Pakistan / Imran Khan, the new Prime Minister?
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was dismissed by the nation’s Supreme Court on corruption charges last week. This follows a critical turn of events after a series of exposes called as the “Panama Papers”.
Pakistan’s opposition leader, Imran Khan, has fought relentlessly to expose Nawaz Sharief’s corruption over the last few years and he has been the biggest beneficiary of what has happened. There is every chance that Imran Khan will win the elections if they are held today and become the new prime minister of the country.
“We are thankful to the judiciary because with their judgment, they brought us a new hope,” Khan said in a press conference. He also carried out a massive rally where he congratulated his supporters who stood by him during his struggle against Sharief.
Sharif’s PML-N party was headed for an easy win in the election to be held later this year, but now it looks very unlikely that they will win. The oil minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will be made the interim prime minister through a special session in the 342-member parliament. Here, Sharief’s PML-N party holds a strong majority.
It is expected that Shahbaz Sharif, younger brother of Nawaz Sharief, will take over shortly.
Imran Khan said that Pakistan’s rulers were like a “mafia who safeguard personal interests at any cost”. He added, “When we decided to move against Nawaz in the Panama case, everyone said it was a mistake because in the past, the powerful and mighty ones have been protected. But today I salute the court for giving hope to people for a new Pakistan.”
“This is is not a democracy but monarchy. It is not a meritocracy. And that is why Pakistan has been left behind developed nations,” Khan added.
Imran Khan gets a lot of support from educated urban Pakistanis who are disillusioned with other politicians in the country. One of his supporters, a young man by the name of Syed Ishfaq said, “Imran Khan is fighting hard to let people know their political rights and their role in society. He has been a true example.”
“The prime minister of Pakistan has been brought to justice. That is very rare. I would give a bit of credit to Nawaz Sharif,” added Ishfaq. “But it is the law enforcement agencies that have brought peace.”
Ishfaq also said that Imran Khan is not a puppet of the Pakistan military: “If Imran Khan was really a puppet of the military, he would have become prime minister.”
There is a belief among many experts in India that all of this was nothing more than a coup orchestrated by the Pakistan Army through the judiciary. Everybody knows nothing happens in Pakistan without the will of the military, which is the most powerful force in that country.
However, fact remains that the people of Pakistan are deeply frustrated with their government. A father of three, Sheraz Hassan said, “Thousands are jobless. There is no unemployment plan, and no economic policy except securing kickbacks.”
Author: Raghav Hegde – India