Mismanaged tenure

An anodyne appraisal of the three-and-half-year rule of Imran Khan and the claims that he used to make before coming into power and after must be carried out. Let us begin with what he told Mehr Bokhari in an interview before coming to power concerning the overarching role of the Army. He said ‘If I come to power, I will never make excuses that the Army is not letting me do anything. If it so happens it means that I am incompetent.’ What he said after losing power in this regard is something along the lines of ‘General Bajwa was super king. He made all the decisions, and the government could not do anything without his permission.’ What do you make of the foregoing claim and confession?
During his rule, he miserably failed in strengthening democratic norms and instead damaged democracy by not building a working relationship with the opposition which is the pivot of a democratic dispensation. He transformed political rivalry into enmity and practiced politics of vendetta by instituting false cases against the leaders of the opposition parties which were never proven in the courts of law. Involving Rana Sanaullah in the drug-peddling case was the worst example of filthy politics considering the fact that his government in the end admitted that it was a false case. His government also filed a wrong reference against a judge of the Supreme Court which it later admitted was a mistake.
Imran Khan introduced an element of violence in Pakistani politics which ultimately led to the disintegration of his party and possibly an end to his political career. The reference is to the attacks carried on the military installations on 9th May by the PTI workers, reportedly instigated by PTI leadership. The beeline of the former PTI leaders leaving the party and their accusing fingers towards Imran Khan for the tragedy has unraveled his satanic inclination. The popularity that he regained after his exit from power for all the wrong reasons has evaporated into thin air. In reply to his accusations against General Bajwa after being ousted from power, the latter among other things has also said that Imran was a liar to the core.
There is an exhaustive litany of lies and ploys to befool the people which cannot be covered in this discourse therefore I would focus on only a few. These include the construction of five million housing units; the creation of 10 million jobs; keeping electricity at Rs. 2 per unit; selling petrol at Rs.45 per litre; asking for loans and going to the IMF; repatriating stolen money; building Pakistan on the model of Riyasat-e-Madina; No amnesty scheme; introducing police reforms; not accepting turn-coats and electables; not to indulge in politics of u-turns and claiming that he would not make an alliance with MQM as doing so would be the biggest hypocrisy. He did exactly the opposite of these pledges.
Those who brought him into power projected him as the ultimate hope for the nation for a positive transition from an exploitative system to a welfare-oriented system of governance ensuring a better future for the teeming millions and terming it a revolution for ‘Naya Pakistan’. This caught the fancy of many who yearned for change. This feeling and impression were reinforced through a well-organized and extensive network of social media warriors who persistently focused on denouncing the permeating system and dubbing the rulers as thieves and exploiters who were solely responsible for the prevailing catastrophic circumstances. The punchline of this entire propaganda was that the only person who could winch the country out of the mess it was stuck into was Imran Khan and anybody who opposed his narrative was corrupt and unpatriotic. History bears irrefutable testimony to the fact that the fancies and whims of certain leaders assumed the shape of larger national interests and mass hysteria was at times marketed as the national pride and honour as they plunged their nations into horrible catastrophes.
The promised revolution failed because the leaders of the professed revolution including Imran Khan lacked the characteristics of a revolutionary. Through the help and support of their mentors and persistent propaganda, they created the urge for change in the hearts of millions by shaking their faith in the existing institutions but they did not have the alternative to consolidate the gains of this promised revolution. Fake propaganda invariably has an ephemeral impact and gets exposed shortly. Imran was the personification of power politics. In fact, he took it to a higher level. That is why his claims for revolution fizzled out like a damp squib.

The writer is a freelance columnist. He can be reached at ashpak10@gmail.com.

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