By Saeed Qureshi
Imran Khan, the Chairman of PTI has vowed to remain in the fray (Dharna) even if he is left alone. He disdainfully castigates the other political leaders and accuses them of being enemies of the people and the whole lot being corrupt thugs. Of late, he has lambasted one of the prominent jurists and human rights activists Asma Jahangir ridiculing her and bracketing her with Maulana Fazalur-Rehman.
Lately an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad has issued arrest warrants of Imran Khan, Tahirul Qadri the chief of the PAT, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Dr. Raeeq Abbasi, Sheikh Rashid and many other leaders of both these parties for raiding the Parliament House and building of the state-run television channel besides manhandling the police personnel. Imran Khan has not even spared the courts and mocked their orders.
Imran Khan has developed a habit of pouncing upon everyone who offers him a piece of advice or challenges his outlandish outbursts in never ending sit-inns staged by his beguiled followers. He has imbibed a propensity of disparaging en-bloc his opponents and hurling bizarre and frivolous accusations on them. Like the Spanish ludicrous hero Don Quixote, tilts at the windmills that come his way mistaking those as giants, Imran Khan too seems to be turning paranoid by believing all political leaders were his enemies. Imran Khan has proven himself to be an incorrigible hardliner who is averse or unconcerned about others who may be even his well-wishers. From the prime minister to the superior courts’ judges he suspects everyone to be a barrier and hurdle in his reckless and mindless style of politicking. Of late He has left only in the company of street hooligans like sheikh Rashid and renegades of other parties like Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
His mindless insistence on continuing with sit-inns is now turning into a kind of theatrical shows losing their luster and charm for the common people of Pakistan. If he is under the erroneous illusion that he can turn the tide against the incumbent regime of PMLN then he should be squarely mistaken. The worst of Tsunami’s lashing and destructive fury has passed away. There is no way that his political storm can shake the government from its foundations or motivate the people coming out from their houses and stage a countrywide upheaval forcing the government to resign, the courts to close and all social and commercial life coming to a naught.
There was a ripe time for him and his comrades to display a semblance of diplomacy and extract as much mileage from the hard pressed and rather a cornered government. Those were the days in the near past when the roaring orator Tahirul Qadri was one with him and standing at the same stage for a united voice to challenge the ruling cabal. Imran hopped from one demand to another hoping that the pressure so built up would bring the government dashing to the ground. Had he accepted the government’s offer for a dialogue to look into the re-elections on certain disputed seats that could have been the first phenomenal step towards tabling further demands in a give and take manner?
To demand outright resignation of the prime minister and dissolution of the assembly was too heavy, naive and unrealistic a demand to be hurled in those tumultuous times. No government worth the name would kneel down before the obduracy of a challenger who was simply bent upon creating a law and order situation in the federal capital of Pakistan and hampering the movement of the people and the traffic. The attack and occupation of the government buildings by the PTI activists was yet another daring yet foolish adventure that has now come back to them in the summons of courts against the arch leaders of the PTI and PTA.
The jargon and language of Imran and his coteries of foul mouthing colleagues has been overly derogatory and at times amounts to character assassination of his targets. It would be doubtful if Imran Khan can reinvigorate and mobilize his supporters and fans once again with the same force and tempo that was seen in them couple of months ago.
One of the pernicious fallout of the constant sit-ins was the cancellation of the milestone Chinese’s premier’s visit to Pakistan for a gigantic cooperation and an all embracing collaboration in many domains particularly the economic mainly benefitting Pakistan. Those protocols were now solemnized with the prime minister of Pakistan’s state visit to China. With the huge Chinese investment of 45 billion dollars in Pakistan, various watershed projects like the generation of energy, a network of highways would be completed in a given frame of time. Pakistan’s economy and social life can take giant leaps towards betterment.
The writer is a senior journalist, former editor of Diplomatic Times and a former diplomat, whose writings can be read at his blog.