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Pakistan crisis deep enough for military takeover, warns former PM

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has warned that the country’s current economic and political crisis has all the makings of attracting a military takeover, noting that the army intervened in the past in much less severe circumstances as he urged the top stakeholders to initiate a dialogue, media reports said. 

The PML-N leader made it clear that martial law always remained a possibility if the system failed or when there was a conflict between institutions and the political leadership was unable to chart a way forward, the Dawn reported,

“Pakistan has had many long periods of martial law in very similar situations,” he said. “In fact, I would say Pakistan has never witnessed a (more) severe economic and political situation before. In much less severe circumstances the military has taken over,” he said.

Abbasi warned of anarchy if friction within the society and institutions became too deep, adding that such a situation could also see the army step in.

“It has happened in many countries,” he said. “When the political and constitutional system fails, extra-constitutional (measures) take place.”

The PML-N leader, however, hoped that the military was not considering the option of imposing martial law. “I don’t think they are considering that but when they are left with no choice, the old famous speeches of ‘mere aziz hamwatano’ (a phrase synonymous with military takeovers) are heard.”

He clarified that if the army were to take over, it would make things worse instead of doing any good, Dawn reported.

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