• 20 May 2022
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Imran Khan- the Last Hope?

Imran Khan- the Last Hope?

For the past seventy-four years, we and our forefathers before us have been hearing the same repeated sentence “Pakistan is going through a critical moment in its history”. I don’t seem to remember when Pakistan as a country was stabilized. The political situation has never been great, with military coups, supreme court decisions, and other reasons which have seen democratically elected Prime Ministers ousted from power. You’ll be surprised to learn that no democratically elected Prime Minister has not been able to complete his or her tenured five-year term!

2018 general elections in Pakistan were seen by many as the beginning of a new Pakistan. Because for the first time someone from outside the dynastical politics was elected to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan. By dynastical politics, I mean, of course, the Sharif family and the Bhutto family which were playing a game of tag in the political history of Pakistan. Although not by a clear-cut two-thirds majority, Imran Khan’s PTI won the 2018 elections. That was why he had to form a coalition government by partnering himself with other political parties. This decision would come to haunt him later on, as major horse trading would occur in the national assembly as these coalition parties would sell out to oust Imran Khan as the Prime Minister through a vote of no confidence motion.

Regardless of his performance or lack thereof, Imran Khan deserved to complete his full five-year tenure. The way he was ousted also raised suspicions of outside interference with the supreme court getting open at midnight to remove him also raised the eyebrows of the masses who were surprised that the courts in Pakistan which are famous for dragging on the cases would suddenly spring to action to remove a democratically elected Prime Minister.

After nearly four years in power, what are some of the biggest achievements of Khan’s tenure as Prime Minister? In my opinion, the biggest success for Khan was in the mobilization of the youth and their participation in the political process. Also, his biggest success has to be global. He went further than many of his recent predecessors to strengthen Pakistan’s global engagement with the world. He became a voice for the leaders of the third world by speaking on issues like debt relief and combating Islamophobia. On his watch, Pakistan strengthened ties with economic powerhouses like Russia and China, and Turkey and became a key player in the regional diplomacy of Afghanistan.

But his biggest supporters cannot deny that a battered economy was his biggest failure. One could argue that the economy was already on a downslide when he came into power but still the way that economic growth slowed down during his tenure was alarming. Especially from someone claiming that since he was an outsider, he could clean up the country much faster.

So how will history remember Imran Khan, well that depends on who you’re asking the question to. His hardcore supporters will recall him as a hero who stayed true to his chief concern of anti-corruption, and who stood up to his foes at home and abroad. His critics will view him as a joke — a stubborn, insular leader who couldn’t bring out the big changes he promised and couldn’t fix all the policy challenges he inherited.

Imran Khan may no longer be the top leader in Pakistan, but his story is far from over. The “International conspiracy” rhetoric he’s been chanting has been gaining a lot of popular support from the common masses.  On the very next of his removal, the mass public came into the streets in support of him and demanded to know what this “International Conspiracy” really was.

To have the streets echoing in his support is no small feat for Imran Khan. It signals to him, his opponents, and his supporters that it’s premature to believe his biggest milestones are behind him.



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