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Path back to power filled with danger for Imran Khan

by Luqmaan Rawat

Former PM Imran Khan talking to a private news channel on May 30, 2022. Photo Screengrab of a Twitter/PTIOfficial video, TheNews.com.pk.

Pakistan – A month on from being ousted, Imran Khan has not stalled on his ambition to regain power. While opposition parties try to stop him, his biggest challenge will be foreign powers.

Khan has always alluded to the fact that he was ousted because of foreign powers. It is a view that is somewhat shared by Prof. Shahida Wizarat, Professor and Dean CESD at Karachi’s Institute of Business Management. She believes that Pakistan’s policies have always been dictated by the West and others.

“After independence we became a so-called sovereign country. Instead of becoming sovereign I think we got masters. The United Kingdom was already there, and we added the United States. We’ve got two masters now and with the passage of time the number of masters is increasing. Even small countries, that you can’t expect them to be dictating things to Pakistan, even those very small countries are dictating Pakistan’s policies.”

These countries have got a hold of Pakistan because of the lack of proper leadership. The Professor believes previous Prime Ministers succumbed to pressure from these countries and allowed them to meddle in government affairs

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Imran Khan’s policies were no different from the previous government

When Khan came into power Wizarat was hopeful that Khan would not follow the patterns of former leaders. Unfortunately, Khan followed the same policies and therefore made the same mistakes.

“I was very disappointed, because for the three and a half years that he was in power his policies were exactly the same as the previous government. For the last three and a half years, General Bajwa and Imran Khan were pursuing US and UK interests quite strongly.”

The reason for Imran Khan being pushed out of power

Khan always showed strong support for the United States. It was only during the latter stages that he switched sides and decided to stand with Russia and China. This switch combined with him choosing former President Donald Trump over President Joe Biden is what led to him being ousted, explained Wizarat.

“Imran Khan and Narendra Modi both visited the US and they had tried to lend support to Trump’s presidential candidacy. When Trump didn’t make it and Joe Biden became the president, I think he kept his grudge against Imran Khan. That is why I feel that although Khan’s narrative is absolutely correct, that we have been totally subjugated by the US and UK, [his removal] has less to do with Pakistan’s subjugation and has more to do with the standoff between Trump and Joe Biden.”

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Pakistan’s leadership has failed its people

It is no secret that the government of Pakistan is filled with corruption. It has been an ongoing problem. Khan became the first Prime Minister to be ousted for reasons other than corruption. The lack of action against these corrupt politicians is what Wizarat feels has led the country to where it is right now.

“The people of Pakistan are very unfortunate because if you look at the leadership, whether it is the present or the past leadership, they have not delivered. Even our institutions have not delivered. They haven’t done their homework; they have not brought the corruption cases to their logical end. That is why we have a lot of corrupt people sitting in the government and also in the previous government.”

Now is not the time for elections

There are many calls for elections to take place imminently, but this will only cause further problems, said Wizarat.

“My problem is that if elections are held immediately, we have a lot of corrupt people sitting, aspiring to come back to power. Are we just going to waste our money and cause so much instability? Then we will bring in the same corrupt people. We are in this very difficult situation, and I don’t think the establishment is really sort of trying to resolve the problems.”

Pakistan needs to focus on eradicating corruption from the upper echelons of government before they have an election. Although Khan wants to return to power, the government and country needs to first be stabilised before elections can happen.

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