Imran Khan led PTI government ruled the country for 3.5 years on the same planet earth where previous governments had served and had worked with the same foreign powers, he today takes jibes at, until he was ousted through a constitutional process. Come April 9, 2022, we see different Imran Khan openly hurling accusations at same foreign powers for orchestrating foreign conspiracy against him. The whole story means that before 9th April everything was going hunky dory but the moment no confidence motion was passed – out of nowhere a foreign sponsored conspiracy erupted and instantly took over the whole political landscape. The concocted and flawed narrative of “Haqeeqi Azaadi March” that actually proved nothing rather caused destruction of public property and loss of precious lives, eventually disappeared in thin air. Nevertheless, political temperature remains high, and politics of blame & shame continue unabated.
To avert the looming disaster for the country, PTI and the current government were engaged in talks with establishment playing the role of arbitrator. The reference of these talks for averting the untoward situation were also discussed in talk shows aired on private TV channels.
Sources on conditions of anonymity revealed that Army leadership played a pivotal role in saving the imminent disaster that could have led to clashes between rival political parties and LEAs. Political leadership on both sides was sensitised by the establishment about the implications of apparent political deadlock and its resultant negative outcome for the country and then on yet to be finalised IMF deal. Army leadership yet again played a critical role as an arbitrator in averting the looming disaster wherein government allowed protesters to continue March and PTI after holding overnight protest agreeing to call off the protest. Sources on conditions of anonymity further revealed that earlier also matters had been mutually agreed upon by both sides for holding early elections provided IK delays the date of his long March any time after 25 May. In the meantime, to avert economic disaster, IMF deal would be finalised and then call for new elections would be made after finalisation of IMF package however on 22 May, IK suddenly called for march on Islamabad in a rush, yet again taking a U-turn. Then again PTI leadership was approached for an arbitration to delay the march so that the economic situation could be managed with locking of IMF deal. However, this time again he took a U-turn and carried on with his decision for continuing the March. Sensing total disregard to the agreed terms, government also decided to not allow the PTI procession to continue the March towards Islamabad.
While IK was heading the march towards Islamabad, establishment facilitated another round of talks between PTI and the government in good faith to resolve the looming crisis. Meanwhile, Supreme Court’s decision came forward that provided an easy passage for the marchers to hold rally at G-9 or H-9 sectors of Islamabad while asking government to remove all obstacles. The plan was to let the PTI complete the march peacefully and disperse overnight however PTI leadership while totally disregarding the SC’s decision didn’t hold rally at H-9 or G-9 rather forcefully pushed its way in red zone towards D-chowk. The marchers on their way destroyed valuable public property and burnt trees on the Green Belt of Blue area. All that fuss, rioting and destruction meant nothing when Imran Khan, much to the dismay of his supporters, suddenly called off the protest.
The questions arise; Is this the so-called haqeeqi azaadi that IK wants for his followers while unleashing the hurds of unhinged charged up supporters on the streets to cause mayhem and anarchy?
The analysis of this situation unfolds some facts about IK that are to be understood by his followers and people of Pakistan. Firstly, whatever IK is doing is only for the sake of some personal or vested agenda because if he needed an early election, he had the chance of negotiations repeatedly that he himself totally blew up. Secondly, he doesn’t want to share part of pie with anyone due to egoistic issues for anyone else to take credit of reaching a consensus short of his way of achieving self-serving notion of domination over his rivals. Thirdly, he wants to create a situation wherein establishment is drawn and sucked into managing the turmoil where it is compelled to wraps up the system and announce elections at time and manner of Imran Khan’s choosing. The question here is why Imran Khan in every public gathering since his ousting has continued to beat the bush instead of conveying some solid plans for an immediate economic recovery? Why is he charging his followers to cause violence while following the ideology of Riast e Madina? The supporters of any political party must not follow its leadership blindly on the rhetoric rather should hold leadership accountable for the performance, delivery on promises made and the future plans to get the country out of crisis. One of such key questions to be asked form PTI leadership is that in a globalized world order with US being the superpower what is his strategy for self-reliance and self-sufficiency when he continues to allege it for hatching a regime change conspiracy merely for achieving his political motives?
About Author: 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.