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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Political Turmoil in Pakistan: Imran Khan, PDM, and Power Struggles

All the politicians, starting from ZAB, down to Nawaz and IK, came to power by concluding some sort of understanding or deal with the Army. All of them, backed by the Deep State, performed according to their abilities and were shown the door when they had either outlived their utility or earned enough money to last for a lifetime.

According to the PDM narrative, on 9 May 2023 unruly mobs, instigated by the arrest of Imran Khan, ran wild and ransacked the building of a state-run radio station in Peshawar, vandalized monuments to the national heroes all across the country, and set on fire the Jinnah House in Lahore. The culprits targeted the structures and objects that had a deep emotional attachment to the masses – the PAF Sabre flown by the 1965 War hero M.M. Alam was among those monuments. So was the Jinnah House, purchased by Quaid-e-Azam in 1942. He never lived there though. Since 1947, it is the official residence of Lahore’s corps commander who also commands the Lahore garrison. The mastermind/s behind the mayhem, it appears, aimed at provoking the nation’s sentiments to spread anarchy. What was the grand design?

The PDM government alleged that it was a conspiracy by Imran Khan and his party to further destabilize the country which is already on the tenterhooks and, to create a civil- war like situation, pitting the military against the people of Pakistan. Imran Khan countered that the whole agitation was choreographed by PDM to trap him, put him in jail, and disband PTI. In the worst-case scenario, claimed Imran Khan, he would be physically terminated.

Read more: PDM to stage ‘protest in front of Supreme Court’ on Monday: Fazl

Understanding the matter better

Since April 2022, when Imran Khan’s government was sent packing through a controversial no-confidence move in the national assembly – a regime change that Imran Khan alleges was sponsored by the US, he has fine-tuned his narrative.  Departing from his earlier stance about America’s involvement, he claimed later on that the PDM leadership acted as pawns in a larger game when they secretly approached the Americans for their help.

To his critics, Imran Khan may be a marvelous narrative builder, perhaps the greatest storyteller after the Irish writer James Joyce – the author of Ulysses. Throughout this period, it also remains a fact though, that Imran Khan was massively helped in his narrative building by General Bajwa and the dumb PDM leadership. How else do we explain General Bajwa’s interviews in which, in some unguarded moments, he confessed that he had brought about the regime- change after getting convinced that Imran Khan was not sincere with Pakistan? The grapevine also suggests that General Bajwa had been telling his audience that Imran Khan was history – that his ass was canned, and that they should learn to live without him.

And how else do we explain the horse trading – powered by Zardari’s dirty billions, in Sindh House? The Sharifs and Zardari may be master manipulators but Imran Khan has made dunces out of them through his recent thesis that the recent violent agitation was created by PDM. Look how:

On 27 February 1933, there was an arson attack on the Reichstag building, home of the German parliament in Berlin. The Reichstag attack happened precisely four weeks after Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany. Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch communist, was the apparent lone culprit; however, Hitler attributed the fire to the Communist Party agitators. He used it as a pretext to claim that Communists were plotting against the German government, and coerced President Paul von Hindenburg to issue the Reichstag Fire Decree suspending civil liberties and pursue a “ruthless confrontation” with the Communists. This made the fire pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany.

After the Fire Decree was issued, the Nazi-controlled police made mass arrests of communists, including all of the communist Reichstag delegates. This severely crippled communist participation in the 5 March elections. After the elections, the absence of the communists gave the Nazi Party a majority in the Reichstag, greatly assisting the Nazi seizure of total power.Van Der Lubbe and the four Communists were the defendants in the trial that started in September 1933. It ended in the acquittal of the four Communists and the conviction of Van der Lubbe, who was executed. PDM script, it appears, was borrowed from the Reichstag fire.

Read more: PDM govt gets slammed for latest hike in petrol price

All the politicians, starting from ZAB, down to Nawaz and IK, came to power by concluding some sort of understanding or deal with the Army. All of them, backed by the Deep State, performed according to their abilities and were shown the door when they had either outlived their utility or earned enough money to last for a lifetime.

This is what happened with the Sharifs and Zardari

After becoming the PM, Imran Khan failed to rise to the occasion and remained confined to the cocoon of his cricket captaincy. The captain of a cricket team is responsible for leading his team to victory against the rival teams. However, the team selection, training, administration, logistics, etc., is the responsibility of the cricket control board. Imran Khan, after entering the corridors of power, remained in the same Cloud Cuckoo World of test cricket.

Not that Imran Khan failed altogether. He tried to tackle the hopeless state of the economy that he inherited from the Noon League – a laissez-faire economy where the government resorted to massive foreign borrowing to keep the dollar exchange rate artificially low, where there was no documentation and money laundering was the order of the day, and where the dirty rich squirreled away their ill-gotten wealth in foreign banks and properties.

He is the Redeemer to his followers, and a Dajjal (the Anti-Christ) to his enemies. Such is the controversy Imran Khan generates at home and abroad. The present internal situation in Pakistan, impacted by external pressures, will result in the elimination of the entire political leadership that today rules the country or benefits from the political system directly or indirectly. It will be replaced by a new crop of leadership. History, for good or bad, will restart.

Read more: Why wait till Friday? PDM questions Imran on dissolving assemblies

According to the Buddhist concept of time, each day the sun rises and sets, the seasons follow one another, the heavenly bodies revolve around us, and people grow old and die, but their children reconstitute the process. We know this cycle has gone on for 100,000 years and more. Cyclical time is not a scarce commodity. There seems always to be an unlimited supply of it just around the next bend. As they say in the East, when God made time, He made plenty of it.

 

Saleem Akhtar Malik is a Pakistan Army veteran who writes on national and international affairs, defense, military history, and military technology. He Tweets at @saleemakhtar53. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.