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About the ‘lettergate’

This foreign conspiracy tale, if not true, can be humiliating for Pakistan on international platforms.

Politicians play different kinds of cards for their politics and they continue to do so even after they become prime ministers. Throwing tantrums to influence domestic politics is another case but dragging foreign policy for personal agenda is not an option for a sitting prime minister and Prime minister Imran Khan has to some extent made this mistake.

When the opposition announced bringing a no-confidence motion against Imran Khan, the government was confident that it will easily deal with this. It did not focus on having the majority and the opposition succeeded in securing its numbers. Imran Khan called his supporters to Islamabad. Unlike his other addresses, he and his party members promoted this address as a breakthrough in politics. It was announced the prime minister will share a surprise in this address.

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Supporters of PTI from different parts of Pakistan went to Islamabad to listen to their beloved leader. People were anticipating what he will say in his address. Even the worst critics of Imran Khan were curious about what the Premier will disclose in his address. It is going to be something dirty that PMLN or PPP did? Or is it going to be an announcement about more Opposition members joining Government in the no-confidence motion? Some people also thought Premier might expose some institutions. Or is he going to announce his resignation?

Everyone was glued to the TV screen when the premier started his speech. After one and a half hour-long speech, the moment finally came. Imran Khan announced that he is going to display the trump card. We were are eagerly waiting for this and prime minister Imran Khan waved a mysterious paper in the air. Is this a resignation? Is this a pact of parties agreeing to vote for him in a no-confidence motion?

What is it? Everyone was curious. “This paper, this is a written threat to my government by a foreign country,” Imran Khan said this line and the mic dropped, he left.

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So this is what it was all about? A foreign conspiracy? All of the supporters who travelled from different parts of the country to support team “Haq” against team “Baatil” came here for this? What are common citizens of Pakistan are supposed to do against a foreign conspiracy? Who wrote this letter, where did it comes from? How it reached PM house, there were so many questions left unanswered. Most importantly, everyone was curious to know what kind of dumb country would give a written threat to a sitting prime minister of a country.

This is a blunder, to be honest. It is understood that Imran Khan wanted to show a trump card to his opponents and wanted to gain public support because his supporters like any other supporters are indeed irrational. And they would easily buy the plot of the letter, but will his critics buy this? Anything involving a foreign country is a matter of national security. If a sitting prime minister receives a threat from a country, he needs to inform institutions that are responsible for national security, not label it as a trump card on a public podium. It was highly inappropriate of PTI to involve an unknown foreign country in its domestic politics.

This foreign conspiracy tale, if not true, can be humiliating for Pakistan on international platforms. Indian media is already taunting Pakistan, and if the prime minister does not handle this situation well, it will be a joke for the foreign media as well. Imran Khan really needs to craft his narrative once again. He needs to realize that voters might be naïve, but critics are not.

The PTI used to ridicule former prime ministers, especially Nawaz Sharif for using “parchi” notes during his speeches and international meetings. Former prime ministers were very careful with every word they used to say in a foreign sphere. Prime Minister Imran Khan is famous for talking without notes but it is highly recommended for the current premier and his ministers to do the same. They need to carefully understand that they are representative of a country and everything the prime minister says, especially regarding foreign matters, is monitored by international media because this is not something that anyone can take a U-turn on.

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