Only political engagement to benefit PTI, Imran

ISLAMABAD   -  It seems that bad days for incarcerated politician and former prime minister Imran Khan are far from over despite his continuous legal battle to get himself freed.

The courts have given some relief to Khan by annulling his conviction in the case related to leaking of state secrets and suspending his conviction as well as his wife Bushra in the Toshakhana Case, only to be known that both will remain in jail.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) believes that Khan and his spouse will also get a clean chit in the unlawful marriage case, commonly known as Iddat Case, but there is a common perception among the party rank and file that any such development is not a guarantee to the couple’s release from Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.

Two government functionaries and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) stalwarts – Ahsan Iqbal and Rana Sanaullah – in their public statements have given clear indications that PTI founder Khan would be kept in jail for at least five years to “ensure economic stability of the country.”

It is unlikely that PTI would get some major relief in the elections tribunals over the allegations of rigging in the February 8 election after the PML-N led ruling coalition in the centre recently got amended the Elections Act 2017 from the parliament to appoint retired judges to decide such cases.

There is an infighting going on within the PTI over leadership’s “poor strategy” to get Khan and other jailed party leaders and workers released. Even the government is not permitting the party to hold power shows in Islamabad and Punjab with the recent one scheduled to be held in the capital on July 6 disallowed at the eleventh hour.

Amid all these troubles for the party and the jailed leader, ex-information minister and former PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry has come with the idea that only political engagement would help the party to get some breathing space and to get Khan freed, not just the legal process.

He is right in saying that PTI needs a strong political strategy to prove itself as an opposition party and to form a ‘grand opposition alliance’ by talking to firebrand Pashtun nationalist leader Mahmood Khan Achakzai and other politicians in the opposition.

Uptil now, all focus of the PTI has remained on courts to get some breather through legal processes but the results are not so promising for it. Anyone can see that jailed party leaders like Sanam Javed are arrested in a new case every time they get bails from the courts in the previous cases against them.

There is a widespread belief that legal processes only succeed with the support of the establishment. It is quite evident in the case of ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif that he turned out to be victorious in all cases against him after his party’s bitter relations with the establishment were over.

Only a strong and clear-headed political strategy will help the PTI to force the government and powers-that-be to come to the negotiations table to get a wayout for itself.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt