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How the wind is blowing against PM Imran Khan?

A most common complaint against Imran is that prices are very high, which were less in 2018 and no denying the hard fact, globally speaking, prices have gone up in almost each and every country, thus, Pakistan cannot be an exception in this regard. There must be some price control mechanism whereby essential items, particularly food, cannot be sold at will but within the limits set by the government and anyone charging more must be punished.

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Honestly speaking, from the day one when PM Imran Khan took the oath of Prime Minister to rule the country, many men and women, disgruntled of course, simply cannot digest and accept him as PM even for a day what to talk of long stipulated 5 years and hence right from east to west and south to north one hears different voices belonging to different sections of the society for shouting against PM Imran despite the fact that the shouts of the divided and disintegrated opposition are nothing more than barren, bootless, empty, futile, hollow and nugatory attempts to overthrow the incumbent government of PM Imran.

However, despite being a supporter of PM Imran, I must be honest, rather dead honest, to dare and say black as black instead of painting it as grey, if not white. I cannot hide and pocket his weaknesses of Imran which the wicked opposition is just trying to cash to plague the minds of the masses who are neither educated nor politically awakened and therefore it is the mob mentality that has always been very much instrumental in shaping the public opinion against the government.

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How Pakistan has changed over time?

I am continually out of Pakistan since 1976 but yet being a proud Pakistani, watching televisions and reading newspapers to know what is happening back home. As and when I fly to my beloved Pakistan, I quite naturally purchase Pakistani currency notes in Kuwait and one way or the other, I always got more Pakistani notes than before which does not please me, rather sadden me, realizing that we are sliding down instead of going up which is very much detrimental to the interests of Pakistan to tell you the truth.

PM Imran is a bit unlucky in the sense that even though his political party PTI has won maximum seats in the National Assembly but still 156 MNAs (123 general seats +28 reserved seats + 5 minority seats) he is short of many seats to form a government and become Prime Minister. He, whether he liked it or not, he had to approach not only those MNAs who won as independents but also to knock at other political parties whose nominees are MNAs and this is how Imran could succeed to be the Prime Minister but, in reciprocation to such association with aliens, Imran had to pay and still paying the price for bringing non-PTI MNAs under his umbrella. Some of these MNAs became ministers but they and their colleague MNAs keep on pressurizing Imran for one reason or the other and Imran, under the given situation, has no alternative but to just swallow the bitter pill.

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Where did Imran Khan go wrong?

Unfortunately, PTI could not win most of the seats during bye-elections both in National Assembly as well as in Provincial Assemblies even though PTI is the ruling party in Punjab and PakhtunKhawa which saddened PM Imran to a very great extent but he could do nothing except show his displeasure on being so defeated not once, twice or even thrice in bye-elections. PM must have very strictly monitored the popularity of PTI in all cities and towns and initiated remedial and corrective measures where its popularity is dwindling, but I very much doubt, if PM Imran has any such like logistics otherwise the results must have been more favorable and not against.

A most common complaint against Imran is that prices are very high, which were less in 2018 and no denying the hard fact, globally speaking, prices have gone up in almost each and every country, thus, Pakistan cannot be an exception in this regard. PTI government had two options. Firstly, there must be some price control mechanism whereby essential items, particularly food, cannot be sold at will but within the limits set by the government and anyone charging more must be punished. Secondly, the government can subsidize most essential daily use items like flour, rice, sugar, milk and cooking oil, etc so that the public does not feel the pinch. Regretfully, not much is done to stabilize the prices which gives a chance to the opposition to exploit it.

Unfortunately, PTI could not win majority seats in cantonment board elections which is very shocking proving that PTI has lost popularity to some extent otherwise the results could not have been so detrimental to the interests of the ruling party. PTI is losing its grip at the grass-root level and its workers and supporters are not meeting the locals whereas the opposition has tried to mix up with ordinary locals hence it succeeded in winning at most of the cantonment boards. PM Imran asked for an explanation from the responsible persons as to why and how it could happen alike where PML (N) has won so many seats but such annoyance on the part of PM Imran could not change the results in any case.

Is PTI being exploited by its members?

