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Tuesday May 28, 2024

Situationer: Does Imran’s change of tone reflect change of strategy?

Is it yet another curveball or an outcome of the realisation of a recent ISPR warning?

By Farooq Aqdas
May 22, 2023
Former prime minister Imran Khan speaks during an interview at his residence in Lahore on March 15, 2023. — AFP
Former prime minister Imran Khan speaks during an interview at his residence in Lahore on March 15, 2023. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: It is premature to say if the change in tone and tenor of PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s statements reflect pragmatism or cognizance of the ground realities. It is also difficult to fathom if the radically shifting statements, contradictory behaviour, and ubiquitous U-turns that he has mastered are an outcome of his anxieties or a deliberate effort to play both sides. On the one hand, is the stark reality of the May 9 events and the PTI’s aggressive social media propaganda against the army chief but, on the other hand, the former prime minister told CNN on Sunday how could someone win by “taking on your own army. In such a situation, even if you win, the country loses.”

Is it yet another curveball or an outcome of the realisation of a recent ISPR warning of the army adopting legal recourse for PTI’s campaign against serving officers of the Pakistan Army?

Hinting at coming upheavals, Imran also claimed of 80pc chance that he would be rounded up once again when he appears before the court for bail confirmation on Tuesday.

He also insisted that there would be another life attempt on him while referring to his warning ahead of the Gujrat attack. But if the government wants to ‘bump him off’ or the former prime minister can foresee such an attack, then the only secure place for him is the prison.

Imran is giving conciliatory signals and appears prepared to concede to the ‘Minus One’ formula. However, knowing him it is difficult to predict when he would hit out like a seasoned cricketer again or choose to ignore a ball.

But withdrawing for a moment is also a strategy to hit back later with full force.