Backdoor Coup? Pakistani Military Moves to ‘Resolve’ Protests

Pakistan PM Largely Sidelined as Military Chief Moves In

Pakistan has a relatively short history as an independent nation, and it is one littered with coups d’etat. It’s been a little while since the most recent, the 1999 coup by Pervez Musharraf against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Yet signs of a backdoor coup are are emerging today, as the military has decided to take an active role in “resolving” public protests against the rule of the current prime minister, who coincidentally is the same Nawaz Sharif.

Sharif was charged with multiple counts of murder for crackdowns on protesters, and the military is now meeting both the leaders of the protest and Sharif himself, and seems to be in the driver’s seat on how the situation will ultimately be settled.

Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif (no relation) told protest leaders Imran Khan and Tahir-ul Qadri that he’s going to come up with a “package” in 24 hours that will take into account their demands and resolve the situation.

PM Sharif’s backers are accusing the military of having orchestrated the protests so it could impose its preferred solution on the conflict. Whatever the case, PM Sharif’s position is greatly compromised, and he seems to have very little authority left, and that only at the pleasure of the military chiefs.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.