The Imran experiment
By Wasib Imdad
There certainly exists no disagreement upon the opinion afl oat t hat the Imran experiment is not bearing the fruit that it was thought to bring. Many think that the result won’t change and he was bound to fail. Some hold that the experiment may turn out to be successful in the long run and a few think that the venture shouldn’t have been carried out at the first place. Punjab seems to be the place from where the house of cards will start to fall.
The Chaudharies are thought to be the first stack to be pulled out. Just recently, they have refused to negotiate with the new committee formed by the PM. However, they aren’t alone in wondering why the PM dismantled the Tareen led committee which was showing some progress. Raised eyebrows sense that not everything is normal between Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen. As a few days back, Imran Khan sided by his CM and Pervez Khattak in KPK, striking down three of his favorite ministers with a single stroke of pen. The scenario was disturbing to say the least as it could easily explain where the PTI lead government is steering. Tareen was rumored to have made a quick trip to London shortly after that. Many say that the fact finding report of the current wheat crises and sugar price hike holds Tareen and Khusro Bakhtiar responsible thus it can be easily concluded that all is not well between the once good friends. Buzdar lacks the gloss and the shine that a CM from the torchbearers of change was thought to have. Till now if Buzdar hasn’t impressed he surely won’t impress in any way in times to come. The bureaucracy is at ease with his silent mode and his no disturbance policy but the province is paying the price of lacking a political buzz.
PML-Q wants recognition and importance to say the least. They want representation in governmental institutes and provincial bodies; adherence to the power sharing formula they devised while formulating an alliance with the PTI. Political blackmailing is the sole answer to their demands amongst the supporters of PTI who in return find an ‘Islamic presidential system’ as a solution to the allies who place forth their demands in return of placing their shoulder beneath, not letting the ruling colossus to collapse. Imran Khan should know that his party is divided in two factions; the idealists and the parachuters. His voters want the ideology that Khan carried on his shoulders first solely and then with millions of voters and supporters, to prevail. They don’t want the parachuters, the masqueraded looters and plunderers to take the party forward. The voters want a ruthless Khan to dominate. The one who said that be it his government to lose or his life to go, he won’t spare anyone who looted a single penny of the public money.
As far as the speech is concerned, this sounds too good to listen. The situation on the ground, muddled in political realities, is always of a different scale. Imran Khan needs to know that at a single instance, the demands of only one group can be fulfilled. It is up to him that the group may be of those who are trying to use him to further their gains as they have been doing since the last seven decades or of those who have seen their last hope in him. Imran Khan must also know that on his shoulders rests a generation of hope and prayers which may lose and wilt away from dreaming ever again if he breaks their hearts. He must make sure that the ideology takes strides and political give and takes must be put to rest as the nation is sick and tired of those who did compromise on their vision for the sake of personal benefits. Talking of the PML-N, it is in the most confused state for now. No one, not even the leaders have any sense of direction where the party is heading currently. The opposition at its simplest has resorted to the mantra of wait and watch. To just let the days pass by and wait for the government wrestle its own allies and collapse under the pressure of its own promises. They believe that soon Imran Khan and those behind his back would have no option but to look at them for some rescue. Ishaq Dar, in his latest claims, holds that he has been contacted by those behind the curtains to know how much time will be required to mend the economy if the Hafeez Sheikh led team fails. I reiterate my demand for a war cabinet. To this day, the federal cabinet stays at up to 45 members. This makes it hard for the leader to check whether the tasks are melted down and work is being progressed with. War cabinet is the need of the hour; a short, ready, concise and focused group of men knowing that they are faced with a war like scenario and aware that any shortcoming, any haste, any carelessness will cost them the war. This scenario to fight is no less than a war where coronavirus is in our neighborhood. China and America are at loggerheads again. An American aircraft is down in Afghanistan which means that the peace deal is again in crises. IMF needs concrete answers with how and when their dues will be paid off. They are to be convinced that their fiscal plan is being adhered to. FATF decision is just round the corner. Iran may at any time be at the verge of another direct American attack as US presidential election draws nearer and of course not to forget Modi constantly bullying Pakistan and hurling threats of yet another attack. Tough ask for now and even tougher times to come.
The writer is an Islamabad based Broadcast Journalist. He tweets @wasib25