“All authority belongs to the people.”– Jefferson 

It is unfortunate that the military has once again deposed a democratically-elected government in Egypt. Different reasons are being presented for this illegal activity. Also, its Chief Justice Adly Mansour, whose prime responsibility is to protect the country’s constitution, has been appointed as interim President; he, it seems, has agreed to become a willing tool in the hands of the military. Needless to say, Egypt and many other Muslim countries have suffered due to military dictatorships, yet, the top rank and file in these states have refused to learn a lesson. Against this backdrop, Mohamed Morsi, the first civilian and Islamist President of Egypt, had made USA in particular and West in general doubtful about his future plans vis-à-vis Palestine and Israel. It is well known that Egypt is a key player in the region and has almost always supported Israel, thus changing the status quo in the Middle East was necessary. Otherwise, it would have created severe problems for Israel. Perhaps, this is why the international community has chosen to remain mum on the issue. Even the UN, which has mostly promoted core American interests, did not pass a resolution condemning the Egyptian military’s act of overthrowing a civilian government, what to talk about imposing sanctions on the country. In a silly yet damning incitement of the government, the Egyptian Commander-in-Chief issued a warning to the leadership to meet certain demands that he believed were the people’s will. The question, however, is: how can a civilian government be accountable to a general when it has been elected by the people? Another issue that cropped up during this upheaval remains the attitude of the neighbouring Muslim countries. They utterly failed to sent a signal, loud and clear, to the Egyptian armed forces by rejecting the takeover. Only Germany, Turkey, Qatar and the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood have ‘mildly’ condemned the ongoing violence in Egypt. Reportedly, the uprising, which has led to several demonstrations in the country, is being ruthlessly suppressed through the use of brute force. For instance, only in a day about 50 demonstrators were shot to death by people in civil clothes widely believed to be army personnel. Here if a comparison is made with the happenings in Syria, on which sanctions have been imposed for the regime’s brutal actions against its own people, no other example of Western, especially the US, hypocrisy is required. To add salt to the wounds, Egypt’s new government has set up a commission to probe into the killing of the innocent people. The accusation against the Morsi government is that it was trying to shift political and administrative powers under Islamic control, which severely damaged the country’s economy. While the USA and its allies have demanded that the interim setup puts in place a mechanism so that an elected government can be installed at the earliest, one may ask: what was wrong with the previous one that was brought into power through the ballot? The basic issue is that Morsi failed to understand the gravity of the situation and quickly made his intentions known vis-à-vis Palestine and Israel. That, according to Washington, could have resulted as a destabilising factor in the Middle East. Hopefully, the Egyptian military top brass would soon realise that its formula for progress and prosperity has failed in several countries and that it awaits the same fate in Egypt. Anyhow, what would happen if once again the Islamists (aka Muslim Brotherhood) are voted into power after the elections? What guarantees are there that they would not follow an even more radical and nationalistic line, creating more problems for the US and Israel. 

The writer has been associated with various newspapers as editor and columnist. At present, he hosts a political programme on Pakistan Television.