Pak - military should take the lead for launching ‘US-support for FSDSAARC’ cell at SAARC (in the changed situation caused by the Ukraine war) for materializing military-dominated FSDSAARC
One can understand the indignation of the ‘Inter Services Public Relations’ (ISPR) of Pakistan which on Sunday took strong exception to intensified and deliberate attempts to drag its name into the country's ongoing political discourse by some political leaders, journalists and analysts as reported at https://www.dawn.com/news/1688624 .
There is no point in going into the history that how Pakistan military earlier interfered in the politics of Pakistan where it ruled Pakistan militarily for considerable part of its existence or into the past incidences where the PDM leaders mainly the PML-N leaders (who are now in power at the center and in the largest and most important province Punjab) accused since 2020 the Army and its leaders (at the Jalsas in Gujranwala etc) for rigging the 2018 elections which (as per them brought Imran to power). All these things should be set-aside & forgotten by Pak- military mainly due to the reason that the Ukraine war (which has shown the importance of military power) has changed the political paradigm of the entire world and now onwards every country will have to (i)- Decide whether they are with the ‘liberal Western democracy’ of the West led by the USA or with the ‘authoritarian Chinese democracy’ of Russo-Sino alliance and (ii)- Switch to a political system where its military will have dominant role.
Incidentally, the answer to the first question has already been provided by Russia which by invading Ukraine has destroyed the existing global political order of the UN sponsored by the USA in 1945. But Russia is not prepared to launch an alternate global political order despite knowing that in the contemporary world (due to the unprecedented advance of modern science and technology especially in the IT sector) globalization is inevitable and which is not possible without global political order. Hence the rest of the world has no other option than to go with the US - sponsored global political order. But there is one serious problem which not only Pakistan but every country of the SAARC is facing which is that if SAARC remains fragmented then both the blocks (West led by the USA and Russo-Sino) would exploit their internal as well external problems and which ultimately would keep the entire SAARC region far from realizing it's true potential in every field including economic.
In such a situation if the military leadership of all the 8 countries of SAARC put their minds together then they can easily realize the ‘Federation of Secular democratic SAARC’ (FSDSAARC) but it will happen only when Pak - military leadership takes the lead as mentioned below because India has lost martial traditions long back hence its military is subdued by civilians:-
(1)- First and foremost Pak - military should understand that the main problem in the SAARC region is communalism which is preventing this region from being united. In this matter Pak - military should learn from Akbar the great of Mogul Empire who ruled in India and kept its religions at its proper place including Islam. This is evident from the fact that when Akbar found that no religion is fit to serve the interest of the empire (State rather FSDSAARC in present scenario) then he even launched a new religion namely 'Deen-e-Ilahi' though he died and didn't get enough time to propagate it . In other words Pak - military should understand that the religion is to serve the interest of the State in which military power is supreme.
(2)- The second most important factor Pak - military will have to realize is that the powerful modern science & technology requires free mind which is possible only in secular-democracy but in SAARC region predominant religions are not prepared to update themselves as per the requirement of secular democracy (which Christianity in Europe did during war of legions around 17th century). Hence in the given situation there is only one solution which is to ensure religious freedom in all the countries of SAARC (in the interest of ensuring competition between different religions) where a body of SAARC can even intervene militarily in the case of gross violation of human rights (including religious rights) in the erring member country of SAARC. This can’t be done presently due the reason that there is no such mechanism for military intervention at SAARC.
(3)- In this matter Pak- military / SAARC can take the help of the USA by (i)- Asking the USA to provide such mechanism (till SAARC develops its own such mechanism) of military intervention either through the UN or by another organization (ii)- Asking the USA to amend the UN (or to launch alternate world body) where there will be no veto system by some countries but a participatory system where the FSDSAARC will have voting rights commensurate with its contribution of men (including military), money, material (including military) and its record about human rights.
(4)- The above mentioned task for Pak - military is not that difficult as it seems on the surface. The Pak - military can easily do it if it (i)- Approaches the political parties in all the 8 countries of the SAARC which are pro- military especially in India which is the largest country in SAARC and (ii)- Doesn’t waste its time & energy in the day today politics of the civilians in Pakistan which it can easily do as explained below -
(5)- The Shehbaz - government is not only legal but legitimate too. Because even if there was alleged US-conspiracy to dislodge Imran - govt it was a matter between US - govt & Pakistan - govt (the then Imran - govt) and Member of Parliament (MNAs) had nothing to do with it. Hence no-confidence motion brought by MNAs was legal & legitimate unless these MNAs committed some crime which had a potential of disqualifying them. The Imran - govt (during about relevant two months when it was in power) never provided any actionable proof of any money trail etc between USA and these MNAs, therefore the govt of PM Shehbaz Sharif (after no-confidence against Imran - govt without vote of defectors from PTI,) is a legal & legitimate government.
(6)- But this is not the case with the Punjab government which may be legal (due to court order) but is illegitimate. There is a principle of jurisprudence that ‘no one should be allowed to take benefit & advantage of his or her wrongs’. The Punjab incumbent CM Hamza got a majority with 197 votes with the support of 26 defectors from PTI and they are liable to be disqualified. Hence the majority support base of Hamza is illegitimate in the eyes of the people. Therefore Pak - military should support the policy of (i)- Justice by higher judiciary in the matter of defections of PTI Members in Punjab and (ii)- Only political rights to Imran and his party PTI if they want want to carry out demonstrations, rallies, march, protest, Jalsa, dharna (sit-in) etc by giving prompt proper police / administrative permission as per law but at the same time if in these political activities PTI indulges in violence or in any other illegal activities then they should be stopped immediately and punished as per law.
(7)- It will help if Pak - military persuades the SAARC to launch as per laws of the USA, a cell (maybe) with the name ‘US-support for FSDSAARC’. Incidentally it will make easy, the task of Pak - military for making ‘US-support for FSDSAARC’ fruitful, because this is the year of US - Congressional elections. The ‘US-support for FSDSAARC’ can try to get the support of not only the US-administration but also the bi-partisan support of the US-congress (by making it an important issue, during 2022 US - Congressional elections, through US-media etc).
Therefore the Pak - military (the only out-fit in the region which understands the importance of martial dominance) instead of unnecessarily wasting its time & energy in civilian affairs of Pakistan should take the lead (with the support of militaries of remaining 7 countries of SAARC) to establish a regional political order of military-dominated said FSDSAARC which in the changed global scenario caused by the Ukraine war has become imperative in the interest of peace, prosperity and justice in the entire SAARC region.