Martial law seems inevitable in Pakistan

Justice Markandey Katju-

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.

After Imran Khan’s ‘Long March’ to Islamabad on 25th May chaotic conditions seem inevitable in Pakistan. This interview with Sajid Tarar, a Pakistani settled in America, makes this clear.

Imran Khan’s motto seems to be ‘Apres moi le deluge’ ( after me the deluge ). In other words, if he is not reinstated as Prime Minister he will set the country on fire. He refused to face the no confidence motion in the National Assembly, and instead of gracefully resigning when he had clearly lost his majority in the House, staged a drama in the House through his henchman Qasim Suri, the then Deputy Speaker, which was only resolved by judicial intervention.

Pakistan’s economy is broke, prices are sky high and unemployment is at record levels, there is shortage of electricity, food and water, yet Imran Khan could not care less. He persists in stoking the fire for his own personal ambition, blaming a foreign conspiracy against him and an ‘imposed government’.

No government can permit large-scale disturbances in its capital where Parliament, the Supreme Court, foreign embassies, etc. are situated, yet Imran Khan was adamant. In the Long March, there were large-scale clashes between his supporters and the police, and the city’s Metro station was set on fire. 5 of his supporters and a constable were killed, and there was violence elsewhere. Now he has given 6 days time to the new government to call for elections, failing which he has threatened a bigger Long March, and called upon all Pakistanis to join. It is evident that he will create more mayhem and anarchy in the days to come.

Pakistani history shows that whenever there are chaotic conditions that the civil authorities cannot control, the army steps in and takes over. This situation seems rapidly approaching in Pakistan.