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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

This is the biggest challenge for PM Imran Khan

Fahad Qureshi argues that PM Imran Khan has been surrounded by mafias from day one in office, but the main challenge is something different!

From the first day, Imran Khan took charge as Prime Minister of Pakistan he was surrounded by mafias trying to get him out of the PM office at any cost, be it internal or external mafias. Imran Khan has been surrounded by constant risk of betrayal, but the question is, does he care about it? Imran Khan’s life has been about taking risks and not worrying about the outcome. One reason for his positive approach is that he eventually wins in every field of life, but politics is quite different from all of it. Politics is ruthless, you need to be in power to make a difference. Years of hard work and an honest approach can be ruined if you leave the powerhouse.

The list of enemies and friends keeps on changing in politics, it’s a house of cards and you need to be smart about it. At least 60 senators were part of a conspiracy against Julius Caesar, but he was stabbed only 23 times. This shows how dirty politics can be sometimes.

Post 2018 elections:

After Imran Khan entered the power corridors of Islamabad, everyone knew he would be hard on the opposition as he promised to be in his election campaign, as the majority of his voters wanted him to take a hard line. He did what he promised, pursued the cases which were made against each other by PPP and PML-N. Apart from Shahbaz Sharif’s TT scandal, no other cases were made by the PTI government. Nawaz Sharif who accuses Imran Khan-led govt for his disqualification, was actually in jail before Imran Khan formed the government.


Nonetheless, Imran Khan took a hardline and decided to not compromise on the accountability process, so it was quite evident that opposition will come back at Imran Khan and try their best to remove him from office, be it the formation of the Pakistan Democratic Movement or Vote of no confidence. One thing that was ignored during this period of time is that this political confrontation will not only be against the opposition in the National Assembly, but also opposition within the party.

Imran Khan formed a government with allies and some electable. Electables are not loyal to you and they are not even supposed to be loyal. It was quite evident that electable people in power who don’t really represent the party’s ideology will do whatever they want to do. Electables like Raja Riaz who were not important in politics anymore are suddenly relevant to Pakistani politics. That’s how electable are, you feed them and they can be against you anytime.

The other Mafia’s:

Imran Khan is surrounded by Mafia’s from every side possible, external or internal, and even those who many are not aware of but they do exist in big numbers. Sugar mafia, electricity mafia, gas mafia, medicine mafia, property mafia and the list go on. When he came to power he was left with a ‘Debt trap’ by the mafia and they controlled the system even after they left the power corridors.

It was years of power handling and putting your favorite people in specific positions so you can get benefited from it one day. Despite having serious cases against many top politicians, they always get bail and are allowed to fly abroad (because platelets count is very low). They can even be out on bail for years and keep doing politics without anyone asking them, that you are a proven criminal. This shows how they still hold some power underneath the power. When you fight the system, people who are getting benefit from the system will always come to challenge your position, thus has been the case with Imran Khan.

Read more: #BehindYouSkipper: PTI leaders support PM Imran Khan as JKT announces split

Biggest Challenge for Imran Khan:

Well firstly he needs to fight out external and internal battles, at least till 2023, he can throw out the rebel members of his party in his last year as he did in KP, where he expels members of the KP assembly on corruption charges.  It was a hard decision to make but a smart one to do it just before the elections. The most important challenge for Imran Khan would be delivery on the economic front and its recovery. Agreements that were done at an extremely high cost by previous governments need to be reversed (the government is focused on this and needs more work to be done).

The Ehsas program is a great initiative where you are enabling lower-income people so they can buy things, you also need to increase the capacity of the middle-class population to buy things. Transfer of Cash for low-income people and keeping the industry alive during the pandemic was a great decision as it helped the industry to grow and many people kept earning money during these times. This needs sustainability as we don’t know how long we will be in this situation. People might not see it was Covid times in 4 years out of 5 given to the Imran Khan government. It needs a strong follow up and keeps benefiting people.

Everyone can see it’s one vs all, Imran Khan vs the mafia of this country but the thing Imran Khan needs to do is to remain in power circles and keep delivering and taking decisions that might not be popular amongst masses, which might receive criticism but will eventually be beneficial for the people of Pakistan. In the last 2 years of the Imran Khan government, delivery and results will be key.

Read more: Why Imran Khan shouldn’t act like a populist?

Fahad Qureshi is an MPhil scholar, analyst, and journalist. He has expertise in national and international politics. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.