He shook hand with opportunists and undemocratic forces to come to power, made massive use of religion for political gains and at the end went without grace. What a fall of a national hero – Imran Khan – the 30th prime minister who also could not complete the five-year tenure.
Undoubtedly, he was the finest all-rounder of his time who established his reputation of a great philanthropist after bringing the cricket world cup home. One could hardly question his struggle to bring the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to climax. But his democratic credentials proved dubious in the past four years. After becoming prime minister, Imran Khan hardly showed himself in the parliament. Side-lining politicians, his own men, he chose technocrats to run the government. The PTI used the President House as an ordinance factory. Let’s admit, a thin majority has to run the government but what prompted the PTI to introduce the PECA Ordinance? He chose the path of clash with political forces, against the advice from many well-wishers. He even created conflict with the mighty establishment. Many say he is arrogant, who claims to be a righteous person who knew everything. It is said a political party that controls Punjab, controls Pakistan. Khan chose Buzdar after coming into power and picked Chaudhry before leaving.
It is said some powerful circles knitted the plan of his ouster. No wonder, it has been happening in Pakistan for decades, but it cannot be ruled out that Khan’s own mistakes made the task easier.
Will he make it again?
Indeed, he was a hope for millions of Pakistanis and perhaps still enjoys great following all over the country and the world. But it seems highly unlikely that he would be able to make it in politics again.
He is close to 70. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has lost many of its old guards. The three-and-a-half-year long governance issues in Punjab and centre made a big dent to the PTI vote bank. Villagers, and the middle-class were unhappy due to inflation. Rural Sindh belongs to the PPP while the MQM enjoys popularity in urban areas. Maulana Fazlur Rahman’s Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam has already challenged the PTI’s base in KP. Balochistan goes to nationalists. So, from where and how the PTI would made a comeback? The anti-American rhetoric?
True, America Murdaabad (Death to America) is the standard political narrative in Pakistan. True, having a garrison inheritance, Pakistan is under the shadow of the US. Yet, Khan would not be the first who opted to challenge “Washington’s hierarchy” in the country.
It is considered that Ayub Khan’s martial law came after the nod of the US; the first military dictator who later wrote “Friends, not Masters”.
Zulfiqar Bhutto was sent to the gallows soon after telling the nation that it was Uncle Sam who wanted to see him dead. Even General Zia’s mango basket was seen as ‘made in US’ by the followers of the former military dictator.
Is Khan going to take benefit from the “US interference” rhetoric? Political observers are divided over the question.
His fans believe he will retaliate, a tiger he is, who never changes his stripes, they claim. But, it seems, he won’t. After losing the centre, the PTI is certain to face defeat in Punjab. A no-trust motion has already been filed against the KP chief minister. In a matter of few days, the PTI’s tsunami is likely to shatter down at its base from where it made the big wave in 2013.
Let’s not forget, the PML-N is going to take control over Punjab and centre and who else knows the art of winning elections in Pakistan than the Nawaz league.