Why Imran Khan had to be stopped

The corrupt struck back

In a recent interview, former President Asif Ali Zardari said that they had taken over the government despite knowing the challenges faced as ‘Imran Khan had to be stopped. Zardari plays his cards well. Single=handedly he has been able to bury Bhuttoism while chanting the slogan of ” Jiay Bhutto” (Long live Bhutto). He says “Pakistan Khappay” (Long live Pakistan) while he builds his personal empire at the cost of the nation like the Sharifs, his longtime competitors in the loot and plunder of the nation. In his recent address at the ‘ Emerging Pakistan ‘ conference in Karachi, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi remarked that corruption is the biggest challenge faced by the nation together with disrespect for the constitution.

Soon after coming into power, Imran Khan revived the corruption cases against the old political players. After the 1985 partyless elections the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was ‘recolonized’ again. The MRD (Movement for the Restoration of Democracy), of which Bhutto’s PPP was the main national political outfit, decided to boycott the elections held under the usurper.

- Advertisement -

New players were introduced to hijack democracy. The Sharifs of Gowalmandi were given the task of stealing Punjab from the PPP hold to mitigate the popularity of the Quaid-e-Awam, who had launched his party in Lahore in the year 1967.  The PPP was the first political entity which was neither conceived nor launched in Rawalpindi like the rogue Muslim Leagues of various brands.

IK’s strategy was to seek conviction of the corrupt through due process of law. He even allowed his personal popularity to plummet (33 %) but his objectives were clear. He sought cleansing of the political arena. Most leaders who have seen the inside working of the corridors of power in the republic often under-estimate the evil within the system. Delays are a norm in our legal framework.

IK kept the pressure on, after over three years of relentless pursuit and the corrupt were worried. Serious charges of corruption and money laundering were finally exposed. Had the process continued the corrupt would have been history by now.

Jitters were felt within the establishment. A combined game plan was prepared to protect the evil. Relying on IK’s plummeting public support, a conspiracy was hatched to vote out the elected Prime Minister. Such a move was last attempted against Benazir Bhutto in 1989 by the establishment and their touts in the legislature. Money changed hands. While Nawaz Sharif (NS) as Chief Minister (CM) Punjab, established his camp of Political Herds in the manmade forest of Changa Manga, Zardari flew his bounty to the safety of Swat Valley. Benazir survived to be dismissed later under the draconian Zia amendment’s 58(2b). It did not end here. Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) was formed under the patronage of the establishment and Nawaz was launched as PM, and the rest is history, as they say.

Like General Musharraf only his burial will be possible in the land that he ruled three times through a rigged electoral process. IK is now unstoppable Zardari and his sponsors grossly miscalculated their chances. In the end the PML(N) will be the net loser.

IK decided to follow the moral course of resistance. He did not buy support, instead he decided to approach the public. The planners of the conspiracy were warned that IK could not be dealt with in the same manner as Zardari and Nawaz as the agencies did not have folders of his corruption.

When he walked out of the PM House with his personal diary in hand, his popularity graph started. to rise. Since then there has been no looking back. Abbasi Sahib also revealed that all ten elections held under the 1973 Constituion were rigged. Personally I am of the belief that in the 2013 contest the PTI had prevailed over the PML(N) but was denied victory. All the four test constituencies that were investigated, and three PML(N) MNAs were deseated while Khawaja Asif survived on a technical issue of delays. According to ‘election gurus, the margin of rigging is around 10 percent to 15 percent, beyond which foul play becomes obvious. PTI’s popularity is now out of reach.

- Advertisement -

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the party in power, is running away from an electoral contest as the margin of Ik’s lead is in the range of 40-50 percent which is out of reach of the manipulators. The PDM is in serious trouble. The ‘Genie of Corruption’ is out of the bottle and has failed to tarnish the image of the Kaptan. The personal financial honesty of IK is unquestionable. Toshakhana was a bad move and should have been avoided, but those who have been around in the capital understand the evil ways and influences, how traps are laid to undress the dressed with guiles and justifications like stretching the allowances and allocations.

Islamabad is a ‘Marshland’ where it is not easy to walk straight without slipping. After 75 years Pakistan has to come out of the marshes to build on solid foundations of honesty and integrity.

Abbasi Sahib also warned about the need for dialogue amongst the main political players (IK, Zardari, Nawaz, Fazal) to pull the country out of its marshes.

Every meeting must have a clear agenda. Corruption cannot be condoned under any circumstances. Recovery of the loot is never easy as greed takes over. After ten compromised elections, the way forward is free and fair elections to establish civilian supremacy. I am sure a meeting can be arranged to finalize the rules of the electoral contest but it cannot be held hostage to the pardon of Nawaz in the name of a level playing field.  NS faces life disqualification by the highest court of the land. Only a constitutional amendment that limits the period of disqualification can revive his political career, otherwise he will be history.

Like General Musharraf only his burial will be possible in the land that he ruled three times through a rigged electoral process. IK is now unstoppable Zardari and his sponsors grossly miscalculated their chances. In the end the PML(N) will be the net loser.

Dr Farid A Malik
Dr Farid A Malikhttps://www.pakistantoday.com.pk
The writer is ex-Chairman, Pakistan Science Foundation. He can be contacted at: [email protected]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read

China’s economic recovery adds certainty to global growth

BEIJING: After a good start this year, the Chinese economy will buoy steady and sustained development, adding certainty to global growth clouded by upheavals,...