistan's economic potential but has also eroded social relations and created divisions in society.

 Now there seems to be an attempt to weaken Pakistan's state structure by reinforcing this political and social dilemma. As Pakistan's deep state is aware of this, Islamabad may pursue a cautious approach to building political instability and social sabotage and building strategic international relations. Pakistan will certainly not succumb to the pressure of Saudi-Emirate and become a breeding ground for Israeli-Indian intelligence activities.

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