Imran Khan's Unyielding Call for New Elections: Stability or Chaos?

Government Questions Judiciary's Pro-Khan Bias Amid Political Crisis | Imran Khan's Safety Concerns and Coalition Fractures

The political turmoil triggered by Imran Khan's call for new elections has disrupted conven­tional politics in the country. The ruling coalition maintains that it assumed power through a legitimate constitutional pro­cess, specifically a successful no-confidence motion in parlia­ment, and despite low approv­al ratings, holds the mandate to fulfil its term until September of this year. Imran, however, re­mains steadfast in his demand and rejects any prospect of po­litical dialogue.

Crucial questions emerge concerning the outcomes of early elections. Can they bring about stability? If Imran Khan fails to obtain an absolute ma­jority, will he concede to the election results? In case he ac­quires a simple majority, what would deter him from resorting to street protests and resuming confrontational politics? Addi­tionally, given the current situa­tion with interim governments in two provinces and a ruling coalition opposed to Khan at the federal level, how can elec­tion results be undisputed?

The government is express­ing increasing frustration with the way the judiciary has been handing out favorable verdicts to Khan. Officials say that the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-In­saf) party (and its supporters within the previous Establish­ment, like former DG ISI ) en­gaged in a calculated plan to el­evate judges in the high court and supreme court, ensuring a continuous stream of favor­able rulings. The party also de­vised a strategy that enabled its lawyers' wing and support­ers to physically assault the courts and intimidate and co­erce judges of lower and high courts. In recent days, the party, known for having the most ef­fective trolling and propaganda machine, has taken to social me­dia platforms to post pictures of a sessions court judge and a senior ISI official. Khan's pop­ularity and the fear of potential vindictiveness if he returns to power have forced many in the judiciary, bureaucra­cy, and media to either soft­en their stance or support PTI. Meanwhile, the ruling coalition is barely holding together due to the central government, with PM Sheh­baz lacking full control. The PML-N party is also facing internal divisions, split be­tween factions led by She­hbaz and Maryam Nawaz. The disjointed and divid­ed reaction from the rul­ing coalition towards Im­ran Khan is enhancing his capacity to outwit and out­pace them. Imran Khan has valid reasons to be con­cerned for his safety, espe­cially after an assassination attempt last year. The po­lice search operation at his Lahore residence while he was en route to Islamabad for a court appearance fur­ther intensifies the volatil­ity and spitefulness in the country’s politics. After all, Maryam Nawaz could nei­ther forgive nor forget the incident when her hotel room door in Karachi was forcibly opened back in 2020. A number of West­ern observers and officials are now also supporting the call for new elections. However, they advise Im­ran to tone down his rhet­oric and engage with the Military Establishment. But will Imran heed such ad­vice? He remains unyield­ing. In recent months, for­mer army chief Gen Bajwa was his target. Now, Imran has shifted his focus to the current chief, as evidenced by his recent criticism of Gen Asim Munir in inter­views with foreign media outlets. Without any polit­ical dialogue or reconcilia­tion efforts, the situation is rapidly approaching a po­litical stalemate. Ultimately, the politicians themselves will bear the brunt of this outcome.

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