All of you saw the drama unfolding in Turkey and people rising to stop a military coup. I along with many others on social media played our two cents role to encourage people to come out against military intervention in politics. I did it because of the conviction that installation of an illegitimate and unconstitutional government will provide incentive for militants and extremists to initiate a civil war because of Turkey’s involvement in Syria. I was convinced that Turkey will be destroyed like Syria and Libya if coup succeeded. In my view it would have resulted in Turkey losing territory in the South to Kurd separatists as West and Russia both are supporting creation of Kurdistan comprised of areas from Iraq and Syria. I am also convinced that there is an effort by USA and Russia to redraw the map of Middle East and a coup in Turkey will facilitate that process. Based on these convictions I fully opposed the coup attempt in Turkey.
It is important to analyze the whole coup attempt and how countries behaved in the first few critical hours. The first statement by US Secretary of State John Kerry was very disturbing as he did not mention any commitment to support democracy or democratically elected government. It was the same attitude adopted during Egyptian coup when West refused to recognize it as such and contributed towards undermining the efforts of the civilians to stop it. Russia did not issue any statement in those first few hours while European leaders were quite as well. When the tide started turning President Obama intervened and issued a statement in support of democracy and elected government.
The key to the failure of the coup attempt were three. First Erdogan’s call for people to come out on the streets to oppose it. Second was the commitment of opposition parties to refuse to allow any undemocratic effort to derail democracy. All opposition leaders issued statements in support of the elected government and that killed the momentum for coup makers. Finally military seems to have been divided about the coup. It is concerning that Turkish military has elements that can break chain of command and act on their own.
One thought that kept occurring to me was that if Turkish coup succeeded those posting banners of Aab Aa Jao Gen Raheel will increase their efforts many folds. And those that have been writing to encourage Gen Raheel to take over will feel that they have legitimate right to do it. The coup makers used the argument that Erdogan is a dictator and has damaged the country. Same arguments are presented in Pakistan. I was hoping that if coup failed these aab aa jao Gen Raheel promoters will be silenced. But I was wrong. Now their argument is that government in Turkey is delivering to people while government in Pakistan is not delivering so people will not come out on the streets. They are also suggesting that Turkish army is divided while Pakistan army is united. So Chief will himself lead the coup in Pakistan supported by all corps commanders unlike Turkey where Army Chief was not with them. It is really sad to see this kind of attitude prevailing that instead of fixing politics we want to break it and use a band aid solution.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has failed this nation and has not done enough to initiate structural changes to reform the country. He and his family has benefited tremendously from politics. The solution is not to over throw him but to introduce better politics. As a politician we are pursuing that path and our first focus is to reform out party PTI before we can reform the country. We need time to achieve this objective. Derailment of the system will throw all of us back and bring us back to point zero.