If modern Egyptian history is of any guidance, the present military takeover marks the fourth instance since Gamal Abdel Nassers overthrow of the monarchy in 1952, and in all the previous instances the military maintained its rule, then it can also be expected to retain political authority. The popular revolution in Egypt has arrived at a stage characterised by the military takeover of the state. An acute appreciation of the significance of this political situation demands a recapitulation of the connected main events. During a few days immediately preceding the particular Friday, February 04, dubbed as the day of fury, the US President and some other leading western leaders had declared their common viewpoint that, in the face of public uprising, Mubarak should resign, and a rapid transition of Egypt to democracy was inadvisable. Without any ambiguity, this western position was a diplomatic expression for excluding Egypt from any consideration for representative political dispensation. In contrariness to the adoption of constitutional course for the transfer of power, Mubaraks resignation entailed the taking over of the control of the state by the military high command led by Field Marshal Tantawi. During his maiden address to the nation, Tantawi had generous salutations for the President, who had supposedly resigned. The military high command, in order to restore order, announced that it would guarantee the peaceful transition of power in the framework of a democratic system, which allows an elected, civilian power to govern the country to build a democratic state. If modern Egyptian history is of any guidance, the present military takeover marks the fourth instance since Gamal Abdel Nassers overthrow of the monarchy in 1952, and in all the previous instances the military maintained its rule, then it can also be expected to retain political authority. In the context of comparative history, the present Egyptian military junta chief Tantawi bears striking resemblances with, keeping in view the prominent milestones in the life history of Pakistan, Ayub Khan. And those similarities include being the beneficiary of extensions in service following superannuation; shouldering the portfolio of Defence Minister, as a civilian post while retaining the Chief of Army Staff position at the same time; heading a military takeover; and entertaining pretensions, as the saviour of the nation. The preceding brief analysis to a reliable extent unveils the reality underlying the event of the Egyptian military takeover, and the pretensions and pronouncements of the junta concerning the restoration of a constitutional democratic dispensation in the state within the next six months. The fact to be noted is that the transfer of power from the Mubarak regime to the present military setup was not a deliberate, peaceful transition. For the transfer of rule was contrary to the predictable course of events, as President Mubarak only a week prior to his supposed abdication had publicly expressed his determination to stay until the end of his official tenure during the ensuing September. In addition, the transition of political power was accomplished while bypassing the constitutional requirements, and even the recently appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman, who constitutionally and as expected due to his selection by Mubarak was to inherit the rule, was ignored. The direct, long distance military-to-military contacts between the US and Egyptian military establishments circumventing Mubaraks regime were reported during the final days of the previous rule. And finally, the issuance of military communiqus I and II - which bore telltale similarities with previous military coups in Egypt - during the couple of days prior to the announcement on Egypts national television of Mubaraks resignation and departure from Cairo, by the Vice President Suleiman, were considered to be convincing signs of military takeover. In this perspective, if one manages to disengage oneself from the dramatic unfolding of political events since the beginning of public protests on January 25 in Egypt, it is but an understandable curiosity to identify the stage where the revolutionary tide deviated from its natural, desirable course. It is due to the reason, the revolutionary tide is a welcome historical happening in the Middle East and Africa. These regions in the world have faced the foreign imperial and internal authoritarian rule over a prolonged duration of history, with the usurpation of political liberty belonging to their inhabitants. And the indicated understanding into the ebbing of revolutionary tide in Egypt is necessitated to delineate the course of popular upsurge, or the line of revolutionary action, in the immediate future. Although the revolutionary upsurge in Egypt began as the ripple effect of the successful popular riots that rose in its fraternal Arab state of Tunisia, however, the movement likewise was without any specific nucleus of leadership. With the public announcement of not seeking another term for presidential office by Mubarak, the revolution in the offing in Egypt had realised a vital gain, with remarkable potentials for the future. For those historic potentials to be actualised, both sides, namely, the incumbent government and the opposition at large, should have vividly perceived the internal and external hazards - that is, vested Egyptian interests and the US and allied imperial powers, respectively - stacked against the popular movement. With this critical awareness, the advantages flowing from the continuation of the Mubarak regime in office over the relatively short interim period would have been as follows: ? Given the natural inclination to refine his legacy, Mubarak was likely to allow free and fair general elections. ? Implicit in that continuation was a safeguard against a military takeover to derail or hijack the demand of political liberty made through mass movement. ? The governmental machinery needed to lay down the cornerstone of a genuine popular rule, in future, was securely in place, provided that potential was harnessed without delay. Noteworthy is the fact that Egypt has remained without the benefit of such a form of rule throughout its history. ? The revolutionary fervour that Egypt was experiencing, would have been preserved and it was likely to be augmented by the prospects of genuinely fair general elections. Due to the adoption of this course, once the revolutionary tide was allowed to rise without interruption, the popular zeal itself would have become a reckonable guarantee for credible elections. Such an outcome evidently would have served as the sound foundation for popular rule and political liberty in Egypt, and as an historic achievement. ? The ongoing revolutionary upsurge in the land of Pharaohs had already accomplished its fundamental objective of ensuring the discontinuity of an authoritarian political rule, at least since 1981 in the aftermath of President Anwar Sadats assassination. Now once the galvanised masses would have managed to maintain this vital gain without any discontinuity, as in the aftermath of military coup, that vital gain has become questionable, and gone on to elect a representative national dispensation, it obviously was an historic accomplishment that the popular movement could be expected to be credited with, which was to augur the dawn of a new political beginning for the Egyptians. ? And, due to the fact that Egypt being the most populous nation in the region and a trendsetter for other states in the Arab world and Africa, the envisaged inauguration of the dawn of representative national dispensation was likely to impact and revolutionise those states, as an historic outcome in itself. In the final analysis, the US indeed cannot escape the major blame for interceding and, as a matter of fact, sabotaging the logical progression of the revolutionary upsurge by not aiming at the credible national elections with the efficient and predictable agency of the previously incumbent regime. The takeover of political authority in Cairo, a coup dtat indeed, by the military council is to enact a known script, and the political and constitutional history of Egypt - and, as a matter of intimate relevance, that of Pakistan - is an unambiguously illustrative instance in that respect. The writer is the chairman of the Pakistan Ideological Forum. Email: suhrabaslam@hotmail.com