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Imran’s political Hara-kiri, Pakistan’s New Abyss of Instability

Political hubris sans the numbers and loss of support of key loyalists in a democracy can lead to hara-kiri which was amply evident in the case of Nepal, when former Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli attempted to stay in power with a pliable President Bidya Devi Bhandari when he lost support of key ally the CPN Maoist Centre and also important leaders from within his own party.

Mr Oli dissolved the parliament twice in May last year and December 2020 on flimsy grounds which did not stand the constitutional test. Supreme Court of Nepal went on to virtually dismiss him appointing the present Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in his place in July last year asking him to prove a majority which he did.

Numbers were clearly in favour of Deuba and he won.

Also Read – Structural Fragility in Af Pak etc

What PM Imran Khan Did on April 03?

Pakistan’s Prime Minister taking a cue from Mr Oli also attempted to stay in power with the help of a pliable President who was appointed by the ruling party a former dentist Mr Arif Alvi.

Thus, on April 03, even as the National Assembly of Pakistan was to take up the No Confidence Motion, Deputy Speaker from Mr Khan’s Party first rejected the same on grounds of Article 5 that is ostensibly for subversion of loyalty of the nation due to external security threats to Pakistan based on a cooked up conspiracy by the United States to dismiss the government.

Going on national television Imran then announced his decision to send a recommendation to dissolve the parliament to the President.

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This was the master stroke or trump card that he had been projecting for the past many days in the wake of the opposition building up pressure through the no confidence motion.

Clearly Mr Khan and his advisers in the efforts to cling to power mutilated the Constitution of Pakistan, rode rough shod on the opposition and in turn have given the impression of Pakistan as a banana republic.

Khan attempted to play one up on the opposition without mustering the numbers in the National Assembly, he was bound to face a disgrace as he refused to resign in the wake of the inevitable.

Thus, in one stroke, Imran Khan has undone his political career and lost a large tranche of the educated Pakistani who saw him a change and a genuine chance for, “Naya Pakistan”.

Instead, what they got was worse than the old guard.

Also Read Pakistan Af Pak stability challenges for India

Imran Khan is not unique amongst Pakistani political leaders to be swept by his own ego in power.

Following Nawaz Sharif and Pervez Musharraf

His more illustrious predecessor Nawaz Sharif thought that he could take on the Pakistan Army even though he had been deposed twice by the military. Thus in 2017 – Sharif questioned the Army’s role and abetment of terror against India only to find himself being unceremoniously shunted out on wholly specious grounds by the Supreme Court.

Notwithstanding the manner in which the Supreme Court acted in this case, Nawaz Sharif is now in virtual exile in London.

Former Pakistan dictator and Chief of the Army Staff – General Pervez Musharraf also thought he was infallible, when the military asked him to leave office in 2007 after a lawyers protests movement broke out as Musharraf tried to curb the judiciary.

Musharraf is today on a wheel chair in the UAE ostensibly undergoing treatment as he also faces the charge of treason in Pakistan.

A Hybrid Regime

While in the two cases above, the Army acted to dismiss the rulers of the country – one democratically elected – in the case of Mr Khan it is apparent that he himself drew curtains on his political career deceiving the people of Pakistan who voted him to power.

The Pakistan Army too has much to answer for as it had propped up Imran Khan in what was known as a hybrid regime after the unsuccessful attempts to rein in other political leaders in the country as the late Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari.

With effective civil military concord it was anticipated that the government will run smoothly, but the military realized its folly two years into Imran’s governance in office but hoped that he would improve his performance and now has to be seen as complicit in promoting a leader who is inexperienced in many areas of governance from the economy to foreign policy and has congenital biases such as the hatred for the US and the West.

Clearly Pakistan is now sitting at another abyss, what will work for the country is not clear in the days and months ahead as political stability is endemic now and nothing seems to work to provide the people good governance and stability.

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