Long March resumes

Imran’s latest broadside makes clear why the Long March is taking place

The PTI has resumed its Long March from Wazirabad, the spot where party chief Imran Khan was attacvked last week. After a hiatus of a week, the Long March has resumed with a slightly different format. Mr Khan is no longer on the container, being content to address the March at the end of the day’s progress via videolink from his Lahore residence in Z|aman Park. Before the attack, he had shuttled to the March from Zaman Park every day, going back to Zaman Park after his address. He has promised to join the Long bMarch when it reaches Rawalpindi.

The Long March has apparently been split into two, with former minister and party secretary general Asad Umar leading a rally from Jhang, which reached Toba Tek Singh, while the main rally reached Lala Musa, on Saturday. In his Friday address, Mr Khan indicated why he had felt it necessary to launch the Long March even though the party had not conducted the necessary groundwork, and it seemed that it was committing the same mistake as May 25, when it went into the Long March half-cocked. By the time Mr Khan reached Wazirabad, where the attempt on his life took place, the crowds had thinned considerably, and the thin crowds seemed as thin, the increased sympathy with bMr Khan being balanced by the decline in interest because of his absence.

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On Friday, though, Mr Khan gave his take on the subject engrossing everyone’s attention without saying anything beyond what he had said before: the appointment of the next Chief of Army Staff. Mr Khan has not shown any advance over the position he had taken when he said that Nawaz Sharif should not be involved, as he wanted only to appoint a COAS who would ignore his corruption.Though he did not say so, it has become obvious that the Long March is directed at influencing the prospect of appointment. While mr Khan said he wanted the appointment made on merit, he has managed to create the impression that he sees the COAS merely as the person who selects the DG ISI. He has made it clear that he sees the COAS as able, and somehow responsible, to deal with corruption, though he has not made it clear if the ability to lead the Army has any place in hos calculations.

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


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