Same Page, Different Paragraphs — II

So why all the fuss over the word ‘mediation’ — and over whose call it was?

This is the second in a series of posts on the current political imbroglio. The first can be seen here.

The word ‘mediation’ is anathema to both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the military simply because such a role for the military is beyond the pale of constitutionally accepted norms.

The PM does not want to be seen asking the military for mediation because it would be both unbecoming of a democratically elected leader and treasonous under the Constitution. Moreover, he knows full well neither the Parliament nor the Judiciary will acquiesce to such a role for the military.

Still, he thinks he would be within his right calling on General Raheel Sharif, the Chief of Army Staff, to help troubleshoot the situation.

The military is likewise averse to playing the mediator because it is beyond its constitutional mandate. It moreover does not want to be seen actively seeking a role in the imbroglio — for the same reason.No Army chief will ever want to be seen seeking a role in a political mix up, especially at the instance of the agitators, because such conduct would be treasonous.

So again, on whose instance did the Army chief hold talks with Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri? At the governments, and yet this does not have to contradict the PM’s assertion that this approach has been necessitated by the insistence of the two agitating leaders.

Qadri is the same gentlemen who has has repeatedly asserted nobody but the military can persuade him to change course. Remember when he arrived in Lahore aboard an Emirates airliner, and refused to get out of the plane without a military security detail or assurances of security from the Corps Commander? As for Imran Khan, it is now public thhat he is Qadri’s newfound younger brother.

So how far do we have to stretch our credulity to believe they would have insisted on assurances from the military?

The PM never said the Army chief stepped into the standoff because Khan and Qadri asked him to — he merely asserted General Sharif’s involvement was necessitated on the insistence of the troublemakers.

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