Imran’s narratives

June 30, 2022

Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan may have a charismatic personality but charisma is of no use without farsightedness. He considers taking U-turns to be a high standard of...

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Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan may have a charismatic personality but charisma is of no use without farsightedness. He considers taking U-turns to be a high standard of leadership. After leaving the PM Office, the former PM has been seen toeing a narrative which can be divided into five parts.

The first is that the institutions of the state sided with the opposition; the second is that there was an American conspiracy against him; the third is that all his opponents are traitors and corrupt; the fourth is that he helped passed a UN resolution against Islamophobia in UN; and the fifth is that he wanted an independent foreign policy.

Coming to his first statement, that the institutions didn’t come with help when he required it, if we go deeper into his claim, we find that in Pakistan’s 75-year history, no prime minister has received as much support from state institutions as Imran Khan did. Whenever he had a difficult time in office, he was supported.

No major appointment of Imran Khan has been cancelled, no restraining order has been issued on any project, whatever ordinance was issued by Imran Khan’s government none has been revoked or declared null and void. But his opponents have never enjoyed such relief.

Imran Khan’s second statement – that the United States conspired against him – has no life in it because work on CPEC had reduced during Imran Khan’s tenure. Imran Khan never uttered a word against the US until the motion of no-confidence was tabled against him.

His third narrative – that Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif are corrupt and the PPP and PML-N have been brought to power by the US and both these parties are under the influence of the US – is equally lifeless because if the US could not save Nawaz Sharif from being ousted from power, how can it bring him back to the power?

Second, we can be at odds with Nawaz Sharif’s politics and policies, but it is not reasonable to accuse him of colluding with the US because he did not listen to the US in 1998; May 28, 1998 is witness that no party in Pakistan has ever compromised on national interest. The US is also aware of the role Asif Ali Zardari played in making the CPEC a reality. The US also knows well that installing a government in Pakistan that tilts more towards China, would be of no use, thus why would the US make such a blunder?

Imran Khan’s fourth statement, called “Islamic touch” within his party, is also full of contradictions. Before the Imran Khan government, Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari and Benazir Bhutto had been raising the issue of Islamophobia on a global scale. On the one hand, Imran Khan kept claiming he wanted to establish the state of Madinah in Pakistan and at the same time allegedly indulged in shady acts like selling Toshakhaana’s gifts.

Imran’s fifth narrative is also more or less an imaginary ploy as Pakistan’s foreign policy has always been free of dictation, but our inclination has been towards the US because the centre of our trade is Europe and the US. We cannot move to the Russian camp because our economic survival depends on our relations with the US and Europe. Despite this fact, we have always taken steps in the interest of Pakistan and the biggest example of this is CPEC. It is beyond comprehension what independent foreign policy Imran was pursuing because his government bowed its head before the IMF.

Not all of Imran Khan’s narratives are true and the nation is not ready to accept them but one of his narrative which has been well received by the people is the narrative of hatred, because Imran Khan had once said that he know how to play with the minds of the people and he has succeeded in doing this. He knows that people in Pakistan hate America and this is the narrative by which he is keeping his political life alive but religious parties have been doing it since Pakistan’s inception and historically this narrative has never won them votes.

The writer tweets ZameerAMalik

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