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EditorialInappropriate conduct after Wazirabad shooting

Inappropriate conduct after Wazirabad shooting

The attack on Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader and former prime minister Imran Khan has left the nation in shock. Even those who do not support his agenda or way of doing politics have condemned the attack.  There has been worldwide criticism of the cowardly attempt on Khan’s life. Imran Khan was shot in the leg and is currently in the hospital. Along with him, 10 others were also injured, and one person lost their life. The PTI called for nationwide protests as they claim that the attack was not just a random incident but an assassination attempt. Imran Khan’s political opponents were quick to condemn the attack, and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also immediately ordered an investigation. However, Khan’s supporters and members of his party have compared this recent attack with former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. Ironically, when Benazir Bhutto survived an assassination bid at Karsaz in Karachi on October 18, Imran Khan said Benazir was only to blame herself for the attack. Later, when she was killed in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007, Imran Khan never offered condolences.
Heads of government, political leaders, journalists, and others around the world have condemned this heinous attack on Imran Khan. “Violence has no place in politics, and we urge all parties to refrain from using it,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also condemned the violence, saying that violence has no place in a democratic state. Others also chimed in with their prayers for the PTI leader.
Pakistan has seen many of its political leaders taken down when they became too popular among the masses. The assassinations started with the very first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, and the last assassination was that of Benazir Bhutto. Imran Khan has garnered much support from the public over the last few years, and when his government was ousted in April, it caused quite an uproar. Khan then went on to conduct rallies all over the country, which showed how many supporters he has. This long march has also displayed the amount of popularity Khan has. As history suggests, popular leaders have always lost their lives in one way or another.
The blame games have now started, and the PTI has called for countrywide protests. Even if their call is for peaceful protests, people will not refrain from indulging in violence for their injured leader. The police will also not hold back, as they have orders to arrest people. Khan and his party may be starting a revolution, but it will be a bloody one, as neither the institutions nor the people will hold back this time. The temperatures are too high because of the devastating economic situation, and people are going to support any change that is coming, without fully understanding the consequences. It would be prudent for Khan and his aides to not call for protests and continue in their mission peacefully with proper security measures. Otherwise, he will likely meet the same fate as others in the past.
The perpetrators of the attack must also rethink their decisions, as this time around the people are fed up with the economic and political instability in the country. Violence will not deter them, it will only make them hate the institutions more and more. Therefore, it is better to negotiate at the table instead of inciting violence and attempting to shun any deviant voice.

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