Will establishment ever trust Imran Khan again?

August 20, 2022

Imran Khan keeps on pressurising the neutrals by levelling different allegations to get their support

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Chairman PTI Imran Khan addresses a rally. Courtesy PTI Twitter

ISLAMABAD: PTI Chairman Imran Khan keeps on pressurising the neutrals by levelling different allegations to get their support for removing the Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition government. It raises the question whether Khan’s strategy of targeting the neutrals to get them in line will work. Will the establishment ever trust him again?

Neutrals insist that they are neutral and have no intention to repeat the past mistakes of political engineering but Imran Khan on Thursday clearly once again invited them to intervene. At the same time, he again tried to embarrass the neutrals by repeating some allegations and adding some new ones.

“You still have time to review your policy,” he warned them while alleging that the establishment supported the corrupt. Eversince the ouster of his government, he has been pressing the neutrals for the removal of the coalition government to pave the way for his return into power. Khan does not want to talk to his political adversaries, who are in the government now, but wants the establishment to do what suits his politics. All throughout the last four months, he has attached his expectation from the military establishment and for this he uses all possible tactics to pressurise the establishment and make it dance to his tunes.

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On Thursday he reminded the neutrals that the ISI had been telling him about the cases of corruption of his opponents. He, however, did not name who from ISI has been telling him all this. Recently he had also blamed the “neutrals”, again without identifying anyone, for suggesting him the name of incumbent chief election commissioner and guaranteeing that he would not be problematic.

Imran Khan’s continuing attack on those who had done everything to bring him into power and later helped his government in every possible way, makes him an unpredictable person. His recent references of “ISI telling him about PMLN-PPP corruption” and regarding CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja’s nomination are alleged to be linked with someone who has been his favourite till recently.

Khan has shown during the last few months that he can interpret anything to his own advantage and to the disadvantage of others including even his own benefactors. Interestingly, he does not want the establishment to stay apolitical or restricted to its constitutional domain but demands it favour him, legally or illegally, like the past.

Independent observers believe that even if the establishment reverts to its controversial past political role, Imran Khan is not the person who can be trusted again. It is said that Imran Khan is a big lesson for the establishment as well.

Khan’s unstoppable attacks on the establishment are a serious point of concern for many of his party leaders but they too are helpless. They discuss between them how to stop Khan, some even dare to ask him to be a little careful. PMLQ top leaders- Punjab Chief Minister Pervez Elahi and his son Monis Elahi- also warn him not to attack the establishment in public speeches and media interviews but in return all such individuals are dubbed “their men”.

Recently, poor Pervez Elahi had a nightmarish time while dealing with Imran Khan’s wish not to hand over Shehbaz Gill custody to Islamabad police from Adiala jail. Elahi never wanted a situation that had arisen. But under pressure from Khan, Pervez Elahi, despite rejecting Gill’s statement, also tried to get some concessions from influential quarters, who simply suggested him to “follow the law”.

Imran Khan knows Pervez Elahi’s connections. In the PTI, Pervez Khattak is also quite relevant. But both Elahi and Khattak also find themselves in embarrassing situations. Pervez Elahi wanted to have his complete focus on governance and delivery but is being dragged into non-issues.

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