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Thursday, March 31, 2022

Imran Khan - rattled, clean bowled ! - waiting for review !!

It is turmoil in our neighbourhood Nation that shows animosity all the time, a Nation that shares land borders and chequered history !  ..

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to address the nation later tonight,  Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting Fawad Hussain tweeted. This came shortly after he announced that the National Security Committee (NSC) will be convening at the PM’s residence Thursday afternoon. Khan had Wednesday cancelled his address to the nation, as rumours flew he might step down and not face the vote, and the Army and ISI chiefs paid a visit to his house. Khan’s address comes amid allegations that a foreign conspiracy was afoot to remove him from power. These allegations are based on a “foreign conspiracy letter”, which the PM shared with senior journalists and cabinet members Wednesday. The United States has denied its involvement in the “conspiracy letter”, which purportedly “threatened” to oust Khan. Meanwhile, the National Assembly is meeting today to debate the no-confidence motion against Khan moved by Shahbaz Sharif, Leader of the Opposition. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led coalition government has already lost its majority in Parliament after Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), with its seven members, Wednesday announced that it has parted ways with the government during a joint press conference and joined the Opposition parties.

Things are certainly not good for Imran Khan who had been dallying with lies and propaganda against India and now realizes, fuelling Kashmir issue alone will not keep him in Office for long. 

I remember that Pongal Test in 1980 at Chepauk when Pakistan  toured India.  The star Batsman Zaheer Abbas failed miserably, getting out to Roger Binny;  some Pakis claimed that to be result of black magic ! .. .. Sandip Patil debuted and we so eagerly looked forward to his making runs – glaring at him in the net practice before the commencement of the Test.  Sunil Gavaskar was to make 166 and Kapil bowled so well – a 7 wicket haul in the 2nd  essay ensured a comfortable 10 wicket victory for India.  Imran Khan ran in long and hard and bowled fast – took 5 wickets too – those days there were rest days the 4th  day -  18th  Jan was a rest day.  Years later, in Feb 1987, Imran captained Pakis and scored a ton, which was overshadowed by a brilliant 123 laced with 18 fours and 2 sixers by local lad Krishnamachari Srikkanth.

Imran Khan  was a successful  Cricketer before entering politics.   One recalls that on that tour of 1983 – Imran Khan, Sarfraz Nawaz, Sikhandar Bakht, Jallaluddin – repeatedly overstepped as Indian batsmen found the pace and swing too uncomfortable and lost the series badly. After 2 decades of international cricket, Khan   became a fulltime politician.  In its  long political history, Pakistan  peppered with military coups and martial law, elections 2018 were to be  the second successive transition of power through a constitutional process from one elected government to another. However, political opponents, the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and international observers such as the European Union alleged that irregularities and election rigging occurred in many parts of the country, particularly in rural and urban Sindh and Punjab provinces.   Imran Khan defeated their own system and became the PM of Pakistan .. and immediately spit venom .. .. on twitter taking  a potshot at our Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji,  over the cancellation of meeting between India and Pakistan. “Disappointed at the arrogant & negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue,” he tweeted”. Not so surprisingly some media in India started saying that India needs to learn from Imran .. .. the reality as always is far different !  .. .

The wheel has completed a circle and now Imran Khan is facing arguably the biggest challenge of his political career, as the opposition seeks to remove him from office in a vote of no confidence. In recent days there has been a flurry of activity - and what some argue were tactics straight out of Machiavelli's playbook - which resulted in several Khan allies deserting his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, tilting the scales firmly in the opposition's favour. A simple majority of 172 in the 342-seat National Assembly against the former cricket legend would cut short his tenure as PM. On Wednesday, the magic number was breached when his main coalition ally, the MQM, joined the opposition. It means on paper the opposition now commands 175 votes to the government's 164. Imran Khan, elected in July 2018 vowing to tackle corruption and fix the economy, isn't going quietly. He hosted a massive rally on Sunday in Islamabad to show he remains wildly popular with his supporters.

