The recent attempt on former prime minister Imran Khan’s life has only enhanced the chaos and instability inside Pakistan. Khan’s public assertions that the prime minister, interior minister and a senior intelligence official were responsible for the bid to assassinate him have only made things worse.
These are extremely serious accusations for a former prime minister. As an editorial in Dawn noted, “By going public with them, Mr Khan has taken a step that he may find impossible to reverse. It seems highly unlikely that Shehbaz Sharif or Rana Sanaullah will step down on Mr Khan’s demands, and it is improbable that the military will be interested at this time in removing a top official merely on his complaint. This means that whatever investigation is done will be hamstrung from the start by accusations of interference and partiality, and the acrimony between the state and the PTI will continue to grow.”
Clashes between Khan’s supporters and police and the Punjab’s police’s inept handling of the investigation have only added to the confusion and fueled conspiracy theories. In such an environment of distrust it will be difficult to conduct an impartial investigation and hence will play into Khan’s narrative of grievance and victimhood.