Trust the politicians and media pundits to draw parallels between what is happening in Turkey and the situation here in Pakistan. Does it make sense to compare the sloppy coup attempt by a rebel faction within the Turkish military with the civil-military impasse in our country? The failed coup was against the civil as well as military leadership of Turkey, and both joined hands to quell it. So why paint it as a showdown between the military and civilians?

Besides, Tayyip Erdogan is not Nawaz Sharif and Turkey is not Pakistan. The similarities bandied about are only superficial. The complex dynamics of power and politics at play in the two countries, any two countries for that matter, are unique. So are the geo-strategic challenges they face. The sweeping generalisations and comparisons only blur the significance of events unfolding in Turkey and obfuscate the real issues between our civil and military leadership.

The saviours of democracy couldn’t care less. In fact, that is what they seem to be aiming for as per the SOPs of imperialist propaganda. They’d like to hijack the narrative on historical developments in Turkey which would have far-reaching international repercussions and make it all sound like a democracy-versus-martial-law saga. They’d like to use their fairy-tales to discredit an expected assault on ‘democracy’ in Pakistan and drown the serious reasons underlying the civil-military impasse in that noise.

Interestingly, the historical developments in Turkey began before the botched-up coup by the military faction. In fact, most independent observers see the failed coup as a hasty attempt by imperial assets to reverse those developments, the rapidly changing foreign-policy preferences of Erdogan government. It backfired in a big way. President Erdogan, his prime minister and other officials of his government are now squarely blaming the US for sheltering Gullen whom they see as the man behind the recent coup attempt.

Since President Erdogan sent the letter of apology to President Putin last month for the downing of the Russian jet in Syria, Turkey and Russia have moved quickly to repair their damaged ties. Even before the coup attempt, reports had suggested that the two countries were moving closer on Syria and willing to cooperate against the US plan to carve out Kurdistan from the territories of Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey. This cooperation will only speed up now.

After the coup attempt, President Erdogan has declared that Turkey will work with Russia and Iran for regional peace. This is a big leap for Turkey not only because it is a member of NATO but also because, till recently, it had played the role of a frontline state in the US-led war against Syria, pretty much like the role we played in the CIA-sponsored jihad against Afghanistan in the 1980s. This would be a big setback for the empire and a shot in the arm of the Russia-China nexus that is resisting its evil plans on many fronts.

The US-led empire is not expected to sit back and just watch it happen. After all, there are many tricks in its bag. In the coming days, it is expected to unleash its myriad agents of chaos and violence to destabilise the elected government of Turkey and instigate a civil war in the country. It will make a big issue out of the crackdown on the media and political opponents, something it glossed over as long as Erdogan was doing its bidding. It is Erdogan’s turn to be demonised by the empire.

How in the world do we compare this scenario with what’s happening in Pakistan? As far as I know, there is no foreign-sponsored faction in our military scheming to overthrow not only the elected government but also the military leadership. After all, this is what happened in Turkey. To compare it to the tension between the military and government in Pakistan is a long shot. The reasons for this tension are no secret, and have no semblance with the situation in Turkey.

If anything, in the larger international context, the born-again Erdogan is more like General Raheel than Nawaz Sharif. After all, it is the military leadership that is spearheading the reorientation of our strategic alignment, away from the US and towards the China-Russia axis. If anything, the Nawaz government is playing the role of the coup-plotting faction in Turkey, dragging its feet to linger in the deathly embrace of its imperial masters, resisting the positive change knocking at the door.

The simplistic democracy-versus-martial-law narrative won’t work in this day and age. In any case, it is obviously a hard-sell at a time when the popularity of General Raheel and the army he leads is at an all-time high, when the match-winning cricket team at Lords celebrate their victory with a salute and the Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court gives the credit of his kidnapped son’s recovery to the army and its chief.

It is confounding that the saviours of democracy insist on defining the civil-military impasse in such extreme terms. Pitting the popular military leadership against an unpopular government is obviously not a good idea at a time like this, at a time when those running the democracy show are fast losing the last traces of credibility in the eyes of the public. The stories of corruption and abuse of power by elected representatives are splashed on the media every day.

Instead of inspiring confidence, the conduct of elected leaders is attracting ridicule and contempt. At a time when the tectonic plates of geo-politics are shifting, the Prime Minister is in hibernation, cooking up intrigue in his Raiwind palace. Instead of resuming his duties in Islamabad after a gap of over two months, he is packing his bags to go back to London to get the infection in his leg treated, or so he says.

At a time when the performance of the military under General Raheel is being widely appreciated by the public, the civilian leadership would have to do more than just save their skins in the garb of saving ‘democracy’.