Why Did Selectors Throw PM Imran At The Mercy Of Tareen’s Pack Of Wolves?
The ‘selectors’ do not seem to be all that sanguine anymore about the ‘selected’. Therefore, perhaps, the emergence of Tareen group? There is some kind of logic to this theory.
In the first place, Tareen himself and his 40 or so group of ‘electables’ are just that— ‘electables’, per force at the beck and call of the ‘selectors’. They are not genuine politicians capable of challenging on their own the very leadership of the party on political grounds. More so, because PTI is Imran Khan.
Making a successful bid to take over the PTI would mean trying to take over Imran himself which is not only not possible but totally out of the question. You try that and you would only come up empty handed and in the process would be destroying the government itself.
Following which an intact but incensed PTI led by an infuriated Imran wearing victimhood to his fingertips and mobilising his massive anti-corruption fan following would emerge on the scene challenging the very ‘selectors’.
In a genuine democratic political system, the government of the day threatened by such a group would have by now thrown it out of the party, failing which would have called it day and gone for fresh elections.
‘Selectors’ coercing PM through Tareen group
However, since in the first place the ruling party enjoys a thin majority both in the National and in Punjab assemblies the PM knows that throwing out the Tareen group would mean virtually ending his government. And since it is just a ‘selected’ government and not a genuinely elected one and is being led by not a true politician but a self-proclaimed reformer, the PM seems to want to stick around until the end of his tenure by which time he perhaps believes he would be able to successfully accomplish his crusade against corruption — getting all the corrupt jailed for life and forcing them as well to return even the last penny they had ‘looted from the treasury’ while in power.
The ‘selectors’, of course, are not going to let the Tareen group take over the governments in Punjab or/and in Islamabad, nor will it permit it to make a bid for the party and; come budget day, it would be made to go along with the Punjab and Central governments.
The purpose of the ‘selectors’ to throw the PM at the mercy of Tareen’s pack of wolves seems no more than an attempt at convincingly coercing him into focusing on governance with his corruption crusade out of the way of policy framing exercises. And of course, it is certainly not being done to send him home at this point in time pregnant as it is with political upheavals of enormous proportions anticipated across the Durand Line in the coming weeks and at the same time a re-opening of doors is happening for revival of talks with a belligerent India which has already unilaterally created a new ‘reality’ across the Line of Control (LoC), bringing about constitutional amalgamation of disputed India Held Kashmir (IHK) while virtually rendering irrelevant the UN resolution binding India and Pakistan to a plebiscite in Jammu & Kashmir under the UN aegis.
So, forced by the circumstances, it is assumed, the PM will turn his attention to governance hopefully by first pasting a patch up with the Tareen group and secondly establishing direct communication channels with the opposition— leaving the corruption crusade to be handled by the NAB’s ham-handed engineering.
It was, indeed, a genuine political master-stroke by the ‘Selectors’—-selecting Imran Khan to ace all the hands out of Pakistan’s political pack, no matter what kind of permutations and combinations they flaunted.
The Imran project
A stunningly handsome face known almost the world over for his athletic prowess as well as for his social work, namely setting up of a world class cancer hospital in the name of his mother, the late Shaukat Khanum who was a victim of cancer and establishing a world class Namal University in Mianwali, Punjab. He could accomplish these extraordinary feats single handedly because of the trust of millions, both poor and rich and the not-so-rich, he had enjoyed across the world who generously contributed to his causes.
Him as the Prime Minister of Pakistan? It was indeed a spectacular political coup of super class!
That is what happened in August 2018. Imran Khan became Pakistan’s PM with the promise of bringing about a qualitative change in the country’s direction and fortunes.
What went wrong?
It would have worked but for three reasons.
One, the ‘selectors’ wanted him to play just a façade behind which they desired to carry on what they had been doing all along the last 70 or so years—un-challenged control over all kinds of policy making—economic, foreign, social and defence etc.
In the immediate run they had wanted to use Imran’s credibility to get the 18th amendment written out of the constitution and along with it, the 7th NFC Award.
Second, our credibility as a nation and country had dropped to such a low level, meanwhile, that even a person with Imran’s clean credentials could not overcome the difficulties that the country was facing in selling our policies to the world as genuine wares. It became even more difficult for Imran to peddle them because these policies did not even carry the stamp of Parliament and appeared to be handiwork of non-political jobbers with vested interests.
Third, the PM’s consistent refusal to use Parliament for policy making and instead wasting all his massive political goodwill to pursue his unrealistic crusade against corruption.
You simply cannot eliminate corruption from a society made up of even most honest people, but you can certainly minimise it but not by using lawful punishments and law enforcement agencies but by establishing a genuinely independent judiciary, a strong Parliament and a fearless media. If only Imran were a politician!
The author is a senior journalist and editor.