The Pieces of the Puzzle
#1—Renewed interest by Scotland Yard in the Imran Farooq murder in London
#2—The unconditional and abject apology by the MQM before the Supreme Court of Pakistan
#3—The Qadri intervention
#4—MQM’s prompt and total support of the Qadri intervention.
#5—Surge in US Drone attacks with TTP being targeted.
#5—Pakistan military’s changed threat perception with the internal threat identified as the main threat and a public announcement of this realization.
#6—US/UK/NATO compulsion to exit Afghanistan in an orderly manner and the need to protect Afghanistan from external inroads in the vulnerable post exit period
#7—Pakistan’s centrality in the entire exit strategy including safe passage for logistic movement.
#8—The political situation in Pakistan and the US/UK desire for status quo so that their exit strategy continues to get support.
The US and UK decide that an electoral change in Pakistan that could have unpredictable results is not in their interest at this stage. They need the present political and military set up in Pakistan in 2013-2014 to get out of Afghanistan, push the peace process in Afghanistan forward and not face the ignominy of a post exit chaos in Afghanistan. Pakistan must therefore be accorded a central role and given an assurance of continuity of the status quo.
The US/UK does not favor an internal upheaval in Pakistan and want ‘democracy’ to continue. They sense that the people want change and reform to give them a better future and not more of the same that the elections seem to promise. The US and UK do not want a change that triggers a change in policies that may change the relationship with the US.
Enter Qadri with limitless funds and superb organizational ability. He promises reform and elections under a competent and impartial interim government. The implication being that the interim government will have to be given time for the reforms. The MQM ‘decides’ to join Qadri and clears itself with the Supreme Court—surprising many on both counts. To ward off criticism The MQM leader threatens a political Drone strike—obviously a disclosure of some sort.
The military readies itself to face the new threat and an expected disruption in the already serious internal security situation. Increased Drone strikes ratchet up the pressure on insurgents who may be expected to retaliate in Pakistan’s urban areas heightening the internal threat.
The major power players react as expected. The PPP (government) soft pedals the MQM turnabout and goes along with the evolving situation as status quo suits it. The military and the judiciary are satisfied that the Constitutional provisions are being respected. The PML(N) and the PTI are lost in the fog and likely to remain lost.
The interim government is given access to IMF and World Bank funds and acts to reform not just the electoral process but takes long overdue steps to establish the rule of law, to provide services and security to the people through effective governance, tackles the internal threat and puts the country on the road to economic recovery. The people heave a sigh of relief.