So, finally, the Supreme Court has disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the PanamaLeaks case. Though the PML-N has certain reservations but accepted the decision and complied accordingly forthwith. Now the guns have turned to PTI Chairman Imran Khan. He has submitted to the apex court the ‘incomplete’ money trail of his London flat, but it speaks volumes of his ‘foul game’ as well as well as his style of doing politics of mudslinging and double standards.
It was Imran Khan who has been raising hell over the Panama Papers revelations and has exploited all options to prove ex-PM Sharif and his family guilty of doing corruption and making foreign assets. And when the Sharif family submitted their documents especially the Qatari prince’s letter to establish the money trail, Imran was among those who rejected the Qatari prince’s letter, rather made fun of it. It looks beyond comprehension the style of Imran Khan’s somersaults that one thing is illogical when others do and is logical when he does. In simple words, this is nothing but double standards and hypocrisy.
The recent history of politics is replete with incidents when the PTI chief took some stance on a certain issue (no mention of Seeta White) and after the court verdict he took a U-turn sending everyone into deep surprise. Not only that in a number of cases the PTI chairman, who claims to be the torch-bearer of making Pakistan a ‘New Pakistan’, disowned certain facts but later he had to lick the dust when the courts established him guilty of doing wrong and failing to prove his claims.
The PTI claim of ’35 punctures’ (rigging charges) in the 2013 general elections is still fresh in every sane person’s mind. Imran Khan, the mastermind of the anti-Nawaz Sharif government protest campaign, long march and sit-ins, claimed that the PML-N had rigged the elections in 35 constituencies where his party candidates were in a position to win. He later launched anti-government protests, held long marches making hostage the whole country, and moved superior courts over the issue with the ‘strong’ claims of having potential evidences of rigging.
However, the PTI fell flat and got exposed when it, on the insistence of court, failed to present any claimed evidence of rigging in the four selected constituencies.
Over a year has passed to the Panama papers. These revelations did carry the names of many other countries’ leaderships who are accused of having offshore companies to run their businesses. However, there was hardly any protest movement against these leaders in their own states, no agitating trends were set and economy remained on track there. On the other side, it was a point of regret that the PTI resorted to politics of agitation, long marches and sit-ins and demanded PM Sharif’s resignation before the launch of investigation in the PanamaLeaks. At this stage, Imran again demonstrated hypocrisy when he had refused to accept the opposition parties’ potential demand of KPK Chief Minister Parvez Khttak’s resignation over the violence, killings and rigging charges during the 2015 local governments’ elections in the province. So much so, Sirajul Haq, Chief of Jamaat Islamai (the PTI ally in the KPK), has termed the Ehtesab Commission in the province a total flop. Even the PTI’s certain ministers have been hurling corruption charges against each other. It is on record that certain MPAs of his own party in the KPK have hurled corruption charges on the Chief Minister Parvez Khattak and demanded his resignation. However, Imran has never lent his ear to these charges.
If the KPK government is taken as a study case, one would hardly find any improvement in governance performance during the last four-year rule. This party’s election slogan of ‘New Pakistan’ looks to have evaporated in mounting criticism of bad governance in government departments. No major development project has been launched in the project after getting power in 2013. Regrettably, the PTI government’s economic and planning managers have failed to come up with any solid development and economic planning. The non-use or half use of provincial PSDP allocations speaks volumes of the inability to professionally run the government affairs.
The foundation of Imran Khan’s politics is based on criticising others and do not allow others to pinpoint his or his party’s shortcomings. It is an established fact that Imran-led PTI has emerged as a recognized political force in the country and is governing one of the provinces. But it is a point of regret that Imran, who all the time talks of parliament’s supremacy, has always downgraded this legislative forum. There are very few occasions when he attended the assembly session during the last four years. Instead of going to the parliament, the PTI chairman keeps on discussing national issues on roads and at public places in shape of protest rallies, long marches and sit-ins.
As part of his politics of allegations, the PTI chief has recently claimed that the Sharifs had extended him Rs10 billion offer for not pleading the PanamaLeaks case. However, when the PML-N leaderships and others asked Imran to disclose the man who had conveyed the offer, he refused to do it on one pretext or the other.
This style of politics is no service to the country in any way rather Imran and his party, through their street politics and the fashion of levelling baseless allegations, are not only misleading the general masses but also dragging the country to standstill, political as well as economic instability.
Getting government in the KPK is a golden opportunity for the PTI. Imran Khan, who always remains busy in mudslinging and levelling charges on others, needs to prove his political wisdom and skills for ensuring good governance his party was mandated for in the 2013 general elections. If he achieves these goals in the province, it is sure that the dream of ‘New Pakistan’ would certainly become a reality.
(The writer can be reached at khan.ms18yahoo.com )