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Imran Khan’s checkmate in Punjab

Former prime minister Imran Khan has emerged as a winner when Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi signed a summary to dissolve the provincial legislature by his wishes.

Imran Khan, who is currently residing in his Zaman Park residence in Lahore without the presence of former PTI heavyweights like Jahangir Tareen and Aleem Khan has managed to go against all odds and dissolve Punjab Assembly.

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Imran’s capacity to make courageous decisions under tough circumstances is one of the most significant features of his politics. Not many political figures would dissolve the Punjab Assembly because it gives them the luxury of employing the government apparatus for their safety.

Despite knowing what would occur, how difficult it would be, and the lack of certainty as to whether the move would truly force early elections, making such a decision is “bold and beautiful.”

There is always a potential that such choices might turn out badly, but what sets apart the former cricketer turned politician from other politicians is his adventurous nerve to continue taking risks.

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The culmination of Imran’s eight-month political odyssey following his removal as prime minister, this is his third significant victory in Punjab. The first was when he was successful in overturning the selection of Hamza Shehbaz as chief minister of Punjab, and the second was winning the majority of MPA seats in by-elections after certain PTI members had been disqualified for backing Hamza in the CM elections.

In the scenario that the federal government chooses not to hold general elections, there is considerable public concern about what Imran Khan would accomplish by dissolving the Punjab and KP Assembly.

Punjab has always been at the core of Pakistani politics, and by dissolving the assembly during an election year, the next assembly will be for the following five parliamentary years; if the general elections are held on schedule in October, there won’t be a caretaker government.

Therefore, whoever wins the Punjab polls will have an advantage heading into the general elections and forming the government in the centre.

The PTI Chairman is relying heavily on his popularity to win the elections in Punjab and KP, and he wants to carry that momentum and his support base into the general elections to win the position of premier. However, the PML-N was very hesitant to do this since they are now facing several economic difficulties, an IMF contract that is in jeopardy, and the brunt of inflation.

The PML-N will heavily rely on Nawaz Sharif’s comeback to campaign in the provinces as several prominent party figures, including the incumbent prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, won’t be permitted to speak at public meetings due to legal restrictions,

After considering all options, it appears that calling for early elections would benefit the ruling coalition more. However, it remains to be seen whether the coalition is willing to give up the access control of remaining in power for a few more months to increase their chances of winning the upcoming elections—or whether they will even dare to dissolve the national assembly as Khan did in Punjab to give themselves “a level playing field.”

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