What Pakistani politicians said about the coup attempt in Turkey

Updated July 17, 2016

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Unlike Turkey, democracy in Pakistan is threatened by Nawaz's monarchy, not army, says Imran Khan.─Naeemul Haq Twitter profile
Unlike Turkey, democracy in Pakistan is threatened by Nawaz's monarchy, not army, says Imran Khan.─Naeemul Haq Twitter profile

As the people of Turkey stood behind their democratically elected leader and thwarted a coup attempt by a section of the Turkish army on Saturday, the show of courage by the people and the democratically elected government was appreciated the world over.

The people of Pakistan, a country which has had its own share of military coups, reacted on social media with awe and astonishment as they witnessed the people of Turkey standing against armoured vehicles and heavily armed soldiers for their leader and democracy.

Unlike the general public, most of our politicians stayed silent on social media till Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) emerged victorious.

Lets have a look at how politicians from the ruling and opposition camps reacted to the situation in Turkey.

The ruling camp

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was all praise for the people of Turkey and the AKP government and strongly condemned what he termed as an attempt to undermine democracy in Turkey.

"We deeply admire the resolve of the brave and resilient Turkish people, who stood up against the forces of darkness and anarchy to express their support and commitment to democracy," the PM said in a statement issued from his office.

PM Office statement

Pakistan's 'first daughter' who does not miss an opportunity to tweet-attack the government's opponents, celebrated the 'victory of democracy' in a strongly worded tweet.

Maryam Nawaz's tweet

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, the only PML-N leader who live tweeted the attempt, openly spoke against martial law and urged the people of Pakistan to pray for the victory of democracy when the coup attempt was underway.

"Martial law is not rule of law it is no law ...prayers for stability of Turkey & victory of democracy," Asif tweeted the night the attempted coup took place. Minutes after the first tweet, he lauded and prayed for the people who came out on the streets to support Erdogan.

As the coup attempt failed, Asif, well before the PM, said the people of Turkey have "defeated the dark forces" for their right to rule.

Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal was the second PML-N leader to comment on the news live on his social media pages and prayed for the safety of democracy.

Joyful, after the failure of the attempt, Ahsan tweeted a picture of Turkish police arresting rebel soldiers with the remark "real power is one who is on the side of rule of law"

The divided PTI

While Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Awami National Party celebrated the failure of the coup attempt and heaped praise on people of Turkey, majority of PTI's leadership, including the party chief, stayed silent till Sunday, only to come up with statements condemning Nawaz Sharif.

PTI's chief and the party spokesman, Naeemul Haque, hold different views about Turkey's President Erdogan. Haq indirectly termed both Nawaz and Erdogan 'monarchs' and did not condemn the Turkish army.

Imran Khan praised Erdogan's governance and only lambasted his own prime minister, and reminded him that people will not come out on the streets for him, if a similar situation arises in Pakistan.

"Authoritarianism is evident in the way Nawaz/Erdogan conduct themselves. Turkish uprising was a warning. We must also fight Badshahat (Monarchy)." Naeemul Haque said in a tweet posted on Sunday.

Minutes after Haque's tweet, PTI's chief stated that Erdogan's good governance saved him and made his people stand against the rebel forces.

Imran added that if such a situation arises in Pakistan, the people will not come out on the streets to save Nawaz but will distribute sweets to welcome the army.

"Democracy in Pakistan is not threatened by the army but by Nawaz Sharif's monarchy," said Imran Khan.

PTI Secretary General Jahangir Khan Tareen, however, was all praise for Erdogan, his economic policies, stating his policies are the reason people of Turkey supported him in his hour of need.

All out support

As expected, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari did not mince any words to condemn the attempt and expressed hope that "Turkey will come out as a stronger democracy and stronger nation after quashing the coup".

"The people of Turkey deserve to be complimented for coming out into the streets and face military tanks and artillery with bare hands to force the coup makers run," Bilawal said in a statement released from his party's media cell..

Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, in a statement released from his party, said the defence of a democratically elected government with the power of the people opens a new chapter in Turkish history.

The King of Lal Haveli and chief of his own faction of Muslim League, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, retweeted every tweet in favour of a coup in Pakistan that night. He also chose to remind Nawaz Sharif that he cannot compare himself with Erdogan as he left Pakistan after the October 1999 coup.

Some of the tweets Sheikh Rasheed retweeted
Some of the tweets Sheikh Rasheed retweeted