It’s an interesting situation unraveling before us these days. For once, the judiciary isn’t at the centre of it and is just trolling at the fringes. The way I see it there are 4 interests at work here.
1. The US. It wants the Army to go into North Waziristan and get rid of the Haqqanis and other other “good taliban”. This is important to the US to provide an end to the Afghan war.
2. The Army. It doesn’t want to go into North Waziristan and fight its good Taliban because that’ll mean a wasted 10 years of protecting them under difficult circumstances. It also wants to make sure that neither of the two main political parties ever get too popular. The army would prefer for there to be a military operation in Punjab which would a) shift the focus of the crisis away from Waziristan b) allow it to target certain expendable out of control militants c) it wouldn’t mind weakening PML-N. Finally the army needs to provide a really good excuse to resist US pressure to go into North Waziristan.
3. The PPP. PPP wants to stay in power. To do this it’s recently “concluded” the investigation into the BB murder case and essentially arrived at the same conclusions as the Musharraf government. This is a major concession to the army in exchange for which it’s expecting establishment support during its upcoming confrontation with the judiciary. It’s also hoping to see some of the focus shifted to the PML-N. PPP wouldn’t mind screwing the army over in the course of the Times Square investigation but their ability to do that depends on the pissed offedness of the US about the Army not going into North Waziristan.
4. PML-N – wants to stay in power in Punjab and come to power in the centre. But right now PML-N is sort of on the defensive because its patronization of militancy in South Punjab is in the spotlight.
Interesting, isn’t it?