For Imran Khan, a tough journey ahead

How long will electables remain with him?

Imran Khan does not have any principled differences with the Army. He is not opposed to military coups. In fact Ayub Khan remains one of his most admired rulers. He remained on friendly terms with Pervez Musharraf also for a number of years. Mr Khan doesn’t oppose the Army’s interference in politics or its encroachment on the turf of the civilian institutions. He has even justified phone-tapping of politicians by the intelligence agencies, saying the ISI and IB listen to all his telephonic conversations and this is exactly how it should be. “ISI, which is the world’s most outstanding agency, listens to everything,” he reiterated. Mr Khan was comfortable with being on the same page with the Army for nearly three years in a system often referred to as hybrid democracy.

Mr Khan became suspicious when a no confidence move was in the offing and the Army decided to stay neutral. How can a watchman stay neutral when he sees the house being burgled?, PTI leaders argued. After the success of the no-confidence move the PTI’s social media trolls went haywire to blame the Army. Mr Khan’s chief of staff Shehbaz Gill went many steps ahead by calling upon the Army not to carry out the high command’s orders. The pronouncements were strongly resented by ally PML(Q), which has a long history of working with the Army, as well as by some of the PTI supporters. They pressured Mr Khan to seek reconciliation. The attempts made last week in that direction have apparently failed as indicated by the tone and substance of Mr Khan’s speech in Chakwal. The nation won’t forget ‘traitors’ and ‘conspirators’ who imposed ‘imported government’ on us, IK roared

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Imran Khan still draws crowds. It costs little to a common man to attend the off-hours show with a number of leaders he has only seen on TV to be in live attendance, with heart-warming 1965 war songs being played in the background. But for candidates contesting elections with skyrocketing costs, it would not be easy to decide. Fear of losing on the ticket of a party not liked by the establishment may deprive Mr Khan of a whole lot of potential winners.

The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected]


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