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Imran Khan and army

'The real issue is that Imran Khan has been in the field for four months, and his only demand is a snap election. As the federal government shows the least regard for his demand, Imran Khan is getting bitter, harsher, louder and more dangerous.'

My today’s column was supposed to enlist the heroes of the calamity. But Imran Khan’s statement regarding the future army chief’s appointment and the reaction of the army and general public forced me to postpone the proposed subject and write something on the bitterness in Imran Khan’s tone which is increasing day by day. The only crowd-puller leader of today’s Pakistan holding rallies every other day, and at every gathering, he speaks louder than before, harsher than before, and clearer than before. I have no objection to the repetition, that Mr Khan makes in his speeches. One must understand that Imran Khan holds a rally every day or every other day, and just stage artists, he cannot come up with new every day.

Imran Khan addressing a huge rally in Faisalabad called out the rivals PPP and the PML-N for ‘plans’ to “appoint an army chief of their choice” in November to save their skin in corruption cases. He said PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif were trying to install their “favourite” army chief after the retirement of incumbent army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in November this year. “They (Zardari and Sharif) are afraid that if a strong and patriotic army chief is appointed then he would ask them about the looted wealth,” Mr Khan said.

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Monday was the day of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), which did not take Imran Khan’s remarks in good taste, saying that it was “aghast at the defamatory and uncalled for” statement about the institution’s senior leadership. “Regrettably, an attempt has been made to discredit and undermine [the] senior leadership of [the] Pakistan Army at a time when the institution is laying lives for the security and safety of the people of Pakistan every day.

I hope Imran Khan will retract his remarks.

In recent days, the PTI chairman has been on fire. Earlier, at a rally, he spoke of a plot to get him. He also mentions the “four men”, who are after every conspiracy to tackle Imran Khan. He remained short of revealing the names, saying that the names have been preserved in a video, and once anyone tries to harm him, the video will speak. The real issue is that Imran Khan has been in the field for four months, and his only demand is a snap election. As the federal government shows the least regard for his demand, Imran Khan is getting bitter, harsher, louder and more dangerous. He cannot wait for the flood to recede. The world remembers the earthquake of 2005 and the super flood of 2010. Pakistan has been through these calamities and returned to normalcy within months. The same will happen now, and elections and normal political activities can be continued. But this is not acceptable to Imran Khan.

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In the previous piece, I praised Imran Khan for being a role model for other politicians in fundraising. The natural eventuality has given him a chance to rise to the occasion.

The question still haunts me why Imran Khan is in such a hurry? One wonders that the actions of the government remain in favour of Imran Khan. With increasing inflation, the political atmosphere is in favour of Imran Khan. I think Imran Khan’s fear is that as time goes by, the narrative he has created will lose its appeal and the popularity that Tehreek-e-Insaf and Imran Khan are enjoying at that time will not remain the same.

Imran Khan is sadly mistaken and the way he is targeting Army officials is absolutely wrong. It has become next to impossible for the government to give any big relief to the people in the current situation. Things may get worse. But people have started talking that when the PTI has its government in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, why Imran Khan is not trying to give relief to the flood-stricken people?

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