Pakistan is currently facing an acrimonious political landscape with PTI running dangerous propaganda campaigns against all and sundry. Since his ousting, the former PM Imran Khan and his party have been involved in spreading fake news and defaming state institutions especially the military and its leadership. In the most recent episode, Imran Khan appeared before a sessions court in Islamabad to personally apologise to Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry, the woman judge he had threatened at a public rally. He failed to generously offer an apology despite specific instructions by the court. Apology from the woman judge let alone, the question remains who will apologize for the mess Imran Khan has created for Pakistan and its people both nationally and internationally?
Since the first day of his ousting he falsely trumpeted claim of foreign conspiracy in his ouster from the government. He asserted that the issue of foreign conspiracy was discussed in the meeting of National Security Council however later the NSC rebutted the claim and official response refuting the claim was all relevant institutions was given clearly. Why anyone from PTI didn’t issue an apology for spreading fake propaganda then? PTI with another claim of cypher containing so called threats from US against the PTI government was debunked first by Foreign Office in an official press release and after that by NSC and the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The Supreme Court in its decision on the cypher stated that; “However, despite receiving the cypher on 07.03.2022 the information conveyed in it was neither investigated by the Government nor were its contents alluded to during the sittings of the NA on 28.03.2022 and 31.03.2022. Also the allegations levelled against the members of the opposition parties were not put to them.” It was clearly stated by the honorable court that the previous government of PTI didn’t pursue any inquiry commission on the alleged foreign conspiracy under Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act 2017 (“2017 Act”) due to the lack of available evidence.
The foreign office dismissed the cypher propaganda by terming it “entirely baseless” refuted that the Cypher Communication received from the Embassy in Washington was ‘hidden’ from the Foreign Minister or Prime Minister. “Such a question simply does not arise. The Foreign Office operates on a professional basis and it would be detrimental to cast aspersions on its working,” the foreign office spokesperson said in a statement. Why Imran Khan has not issued an apology for his cypher propaganda?
Then Imran Khan with his team was involved in a malicious propaganda against the Army Chief by claiming the COAS will not resign and get another extension. They added using hidden words that COAS was behind the so-called regime change operation as he wanted an extension but it has been proven after clear statements from DG ISPR and Chief of Army Staff himself that the Chief was not seeking any extension to his tenure of duty. Which PTI leader will apologize from the Army Chief now? Will someone have the moral courage to stand up and apologise from Pakistani public for misleading the public on one hand and tarnishing the image of the military on the other. The back-to-back audio leaks of the former PM are again a confirmation that he is working on an agenda and trying to make fool out of the public. In the most recent audio leak Imran Khan can be heard planning horse trading that buries his image of being the most so-called honest leader of Pakistan. It proves beyond any doubt that he is no different than the ones against whom he keeps blabbering and complaining about. It goes without saying that Pakistan has faced international embarrassment after the PTI leadership instigated vicious propaganda merely for political point scoring and trivial gains. Looking at things in hindsight since his ouster one only hopes that will there ever be an apology from PTI, Imran Khan and his key leaders who didn’t spare seconds in creating polarisation and hate among people of Pakistan and damaging the national institutions merely to achieve political power. Question arises will they ever stop and apologise for the irreparable damage caused to Pakistan. Will there ever be method to this madness?
Humais Sheikh is an independent Defence Analyst based in Islamabad. He has completed his Masters in Defence and Strategic Studies from Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad.