By Qamar Bashir
One million dollar question remained so far unanswered, why did Imran Khan dissolved the Punjab and KP assemblies? did he made an error of judgment, did he fell willingly in the trap laid down by the government, when first they lured him by pledging to go for general elections if the provincial assemblies were dissolved, but conveniently set aside their pledge soon after they were dissolved, and later delayed the elections even at the cost of violating the constitution which necessitate holding of election with 90 days. Or, was this his most calculated and daring move, albeit full of risks, but he perhaps knows very well that the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.
During our discussions in the Presidency, most of our colleagues described Imran Khan’s decision to dissolve the assemblies as hasty, lacking political wisdom, premature, and illogical. They believed that by doing so, he had rendered himself completely vulnerable and defenseless against brute state power which allegedly had the full blessing and support of the deep state. Other colleagues, however, were of the opinion that, while Imran Khan will pay dearly for his bold and unexpected decision, this is what great leaders do. If they make decisions based on common logic and common wisdom, they should become followers rather than leaders. Imran Khan’s decision to put himself in danger was an excellent political maneuver, but how?
The ultimate goal of all leaders and political parties is to gain power to put their manifesto into action which is possible only when they enjoy widespread public support. This was what exactly Imran Khan gained after he sacrificed his assemblies. Now he is enjoying widespread public support and sympathy from people all over the country and the world. In one of his interviews, when Hassan Nisar, a veteran journalist was asked, which one is the most popular political party, he replied in his usual candid style that PTI is currently holding first, second and third place, PPPP is holding fourth place and PML(N) fifth place, most of the other political analysts and thinkers share the same opinion. On the other hand, by his free spirited decision pattern and his ability to build narrative and sold it successfully to the public he has put PDM on the defensive. They are discredited due to mismanagement of the economy, skyrocketing inflation, rising rates of unemployment, historic depreciation of the currency, rising wave of terrorism, rockbottom industrial and agricultural growth. This has led to their total annihilation of public support and impending election defeat, prompting the government to launch an all out offensive to eliminate Imran once for all and win back the country from his clutches and dole it out to their upcoming generation. But what if their goal of eliminating Imran proved elusive.
Imran Khan’s unconventional and risky moves have perplexed his opponents, who are accustomed to taking conventional and traditional moves devoid of creativity and foresight and expect the same from their political opponents. His ability to manage seemingly illogical decisions and convert them into success and ultimately winning the game is exceptionally well and proven, leaving his opponents totally disarmed.
The government has realised that it is impossible to defeat Imran politically, and going to elections at this point of time when he is drenched with popularity would be suicidal therefore it has chose to apply conventional solutions of registering over 134 FIRs, leaking audios and videos, registering fake and frivolous cases, intimidating the courts to refuse him bails, blame him for law and order situation, increasing cases of terrorism and in its guise delay the elections, buy time, bait Imran Khan with additional temptations, incentivize him to make mistakes and then use the state power to arrest and eliminate him from political chessboard.
Unlike other politicians who use politics to protect their vested interests and pass on the power to their future generations, Imran has no legacy to which he can pass on his political career. This is both a hot and cold fact. Hot because if he is removed, there will be no one to carry on his vision, and his party, which he has spent over thirty years building, will likely to cavedown in no time. If he lives long enough, he will be able to serve only another term in office before succumbing to aging. This leaves him with only five productive years to turn his vision into reality, and if the bus passes without him in the next general election, he would eventually leave the field exclusively for old timers and their political heirs and heiresses. Perhaps PDM is aware of this reality, so it is a matter of life and death for them to disqualify him from running for public office in the upcoming general elections by any means at their disposal.
Frustrated, the Interior Minister went so far as to say in his most recent interview that either Imran will die or they will die. Maryam Nawaz has vowed that elections will take place only after all cases against Nawaz Sharif are dropped as if they never happened, allowing him to lead the party in the next general election. While admitting that the Establishment no longer supports Imran, she and her party have launched a dangerous assault on the judiciary in order to arm twist it to exonerate Nawaz Sharif and arrest, imprison, and bar Imran Khan from running for any public office. The game of settling personal vendettas seemed to have no end while people sick and tired of it are waiting for a miracle to happen to save them and the country.
Former Press Secretary to the President
Former Press Minister to the Embassy of Pakistan to France