False narratives

A true and genuine political leader is a person who, with his visionary narrative and strategic initiatives, plays a transformational role in the process of nation-buildingand invariably prefers national interest over the political interest of his own political party if a permeating situation so demands. Above all, a true leader also stands at a higher moral pedestal than the people he is supposed to lead. If we apply this yardstick to judge our past and present political leaders, no one has the credentials of a true leader.
The military dictators who dismissed representative governments with the promise of reforming the system and eliminating in-built avenues of corruption in it also succumbed to the lures of power wielding. The cumulative effect of the shenanigans of politicians and military dictators is that the country, even after almost seventy-five years of its independence, is still struggling to find its direction, and has had to face existentialist threata and is now in the grip of an unprecedented economic melt-down and political instability.
Imran Khan who came on the political horizon of the country as a revolutionary, determined to put the country on the path envisioned by the father of the nation and give it a corruption-free system of governance, is also part of the problem.
During his three and half years rule, instead of reforming the system of governance, he focused more on political vendettas by instituting cases against opposition leaders. He also defied democratic norms by failing to build a working relationship with the opposition, which is imperative in a democratic dispensation. He hated even sitting together with the opposition to deliberate on contentious national issues. He ruled the country through ordinances, lowering the prestige of the parliament. The natural consequence of pushing the opposition to the wall was the no-confidence motion against him which ultimately succeeded. The opposition used its constitutional right to depose him.
It was, however, not smooth sailing as per the constitution. Imran resorted to unconstitutional means through the deputy speaker who instead of conducting a vote on the no-confidence rejected it claiming that it was a sequel to conspiracy. Immediately following this, the Prime Minister advised the President to dissolve the Assembly and announce fresh elections. The whole process happened within minutes, indicating it had been deliberately planned. The Supreme Court took suo moto notice of this blatant violation of the constitution and a five-member bench unanimously declared the whole process null and void and ordered holding a vote on the motion. Even then Khan was not willing to comply with the orders of the SC. However, the opening of the Supreme and High Courts around midnight left no choice for the speaker to implement the court orders.
Imran was so incensed and frustrated by his exit from power that he decided to fall back on yet another false narrative to mislead the people. He claimed that his exit from power was a sequel to an international conspiracy spearheaded by the US. AS the days passed Imran has been adding to the list of the alleged conspirators which according to his latest version also included India and Israel.
Imran also claimed that Pakistan had nearly clinched a deal with Russia for buying oil at less than 30 percent of the international price and his ouster from power had scuttled that deal. It is yet another false narrative. No evidence of any such deal exists with the government. The Russian ambassador in a statement has also falsified these claims. But it is amazing to note that in spite of these reversals Imran remains adamant to press with his false narratives. Being popular among certain sections of society and being a true leader of the masses are two different things. Reliance on false narratives surely has a boomerang effect.

Malik Muhammad Ashraf

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

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