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IMRAN Khan recently tried to pacify the encamped protesters outside his Bani Gala cottage by reminding them how essential ‘electables’ are to winning elections.

He declared that ‘tickets will be awarded to those who know the science of elections’. Could he reconcile his current volte face with abhorrence shown to the establishment and electables in his autobiography Pakistan: A Personal History

In his own words from his autobiography: “Cash is essential for political candidates in Pakistan, who can spend a minimum of 10 million rupees in rural constituencies. No politician in the country’s history up till then had ever beaten the establishment.

“(ISI’s Maj-Gen Ehtisham) Zamir gave me the ISI’s assessment of how many seats each party could get in the autumn elections... Sadly this has been a legacy of intelligence agencies in Pakistan, who without a proper broad-based analysis, have made decisions which have proved disastrous for our country. This was my first experience of dealing with the ISI.

“Consequently a lot of potentially good candidates abandoned us. The ones that were left were turned on by the ISI; its agents either threatened the Tehreek-i-Insaf candidates or cajoled or lured them into Musharraf’s PML (Q)... Some candidates gave up altogether, telling me they could not fight the ISI. They said they would be wasting their money.”

Khalid Masood

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2018