With ruling elite showing extremely uncommon haste to upstage government, Imran Khan unequivocally reiterating his iron resolve to pursue corrupt people till ends. The ruling elite is in state of ferment because of nose of accountability getting too close for their existence and Imran Khan sees it a moment, finally arrived for a cleansing act to salvage the country, robbed by them mercilessly with no perceptible relent in their intent. Zardari is quick to conclude that neither the country nor government could function because of intellectual emptiness, disregard to political reconciliation, and inexperience which this government has in abundance. All Parties needs to ponder to bring a resolution against it while thinly disguising a threat of no confidence move against PM Imran Khan.
With standing back to back with Zardari, Maulana Fazal ur Rehman vowed to end the government, devoid of electoral legitimacy. This is an engineered government and has no right to rule. He has started working nonstop to convene multi party conference soon which according to him would decide on starting point for anti-government movement and workout strategy including street agitation and in house change. PML (N) is also equally avid to stand shoulder to shoulder with them under convenient rubric of saving the country and democracy from Imran Khan. Undeterred as ever, Imran Khan has declared in his address to nation that no one will get a NRO, no matter anyone does. He would not flinch in his promise to nation to nab and punish guilty of massive corruption which in return, has brought the country to the knees. This sets the dice.
There is hardly any secret that our ruling elite tries every avenue to find escape and refuge whenever, hand of accountability approaches them. In recent times too after disqualification of Nawaz Sharif, their preference was underhand deal with powers that be in one guise or other. One could decipher their attempted subterfuges in tales of Chaudhry Nisar along with over 50 MNAs, technocrat/national governments and their other overt/covert overtures. Reportedly, their efforts are still continuing however, finding no positive response coupled with clock ticking fast, inevitably, they have decided to take the plunge and launch offensive despite many pitfalls which may recoil on them. The government of Imran Khan is still in honeymoon period even it has not yet completed 3 months which is the bare minimum time to determine suitability of even an individual, leave aside a country, mired in enormous difficulties.
In sheer desperation, they have shown audacity to prejudge a government at incipient stage and adjudged it unfit to run the country. This makes a case purely driven by vested interests, not an act of an opposition which barely cares for country or democracy. The bizarreness does not end here. The PTI government is being held culpable for the garbage left by their previous governments. Only one completely bereft of compunction, could venture so brazenly. The huge piles of circumstantial evidence along with a wide spread belief of their involvement in massive corruption and other acts of self perpetuation lays insuperable obstacles for them to surmount in present environments however, probably they could ill afford a business as usual, primarily for two reasons. One, if Imran Khan is allowed to work unhindered for stipulated period or even less, their doom is foreordained because he is in habit of performing well and sticking to the job. Recent example is of KP where he returned to power with 2/3 majority. Two, soon their top leadership may find itself in jail irretrievably. The situation is ominously placed for them however, they would fight a last ditch battle albeit largely vainly.
Their sinews would include; use of sophistry, venality and chicanery in lockstep with some sweating section of media, politicized officials and vulnerabilities of PTI/government. They would twist its every word/action even if it impinges on interests of the country because gullible people still remain their easy prey. Saudi help is most recent example nevertheless, at long last, Imran khan has found a good opportunity to rid country of corrupt people provided he treads the path carefully. He should not provoke opposition when exposing their corruption and other malpractices. Nation stands with him and may also allow him more time to correct the wrongs because he is only and last hope but nothing is unlimited. He urgently needs to improve his team selection and keep an eye on elements sympathetic to ruling elite within. Unnecessary hammering on corruption is also counterproductive. It causes flight of capital abroad or underground. As a rule, nations punish corrupt people and recover ill-gotten money to deter others.
In case of bigwigs, it needs to be followed strictly however, due to our peculiar circumstances, this may be relaxed for cases of low level corruption; appropriate amnesty scheme as a onetime exception. Seeing emerging concourse of political parties against Imran Khan, one is vividly reminded of a quote by Marcus Aurelius “When a bunch of known corrupt people unite against one man and spare no effort to ridicule him, blackmail him and attempt to assassinate his character, blindly follow that one man”.
— The writer, retired Lt Col, is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.