Prime Minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s refusal to accept the government in waiting shows that political uncertainty will prevail and that Imran Khan has learned a little about democratic sportsmanship. A day before the no-confidence motion proceeding, Prime Minister Imran Khan (for the last time) turned to the nation through a televised address, again invoking the lettergate, and nationalism to garner public support for his future plans. He dubbed the upcoming government as an ‘imported set up’, he minced no words to say he would never recognize the government. This shows he will not engage with the government at any level.
Putting his oft-repeated sermons on drone attacks, corruption of politicians, and so on, Imran Khan’s stance on floor-crossing should be appreciated. Such practices have held democratic governments hostage in the past. His stance on Supreme Court’s decision, however, cannot be condoned as the verdict on the deputy speaker’s ruling has been greeted by masses. As per the Supreme Court’s verdict, Prime Minister Imran Khan will face the no-confidence motion on Saturday. He is likely to face an exit, but he has pledged to ‘play until the last ball’, which is his democratic right. The opposition is confident that it will unseat Prime Minister Imran Khan that needs 172 votes out of a total of 342 in order to survive the no-confidence vote. In a mock session conducted by the opposition on April 3, it was calculated that the opposition had confirmed 190 votes against the prime minister. Although Mr Khan tried to avoid the no-confidence vote altogether by the scheme he unfolded on April 3 by getting the no-confidence motion dismissed by the deputy speaker of the assembly and advising the president to dissolve assemblies, the court overturned this decision and he is back to square one.
In the coming days, Imran Khan will keep standing on his statement that his removal is part of a foreign conspiracy and will say again and again that his vision is only to make Pakistan a great nation of choosers and not beggars, unlike his opponent. He has been warned by the armed forces multiple times to not blame what is going on in the political realm on foreign countries, especially the US as it would ruin ties between Pakistan and the global hegemon.
As the number game is in favour of the opposition, it has also filed a no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri for not acting in an unbiased, non-partisan way. The speaker’s duty is to give resolutions that are unbiased and do not favour any party, Qasim Suri did the exact opposite of that. Therefore, he will also face a no-confidence vote. By all means, Qasim Suri was hand in gloves with the government’s scheme to subvert democratic practices. It shows his loyalty to party commands stood first, which, otherwise should have been to the constitution.
In Saturday’s session, according to the itinerary provided by the National Assembly Secretariat, the no-confidence motion will be conducted and it is likely to lead to the removal of Imran Khan as prime minister. It would be better for the PTI forerunner and current prime minister to accept this defeat and allow for a peaceful transition through the no-confidence motion. However, if Khan’s statements are analyzed, it can be predicted that he will come up with another scheme that would eventually hurt the democratic process through which the proceedings must take place. If the prime minister orders his party members to resign, there will be another issue to deal with.
At this point, the prime minister should accept his defeat and move on to become the leader of the opposition until the next elections are held, as per the advice of Pakistan Peoples’ Party leader Asif Zardari. If a new ‘surprise’ as he states is given to the nation, it is likely to ensure further chaos in an already crumbling economy and state. If Imran Khan is loyal to the nation and the country, as he states, then he must let go of power this time around and allow for democracy to prevail. Acting as an opposition leader is also part of the democratic schemes. Imran Khan as an opposition leader can act great; he has demonstrated it earlier too. He will be a great watchdog of the government. He has great communication skills and has an army of loyalists who can turn to the street within no time.
The Supreme Court’s intervention is appreciated, but parliamentary forces should realize that they had better resolve their problems on their own. This can only be done by promoting a culture of political tolerance, and acceptance of Constitutional terms and democratic values. The new government can take a much-awaited measure by not indulging in revenge tactics. A new beginning is possible where all political forces stand united to protect the constitution and make a way forward for the democratic era.