Qadri’s march and Supreme Court announcement a coincidence or a military plot to take over Pakistan?

Hours ago, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered the arrest of the Prime Minister on corruption allegations.

Meanwhile, across the street, Tahir ul Qadri, a Canadian cleric returned to Pakistan, is leading an 80-100k strong protest, calling for the overhaul of the government on the basis of its corruption. In the interim, he is calling for a caretaker government.

The coincidence of the two events has caused concern amongst observers.

Notes Reuters journalist Mehreen Zahra-Malik, ‘Qadri did tell us last night that the PM was ‘ex’ now. Guess he knew something we didn’t. Probably had a vision about what CJ would announce.’ Former Supreme Court Bar Association President Asma Jahangir has been noted by Newsweek Pakistan as saying that Qadri’s march and the court’s order against the P.M. both have “boots behind them”. Indeed this is what the Prime Minister’s aide also claims:

“There is no doubt that Qadri’s march and the Supreme Court’s verdict were masterminded by the military establishment of Pakistan. The military can intervene at this moment as the Supreme Court has opened a way for it.”

That Qadri should be backed by the military isn’t an incredible claim, inspite of denial by the military. His calls for an interim government would allow for a military coup. Many past politicos with religious bents have been. What seems more incredible is that the judiciary, which was responsible for the ouster of the former president General (retired) Pervez Musharraf, and which investigated the case of missing persons at the hands of the military, should be taking orders from the military.

I had struggled to find a credible argument linking the judiciary with the military, until today. Below is a conversation with my father. He is not a professional political commentator. He is a farmer and a retired doctor. Take his views on the basis of what he says.

Qadri speaking just a few yards from Supreme Court. Guess neither can bear to share the spotlight. Will Qadri one-up the court now?
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  • Imad Uddin Ahmed Seems like Qadri timed his protest well. Wouldn’t think, as others have suggested, that the military is behind the Court.
  • Imran Ahmed On the face of it anti democratic political forces, i.e, Iftikhar’s SC and the Military’s ISI are colluding to destabilize the constitutional order. Qadri fits in the role of paid stooge mobilizing a confused mob bent on destroying institutions that represent voters. IK being a politician stands to lose if these clowns derail democracy but he is providing them with a cloak of legitimacy – but then he has always acted stupidly and hurt his own supporters.
  • Imad Uddin Ahmed On what basis can you say that the SC is colluding with the military? They kicked the military out of power.
  • Imran Ahmed The SC has exceeded its jurisdiction and stepped into the realm of the Executive and even the Legislature in many recent highly questionable decisions most famously dismissal of a sitting PM for contempt of court. It is working in an anti democratic manner. There is no smoking gun linking it to the Military but there are too many cases of bias. The Haqqani case showed a clear bias for the military accusers over civilian accused. No general has been dismissed for contempt even though a FC Maj Gen openly refused to appear on court summons and the ISI has refused co-operation in court proceedings. The simultaneous and synchronous blows delivered by the two against this Zardari set up have raised eyebrows in the past. Kayani was instrumental in re-installing the CJ against Zardari’s efforts. The timing for the SC announcement of its verdict without issuing warrants could not have been better timed to hit the Government while it is engaged with Qadri.
  • Imad Uddin Ahmed And has the Supreme Court become reticent on the matter of missing persons (at the hands of the military) since the Chief Justice’s reinstatement?
  • Imran Ahmed No, the SC with CJ moved to Quetta to deal with the Baloch missing persons. Frontier Corp would not co-operate and openly defied the three member SC bench, its IG a Maj-Gen declined appearance, the FC lawyer accused the court to its face of being unpatriotic in daring to want to interrogate soldiers, ISPR also issued unfriendly statements against SC. Consequently after a show of bluster and abuse against respectful civilian Chief Sec, DIG and Home Sec the honourable court packed its bags and scurried back to Islamabad.
  • Imad Uddin Ahmed And that’s as far as the case went? How long ago were the bags packed back for Islamabad?

Follow the conversation on Twitter.

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