Overcoming its reservations about getting involved in the political process in counselling wisdom to Zardari quietly, the US kept up a drumbeat of pressure, culminating in Hillary Clinton’s late-night calls to the main State and non-State actors concerned. The lawyers’ protest turned ugly with the police violence in Karachi, displaying far more venom a la Taseer in Lahore a day later. As Mian Nawaz Sharif boldly forced his way through the police barriers outside his home the police melted, a “silent” rebellion consequently swept through its rank and file. The manifestation of political force in the streets finally removed all roadblocks to constitutional sanity. The snowflakes of change became a snowball, and then gathering momentum, turned into a landslide.
Salmaan Taseer made a laughingstock of himself by his contemptuous dismissing of the long march “as being lucky to gather even 100 people,” the streets swelled to several hundred thousand protestors. By the time Mian Sahib crossed the Ravi Bridge the endgame was clearly near. When late in the evening of the Ides of March Gen Kayani advised the president the Army would not fire on the protestors, the PM finally mustered the necessary courage to get off the political failsafe line and do what he had been promising for sometime, his duty to the nation as the executive head of government. Persuaded that discretion was the better part of valour, the president lived to fight another day in his presidential bunker.Read More »Now what? By Ikram Sehgal