“DO MORE” WITHIN DAYS OF IK’S EXIT. WHAT’S NEXT?

STRAIGHT TALK by Hafeez Khan

When you cheat in an exam after bribing the staff, there is a sheepish look for the uninitiated. However, if you are an accomplished liar, you gloat and pretend as if nothing happened. That is the attitude prevailing in the new setup. It may have worked in previous change of governments. The two contenders PPP and PML (N) playing musical chairs would dust their behinds and move on to wait for the next round. This time around the equation has changed. The bone stuck in their throats is Imran Khan.
The departing comment of PM IK to the media while leaving the PM House will hound the pillars of power for a long time. “Is there anyone left who has not turned against me?” inquired PM IK of the media group assembled. “NO” was the response that has resonated throughout the length and breadth of Pakistan and millions of overseas Pakistanis. It unleashed a barrage of negativity on social media that is crossing limits and needs to be discouraged. Blame games harming the national institutions are not in our national interest.
There are some legitimate questions, though. Convening the highest Courts at midnight is one of them. Why was it necessary? Was it required to enforce a previous judgment issued in a Suo Moto case putting the Speaker on a short leash? Pictures on social media of a newly converted prison van outside the National Assembly said a thousand words. Credibility and perception of being even handed is seriously on the line.
This course can be corrected by taking up matters pending before the Superior Courts. Constitution of an independent inquiry commission to look into external intervention in Pakistan’s internal affairs will go a long way. Dwelling on semantics whether it was a conspiracy or interference is meaningless. By taking up the matter of blatant “horse trading” under Article 63-A. Question the issuance of a diplomatic passport to an Ex PM declared an absconder by the higher courts. The list goes on; however recognition of the above issues could suffice for now.
It is a war of nerves. Those of us who have worked closely with Imran Khan are aware of his steely resolve. What about the other side? I am aware that Asif Zardari is a chess master. What about Shahbaz Sharif and his coterie? When you don’t have an argument you resort to violence. Beating up an elderly person in Marriot seeking a “lota” for ablutions, or an attack of serving Army Major in Lahore demonstrates their intent. It was declared by PML (N) spokesperson that calling out the sellouts will lead to the same fate. Clearly they are losing their balance. Violence begets violence. Don’t invite the wrath of the common man. The public sentiment was evident in Peshawar’s public meeting.
A friend from Peshawar opposed to PTI reluctantly admitted it was the largest gathering in the history of that city. This is likely to be repeated in Karachi and Lahore. The top trend on social media is rejecting the “imported regime”. This momentum will continue to build up. It is now evident that none of the players in this power game had expected such a strong reaction. PTI’s demand is simple and straight forward. Hold new free and fair elections to allow the will of the people to prevail. This motley crowd of disjointed partners in power has sworn to uphold the Democracy and respect the will of the people. Why are they running away from it?
“Allah is the best Planner of all” is Quranic wisdom. The way events unfolded in recent months is a blessing in disguise for PTI. It has taken the attention away from inflation, the bad governance in Punjab through Buzdar, and the failure of IK’s team to project PTI’s achievements. It led to exposure of “lotas” and above all removed the apathy of PTI supporters. A lady supporter in Peshawar said it all. In 2018 IK was our CHOICE now he is our “ZID” i.e. obsession.
This is a God sent opportunity for IK to reboot. Chose your new team wisely, recognize your diehards and involve them; don’t over commit and prove through delivery. It is also an opportunity for our security forces to advance their credibility by providing fool proof security to ex PM IK. He has irked too many powerful enemies.
Within days of IK’s exit, a joint communiqué of Indo American leaders demanding “do more” came out. Why not? That is why the present regime has been installed. With billions stashed under West’s jurisdiction and admission of being beggars, what else do we expect? These buried issues never came up in the last four years when PM IK was in power!
More facts will come to light as events unfold. Shutting down the Sharifs’ corruption cases, cornering investigators of unimpeachable integrity and twisting arms of accountability courts have already begun. It is only a matter of time when records will catch fires mysteriously. Compromised and corrupt “civil servants” are being lined up for key positions. How can these thugs withstand international pressures?
PTI parliamentarians have resigned. This should speed up the process towards re-elections. It is too soon to lose hope and write off Pakistan’s future. Allah may have his own designs. IK has to highlight that while he opposes foreign intervention, he is not against anyone. It is only the interest of this country that he holds dear and stands for.

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