This is no Indian Press distorting facts – what you are about to read is more from Pak’s Dawn .. .. THE farce seems to have gone too far. It is neither a battle between ‘good and evil’, as Prime Minister Imran Khan would like us to believe, nor is it a struggle for democracy, as the combined opposition claims. We are witnessing a free play of political opportunists, fortune seekers and self-important hangers-on. It is a vicious power struggle, and for lack of alternatives we are all victims of it. With just a few days left for the vote on the no-confidence motion against the prime minister, political wheeling and dealing has hit a new low. Given the ever-shifting loyalties and alliances, the numbers game will go right down to the wire. The situation is now changing every hour, with no clear outcome of the unfolding power struggle in sight. A lot will also depend on the Supreme Court ruling on the presidential reference on the defection and disqualification clauses. 

MUSICAL chairs is a game designed for children but played by politicians. In the kindergarten aka Islamabad, an oily cleric, a former president, untested aspirants, even a former chief minister scramble in an unseemly melee to decide who should occupy that last chair. Those who have sat in it know that it exudes more symbolism than power. It is the modern equivalent of the legendary Iron Throne, featured in the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones adapted from the novels by George R.R. Martin. Forged on the orders of the mythical conqueror Aegon I Targaryen, the throne was welded from “the swords of the vanquished, a thousand of them, melted together like so many candles”.

One character Stannis describes it as having “barbs along the back, the ribbons of twisted steel, the jagged ends of swords and knives all tangled up”, and comments: “It is not a seat where a man can rest at ease. Oft-times I wonder why my brothers wanted it so desperately.”  The embattled prime minister seems closer though to Shakespeare’s King Richard III. The king’s impassioned cry: “A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!” has become a synonym for desperation in a crisis. For the past three years, that cry took on a less dignified meaning in Islamabad.

Called upon to remove his selected Punjab chief minister Buzdar, Prime Minister Imran Khan insisted that he was indispensable, irreplaceable. He ignored the demands of his former ATM Mr Jehangir Tareen for Buzdar’s ouster. He refused to heed the warnings of those who cautioned him against such blind loyalty to one whose only virtue was obedience. Obdurate, he seemed determined to risk his kingdom, not for a horse, but for a submissive beast. The reality of a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly has made Imran Khan reconsider his tactics. Forced to scavenge for allies, he is perceived as indulging in the same horse-trading that he condemned in his opponents. His PML-Q ally Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi saw an opportunity and moved swiftly for the kill. Buzdar with practised docility submitted his resignation.

PM Imran Khan, like the actor Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars ceremony who reacted to perceived taunts against his wife, has yet to control his ire. Another less personal cause for concern is his contempt for organs of state that are not as pliable as outgoing CM Buzdar. During a public meeting in Punjab’s Kamalia city on Saturday, he warned “that if Nawaz returned to the country, he would divide the judiciary”. He left it to his attorney general to placate the ruffled judges. Similarly, his ill-considered accusation that “attempts are being made through foreign money to change the government in Pakistan” has a stale flavour about it. Too many beleaguered leaders in the past have used the same dog-eared gambit. The Foreign Office will undoubtedly have to work overtime to explain away this off-the-cuff tirade.

His suspicion of the Election Commission of Pakistan remains too deep-seated to be cured by such palliatives. No political party in Pakistan has ever accepted the independence of the Election Commission. In power, they treat it as a handmaiden; out of power, they regard it with mistrust. They should remember the response given by Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to M.S. Gill, then chief election commissioner of India. (Gill was responsible for the introduction of electronic voting machines across India.) Gill asked the PM whether he could invite leaders of the opposition parties to participate in the golden jubilee celebrations of the ECI in 2001. PM Vajpayee’s sage reply was: “You have to. You are there for all the political parties of India, not just the one in government.”

Interesting ! – truth is stranger than fiction

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

1 comment:

  1. Very True & intersting to know the Insights of Political system in Pakistan.
    Thanks ji