Politicians all the world over can often be insensitive. But Imran Khan has shown, repeatedly both while he was prime minister, and now, that he is incapable of thinking of anything but himself.
In January 2021 when 10 Baloch coal miners were killed, Imran Khan refused to visit the grieving community and instead alleged that they were ‘blackmailing him.’
Today when over 30 million Pakistanis have been devastated by the floods, with hundreds of thousands homeless in the worst-ever weather-related catastrophe that the country has ever witnessed, the only thing Imran Khan wants to discuss is how wrong it was for him to be ousted from power.
All his speeches talk about an “imported government” that is “acting on the instructions of foreign powers” and threatening that his cult-like following will march on the capital city unless he is restored to power. Pakistan is facing heatwaves and floods but all Khan can talk about is his fight for haqeeqi azadi (real independence).
An editorial in Dawn appealed, “Does the PTI chief not see how much damage can be caused to relief and rehabilitation efforts, which also involve aid from foreign governments and organisations, by whipping up public sentiment against the authorities? As he looks to regain power, everything for Mr Khan has become about political point-scoring — including raising funds for flood victims. At first, he was inexplicably reluctant about doing so at all, but then better sense appeared to have prevailed. After his international fundraising telethon led to pledges worth Rs5bn mainly from overseas Pakistanis, Mr Khan could not resist turning it into a jibe at the chief election commissioner about ‘foreign funding’ — an unwarranted, not to mention illogical, analogy.”
As if answering the question, Dawn’s editors asked “is Mr Khan capable of hearing anything other than what he wants to in his echo chamber?”