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Is Imran’s latest ‘surprise’ an own-goal?

The big question is who came up with this idea? Who encouraged Imran Khan to take this step despite knowing the risk?

Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Saturday that he will give a surprise to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on Sunday. He seemed confident as it was being assumed that Prime Minister Imran Khan might have a settlement with disgruntled PTI members and some opposition members, and government might secure a majority in favour of the prime minister in the no-confidence motion.

And just when Pakistan was anticipating the session of parliament, Imran gave his surprise which was not flattering. It was the dissolution of the National Assembly. This was a surprise, but to be fair, coming from the PTI, this is not a surprise. He builds immense anticipation but the result is never pleasing.

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It would have been an act of grace for him to accept his defeat and resign from his post amid the failure in securing a majority in the no-confidence motion with a sportsmanship spirit. But like the ‘lettergate’ narrative, he opted to dissolve the assembly in a haphazard manner which was quite bizarre the way it happened. But PTI, as usual, gave an impression that they have hit a sixer, despite all its ministers losing their posts and status.

Pakistani democrats always stress the point that the matters of the parliament should remain in parliament. But Imran Khan gave an invitation to other institutions to interfere with this move. Earlier, the opposition had decided that it will oust Imran by using its constitutional right of the no-confidence motion. But Imran Khan used the constitution to drag down the opposition without keeping into consideration that the opposition will now take the matters to the Supreme Court. Thus, a judicial institution will be requested to involve itself in a matter that could have easily been resolved in parliament if PTI had stuck to the no-confidence motion verdict.

The big question is who came up with this idea? Who encouraged Imran Khan to take this step despite knowing the risk? Surely Imran khan is not the only one to opt for this. It can be said that there were certain members of PTI (as usual) who prodded Imran khan to take this risk. In fact, they are still lauding him and making him believe that he played a massive card against the opposition. Former interior minister Sheikh Rashid, in a press conference, hinted that he suggested Imran Khan to dissolve the assembly. He said that he has told the premier to go for an election as he is “massively popular among the masses” right now for his narrative.

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PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry lauded both Imran Khan and the speaker for this and guaranteed that nothing can be done against this move. Former advisor Shahbaz gill had the same sentiment. And this is the problem. Imran Khan only listens to the members who tell him he is doing great. He does not take into consideration the concerns and truthful suggestions (of his own members as well). If Imran Khan took this step by looking at all possible outcomes, then it can be considered a good backup strategy. But if Imran Khan dissolved the assembly on the suggestion of his ‘yes men’ and the Supreme Court gives a verdict in the favour of the opposition, then it will be quite an embarrassing situation for PTI.

Following the development, many PTI members gave up and finally broke their silence. Not everyone was happy with what Imran Khan and Dr. Arif Alvi did. PTI member Aamir Liaquat left PTI – which was expected. Chaudhry Sarwar, after being dismissed as governor of Punjab, lambasted the government for this act. He revealed that he was told to dissolve the provincial assembly as well but he declined. Deputy Attorney General of Pakistan Raja Khalid Mehmood resigned from his post as well, in protest against the government’s unconstitutional act revealing that he was not aware that something like this will happen as he was not considered for this. Meanwhile, Arif Alvi has been silent and his point of view is being anticipated.

PTI’s plane is in constant turmoil. Second officers, ATC, flight engineers, and everyone else is telling the captain that he needs to pull up, but certain people are telling him that he is flying great and there is no impending disaster. Be that as it may, the captain needs to realise that if he does not pull up, the plane of PTI will ultimately crash.

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