How did ‘Naya Pakistan’ messiah Imran Khan fall from grace?


Islamabad: Cricketer-turned-politician and Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has become associated with a rather unique record. Imran Khan has become the first Prime Minister of Pakistan who has been removed through a no-confidence motion.

This was the first time in the history of Pakistan that a prime minister and his government were removed through a no-confidence motion.

Expressing no confidence in Pakistan’s Imran Khan government late on Saturday, the National Assembly voted to remove it.

A no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan was held in the National Assembly of Pakistan at midnight on Saturday. Imran had to face defeat in this.

With this, Iran Khan became the first Prime Minister in the history of Pakistan, who was removed through a motion of no confidence.

But what happened that people gave up hope from Imran Khan. Not only the opposition, the army, the Supreme Court, people of his own party also proved him wrong. The way he started addressing the nation in the last few days, it seemed as if his intention was that the people should fight for him. 

He probably did not understand till then that the public had already thrown him out of their hearts. The question arises that what wrong did Imran Khan do that led to his ouster?

1. Clash with Pakistan Army

Imran Khan did not take lessons from history even after sitting on the PM’s chair. He failed to keep pace with the army. It is said that in 2018, Imran became the Prime Minister only with the support of the army. But in October last year, his relations with the army became strained. The distance between Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and Pakistan PM Imran Khan increased over the new DG of ISI. Imran wanted the then DG Lt Gen Faiz Hameed to continue in his post while Bajwa wanted Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum to head the ISI.

Imran Khan made one last attempt even before voting on the no-confidence motion in Parliament on Saturday night. Imran Khan had called an emergency meeting of several advisors including the speaker, deputy speaker.

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According to a BBC report, two guests had also arrived at the time of the cabinet meeting. Imran interacted for 45 minutes with these guests who came by helicopter. It is said that Imran Khan had ordered the dismissal of a senior officer present in the meeting.

The notification of the dismissal of the higher level officer was to be issued by the Defense Ministry but it was not issued. The top secret decision came to light when the doors of the Islamabad High Court opened late in the night and a petition came that a possible notification for the sacking of the Pakistan Army chief could come from Imran Khan.

Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s Doctrine regarding India was also very much discussed. A message went out to the Pakistan Army that Imran had a poor understanding of the issues that Pakistan was facing and was looking for solutions on the basis of religion only. There were reports that the witchcraft of his wife forms the basis behind Imran’s important decision. The opposition also alleged that Bushra Bibi, who describes herself as a pir, is making the genie happy by burning chicken in Imran Khan’s house. 

Bushra Bibi aka Pinky Pir had attained the status of ‘godmother’ in Imran Khan’s party. The Pakistan Army wanted the government to normalize relations with India by putting the agenda of Kashmir on hold at a time when the country is going through an economic crisis. In February 2021, the Pakistan Army Chief gave a positive message on the ceasefire between the armies of India and Pakistan along the LoC and the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir. But Imran was seen walking on a different path.

2. Lots of promises, but nothing done

Before becoming the PM, Imran had made many promises but the kind of team he needed to get him off the ground was never made. Like cricket, there was a need for team management and selection, but Imran missed. His government could not make a clear vision. There was no structure for performance. Attempts were made to bring the opposition with you. There was no uniformity in the functioning of politicians and bureaucrats. There was no work in many ministries because the entire government was stuck in activities only against the opposition. Even though the opposition is hostile, but it also needs to be taken along in the interest of the country, Imran did not understand this and when given a chance, the opposition dropped his chair.

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3. Created embarrassment for Pakistan

Imran Khan’s image had become that of an arrogant leader. He had become the PM but his statements created embarrassment for Pakistan. He called the Prime Minister of a country like India a ‘small man’. The man whose diplomacy is admired around the world. Interestingly, Imran Khan, who spewed venom against the Modi government, praised India’s foreign policy as he went, but by then it was too late. 

The list of toxic statements is quite long. In his government, leaders like Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhry gave baseless statements against India many times. Sheikh Rashid said that Pakistan also has atomic bombs of 100 grams and one pound which will only target the Hindus of India while leaving muslims untouched. Such statements tarnished the image of Pakistan.

4. Enmity with India and trying to be the messiah of Muslims

The leaders of Pakistan keep talking hateful things about Kashmir. When Imran Khan, who rose to fame as a cricketer, took over the chair of Pakistan PM, people expected that perhaps he would take some concrete initiative towards improving relations with India. But he too went on sticking to the agenda. On the one hand, he made poisonous statements against Kashmir, and on the other hand, Turkey, Malaysia and China joined the anti-India campaign on the international stage.

When India removed Article 370, Imran stopped business to instigate Muslims and the people of his country in the name of anti-India. Difficulties increased during the Corona period for the already deteriorating Pak economy. Inflation started touching the sky, business with India was closed and Imran faced a plethora of challenges. Instead of giving relief to the public from basic issues, Imran tried to mislead the people into religious matters. Imran Khan appealed from the United Nations to the OIC regarding Kashmir, but he failed on this front too. Countries like Saudi, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman were seen standing with India. He kept talking about Islamophobia and unsuccessfully trying to present himself as the messiah. This created his image as a leader who was diverting attention from the issues of the country. Gradually anger started increasing in the people of Pakistan.

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5. US Factor

Knowing everything, speaking openly in diplomacy is avoided. Imran Khan openly started opposing America. Even in the last hours before leaving the chair, he was seen raining down on America. He and his party started saying that America had conspired to topple the government. The head of Pakistan, who took the help of Arabs from America, did not care at all that such statements could spoil US-Pakistan relations. Imran has openly said that Donald Lu, the top diplomat overseeing South Asian affairs in the US State Department, was involved in a “foreign conspiracy” to topple his government.

Not only this, when the countries of the world started dividing into two camps on the Ukraine crisis, he said in an open meeting that EU diplomats are pressurizing his government to issue a statement condemning the Russian invasion. He boasted that these ambassadors do not say anything to India. Such statements made Imran an immature leader.

The special thing is that there were differences between Imran Khan and the Pakistan Army regarding America. The Pakistani military sees the US as an important partner and Imran Khan started opposing America continuously. It was also a coincidence that the day Russia attacked Ukraine, Imran Khan was smiling standing in Moscow. He met Putin and the pictures of him smiling made America uncomfortable.

In such a situation, it can be said that a successful captain of the Pakistan cricket team proved to be very immature and weak in the field of politics.

first published:April 10, 2022, 4:27 p.m.

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