In my mind it is becoming inevitable that Vendemiarie is approaching in Pakistan. Let me explain. On 13 Vendemiarie, that is October 5 1795, a ‘whiff of grapeshot’ from General Napoleon’s troops dispersed the 30, 000 strong Paris mob
which was marching
on the National Convention.
A similar situation seems to be developing in Pakistan.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who came into power in August 2018 and was ousted by a vote of no confidence in April 2022, seems desperate to again become Prime Minister. He has been holding rally after rally, and the recent bye elections in Pakistan, in which his party the PTI won with resounding successes, makes it look very likely that if national elections are held now his party will sweep the polls and he will again come back to power.
Hence he has been demanding early elections, and has been putting all kinds of pressures, including holding massive demonstrations.
But for that very reason the ruling PDM coalition, consisting of mainly the two other large parties, the PMLN and the PPP, are refusing to hold early elections, and are determined to postpone elections until the 5 year term of the present National Assembly expires in August next year. As it is, elections must be held under the Pakistan Constitution within 60 days thereafter, that is, by October, 2023.
A large section of the Pakistani public seems to believe in Imran Khan’s claim that external forces (meaning America) ousted his government, and by a conspiracy a foreign backed government was imposed in Pakistan.
They also regard Imran Khan to be honest, while the leaders of the PMLN and PPP are perceived as corrupt.
Consequently huge crowds often gather in Imran Khan’s rallies, and probably he has started to believe that pressure from these crowds will force the present government to relent and announce early elections.
Imran Khan has also attacked
many Pakistan army generals, particularly the former army chief General Bajwa and the ISI, and this has not been taken kindly by the army.
Perhaps Imran Khan thinks that it is the army which is supporting the present Pakistan government, and he can cow down the Pakistan army with his crowds.
What he forgets is that power grows out of the barrel of a gun, as was demonstrated in Paris in Vendemiarie in 1795.
When he orders his crowds to march on Parliament or tries to bring Pakistan to a standstill ( towards which his movement seems to be heading ), the whiff of grapeshot will surely be utilised to deal with the situation.