What happened on May 9?

Frankly, there is no way to know. The media, except for that part of it which projects the government narrative, was blanked out.

There was no dearth of social media stories, but it was impossible to sift facts from fiction.
But two bits of video footage, though they were insufficient to tell the whole story, nevertheless gave a lie to the story now being told. Added to them are certain bits of sure knowledge that cannot be denied. When you put all this together, some conclusions can reasonably be arrived at.

The two video clips I have referred to are:

1. The video of the mob attack on the residence of Commander 4 Corps Lahore. What stands out in this video is:

a. The mob attacking the house was a sparse one.

b. Those guarding the house should have been a platoon strength, but not more than two could be seen.

c. No police or para military force came to the aid of the house under attack. It must be concluded therefore that intelligence agencies covering this area were inactive.

d. Reliable sources say that military checkpoints guarding routes into the cantonment were not manned. But I cannot affirm this point, because the video in question did not attest to this.

2. In case of the attack on GHQ as well, the video shows a commonality with the first three points enumerated in case of Corps Commander’s House, Lahore.

The question tha arises next is, whether mob action should have been expected upon the arrest of Imran Khan? Anyone answering this in the negative should feel himself qualified to face a firing squad!

The next question is whether the army had good reason to expect that Imran Khan would be arrested on May 9nth?

The answer lies in the following facts:

a. Lt Gen Nazir Butt ordered I.K’s arrest. He was so keen to affect his arrest that he let his enthusiasm override good sense, and ordered an arrest which was illegal. There is no question that he must have informed Gen Asim Munir about this. But just in case he did not, the intelligence boys covering NAB would have reported this without any doubt.

b. I.K was arrested, not by the police, but by a contingent of Rangers. Rangers may operate under orders of the provincial government, but they are commanded by serving army officers. Anyone who has the slightest knowledge of how the army functions, would know that there is absolutely no chance that Commander Rangers would not have informed the Army High Command of such a consequential order. But even if he did not do so, the intelligence boys in his outfit would certainly have done so.

Therefore it may fairly be concluded that:a. There should never have been any doubt that I.K’s arrest would spark widespread protests which may lead to mob violence.

b. And that the army most certainly knew that this arrest would be carried out on May 9nth.

Given the above, the most obvious action by the army should have been to alert the intelligence agenies; to DOUBLE the guard at places like GHQ and at Jinnah House Lahore; and to deploy extra checkpoints on routes leading to points like these.

But what really happened in practice?

The guards seemed to have been all but withdrawn, and the intelligence seems to have been made all but non-functional, so that they did not alert the police or any paramilitary force to come to the relief of the points of mob attack!

In other words, this is like deploying the army to meet an Indian attack in a certain area, but the moment the date and time of such an attack becomes a certainty, withdrawing the Pakistan Army from its defences!

And where were all the big players when the unthinkable was unfolding on May 9nth?
Well, the PM was in London; the Army Chief in Qatar; and Gen Butt of NAB was doing an Umra.

This reminded me of Woody Allen’s famous quip: ” I’m not afraid of death, but I dont want to be there when it happens!”

And then inevitably on May 15nth, the Corps Commanders collected in GHQ to clear their throats. What they left in the wake of their departure was sulpher in the form of a new narrative. In short this narrative informed the people that the army was fully prepared to go into yet another attack against the people who did not believe in their narrative and refused to lie down and curl up. They forgot all over again that an overwhelming majority of Pakistan belongs in this category.

But there was one spark of brightness in the statement issued by GHQ after their meeting had concluded i.e their advice to all stakeholders that they should evolve a consensus on how to move forward and bring stability to Pakistan.

This was a very good suggestion. But there is a better one. Why dont we first begin with an issue which does’nt need a consensus? An issue on which the framers of the Constitution have already reached and recorded their consensus in the form of our Constitution? And they have done so in a manner which leaves no loophole, leeway, or option, but to have elections in NO MORE THAN NINETY DAYS after the dissolution of an assembly?

Is it not true that the only people who cannot understand this clause of the constitution are those who have already gutted the Constitution? And further, is it not true that those who have gutted it is a group of thugs foisted to govern us, and those who jockeyed them into this position and are now bent on keeping them there?

Can this whole cabal pool their sparse reserves of honesty and just answer these two questions truthfully, before they go cocking their rifles and aiming them at those who are guilty of not believing them?


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