Local bodies elections held in KP where none but PTI is ruling, have nakedly exposed the ruling elite simply because there also PTI had to taste the dust as it happened in cantonment boards.PM Imran was too upset and had to summon Chief Minister to Islamabad, showing his grave anger and utter displeasure for being defeated so badly that Maulana Fazalur Rahman’s political party came at the top, jeering and mocking at PTI.

MNA from Peshawar Noor Alam Khan of PTI bombarded at none but PTI leadership and that too on the floor of NA which is nothing short of piercing dagger in the chest and not in the back.MNA very bitterly complained that Khyber Pakhtunkhawa is facing a shortage of fluor, gas and electricity and he being MNA is to answer to his voters. He went to the extent of saying that names of all the PTI seniors sitting in 1st three rows of the National Assembly must be placed on ECL. However, to me, Noor should have conveyed his complaints to PM Imran instead of bursting out in NA, but done is done which cannot be undone.

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Great shocking news for PM Imran because just on 9th February 2022, Faisal Vawda Senator belonging to PTI has been disqualified by Election Commission on account of holding dual nationality (USA and Pakistan). Earlier, Vawda has defeated with great margin none but Shehbaz Sharif in the 2018 election and became MNA. Later on, PM Imran appointed him as Federal Minister for Water and after a couple of years, he resigned from NA and became a Senator. PM Imran is not happy on losing a seat in Senate where, unfortunately, PTI is already in minority. He will contest his disqualification in Supreme Court and merit turns demerit and none but PM Imran is being blamed for such uproar.

Imran for the very 1st time in the history of Pakistan, awarded meritorious certificates to 10 members of his ruling junta whereby federal ministers, advisors and special assistants have been honored publicly and the ceremony held at the PM office has been telecasted by all the television networks while each newspaper has quite prominently flashed the news on front pages. 55 (28 Federal Ministers + 4 State Ministers + 4 Advisors + 19 Special Assistants) were in the run to be honored but ever since only 10 are found to be the luckiest one, some of those who have been ignored have raised their heads, objecting and questioning the method for selecting 10 and such criticism from among 45 proves dents within PTI.

Usually, prize or certificate distribution is done at the end of the event and not in between but here Imran gave certificates at the time when PTI is yet to rule till 2023 and such move gave an opportune to opposition to assert that Imran has sensed that his departure is quite imminent so now he distributed commendation certificates.

What does the future look like?

Different opposition leaders who for long have been grinding their axes have already announced different logistics to go against PM Imran to oust him from PM Office. Bilawal Zardari Bhutto is to lead a PPP rally in the last week of February from Karachi complaining of high prices. He is all set to head towards Islamabad to pressurize PM Imran to quit while Maulana Fazalur Rehman is duly supported by MPL (N) headed by Mian Shehbaz Sharif will lead a public rally to eventually reach Islamabad on 23rd March to topple PM Imran. Additionally, they have also announced to move a no-confidence motion in National Assembly against PM Imran.

Apparently, it looks as if the opposition is trying, to tame the lion if not cage the lion, but I very much doubt that despite the fact that PM Imran is going through a bit rough time as explained above, the opposition cannot succeed in their nefarious plan to oust Imran who is none but very artful, canny, crafty, determined, far-sighted and shrewd tactful fighter and a great warrior who knows very well what to do, how to do and when to do. One must not forget even for a fraction of a second that Imran led newly born PTI and he secured maximum seats defeating decades-old (PML N) and PPP just in one go signifying that Imran is not easy prey for the opposition despite howling so much.

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No denying the hard fact, when PTI swept in in the 2018 elections, Imran ate laddoos whereas Shehbaz Sharif, Bilawal, Fazal and others had to chew nothing but steel nuts instead. Never ever forget that he is the same Imran Khan Niazi who captained the Pakistan cricket team, and despite facing so many odds duly punctuated with many ifs and buts, Imran did eventually triumph in his self-crafted logistics to win and lift Cricket World Cup way back in 1992 which no captain could win neither before nor after.

 

The writer is a former business and manpower advisor at Pakistan Embassy, Kuwait. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.