Imran’s dilemma

Published December 13, 2022

FORMER prime minister Imran Khan needs to give it a rest. His expectation from the armed forces that they should be ‘guiding’ the government towards an early election is quite embarrassing. It gives the impression that he has learnt little from his years in power and that any ‘regrets’ that he had about never really being in the driving seat were more an expression of unhappiness with the last chief — who seems to have let go of his hand towards the end — rather than an actual realisation that governance should always remain the exclusive domain of the politician. “I have expectations from the new set-up that the national security institutions will take into account this serious situation of the country’s economy on a downward spiral,” he said on Sunday. Why should they? The management and mitigation of economic risks is not the army’s job, even if it has, in the past, assumed that role. Mr Khan cannot and should not expect the army chief to take over this responsibility if he himself will not take any initiative.

For a political leader, all legitimacy and power flow from the court of public opinion. Given his popularity, why does Mr Khan lack confidence in his ability to negotiate a deal with his opponents, without the armed forces around to back him? It is high time Mr Khan stopped relying on powerful benefactors to get him what he desires and started putting in the elbow grease, learning how to work the democratic system and making an effort to understand its mechanics. As a public representative, his place is either in parliament or at the negotiating table, fighting to get the people he represents what they want. There are only two legitimate paths open for him at the moment. He can sit tight, refuse to negotiate, and wait till the next election comes around on schedule, or he can return to parliament, initiate a dialogue, present his case, and, through some compromise, reach a deal with the PDM over an early election. If he is so concerned that the country and the economy may be irrevocably harmed if we do not go towards an early election, Mr Khan must ask himself whether Pakistan’s welfare should be above the intense personal dislike he has for his political opponents. Perhaps it may make it easier for him to reach for the second option.

Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

X post facto
19 Apr, 2024

X post facto

AS has become its modus operandi, the state is using smoke and mirrors to try to justify its decision to ban X,...
Insufficient inquiry
19 Apr, 2024

Insufficient inquiry

UNLESS the state is honest about the mistakes its functionaries have made, we will be doomed to repeat our follies....
Melting glaciers
19 Apr, 2024

Melting glaciers

AFTER several rain-related deaths in KP in recent days, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority has sprung into...
IMF’s projections
Updated 18 Apr, 2024

IMF’s projections

The problems are well-known and the country is aware of what is needed to stabilise the economy; the challenge is follow-through and implementation.
Hepatitis crisis
18 Apr, 2024

Hepatitis crisis

THE sheer scale of the crisis is staggering. A new WHO report flags Pakistan as the country with the highest number...
Never-ending suffering
18 Apr, 2024

Never-ending suffering

OVER the weekend, the world witnessed an intense spectacle when Iran launched its drone-and-missile barrage against...