The assertion that Imran Khan suddenly woke up to the Parliament’s illegitimacy after a year of general elections is baseless, false and speaks of the incompetence and inability of PMLN spokespersons to defend their own party. In his first press conference after the elections, Khan said that PTI will accept the results, but not rigging. Since then he has been protesting against alleged rigging in the elections. He has never asked for a re-election or Prime Minister’s resignation until very recently. All he asked for in the beginning were electoral reforms, and investigation into his allegations. The government’s complete ignorance of Khan’s protest within and outside of the Parliament depicts a very non-democratic mindset and attitude of the ruling party.
Once a party wins the elections and comes to power, it should not deem itself beyond accountability or question for five whole years. The government should be responsible enough to listen to each and every grievance of its people and respond accordingly. But this government waited till the last minute, and the committee it has now formed for negotiating with Imran Khan is as good as finding your umbrella after the rain has turned into a hailstorm.
The irresponsibility and callousness shown by the government is unforgiveable. Our legal system doesn’t provide for much relief either. Had Khan gone for exposing each and every instance of rigging through courts, it may have taken longer than five years.
So in my opinion it is fair to say that Imran Khan was cornered into making a desperate decision. His allegations aren’t all wrong. For instance I agree there is no democracy in this country, no justice, no rule of law, no supremacy of the constitution or the parliament. I agree it is more or less the rule of one family; a monarchy more than a democracy.
Then why is Khan being forced to abide by the constitution and protect its sanctity, when he is out to protest violations and desecration of that very constitution?
Why is Imran Khan being called a threat to a democracy that does not exist?
Imran is justified in his desperate decision, but he may not have chosen the best option available. As a law student and a student of politics I cannot agree with the call for marching on the Parliament and Prime Minister’s house in order to oust a government. The precedent that this move promises to set, is bound to be misused in the future by people with intentions that may be a lot worse than Imran’s naya Pakistan.
I am not sure how many people are there at PTI’s dharna. Between PTI’s claim of three hundred thousands and other estimates of forty to fifty thousands, it is safe to assume that there may be one to two hundred thousand people there. That is a large crowd indeed, but if the PMLN is ousted by means of a large crowd, whose to stop the party from gathering an equal or larger number of their supporters at Islamabad against their ousting? What then? Who will decide if these “million” people are less significant and relevant than the million that came here to throw the Prime Minister out?
Or even worse, what if two or three years down the road, a “religious” organization or party brings a huge crowd to Islamabad and threatens to march on the Parliament and Imran Khan’s PM secretariat for the establishment of a caliphate or any other demand that a majority of Pakistanis may not agree to?
I do not doubt Imran Khan’s intentions, capability may be, but not his sincerity and intentions. But that’s what scares me more. If Khan does become the Prime Minister and begins to follow a Pakistan centered agenda with no adherence to any foreign design against Pakistan, then those foreign powers may look to get him out of the power corridors. And am afraid they may use this very precedent set by Khan, against him. It has already been done in Syria and Egypt, we are just introducing it in Pakistan.
So what alternative does Khan have?
Clearly the chances of better sense prevailing from government’s side are getting bleaker by the day. Khan may have to make a sacrifice/compromise in the interest of Pakistan. He does not need to commit political suicide, but he has made a successful show of force and conveyed to the government and local and foreign media that he has the ability to gather a large crowd at Islamabad. It would not be disastrous to back off a bit and give the government a little space to breathe and see if the oxygen can get to their brains and do any good.
Otherwise, I believe it is time for an intervention. Probably the most needed and justified intervention of Pakistan’s history. I do not want the Army to come marching in, they have finally found their place and they should stay in it. It is the job of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice of Pakistan to step in and stop this crisis from becoming a disaster.