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Lahore pandemonium

Col (r) Ikram Ullah Khan 

Zaman Park Lahore turned into a battlefield on 15 March when the government launched an abortive operation to arrest the recalcitrant PTI Chairman Imran Khan who has constantly been defying courts’ orders and the law, that forced the Lahore High Court to intervene and stop the operation till next day. 

Zaman Park. The half-hearted and feeble operation launched by the government has emboldened Imran Khan and his frenzied followers to take the law into their own hands. This cat-and-mouse game has made a spectacle of the country in front of the world thereby giving an impression of a banana republic.

The “to be or not to be” position taken by the coalition government of Shahbaz Sharif with regard to Imran Khan’s arrest has badly exposed its weakness. 

Ironically, defiant Imran Khan who has vehemently been pleading and preaching for rule of law refuses to back down and is all out to flout it so defiantly. The second tier of PTI leadership sees an escalation of hostilities leading to a worsening law and order situation. 

The government’s failure to subdue the bold defiance shown by Imran Khan at Zaman Park and comply with court’s order clearly indicates that coalition government of Shahbaz Sharif is fearful of a possible public backlash. 

The sheepish behaviour displayed by the government has emboldened Imran Khan and his supporters to put up a tough resistance. Government seems to meekly yield to the political pressure exerted by Imran Khan and his supporters.

It fails to realize that any weakness shown in this regard will set a wrong precedent. The writ of the government needs to be established come what may. Honourable courts are also expected to not intervene in the matter and let the government establish its writ as any delinquency on the part of the government would set a dangerous trend and encourage the outlaws to operate with impunity in the future. 

How unfortunate it is that a political leader who has remained PM of the country and who routinely moralizes on rule of law and justice is making mockery of law and is using his party workers, women and children as human shield to stave off his arrest. Quite contrary to his actions, Khan is often found quoting the famous saying of the Holy Prophet (SAW) which says, “Earlier nations were destroyed because there was one law for the powerful and a different law for the weak”. But Imran Khan very conveniently ignores this prophetic saying and looks the other way when it comes to his own self. 

Imran Khan needs to read the turbulent political history of Pakistan and should know that he is not the first ex-PM who would be arrested and tried. Before him too, at least seven ex-PMs starting from ZA Bhutto down to Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, were arrested and tried on different charges right or wrong. So Khan makes no exception, and hence, must surrender before the law. Heavens wouldn’t fall if he is arrested and incarcerated. The country can’t afford an unending political turmoil. The political circus which has been going on in different cities of the country unabated on daily basis since the ouster of Imran Khan must come to a halt.

Khan’s popularity which was once touching the seventh heaven has slowly and gradually started dwindling due to his inconsistent behaviour and volatile political stance. Khan needs to realize that his incoherent harangue on morality and rule of law seems ludicrous because his actions fail to suit his words. He says something and does something else.

Lastly, as a great political leader which he claims to be and his followers too believe him to be such, Imran Khan should surrender himself before the law and gracefully appear in the courts, face the charges bravely and come out clean. This will earn him an abiding respect not only in the eyes of his blind supporters but his political opponents too and would help redeem his fading image which is likely to erode further in the days to come.

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1 Comment
  1. Noor Shahidin says

    ” Pakistan’s hybrid regime is fighting for its life. Will it survive Imran’s onslaught?” must read Dawn March 22 2023.

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