Why is Imran disqualified?
THE Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has ruled former Premier Imran Khan disqualified from holding political office.
He will be prosecuted in criminal court also. The PTI move is likely to further inflame political tension in the country.
While reading out the recommendation, ECP Chief Sikandar Sultan Raja stated that Imran Khan was disqualified for being involved in corrupt practices.
Decision was based on grounds that Imran Khan had made false statements regarding the declaration of the sale of gifts presented to him by the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Dubai while in office which is illegal offence under the country’s Constitution.
There had been heavy police presence outside the Election Commission’s office in Islamabad in anticipation of protests by Imran Khan’s supporters.
Paramilitary troops have been deployed across the city and the Red Zone, which encases major government buildings, including the election commission, Red Zone has completely been sealed off to traffic.
The PTI Chief Imran Khan has decided to take the matter to the Islamabad High Court, claiming that the ECP’s decision was biased.
Disqualification is the beginning of a new phase of Imran Khan and his party. The party leadership tried to call supporters for protests across the country but very mild reaction is seen.
Very few supporters came out of their homes. This decision raises the prospect of Imran Khan being unable to contest next general election, expected in 2023.
The Commission’s ruling, the latest in a series of setbacks for Imran Khan, who was dramatically removed from office in a vote of no confidence in April this year.
The PDM ousted Imran Khan from power, had pushed for the commission’s investigation. Imran Khan has repeatedly claimed that his removal from office was the result of a US-led conspiracy against him.
He has also alleged that Shehbaz Sharif and the Pakistani military were behind his ousting. His claims have struck a chord with youngsters where anger and disillusionment with the political and military establishment is being fuelled by a rising cost-of-living crisis and anti-American sentiment is common.
The US, the ruling coalition and the Pakistani military have all denied Imran’s allegations. After the decision of ECP, will he lead his supporters in long march to Islamabad? He is confused now. I don’t think he will decide a long march this time.
His last long march in May was a total failure. It is not 2014. Imran Khan had long been enjoying unconditional support of the Establishment.
Throughout his premiership he has been enjoying one page flora. This undaunted support continued till last October before the appointment of new spymaster.
Imran tainted his ideal relationship with the Establishment unnecessarily. It really choked one-page panorama.
From here Imran could never handle the day by day devastating situation. Imran himself torn off the ever ideal one page. He himself axed his feet.
Throughout his reign, deliverance has been his serious problem. He handed over densly populated Punjab province to inexperienced and incompetent Buzdar.
Over a dozen Chief Secretaries and IGs were replaced in the province. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa too was run by inexperienced Mehmood Khan.
The same was administrative situation in KP. For deliverance Imran has been asked to replace administrators in both the provinces.
But he had been advised otherwise from within Banigala. He victimised his political opponents including Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz, Maryam Nawaz, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Khawaja Asif, Ehsan Iqbal, Khursheed Shah and Ali Wazir.
For media his term remained draconian than any other’s. He deputed over half a dozen spokespersons to crush political opponents. He blamed and confronted every body he came across. He named his opponents corrupt.
After defeate in the no-confidence motion he turned his cannons towards the Establishment naming them neuterals, animals, jackals, traitors, cowards, Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq, etc.
In response to him the government and the establishment showed unprecedented patience and tolerance but he continued his way.
So much so he worsened his relationship with his tested fellows Jahangir Tareen and Aleem Khan.
He seldom attended parliamentary sessions. For the graceful solution of national issues throughout his rule he never talked to the opposition.
Apart from all this, Imran Khan rotten country’s political and diplomatic relationship with the United States of America, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and several other countries.
Courtesy call from US President Joe Biden and appointment of next Chief of Army Staff remained his ever unfulfilled desires.
He deliberately developed enmity with security institutions. He used religion as a card but he could not even lay down foundation stone of Riasat-e-Madina model.
During Imran’s rule the country suffered worst polarization, inflation level and heavy external loans.
According to his promises with the nation, he could not construct any dam. No body knows about the funds raised for the construction of Diamir-Bhasha Dam.
As per his promises with the nation, he could not provide ten million jobs to jobless and five million homes to the homeless.
Tirelessly he talked too much but practically did nothing. When brought to power he was a hope for the Establishment and the nation but soon after taking oath he proved himself otherwise.
It was he who created problems for the country, nation and himself. If decision of Imran’s disqualification is reviewed and reverted, the same court will have to review and revert disqualification case of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz too.
To my understanding he has never been a Prime Minister material. His arrogant and stubborn attitude ruined the country, nation and himself.
—The writer is editor, book ambassador political analyst and author of several books based in Islamabad.