In Pakistan, the political drama has turned into a constitutional crisis, with the Prime Minister ducking the no-confidence vote and the vote of the president dissolving the national assembly. The opposition has taken the matter to court and the people are bracing for an early election.
The Pakistan Army has done the unthinkable by condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and is pushing for closer ties with the west. Adding to the political drama, The no-confidence vote that was about to be held on Sunday has now been cancelled and PM Imran Khan didn’t turn up, nor did his party members or his lawmakers.
They smelled the impending defeat, so they bunked the vote and, in fact, got it cancelled using the services of Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri. Deputy Speaker Suri is a member of Imran Khan’s party. He annulled the vote by calling it a plot by western forces.
Where PTI is describing it as a googly, the opposition is calling the political drama a gutless act and claiming Imran Khan chickened out, which was a public demonstration of his lack of courage. On television, Imran Khan appeared on television calling for the dissolution of Pakistan’s national assembly and appealing for early elections.
He said he wants the people to decide, and by people here, he means the loyalists like Arif Alvi, the President of Pakistan, who was also a senior member of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf and was quick to respond to Imran Khan’s call by wasting no time in dissolving the national assembly.
The opposition didn’t take this lying down. They took this matter to Pakistan’s Supreme Court, calling the dissolution an abuse of power and a violation of Pakistan’s constitution. The Supreme Court has taken so much cognizance of the matter and formed a five-judge bench with a hearing happening today, but the court was adjourned within minutes of expressing the need to have more time to access the legality of Imran Khan’s move.
What Happens Now?
If the court rules in Imran Khan’s favor, then there’ll be elections in 3 months. The President is already on board and has approved the appointment of a caretaker Prime Minister, but in the presence of Imran Khan, who’ll be the caretaker?
The President of Pakistan has left that decision to Imran Khan and Shehbaz Sharif, who’s the leader of the opposition, and said “they should reach a consensus and they should come up with a name,” which is not likely to happen.
Imran Khan has picked his choice, who goes by the name “Gulzar Ahmad”, who is the former Chief Justice of Pakistan. Shehbaz Sharif is against the appointment of Gulzar Ahmad, and in fact, he’s against any appointment and plans not to send any name for the post of caretaker PM.
Needless to say, there’s no consensus. The PTI says that if Sharif doesn’t name anyone in the next seven days, then Imran Khan’s nominee would be made as the caretaker Prime Minister, and to ensure this happens, PM Imran Khan decided to hit the streets and the screens, appealing to the people of Pakistan to sit on a dharna or protest against the opposition’s efforts to undermine his authority.
Amid the Political Drama, Where’s the Army of Pakistan?
Amid the Political Drama, The Army has been busy setting the record straight. Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa spoke at the Islamabad security dialogue on Saturday, where they condemned Russia’s action in Ukraine by calling the invasion a huge tragedy that must end immediately.
He also called for closer ties with the US, calling it vital to Pakistan’s interests. All of these were part of the elaborate statement dramatically opposite to PM Imran Khan’s line. Pakistani citizens are witnessing a hybrid regime with a military leadership driving the civilian government’s foreign policy, which has always been Rawalpindi’s domain and not of Islamabad.
Imran Khan didn’t follow the rules. He went against the generals, rallied against the west, and couldn’t fix the economy. It won’t be wrong to say that the army is doing a course correction by getting him out of the office and bridging the divide with the west.
Imran Khan keeps on talking about India’s foreign policy, but he forgets Pakistan is not India. It needs donors of all descriptions to survive. As a cricket captain, Imran Khan was fearless. He was flamboyant, innovative, always thinking, and loved playing mind games.
Imran Khan, the Prime Minister, was no different in his exaggeration of claims and claims that were not even remotely true. There is no conspiracy by Imran Khan to oust him, but that’s Imran Khan, whose goal is to create a narrative while sticking to the facts, which brings his strategy to the table.
How does Imran Khan plan to stay in power?
For Imran Khan, it’s time to play his cards, which are as follows:
1. Foreign conspiracy angle
The one thing that he keeps talking about in every speech is that “the western powers are conspiring to oust him,” specifically the United States. This strategy becomes important because it justifies his decision to dissolve the parliament and it’s a great election stunt. (Just think about it, US-bagged puppet leaders on one hand and the brave and independent Imran Khan on the other.)
2. Drum up public support to sidestep the Army
In this strategy, Imran Khan doesn’t have an option for his allies. The army has ditched him, which made Imran Khan suddenly remember democracy.
- Prime Ministers’ Primetime Addresses
- Town hall-style interaction with the youth
- Long interviews with the media
Imran Khan is going around the army, which is the exact opposite of the elections in 2018.
3. Incorporate religious messaging.
Drumming up religious fervour will not guarantee anything for Imran Khan because the supreme court can still reverse the decision and this verdict will decide what happens next. They can reconvene parliament, they can order snap elections, they can ban Imran Khan from contesting or they can simply refuse to interfere, which leads us to Imran Khan’s immediate priority, which is to defend his move to dissolve parliament to ensure there will be elections, which is the easy part.
Normally in Pakistan, you won’t need any strategy because the army is enough and if the army supports you, you can win any election. Even Imran Khan was chosen by the army, but now the generals have abandoned him and are not willing to rescue Imran Khan’s government at any cost, which is why Imran Khan is thinking out of the box.
What Imran Khan thinks of as a googly is actually a juicy full-toss.
Published by – Kiruthiga K
Edited by – Kritika Kashyap