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Morsi's unceremonious departure

July 07, 2013

Egypt protests. — File photo
Egypt protests. — File photo
There are many eerie parallels to be found in the history of Pakistan and Egypt’s civil-military relations – and what has happened in Cairo this week has fortunately not happened in Pakistan since a fateful October day in 1999.

Yet, there are many clashing opinions as to exactly what the significance of what is unfolding in Egypt is. Many have heralded the tumultuous turn of events – President being ousted after being given an ultimatum by the military – as the enforcement of the ‘people’s will’. Others have bluntly declared it a military coup, and decried the manipulation of popular protest by erstwhile powerful forces in the country.

Either way, there are a lot of questions that arise as a result of the massive political shake up. How long will an ‘interim setup’ (headed by the top judge of Egypt) be in power? Will there be a transition to a democratically elected government? Will the army, as history shows, continue to be the shady power player in the background? Egypt’s military has backed autocracy for decades in the region.

Many analysts see this as a loss for democracy. Although Morsi was no saint by most standards – the people protesting on the streets were taking exception to a staggering economy, a strengthening of the Muslim Brotherhood at the expense of other more pressing matters, and Morsi’s inability to get along with other state organs – he was a democratically elected president. He may have won the mandate with a narrow majority, but he won nonetheless.

What do you think the future of Egypt looks like? Will democracy re-flourish? Will military rule end up being a long-term measure than a stop-gap measure? Will the ‘people power’ continue to function as a check on dictatorial power, whether in the form of the military or politicians?

Dawn.com invites its readers to express their views.