After the Pakistan army chief Gen Munir’s announcement that those who committed/abetted/instigated violence on 9th May ( following Imran Khan’s arrest ), particularly against the GHQ, the Corps Commanders residence, and military installations, will be tried under the Army Act ( under which even death sentence can be awarded ), there have been many desertions from the PTI, like rats jumping a sinking ship.
The reason for this is obvious : in Pakistan the real power has always been, and still is, with its army. ‘Power grows out of the barrel of a gun’, as the old dictum goes, and in Pakistan the gun is with the army.
When Roman General Pompey the Great went to Sicily the people there objected to his jurisdiction on the ground that it was against an ancient law of Rome. To which Pompey replied ” Don’t quote the laws to us, we carry swords ”.
PTI leader Imran Khan has claimed that 75% of the 24 crore Pakistanis support him, and he has asked people to demonstrate in Zaman Park, Lahore and elsewhere, as if it will be like storming of the Bastille on 14th July, 1789.
He forgets that an unarmed mob cannot face an armed force, as was proved on 5th October, 1795 on Vendemiare when Napoleon’s troops dispersed a Paris mob by a ‘whiff of grapeshot’.
The present situation in Pakistan can be aptly expressed in a line from the famous poem ‘Haldighati’ by the Hindi poet Shyam Narain Pande :
” Tha shor maut se bacho bacho
Talwaar chali, talwaar chali ”.
Even avid PTI supporters are now quietly sitting at home, following the admonition :
” Sach achcha, par uske liye koi aur mare to aur achcha.
Hum koi Mansur hain jo sooli par chadhen ? ”.
Jab shamsheeron ki maar padi to zyaadatar PTI supporters, jo ab tak sher bane hue the, chup lagaakar apne ghar mein dubak ke baith gaye hain, yeh kehkar ki Maharaj main nai hun.