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Tragic End Of Morsi

Story of Egypt's Inept Rulers

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05th-Jul-2019       
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Asif Haroon Raja :
[This is the second part of the article]
Challenges before Morsi
Doctorate in Engineering from USA and God fearing Morsi with simple habits was faced with myriad of complex challenges. He got the first shock when Egypt's Military Council at the outset stripped him of all his executive powers and dissolved the Parliament. On July 10, 2012, the Supreme Constitutional Council upheld the decision by negating Morsi's decision to call the Parliament back into session. On November 22, Morsi issued a declaration immunising his decrees from challenges and seeking to protect the work on drafting new Constitution. He went about removing the societal cobwebs and hurdles and took steps to Islamise the society.
Apart from the antagonist judiciary, bureaucrats refused to implement Morsi's policies. It created artificial energy shortages to stir discontent. Opposition played the game of a spoiler. Media played a negative role and pinned every failure on Morsi. The biggest weakness of the ruling regime was that its cabinet had only 8 members from FJP and the rest including the PM were independent technocrats.
What raised alarm bells in Israel was when he openly espoused the cause of Palestinians, promised to extend support to the trapped Gazans, denounced Israeli policies and stated that Zionists had no right to historic Palestine. Israel lost its patience after Rafah crossing was opened for use by Gazans to receive emergent food supplies and medicines. This dug the last nail in Morsi's coffin. Gaza had been quarantined by Israel after Hamas had won elections democratically in 2007 and had formed a government in Gaza.
A plan was chalked out hurriedly and the scene of January-February 2011 was re-enacted. Millions of people took to the streets and chanted anti-Morsi slogans. Three days later, the situation had become ripe for the already tutored Gen Abdel al-Fatah, who had been appointed Army Chief and Defence Minister by Morsi in 2012, to stage a coup on July 3, 2013 and remove Morsi from power, exactly after his one year rule. Reportedly, Sisi has old family ties with Jews.
Fatah al-Sisi's rule
After the deposition of Morsi, Military Council headed by Sisi ruled the roost. The police massacred 817 people mostly belonging to MB on August 14 to break up sit-ins. Between July 2013 and June 2016, 16 to 41000 MB members and supporters were interned. Since then, MB which has been banned is being constantly persecuted. There are 60,000 political prisoners in jail. Practices of extra judicial killings, forced disappearances, death sentences, executions are a common practice. No voice has been raised against human rights abuses. Islamists started an insurgency in the Sinai which is still raging. The country is now sharply divided between seculars-Coptic and Islamists.
Sisi was anointed President in 2014 following sham election held under explicitly despotic conditions and re-elected for 2nd term in 2018. He banned protests and muffled the media.
Morsi's mock trial and mistreatment
Morsi and 14 other MB members were put on trial in November 2013 and were awarded death sentence in 2015. Later on, Morsi's sentence was changed to 45 years jail term.
Morsi who was serving his jail sentence in most dreaded Tora Jail, called 'Scorpion', unfit for even animals, kept fighting his case and maintained his stance that he was the genuinely elected President and still was the President. He was brought to the courtroom for hearings in a specially designed glass cage which was sound-proof and his voice couldn't be heard.
During his 6-year solitary confinement, his family could meet him only thrice. He was denied newspapers, TV, proper medical care and diet despite his multiple ailments ranging from diabetes, high blood pressure and liver disease.
He finally collapsed in the courtroom on June 17 and died of cardiac arrest or diabetic coma. He was denied proper public burial and was hurriedly buried at midnight with only two of his relatives attending the last rites. His tormentors made his life as painful as possible. Turkish President Erdogan was the lone voice who condemned the sham trial and maltreatment of Morsi and termed it as a judicial murder.
Sisi was all the time concerned about the threat posed by Morsi once his death sentence was converted to jail sentence. The route adopted for his slow death was immoral and so were the charges framed against him. His death has ended the prospects of democracy in Egypt since Sisi is likely to rule till 2030. The circumstances under which Morsi died will haunt the conscience of spiteful as well as tearful Egyptians.      
End Note. Lacking in charisma and dynamism, Morsi was not the first choice of MB, but was forced to wear the crown of thorns. He lacked the desired traits to overcome myriad challenges. Faced with structural impediments, he was not cut to tackle them effectively. But he was committed to democratic transition. Morsi wasn't perfect, but he was Egypt's best bet against tyranny of military rule. Democracy should have been given a chance. Economic deprivation, social injustices, indignities and insecurity against which the Egyptians had raised their voices in 2011 have returned with a big bang. Sisi's rule is viewed as brutal and illegitimate, but is hailed by USA, West, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
(Asif Haroon Raja, retired Brigadier, war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, Member CWC and think tank Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society, and Member Council Tehreek Jawanan Pakistan. asifharoonraja@gmail.com)   

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