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The downfall of Imran The Excelsior 19 Jun 2023
Shah Mahmood Qureshi, on release from prison, met Imran Khan with a message from the generals, who had thus far refused to talk to him, despite his pleading. Pakistan’s Friday Times stated that the message was unambiguous and that if Imran did not accept the ‘option’ being presented to him, he would face a long stint in prison along with disqualification from public life. He was advised to hold a press conference and announce his staying away from politics and party for some time.
If Imran accepted, he would be allowed to move to the UK and join his ex-wife Jemima Khan and children. He was also told that he could be recalled in case the current dispensation fails. Refusal would be trial by a military court for instigating the May 9th attacks on army installations. As a face-saving gesture, Imran was provided time to decide.
Qureshi was reported to have told Imran, ‘Think about it. Inform me about your decision and I will go to the military establishment and sort things out. If you do not do so, you will surely be arrested.’ Qureshi, who incited the public to come out in support of Imran is now demanding his resignation and looking to replace him. This is political loyalty.
Imran had termed the current Islamabad dispensation as a bunch of thieves and not worthy to be engaged in discussion. Today, he is begging for a dialogue, with no takers. In his heydays, post his removal, he was conducting rallies daily, instigating the public and threatening the army chief. Media headlines were only Imran while word on the street was that if elections are held, Imran will return with a thumping majority. His arrogance knew no limits and he was over-confident being protected by the courts.
Today he is alone, ignored by the media and conveying his messages on twitter or YouTube. Even the courts have failed to lift media restrictions. Oh! How the mighty have fallen.
Imran had been accusing the US of being behind his downfall. In his rallies before and after his removal, he displayed a letter written by Donald Lu, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, to the Pakistan ambassador in the US. As per Imran, Lu warned the Pak ambassador of dire consequences for Pakistan in case Imran was not removed by a no confidence vote.
Imran knew he was stating a bunch of lies. He, believing in his mass following, even repeated his accusations in an interview on CNN. Today, the same Imran is eating humble pie and begging US senators to approach the Pak army and prevent his arrest.
9th May was the turning point in Pakistan’s history. The violence was exploited by the powers that be (the Pak army) as an excuse to crush every challenger to their authority. Imran’s PTI was the first and has since been decimated and a new political outfit created to keep would be unemployed politicians busy. All those who encouraged the public to come out in support of Imran on 9th May have suddenly turned tail and retracted their comments. All rats have deserted Imran’s sinking ship. This is how reliable politicians are, not only in Pakistan but across the globe.
Pakistan’s army has lost every war it has ever fought with India. It is fighting a holding battle against the Baloch and TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan). However, it has always won where it matters, over its own people. It has never permitted the polity to control it and never will. In a nation where food is scarce and inflation is at historic levels, it has taken a 16 percent hike in the defence budget. The IMF would never approve this increase forcing Pak to seek other options. Looting by the Pak army never stops.
After the latest Corps Commanders Conference, the DGISPR, Pakistan armed forces public relations, issued a statement mentioning that perpetrators of the 9th May attacks will be bought to justice. Sending a clear message to the judiciary and Imran supporters, the statement mentioned, ‘efforts to create distortions and attempts to take refuge behind imaginary and mirage Human Rights Violations to create smoke screen for hiding the ugly faces of all involved, are absolutely futile and do not stand the abundantly collected irrefutable evidences.’ The message was a warning that interference from any quarter will not be tolerated.
Sending a strong message to Imran from a united military hierarchy, the statement included, ‘it is time that noose of law is also tightened around the planners and masterminds who mounted the hate ripened and politically driven rebellion against the state and state institutions to achieve their nefarious design of creating chaos in the country.’ The judiciary, which has thus far been protecting Imran by granting bail or even throwing out cases against him, will now have a rethink. When the mighty fall, they fall alone.
Imran had created the persona of a messiah, the man who will deliver Pak from all suffering and build a ‘medina state.’ The common man was fooled into believing him. Crowds thronged his rallies and cheered when Imran called the generals names. Imran got carried away by the adulation and believed himself to be unstoppable. The generals bided their time, waiting for Imran to commit a mistake and when he did, they regained the initiative. Imran’s arrogance did him in. He forgot that fighting the system is a losing battle.
Those who rose against the state on Imran’s call, believing he would protect them, found he was powerless. Party leaders deserted Imran to save themselves, while the common man, who rioted on his call, is languishing in prison. The army has crushed the revolt which Imran instigated. General Munir has conveyed that Pakistan is an autocracy and will never be a democracy, other than in name.
If Imran takes the general’s offer, he would be safe and free, while those who revolted for his freedom would serve long terms in prison. At the end of the day, Imran, like every other politician would prove he is selfish and concerned only about himself, not his flock of followers.