If to believe print and electronic media’s headlines, Pakistan ’s military ruler General Musharraf is facing near revolt at the hands of religious political parties after his governments divisive decision to support US in her war on terrorism. In the aftermath of September 11 cataclysmic events, President Musharraf, left with no choice but to support international community in its war on terrorism, declared his government’s decision to provide logistic support to US forces (thus allowing US forces to use its air bases besides air space) and to cooperate with US services in intelligence collecting and sharing, thus inviting wrath of Muslim radicals who are openly supporting Taliban’s puritan regime.

As some political analyst observes, with military government’s decision to support US against Taliban, an early signals of storm gathering are visible over murky political horizon of Pakistan . Country is slowly but steadily drifting to civil war. Pakistan ’ ruling class, the military bureaucracy and its time-honored ally, the extreme right wing religious political parties, had never been so divided on any issue in the immediate history of Pakistan . Thanks to Pakistan ’s former military dictator General Zia’s 11 years of ruthless rule, Pakistan military is at present turned into largest single constituency of religious parties. General Zia was the greatest strategist of all. Islam was raison d etre for his otherwise illegal rule. He hypocritically lured religious forces to his fold and encouraged obscurantist trends in armed forces.

At the moment, when the storm of fundamentalist keeps gathering over Pakistan, it is feared If in these times some really powerful body, say any adventurer in uniform threw his weight behind these charged extremist to exploit the situation, not unusual in third world countries, political course of Pakistan would be change for ever. Fundamentalism, still devoid of nuclear weapon would get its ultimate weapon of war on rational world. Pakistani authorities are already questioning some nuclear scientist on suspicion of being collaborator of Osam bin Laden.

Some of political analysts disagree with this notion. They argue that Pakistan military has commendable discipline in its ranks therefore they rule out this possibility pointing to recent high profile reshuffle in Pakistan military hierarchy when four senior most generals lost their position for misgiving about being kind to religious extremism.

On Friday, 26 October, Pakistan witnessed early warning signs of likely upheaval. Right wing religious activists from different Islamic groups took to the streets under the aegis The Pakistan-Afghanistan Defense Council (PADC) throughout the country, demanding an end to US raids on Afghanistan and the overthrow of military government if it continues to support it.

“ Pakistan would become Algeria if General Musharraf continued to govern the country.” S. Haq, head of his own faction of extreme right wing political party JUI warned while addressing to so-called Million men March’s participant in Karachi on October 26. And for people who knew what had been happening in Algeria following 1992 elections, it was not very difficult to decipher the admonition. Since the 1992 poll in Algeria , Muslim radicals who won the ballot and military that refused to transfer power to them are at each other’s throat. Therefore, Is S. Haq, chairman of PADC, an alliance of above a dozen right wing political parties; threatening civil war in Pakistan ? In the same breath he called General Musharraf a traitor to Islamic nation and for him; general has jeopardized the soldiery of Pakistan by siding with US in her war against Taliban.

” Therefore to avert confrontation between Armed forces and masses, General should step down sooner the better.” He declared.

Haq accused General Musharrf of betraying the cause of Muslims and bringing a bad name to armed forces. Another leader, Liaquat Baloch Vice chief of JI in Quetta on the same day while addressing to protest meeting made appeal to armed forces to overthrow General Musharraf by force.

In rejoinder to President Mushrraf’s call to for broad based government in Afghanistan , one speaker said,” General is talking of broad based Afghan government, although Pakistan itself was in need of broad-based national government to resolve all the contending issues.” He did not elaborated what he meant from broad-base national government in a country like Pakistan where military and right wing political parties had till the moment agreement over the matter of not granting the right of rule to any truly secular and democratic force other than them. For both, all secular and liberal political forces are-and were- security risk to fragile ideological frontiers of Pakistan . In Pakistan , It is high treason to speak of secular democracy as it negates and challenges very foundation of Pakistan , the country that akin to Israel has its existence owed to religion having vague Muslim nation’s ideology that separated Muslims of sub-continent from rest of majority Hindu south Asia .

At the same times but different place to Karachi , mood in Pakistan ’s capital Islamabad was more fuming where PADC took to streets after Friday’s prayer. Leaders of the congregation t hreatened to launch a civil disobedience movement against the military government from Nov 1, if the General did not withdraw its support to the United States . A joint declaration read out said,” All roads and highways will be blocked to stop vehicular traffic, American goods will be boycotted and the government servants will be asked to tender resignation."

But most amazing commentary came from Qazi Hussein, head of most powerful and organized religious party Jamait-i-Islami. Throwing his weight behind S. Huntington ’s controversial theory of Clash of civilization, Qazi phrased the ongoing US-Taliban showdown as a clash between two civilizations.

In extreme north of the country, one extremist cleric has issued decree of holy war on US and its allied-no doubt military government is included in-and is amassing his armed fanatic followers to participate in holy war in Afghanistan. Sufi Mohammad chief of Tehrik Nifaz-i- Shariat Mohammadi (TNSM) is getting oath from his followers and reports are that within day or two he would go into Afghanistan to fight in his word, infidels, where pious Muslims of Tajic and Uzbek and Hazara minorities are fighting their half a decade old war against brutal Taliban rule.

Further north, thousands armed tribal protestors, belonging to an array of religious groups has blocked country’s only international highway, The Korakoram Highway, for an indefinite period of time in support to Taliban. Linking Pakistan to China , this Highway has strategic significance for being proximal to north-eastern borders of Afghanistan . Will Musharraf government come down on those who openly support Taliban and oppose his decision to extend cooperation to US? His government has already booked head of extreme rightist Muslim radical Party, JUI’s chief Fazal Rahman in high treason and sedition case.

Now when fundamentalist groups have called for civil disobedience movement to overthrow Musharraf government, eyes are over silent majority that has till present neither supported Musharraf’s unpopular decision to extend support to US and allies nor have they shown any over sympathy for the cause of fundamentalist groups. Government and Fundamentalists, both have alienated themselves to majority of people who see both with suspicious. Fundamentalists enjoy support of a few percent of total population of Pakistan . So, the silent majority has got the decisive position. To what side this power will tilt, it is on two factors, one how military and its opposing forces manipulate the state of affairs and second how long war on terrorism drags and to which way? It must not to be forgetting that people have got unpredictably short tempered psychology. They could react to prolong military operation in their immediate neighborhood that Continues threatening their current position and pulling them to insecurity.

Since past half century, people of Pakistan had been witnessing unholy alliance between right wing religious parties and military establishment. To some instance religious extremism has been tagged as mere extension of military agenda. These groups had been comrade-in-arms to military establishment in its unchallenged rule over Pakistan . In past argument had always been between democratic forces and military-fundamentalist nexus. Religious outfits got funds, training and other logistic support from military. Not for a single moment in past, these allies were seen far-off from each. To what extent this split is real, the time will tell only.

For political observers who keep keen eye on political developments in the country it is strange that those religious forces that owe their being to military are openly challenging its authority.” It is all drama of military government to increase its price.” One observes,” Mushararaf wants to show donors how much trouble he is in, and obviously greater the water of troubles, higher the costs to get out of it.”