Justice Markandey Katju: People’s guerrilla war is inevitable in Pakistan

Justice Markandey Katju

By Justice Markandey Katju–

(Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own)

The Election Commission of Pakistan has announced that elections to Pakistan’s Parliament will be held in the last week of January, 2024. The question is whether they will be free and fair? At present, 90-95% of Pakistanis support former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his PTI party (as all opinion polls indicate), and if free and fair elections are held, PTI will sweep the polls.

However, the Pakistan army, which is the real ruler of Pakistan, is determined not to allow Imran Khan to become the Prime Minister again, and has incarcerated him in jail, and seems determined not to let him come out alive.

This means that the army is determined not to permit free and fair elections, and for this, it will either not permit the PTI to contest at all, or will rig the elections heavily. The army has brought back former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with great fanfare to Pakistan, and is evidently determined to foist him as the next Prime Minister, though he is hated by the vast majority of Pakistanis, who regard him and his family corrupt (as the Panama Papers and other pieces of evidence prove).

In this situation it is obvious to me that since the people have been denied all rights, and a reign of terror has been unleashed against them by the Pakistan army, a people’s guerrilla war against the army is inevitable, as it happened in the early stages of the American War of Independence, in Spain during Napoleonic rule, in Vietnam during French and American rule, in Afghanistan during Soviet and later under American rule, in Algeria during French rule, and in France (by the Marquis) during Nazi occupation, etc.

Wherever there is oppression, a resistance is bound to arise.

An army can fight another army, it cannot fight the masses. A tiger can kill a prey, it cannot kill a swarm of mosquitoes.

Army officers trampling over the Pakistani people do not realize they are playing with fire. An angry, vengeful populace, whose kith and kin have been murdered or tortured and jailed, once aroused can go to any lengths, and then the conventional rules of warfare will be thrown to the winds.

A guerrilla war is a cruel, brutal and ferocious war, in which no holds are barred. Guerrillas warriors adopt hit-and-run tactics, operate from the shadows, and are everywhere and nowhere.

Army officers may feel safe in their guarded houses, but their families are bound to be exposed, by the wives coming out for shopping, social visits etc and the children going to school or college, etc, and then they may be targets of people seeking revenge.

Dark days are ahead in Pakistan.

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