Imran Khan wasn’t just a politician for the people of Pakistan, he was elevated to the stature of something that is very sacred. The desperate people of Pakistan saw a ray of hope and regarded him as a messiah who will resolve their privations. He was decorated with the hopes and beliefs as he assumed the office as the daring and most cherished Prime Minister of Pakistan. Ironically, he proved himself to be nothing more than a sacred cow who can only be remembered in folklore. Within just two years of his rule, Imran Khan has failed to live up to the expectations of his voters and selectors. Some people say that owing to his inability and incompetence, he has misspent two decades of political capital that he built up with determination and buccaneering. He has lost the shine that so hypnotized his youthful followers, many of whom are now questioning the wisdom of believing in him and voting for him. More critically, he has lost his standing with the selectors who are increasingly uncomfortable with sharing the same page as him. During this tenure, he was unable to rise above superstition and faith in making political decisions. He was seen reluctant to shed inept cohorts and buddies who have his ear.
Currently, the leaders of PPP and PMLN are demanding the exit of Imran Khan, suggesting they can live and work with an alternative leader from the PTI in whom they can repose some confidence. But, there is no agreement about the timing of new elections at the national and provincial levels, nor any solid assurances from the selectors regarding the framework of the proposed post-election power-sharing, governance model.
Even before assuming the office, Imran has been giving the impression that his predecessors the people and selectors have no choice or option but to stick to him. He reasoned that the PPP and PMLN and their leaders are so discredited in the eyes of the people mainly because of his unremitting propaganda against them. But this impression is now fading away as even after two years people have witnessed the fact that Imran is unable to put together a sufficiently qualified professional team that can deliver core areas of concern relating to the economy, administration, governance, and Covid-19.
Moreover, a perception has been evolved that the selectors are responsible for bringing the country to this pass, compelling them to step back from the puppet and revert to the drawing board in search of alternative solutions. People now can see the usual moves through which such puppets are introduced and later raised for the power corridors with effective marketing and propaganda. The response of the Imran government has substantiated another fact that Imran alone stands in the way of a national consensus to overcome an unprecedented set of internal and external crises. Consequently, no coordination among the provinces and center was witnessed during the biggest global crisis in recent years and, therefore, keeping in view the soaring number of Covid-19 cases, we are heading towards a pandemic emergency.
During the recent budget session, the prime minister responded to the opposition’s rant that he does not care as possess a thick skin against such propaganda but his recent failed attempts for hunting down the opposition and decimating judiciary insinuates the presence of a thick skull. The government needs to change its approach on many fronts. The lesson of COVID-19 is ringing loud and clear in Pakistan. The ruling elites of state and society must renounce their stranglehold over civil society and give it a chance to breathe, grow, and replenish the nation. Priorities in begging, expenditure, and the budget-making must radically change. It is illicit for the state and government functionaries to blame the people for not following anti-COVID-19 SOPs when they are ill-educated, unemployed, depressed, and alienated from their rulers. During a crisis like Covid-19, the country won’t be able to survive the loss of trust and confidence in the state institutions. While writing this, i am being informed that he will soon shed his most favored and most inept Chief Minister in Punjab province owing to immense pressure from his ‘bosses’ and bureaucracy. The top analysts term 6 months very crucial for the government and they don’t see any sign of improvement in the policies and political approach of PTI government. We can pray that sanity prevails.