Bani Gala

An Experiment Gone Wrong

Former prime minister and PTI chairman Imran Khan has not only been undermining the country’s democracy for years now, he’s been provoking the army and then went as far as calling for mutiny and sedition.

By Meriam Sabih | September 2023

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, has stated that he will soon hand over the reins of power to a caretaker government in August. On August 12th, the tenure of the current Parliament will have completed its five years in office. After which a caretaker government takes over and preparations will be made for general elections to take place in October. If for some reason the parliament is dissolved prior to the completion of its term on August 12, then the elections can take place latest by November. This is good news for those who wanted general elections in Pakistan. But what will those elections look like?

In the aftermath of violent protests that took place on May 9th, in which mobs of PTI supporters stormed public and army installations and set fire to the Corps Commander’s house in Lahore, much has changed. On that day, PTI leadership was seen in recorded messages and tweets encouraging supporters to head towards army installations. Their leadership has been rallying to “steal azaadi” or freedom, and threatening that the arrest of PTI chairman Imran Khan amounted to crossing the “red line” all while throwing the institutions of the country under the bus. A prior attempt to arrest Khan was met with mob violence also, as scores of his supporters camped outside of his home and threw a kind of a crude bomb called Molotov cocktails at police. His arrest was threatened by his party members to be a “red line” never to dare be crossed, no matter what the accusation.

What made some of Imran Khan’s supporters dare to ransack military installations and even steal peacocks and other items justifying their own theft by claiming the peacocks were bought with the money of the people of Pakistan? Within the PTI such allegations are thrown around with no need of evidence and in a matter of fact way their leader labels all those who are not part of his party with a broad stroke as all being “thieves.” Whatever accusation their leader makes, his supporters believe, surprisingly even when the story is changed completely the next day.

The crime, according to him, which took place was that he was replaced by the Opposition in a ‘no confidence’ vote in the Parliament. And he refused to accept the results calling it an international conspiracy against him that was concocted in America. How did a suggestion or warning become a conspiracy? Before he could get to the bottom of it, he took back his words and realized it was actually Pakistan’s powerful Establishment which concocted this conspiracy. While he talks repeatedly about the powerful not being above the law in this justice-driven society he wants to create (but apparently failed to create in his years in office), he offers no acceptable alternative scenario in which he is not still holding onto power. If he and his parliamentarians were elected by the people, so were the other opposition parliamentarians elected in that same election.

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