Pakistan switching gears to dictatorship?

ANI | Updated: Dec 08, 2017 18:59 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], December 8 (ANI): Dealing with a tricky political fabric at the moment, Pakistan might witness the unlikely merger of the former president Musharraf-led "grand alliance of 23 political parties" with the global terrorist Hafiz Saeed-led banned groups, reported an online international news magazine, the Diplomat.

While 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Saeed on December 2 had announced that he would contest Pakistan general election in 2018, the former military ruler in November had announced the formation of a grand political alliance.

The Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) formed Milli Muslim League (MML) in August when Saeed was detained in Lahore.

Saeed, who had been under house arrest since January, was released on November 24 after a Pakistan judicial body ordered his release, rejecting a request from the Punjab government to extend his detention by three months.

Four days later Pakistan's federal government signed an agreement with the Tehreek-e-Labaik Yah Rasool Allah Pakistan (TLY), laying down, apart from the suspension of Law Minister Zahid Hamid, a number of agreed demands.

The Islamabad High Court had thrown flak at both the government and the army for reportedly mediating and striking a deal with hardline religious groups to end their prolonged sit-in in Islamabad and several other cities.

Saeed's release, coupled with the civil-military leadership genuflecting to a radical Islamist group that has already contested two by-elections in the country, is the formal completion of the political mainstreaming of jihadists in Pakistan, the Diplomat reported.

This mainstreaming has not only been planned by the military leadership, it has also been pushed by them.

The military's support to the Tehrik Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLY) protesters was epitomised by the video of the DG Rangers handing out cash coupons to those prisoners released as per agreement with the state, the Diplomat said.

Predicting little to almost nil triumph, the report stated that though Musharraf's return to Pakistan to head a political coalition means a complete civilian subjugation to the military, odds are that even if the former army chief takes Saeed's MML on board, it has almost little chances of forming a government. (ANI)