Army is behind the JIT. PM gets a special report

A special report has been submitted to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the so-called conspiracy allegedly being hatched against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, at the behest of the ‘establishment’.

Besides delineating the political situation evolving in the wake of the Joint Investigation Team’s report submitted in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the report also lists down main elements of the ‘conspiracy’ and proposes a strategy for the PML-N government to tackle it, Daily Times has learnt.

Sources close to the PM have revealed that the summary, parts of which are in possession of Daily Times, hints at the identity of those behind the ‘conspiracy’ against the government. “Establishment in the backdrop of JIT report, wanted to convey the Prime Minister to step down but held back its suggestion at the last moment owing to apprehension that the institution could be held responsible for the entire episode and decided instead to let the Government face the situation, as cases under sections 420 and 467 (of PPC) are likely to be registered against people like Tariq Shafi,” reads an excerpt from the report.

The report carries information on what it calls ‘comprehensive strategy’ that the ‘movers and shakers are chalking out’ against the government.

It informs the PM about key tactics that the ‘establishment’ will use in coming days and weeks. These include country-wide rallies in support of the JIT and the Supreme Court in order to mount pressure on the PM to resign. It makes special mention of political parties that will be ‘managed’ for taking out these rallies. These parties, as per the report, include Pak Sar Zameen Party (PSP), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT). The report mentions that components of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council have also been ‘managed’ to provide support for street agitation.

The report says that the “anti-PM campaign/agitation would be intensified to create volatile/ugly scenes so as the situation gets to the point of being out of control”. The option of staging sit-ins or holding demonstrations in front of the PM House will also be explored, it adds.

The recent volley of ‘electables’, who have joined the PTI, has also been attributed as part of the same ‘conspiracy.’ PTI would be further strengthened by ‘roping more electables [SIC] into its fold and a study of such potential figures is being carried out’, it holds.

Further, the report cites efforts towards creation of a forward bloc in PML-N. “Disgruntled party leaders as well as many erstwhile PML-Q elements who joined PML-N are learnt to be holding meetings in this regard,” the text says.

On Friday, Daily Times reported that a forward bloc in the PML-N was in the making, and some 40 party leaders had already expressed interest.

The report also suggests strategies to the PM for tackling ‘this conspiracy’. In addition to the need for maintaining unity within the party ranks to block defections and prevent ‘snowball effects’, it proposes that the government may keep allies on its side and they should be encouraged to come forward for government’s defence.

The text also suggests that the government may actively engage some of opposition political parties in order ‘to deny intrigue-mongers any opportunity to effect [sic] their designs’. The report specifically names PPP, Awami National Party (AWP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) in this regard.
The PM is also advised to launch a ‘vibrant campaign on print, electronic and social media to highlight achievements of the government’ as well as to ‘discredit the JIT report’. Also included in the proposed strategy is the need for chalking out ‘an elaborate administrative plan to deal with anti-government agitation/protests, particularly in Islamabad to avoid untoward situation’.

The report emphasises that the government must avail all legal forums in order ‘to contest the case(s) according to laws of the country’.

Published in Daily Times, July 15th , 2017.