Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal suggested on Monday that some “hidden hands” are attempting to sabotage the democratic process in the country but that the nation would break the cycle [of political instability] “this time”.
In a post made on his Facebook page, Iqbal began by listing decades in Pakistan’s history that were alternately marked by either democracy or military rule.
“Our history: ’50s Democracy, ’60s Martial Law, ’70s Democracy, ’80s Martial Law, ’90s Democracy, ’00s Martial Law, ’10s Democracy,  ’20s ???” he wrote.
The minister said that Pakistan’s history has fluctuated between democracy and martial laws, adding that it has become a pattern.
“Some hidden hands and inertia of history are trying to drift the democratic process into [the] same old design,” he wrote in his post.
Iqbal questioned whether the country would be able to “break the cycle” of political instability or follow the same route [taken earlier].
He then expressed hope that “the cycle will break this time” as the country, “except a troika of failed politicians, disgruntled media anchors, and a few retired servicemen”, is committed to securing the democratic process.
“We can’t compromise on our future and the tide of Rising Pakistan!!!” he concluded.
In response to a comment about the role of PML-N — Iqbal’s party — in the imposition of martial law by Ziaul Haq, the dismissal of Benazir Bhutto’s government and the removal of Yousuf Raza Gilani, Iqbal said that mistakes had been made by all sides in the past.
“We all made mistakes in the past, even PPP conspired against us with [the] establishment, therefore COD [Charter of Democracy] was signed. We need to move forward.”
‘Democracy is reigning supreme’
The minister’s statement comes at a time when the top leadership of the PML-N has converged on the British capital ahead of what is billed as a key consultative meeting that will decide both the party’s and the government’s position on what steps to take next.
Denying tensions between state institutions, Iqbal had claimed on Saturday that certain segments of the media and the army, and some “failed” politicians, were trying to create the perception of a standoff in order to further their own agenda.
Iqbal had alleged that some disgruntled elements wanted to pit the PML-N against the army. “They will never succeed in materialising their nefarious designs,” he had said.
“Democracy is reigning supreme in the country and the next general elections will be held on time.”