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September 20, 2016

Pressurising govt to bow on PanamaLeaks,keeping PTI together

Top Story

September 20, 2016

Imran’s challenges…

ISLAMABAD: The federal capital is abuzz with a lot of speculations, fears and hopes in the wake of Imran Khan’s march on Raiwind, PM Nawaz Sharif’s visit to UN and his taking position on Kashmir and relations with neibhours issue and, of course, his tackling the most ticklish issue of the change of command at the top of GHQ. 

However, there is a guarded debate on all these issues. The movers and shakers are at work to craft new order for the country and give new shape to political dispensation by the end of October and the talk of September witnessing any big upheaval becoming history. 

Tahirul Qadri has accepted his failure to pressurise government on Model Town killings by leaving the country well before Khan’s move while the opposition parties saying big ‘no’ to PTI’s march. What next is the question that is asked by all here?

When Panama papers came out to shock several state capitals in April, Imran Khan termed it a God-given opportunity to put the rulers to accountability for what he termed massive corruption apart from investing abroad. He however was not able to gauge the multifarious challenges that would emanate from the web to become his greatest predicament namely failing to win over vital opposition support, putting such pressure which would make Nawaz Sharif bow out or at least agree to the terms of offshore companies probe and above all to keep his own PTI house in order.

Imran failed to see the difference between ideological and money politics when he decided to make his handpicked top financier Jehangir Tareen all powerful man in the party preferring him on politically sound and articulate Shah Mehmood Qurshi and founding member and his cousin Saifullah Khan Niazi who caused a storm within the PTI and is not going to be overcame sooner. Even he went for Raiwind march without taking his top party leadership on board and result is obvious. Qureshi is set to leave him during the Raiwind march taking queue from Makhdoom Javed Hashmi who ditched Khan in the middle of long march.

On part of ruling PML-N front, it has shown both political maturity and stoubournness in dealing with Khan’s advances by showing ‘gandasa and danda’ brandishing party (paid) workers and then taking a U-Turn by announcing to facilitate PTI’s protest rally and provide complete security thus winning the goodwill of half hearted supporters of Khan. This change of heart is seen as precaution against the ‘modest’ march to serious armed clash which Khan threatened in his address to party convention. This change of heart reminded one of the FBR announcing to send notices to hundreds of offshore company holders whose names were surfaced in Panama papers within a few minutes of Khan’s reprimand in his Lahore rally speech.

Khan is now facing all the three challenges at the same time. The kind of challenge that he has threw to PML-N government in shape of marching on Raiwind or Jati Umra estate of Sharif family and PM’s camp office seems to get the general public support to his taste. He has therefore appealed to all his supporters in the nook and corner of the country to come to his aid to make September 30 rally a thumping success which also appears to be a non-starter for not all his party supporters are as wealthy to spend air tickets or private transport to reach Lahore’s outskirts to show to the world that PTI was the largest opposition party in the country and Imran’s voice against corruption ought to be heard.

Khan’s party has clearly been divided on all major issues and in dealing with opposition parties and the government. PTI chairman is already grappling with the rebellion that has been afloat in KP and National Assembly in shape of forward block etc. And above all the so-called founders group led by one time top confidant of Khan, Akbar S Babar comprising party discards and disgruntled workers is also enormous threat to Khan’s legitimacy.


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