There is something definitely non-linear with the politics of PTI. The fictitious foreign conspiracy mantra viciously trumpeted by Imran Khan and his PTI has been stumped by the presentation of facts by all relevant stakeholders domestically as well as internationally. On display is a classic case of blind devotion by PTI supporters who see nothing wrong in what Imran Khan believes and what he preaches. There is definitely a suspension of critical thinking which only mass hysteria can explain, because only they believe on this free-flying rhetoric of the ex-Pakistani Prime Minister.
The proceedings of the National Security Council meeting were misquoted repeatedly through a vigorous social media campaign by the blind devotees that the Official Military spokesperson had to demolish the fiction with the facts by saying “As far as the military response about the NSC meeting is considered, that stance, in that meeting was fully given, and then a statement was issued…which clearly says what was concluded in that meeting. The words used are in front of you…as I said…the words used are clear. Is there any word such as conspiracy used in it? I think No”. It became mandatory for the military to come clean because Imran Khan was playing a dangerous game by inflaming the environment through this fabrication of facts. It was perceived that Imran khan may go back to his advisory board to conjure a fresh narrative because the conspiracy mantra was already dying with no tangible evidences but No, PTI did not swallow their pride and continued to propagate this myth. When DG ISPR rebuked this conspiracy myth, US State Department spokesman Ned Price during a media talk acknowledged the statement of DG ISPR wherein he dismissed an impression of a foreign “conspiracy” to oust former prime minister Imran Khan’s government. Not only once, but DG ISPR had to rebut this mantra of conspiracy on national media so many times.
Following DG ISPR’s repeated rebuttals on the conspiracy myth, PTI leaders Shireen Mazari and Asad Umar during a live press conference themselves admitted that Military leaders were of the opinion in national security committee meeting that they did not find any proof of foreign conspiracy against former PM Imran Khan. Post, this acceptance, PTI is still dragging the conspiracy mantra. In the same press conference, Shireen Mazari claimed that the cipher was not shown intentionally to the then Foreign Minister. However, much to dismay of Ms Mazari, the former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had already accepted publically that he had seen cipher the moment it was received in Pakistan. He added that he himself informed the former PM about the cipher and advised him to issue a demarche but it was delayed due to the upcoming 48th Session of OIC conference that Pakistan was hosting. Now the question is if the ex-government knew about a foreign conspiracy being hatched against them by the US before the OIC conference why they invited the US undersecretary Azra Zia in the same OIC conference? The then NSA Moeed Yusuf and ex-FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi also held separate meetings with her after which Shah Mehmood tweeted; “Bilaterally, Pakistan has a longstanding relationship with the US & we believe a regular & Structured dialogue process important to promoting our bilateral & shared regional objectives. We look forward to commemorating 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties this year.” The question that yet again arises that can this be a tone and language of a Foreign Minister who was very well aware that a foreign conspiracy was being hatched by the same country for which he was now making praiseworthy remarks?
Former Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations and United States Maleeha Lodhi also categorically rejected the Foreign conspiracy mantra by claiming that “Contradictions and differences lie between countries, which are exchanged through diplomatic cables. Therefore, with the narrative of foreign conspiracy, Imran Khan was building up since the beginning, there was no reality behind it. In the past, we have exchanged very harsh diplomatic cables with the US on nuclear programme and the war on terror, but it does not prove a sense of conspiracy. Therefore, It’s just a diplomatic exchange and there is nothing unusual.” Another top-level diplomat who also served as a High commissioner to India, Abdul Basit also rebutted the claim of Imran Khan while saying that “State officials issuing such threats to diplomats is completely unheard of. Incidents where state officials tell diplomats that they would sever ties if a country’s government is not sent packing has never been heard before.”
This political maneuver, full of Illusions and delusions needs to be buried for a better political discourse in the country. You disagree on economy, politics and policies every day but PTI needs to think something else. Because, this has become even more crucial today. The conspiracy concoction is dying or is it already dead? You decide!!
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.