Imran Khan is Flailing After Failing Badly on Most Counts

FILE PHOTO: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Prime Minister Imran Khan may believe he is safe in power, very few others do, not even his own advisors and supporters. As an editorial in The Friday Times stated, “The popular consensus is that Imran Khan is flailing about desperately in a fit of panic and rage. The Establishment has turned against him. The opposition is cobbling a united front against him. His allies are waiting for a signal from the Establishment to bolt into their arms and kick him out. He is intimidating his critics. Hit lists are being compiled feverishly. Repressive Presidential Ordinances are being drafted. The air is thick with stories of corruption in government, amongst Khan’s cronies and family. The Election Commission of Pakistan and the courts are waking up to flex muscle. Everyone is asking one question: who will strike first and when?”

The editorial laid out “three ways to oust Imran Khan. The first is to create an environment in which he is thoroughly discredited and so pressured in one way or another that he chooses to throw in the towel and call it a day himself. But Khan is a stubborn man known to dig in his heels and fight to the bitter end. The second is to get him disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan whose damning judgment on the Foreign Funding case is expected in the first half of March. That would put the political merits of the legal route above par with the one taken to oust Nawaz Sharif. The third is to facilitate a successful vote of no confidence against him in parliament. A combination of the first two would be neater than the messy risks involved in the third.”

However, it pointed out that there was a “fourth way. If Imran Khan tries to sack the army chief and seize command of the Establishment by way of appointing his own man – as Nawaz Sharif did in 1999 vis a vis General Pervez Musharraf – the Establishment would likely hit back and he would meet the same fate as Nawaz Sharif did. But the country and its politics would be dragged into uncertain territory with unforeseen and unintended consequences.”

In conclusion, the editorial pointed out the need to ensure political parties and others kept in mind the angry mood and will of the people. “Civil-military politicians who have tried to subvert the constitution, steal mandates and install hybrid or authoritarian regimes have always got their comeuppance sooner or later.”


Author: Muhammad Butt