Project Reports

Report of Round Table Discussion on Egypt Crisis: Evaluating Conflict Between Islamists and Liberals & Implication for Middle East

Islamabad-based research think-tank MUSLIM Institute organized a round table discussion titled "Egypt Crisis: Evaluating Conflict Between Islamists and Liberals & Implication for Middle East" on 6th July 2013. Mr. Abdul Ghafar Aziz, expert foreign affairs, and former Ambassador Javid Hafeez, were the speakers in the Round Table Discussion. Representatives from different Think Tanks, Universities and Media participated in the event.
Abdul Ghaffar Aziz Renowned Foreign Affairs Analyst
Renowned foreign affairs analyst Abdul Ghaffar Aziz said that the development that took place in Egypt in 2012 was a landmark development in the entire Arab world. However, after one year army had overthrown elected government of Morsi. Although Muslim Brotherhood won the elections with majority, still they took only three ministers. They brought forward the personalities who were popular in the country and were working for the country. Muslim Brotherhood had objection on Husni Mubarik that he was a dictator, who even did not make a Vice President.

President Morsi elected Vice President who was not from Muslim Brotherhood. When Muslim Brotherhood formed the parliament for constitution making, they also gave representation to minorities in that parliament. When the constitution was made, people alleged that Morsi has taken all powers but in reality the constitution was modern and based on Islamic laws. Morsi took power to pass the constitution only because the assembly was dissolved before passing the constitution. And Morsi held referendum to get approval of the constitution from public and it was included in constitution that after passing the constitution, President will give back powers to courts. Mohamed ElBaradei opposed the constitution because the committee making the constitution contained members who are holocaust deniers.

Abdul Ghaffar Aziz further said that dissolving the assembly before thirteen hours of presidential elections was a signal that President will also not be allowed to run government for long. Movement against Morsi has one agenda that Morsi should resign and new elections should be held. If such toppling of democratically elected government had happened in any European country, there would have been hue and cry to restore democracy. World powers are giving it name of change instead of military coup. Egypt was going to have major developments with Sudan and Libya and thus causing significant changes in the region. Main stream movements in Arab want change through democracy. He further said Morsi is very humble person and did not take hasty steps, while army acted in haste. Egypt is a trend setter for Arab world and now it is feared that the Arab world may also face this model of army coup. Muslim Brotherhood is protesting with millions of people since 28 June in favor of Morsi. Even after killings of sixty workers of Muslim Brotherhood, they are still peaceful.
Javaid Hafeez Former Ambassador to Egypt
Former Ambassador to Egypt Javaid Hafeez speaking on the occasion said that Muslim Brotherhood was taking country towards betterment and working honestly but they have been removed after one year. The change for which Muslim Brotherhood has worked i.e. change through vote is the real change and change through bullet is not long lasting. Although Morsi got majority votes but Egypt was under kinghood since thousands of years and that’s why delivering through democracy faced hurdles. Egypt is very important geographically especially because of joining Asia and Africa and having very important trade route through Suez Canal. It is most populous country in Arab world. There are three major powers in Egypt viz military, Muslim Brotherhood and liberals. Military has strength of about 0.45 million. Muslim Brotherhood is working since eighty years and dictators have tried to eliminate it but could not succeed. Liberals took 55% vote in first presidential election and Muslim Brotherhood took 45%. Whereas in last year elections, Muslim Brotherhood took 51% votes.

Ambassador Javaid Hafeez said that signatures campaign against Morsi has no credibility as there was no check that how much signatures one person has done. He opined that the latest development in Egypt will have negative impact on Middle East. USA has taken military coup as change not as coup. Arab world has gone ten years back in democratic evolution.

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