A FEW weeks ago President Obama announced 30,000 extra US troops for Afghanistan.
Now the US has given its full support to President Karzai of Afghanistan and his cabinet, despite the fact that he was elected in a completely rigged election and that his cabinet members face allegations of extreme corruption.’
At the same time, the Pakistan Supreme Court has begun an attempt to remove the Pakistani government.
The only immediate alternative to the government of President Zardari is a military government that takes power through a coup.
This is why the current situation in Pakistan is being characterised as a ‘creeping coup’.
President Zardari is the husband of the assassinated Benazir Bhutto.
She was murdered under the military regime of General Musharraf, before he stood down as army leader.
Her father, a former prime minister, was hung by a military regime led by General Zia al Huq.
President Zardari’s recent comments, that the US had traditionally supported dictatorial military regimes in Pakistan, and also that the US had armed and trained the men who later became the leaders of the Taleban and Al-Qaeda, so that they could fight the Russians in Afghanistan, did not endear him to President Obama.
The US now feels that after declaring that the main battlefront of the Afghan war is actually in Pakistan, that it must have a government that will do as it is told, principally to fight the Taleban, and also to protect the US ally’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.
Zardari has already held crisis talks with the country’s ruling party to discuss ways to prevent the collapse of his government after the country’s Supreme Court revoked an amnesty that protected many senior politicians, including Zardari, from long-standing corruption cases.
Zardari’s presidential immunity protects him from prosecution for now. However, he is likely to be tried for corruption once he is no longer president.
Zardari is now under intense pressure to step down with his government, after senior members of the ruling party have been ordered to appear before a court.
Pakistan’s anti-corruption court in the southern city of Karachi has subpoenaed 52 government figures, including the Interior Minister Rehman Malik and presidential secretary Salman Farooqi.
The Supreme Court on Thursday banned Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar and other top officials from leaving the country.
These developments have plunged the country into political turmoil amid rising popular militancy, with demands already being made on the army to intervene to restore order.
At the same time as this crisis has been unleashed by the Supreme Court, Washington is demanding new offensives against Islamic militants.
The high court ruling has been made to undermine Zardari and force him to resign.
This situation will strengthen the military who parade themselves continually as the saviours of the country.
Asma Jahangir, the chair of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent watchdog, commented: ‘It’s complete control now The issue is whether the democratic system is going to pack up again and go away. The judiciary is again letting itself be used by the establishment.’
She continued that the judiciary wouldn’t have acted so boldly unless it felt confident of backing.
Pakistan’s trade unions must demand that the army-backed civil war is halted, and that the troops return to their barracks. The US embassy must be closed, and the US effort to bring the military to power must be foiled. The only government that Pakistan requires is a workers and small farmers government that will carry out socialist policies.