April 3 to 9/10 political drama has ended with a bitter taste, the sole responsibility of which lies on now ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan, who some described it rightly ran out of the field by uprooting the wickets. It was shorn of sportsmanship, and also a display of political naivety. He thought that his innings would not come to an end, or that he would continue to bat despite having been clan bowled.
The April 3rd to April 10 is a bizarre story of political upheavals, judicial intervention and then last minute tactics of stalling the vote on the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan, and then the fear of the intervention of establishment that saw the things happening the way those should have happened on April 3rd itself.
All the drama of blocking the no-trust move, dissolution of the national assembly and anti-American narrative has damaged Pakistan, which, in any case, many believe was a failed state.
Pakistan, as history bears a testimony to it, was never a democracy in real sense of the word, leave aside it being an ideal one. It is true that the western democracies have their own traditions and culture, which may not suit the oriental countries, but there are certain fundamentals that the voice of the people is to be heard and reflected in all forms and manifestations.
Taking, for example, that the opposition, under an American-inspired conspiracy wanted to dislodge his government because he had stood as a defiant leader to the dictates of Washington, this theory has its own flaws.
His claim that America was angry with him because had raised voice against America for the drone attacks, use and throw policy of Washington, and lately, he had visited Moscow when Russia invaded Ukraine is hollow. He had been waiting for a phone call from President Joe Biden since January 20, 2021.
His NSA Moeed Yusuf was the first to air the frustration of Imran Khan that President Biden could not find time to place a phone call to Khan, the prime minister of the country that was a partner in its war against terrorism.
A leader who was sitting by the side of phone to get a call from White House for more than 15 months cannot, and should not be claiming that he stood up to Washington and all the interference in its domestic and foreign policy.
Why Washington became a big villain for Imran Khan only when he was faced with a crisis of political survival in his own country. In a democracy, such things do happen. This “foreign hand” theory is always dangerous and it has its own consequences.
In India, late Mrs. Indira Gandhi, during her years in premiership, especially before she proclaimed democracy, used to “ see foreign hand” against all the political opposition to her rule; and she justified the emergency in June 1975 to crush the foreign hand. And the result was that her one step of declaring emergency to save her position, despite having been told by Allahabad High Court that she had to go, brought a permanent blot to the Indian democracy.
This happens when individuals think that they are integral to the country and the nations cannot be run without them. And they always see foreign conspiracies to unseat them. Congress president Dev Kant Baruah invented a phrase; “Indira is India, and India is Indira”. And everyone knows that what consequences the Indian nation had to face. India is too vast and vibrant a country to be known by any single leader, and that holds true for other countries as well.
There was a contrast. Atal Behari Vajpayee lost his government for he fell one vote short of the majority in Lok Sabha in 1999. He resigned and went home only to return to power the same year. Imran Khan who praised India in the most lavish terms, should have taken a cue from Vajpayee. He, instead chose to go by Indira style. He has created a situation for Pakistan from which it will not come out so easily.
He has thrown Pakistan in a state where it will struggle to conduct its domestic and foreign policy.
May be if he returns to power after the polls that are due in few months’ time, he would be faced with similar dilemmas, which may be worse by the time election results are there in the open. He has made Pakistan’s foreign policy a suspect, and reinvented political polarisation of “patriots versus traitors”.
This is an old time, and time tested strategy of the insecure leaders to use this civil- war type of narrative to defend themselves. Imran Khan has nothing to defend his actions, at home and abroad. But he has thrown his country, which he claims he loves to the core, to headwinds of anarchy.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.