Attempt on Imran: A full and transparent investigation is needed
THE unfortunate assassination attempt on Imran Khan and reaction that followed from his party leaders poses some pertinent questions as to what this incident means for politics and political discourse and where it could lead the country to. The incident will complicate the situation further.
However, a full and transparent investigation into the accident is needed, first by the Punjab government and by the then federal government. Otherwise, there is likely to be further political unrest fuelling economic turmoil.
Normally, people don’t take automatic weapons to political marches unless they have a specific use in their mind, it may also be a hired assassin. However, whatever it was, the results are sure to take the country only one way more political chaos, hatred and violence.
It may also help Imran Khan politically, as he will be seen risking his life for his cause and may attack more floating voters to him.
Once the shock of the incident wears off, those tasked with Mr. Imran Khan’s private security guards as well as the Punjab Police must be asked to give stock of why they failed in their job to protect Imran Khan. There have been multiple serious threats to Mr. Imran Khan’s life.
Mr Imran Khan appears to have been saved by mere inches, if the bullet that reportedly pierced his leg had landed even slightly higher, the consequence could very likely have been fatal.
His protectors must realise the gravity of their failure. This is not to say that the federal government deserves no blame.
Regardless of any public leader’s political inclinations, it’s incumbent upon the government to watch for any risk to their lives and to go out of its way to ensure their safety. It clearly failed in this responsibility.
Mr. Imran Khan is a dynamic, leader, but he should consider the danger he may be putting himself in.
Bullet-proof glasses and protective gear may look unseemly, but they are unfortunate necessitates for public leaders of his stature in a country like Pakistan. Mr. Imran Khan should also understand that his wellbeing and safety directly impact the well being and safety of those around him.
His supporters may be deeply loyal and willing to stay by his side through thick and thin, but to his unwillingness to take greater precautions.
Hours after an assassination attempt on Imran Khan, the Interior Ministry asked the Punjab government to constitute a high level joint investigation team to bring facts to light.
The federal government also appealed the people of Pakistan to not politicise the incident and make irresponsible comments as such statements might lead to an untoward incident.
It’s unfortunate that Asad Umar conveyed Imran Khan message blaming government, military officials for attacks is uncalled-for and irresponsible.
Deapite the fact that all major political parties of the country, including PTI, now want certain institutions of the state to be within their constitutional limits and domains, the Chairman PTI is not ready to engage other political leadership in dialogue that could explore ways to ensure democracy and democratic valves within the political realm.
Apart from causing political and economic damages to Pakistan, this culture of protest and agitation is also giving rise to some of the most alarming social tendencies.
For instance, people of Pakistan are seeing video clips of people hurling filthy abuses while professing dedication to this one party.
Such clips and social media usage is a bad sign of how the country seems to be turning into a hub of polarization and intolerance where political criticism can be expressed without resorting to vulgarity and abuse.
Now it seems that PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s campaign for real freedom could be a protracted one, after he hinted that the long march could last ten months instead of simply culminating upon reaching Islamabad. The nation will decide as to who should rule them and bring prosperity.
Side by side the Supreme Court of Pakistan appeared perturbed over the apparent breach of trust committed by the PTI on 25 May, in spite of categorical assurances given by its counsels, and directed the former ruling party to submit fresh replies in the contempt case instituted against its leadership.
A five-member Bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan is hearing a contempt plea filed by the federal government over the alleged violation of the apex court’s 25 May order.
—The writer is former Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan and currently Chairman National Democratic Foundation.