Former Prime Minister Imran Khan may claim that he is Pakistan’s messiah, but his recklessness will only further damage the country and every institution. As of now the institution facing Khan’s ire is the military establishment.
As author and journalist Zahid Hussain notes in a recent column, “there was an element of inevitability about Imran Khan’s outburst against the security establishment. He feels dejected at being left midstream without the prop he had become so used to. He now blames his former patrons for all that had gone wrong with his rule.”
Hussain notes that “reckless statements by a former prime minister raise serious concerns about his motives. He would prefer military intervention to the political process taking its own course. His destructive populist politics is extremely dangerous not only for democracy but also for national security. His tenor has become increasingly blunt after his party’s failed attempt on May 25 to storm the capital and to force the new government to call early elections. In his no-holds-barred speeches, the former prime minister has had his guns trained on the security establishment. He is now even implying that the establishment has been part of what he describes as a foreign conspiracy of regime change.”
Hussain notes that “it was the ousted PM’s arrogance and hubris that caused the fall of his government. Imran Khan’s ‘foreign conspiracy’ mantra was largely meant to salvage the situation and also put the establishment under pressure. It’s evident that Khan wants the military to intervene rather than try and find a solution to the political crisis under a democratic set-up, however weak. In fact, there is a danger that his reckless stance could push the establishment more deeply into politics.”
What is most worrying, Hussain notes, is that “Imran Khan is critical of the military leadership not because he wants the establishment to be out of politics but because he is upset at being abandoned.” So it isn’t about Pakistan or Pakistanis, but all about Imran Khan.