The dangerous blame-game of the PTI | By Tariq Aqil


The dangerous blame-game of the PTI

IMRAN Khan is on the war path. After the foreign conspiracy agenda has been denied by the concerned agencies in Pakistan he has now turned the guns directly towards state institutions and foreign powers.

The show of political power and street strength by Imran Khan has been impressive.

His clarion calls to his supporters have ushered in huge crowds to his public meetings and he continues to garner support in his final run up to the next general election.

The target of Khan’s political narrative now are his supporters in the middle class especially the naïve subset of the political youth.

His 2018 election campaign focused on primarily anti-corruption and how by across the board accountability he will fix all the problems of the country and a new Pakistan on the pattern of Riasat-i-Madina will emerge from the ashes of the old Pakistan.

After his ouster from power he is now harping on the tune of a great international conspiracy and how the sovereignty of the country is under threat and how by defeating the international conspirators and their local partners and maintaining our independent status will automatically solve all our political and economic problems.

In a rather risky and dangerous move Imran Khan has now started a blame game of accusing the establishment and the judiciary and presenting himself as a victim of the powerful forces led by the military establishment.

The vicious media campaign against the military high command is loaded with dangerous omens, it could lead to a split in the army with catastrophic results for the country.

The toxic rhetoric against the higher judiciary is to mount further pressure on them for a number of cases that are yet to come especially the foreign funding case that has been going on for the last seven years and is now in its final stage.

On 17 April 2022 the army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa addressed the officers of different ranks in the Lahore garrison.

He was very vocal about the campaign of misinformation and hateful propaganda going on in the country and he stressed that this vicious campaign is a great threat to the integrity and independence of the country.

Without mincing words but stressing the need for a timely response to counter this dangerous game launched by interested quarters before it is too late.

He continued to add that the army is of the people of Pakistan and any attempt to create a rift between the army and the people should not be allowed at any cost.

He stopped short of telling the audience if any action against those involved in this dangerous game is planned or not.

Such an action is urgently needed because the poisonous rhetoric being spewed out by the PTI supporters is fast reaching the brains of the naive youth of the nation.

The DG ISPR categorically rejected all allegations of helping the opposition to kick out Imran Khan and emphasized that the army has got nothing to do with political developments.

Immediately after the statement of the DG ISPR Federal Minister Shireen Mazari rejected the statement and thus created further doubts about the loyalty of the military high command.

Many other Ministers and Special Assistants of the Imran Khan regime continue to claim that many individuals and political leaders are directly involved in the regime change international conspiracy masterminded by the USA.

By launching a hate campaign against the Establishment Imran Khan is treading on thin ice.

The relationship between the civil government and the military has always been a very sensitive issue and in the current scenario it has become even more dangerous when the PTI supporters are trying their best to create doubts about the loyalty and integrity of the military high command as this could lead to endangering the very existence of the country.

Imran Khan is the first leader in our history who never bothered to even shake hands with his opponents in the Assembly and continued to call his political opponents traitors, looters, thieves, liars, criminals and even traitors in service of some foreign powers.

Imran Khan’s entire behavior smacks of anarchism and narcissism with an inflated sense of self importance and a larger than life inflated ego.

The PTI has turned into a cult from a political party. Cults and cult leaders consider themselves righteous, truthful, pious and above reproach.

Imran Khan the cult leader has created a narrative around the desired ideals like peace, justice and the Utopian dream of Raisat-i-Madina and he has very effectively managed to dehumanize his political opponents, the defence forces and the judiciary.

Imran Khan’s present campaign is a dangerous strategy based on gimmicks. He has not talked about the multiple problems faced by the country or the solutions to these difficult worries created by the PTI during their rule.

He is now building his campaign to present himself as the knight in shining armour who can lead the country to freedom and prosperity and free from the cruel clutches of foreign powers.

This is nothing but another one of his pipe dreams based on his own sense of self importance.

—The writer is Professor of History, based in Islamabad.