Political climate turning rough in Pakistan!!

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Pakistan is still looking for a true leader who could steer this country out of crises. From the available lot of politicians, there seems nobody who could take on this challenge head-on

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Ansar M Bhatti

The PTI Chairman Imran Khan while addressing a media seminar last week and then a public rally on August 20, 2022 at the F 9 Park went a step ahead by replacing the word Neutrals with the Establishment in his criticism of those who, according to him, got him out of power. The former prime minister came down heavily on the Establishment for what he called ‘its collusion with his opponents’ to get him out of the government. Imran continued spilling the beans when he said the Establishment people and the Intelligence agencies used to come to him and show him files of corruption of PML N and PPP leaders. It was after that evidence that he built all his narrative against these parties. But when he came to power, he was surprised that despite having so much solid evidence against these people why they could not be apprehended. He then alleged that it was revealed upon him that these people remained untouchables because of support from some big-wig from the Establishment.

Imran Khan’s new posture vis-a-viz the Establishment, on one hand, speaks volumes for his frustration emanating from the fact that the noose is being tightened around him in order to get him disqualified and on another the way his confidante Shahbaz Gill is being treated in the police custody. To begin with, the PTI chief chose to distance himself from Gill statement but as things transpired, he and the PTI deemed it in the fittest of things to stop trolling Gill and instead decided to stand behind him with full force, simply because the PTI leaders have realized that the buck would not stop to Shahbaz Gill only. In the due course other PTI die-hard workers may also be picked up and meted out similar treatment.

PTI-Establishment face-off is ostensibly a dangerous trend for both stakeholders and the country as well. As we all know, the armed forces of Pakistan are rightly believed to be the only organized and disciplined intuition of the country. The forces used to be the pride of all Pakistanis and they still are. PTI- Establishment tussle unfortunately may not serve anybody’s purpose.

It is the myth of the Establishment that has served as a unifying factor in this country therefore this myth should not be broken. It is quite a serious matter when we see a leading political party and its leader challenging this myth, even if he may have some genuine grounds to do that. At the same time this is also true that Imran Khan is not the only one who is doing this, even those who are in power these days, too spared no efforts in discrediting the Establishment, whenever they got a chance. Imran’s case is nevertheless different. He is not only a popular leader but is considered as a clean man as well as compared with the leaders of the other political parties. And when somebody standing on a pedestal, passes comments against an individual or for that matter an institution, his comments carry immense weight and credence.  People usually tend to believe such persons even if they are not telling the whole truth. The emerging situation thus requires immediate and earnest efforts on the part of the stakeholders in order to address the fault lines before they grow deeper and jolt the entire system.

Pakistan celebrated its 75th independence day a few days ago with pump and show and great enthusiasm. The government, on the occasion, arranged a musical-cum-cultural show attended by the leading dignitaries. Reports suggest a huge sum of money was spent on that show, which according to many, had nothing to do with the independence of Pakistan and thus a great sum was squandered, especially when the country was already undergoing financial upheavals. It is quite disappointing that we would like to celebrate all such occasions with huge fan-fare but never like to follow what our forefathers had said to make this country a welfare and modern state. Countries that got independence with us or even after us have gone far ahead in terms of socio-economic and human development while we are still groping in the dark. And why is it so? Only because we have never tried to break the shackles of feudalism; imperialists mindset and dictatorial approach. Why our arch rival India stands out prominently in the comity of nations viz-a-viz Pakistan? Only because from the very beginning it did not allow these absurdities to make inroads into the Indian polity.

Pakistan is still looking for a true leader who could steer this country out of crises. From the available lot of politicians, there seems nobody who could take on this challenge head-on. Imran Khan, after his disappointing 4-year term in office, is trying again to grab the highest office. For many, he still may be the better choice provided he makes some earnest efforts to learn from his past mistakes. He needs to bridge the gap between his words and deeds. Problem with our political leaders is that when they are in the opposition they present themselves as great reformers and democrats but as soon as they enter the power corridors, they immediately forget everything and start behaving like dictators and autocrats. This trend has to be reversed. Only then the country can start its march towards true democracy, welfare and an all inclusive state.