Imran Khan has long viewed himself as Pakistan’s Messiah and this was clearly visible in his 45 minute long live rant – not speech – on television on Thursday March 30. Following on his rally a few days ago, this speech was another attempt to portray himself as a martyr, compare himself to Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and allege that his opponents had collaborated with foreign powers – namely America – to oust him.
However, as an editorial in Dawn stated, Imran Khan knows that “publicly appealing to the better nature of his opponents is unlikely to win him any votes” so he has instead “built himself up as a lone fighter for Pakistan’s cause — the only voice to stand against tyranny when American drones were raining death on Pakistani soil. Now, he tells his supporters, he is being targeted for not kneeling to foreign powers’ demands to surrender Pakistan’s sovereignty.”
Referring to Imran Khan’s actions as “a farce” columnist Zahid Hussain noted, “It is neither a battle between ‘good and evil’, as Prime Minister Imran Khan would like us to believe, nor is it a struggle for democracy, as the combined opposition claims. We are witnessing a free play of political opportunists, fortune seekers and self-important hangers-on. It is a vicious power struggle, and for lack of alternatives we are all victims of it.”
Further, as Hussain notes, Imran Khan “is engaging in the same sort of wheeling and dealing which he had been accusing the opposition of indulging in. The ‘moral high ground’ that he claimed to have held seems to be slipping away as the threat to his survival in power increases. Muting his arrogance, the PM is now prepared to go to any extent to purchase political loyalties. The PTI’s latest deal with the PML-Q is a glaring example of the hypocrisy that is so deeply entrenched in the country’s politics.”
Referring to what is a normal diplomatic cable as a foreign conspiracy is dangerous and Imran Khan’s latest moves will only further damage Pakistan’s relations with the United States and with other countries around the world. Imran Khan may not be Prime Minister for long, but ‘Samson-like’ he appears willing to take Pakistan’s reputation down with him.