I was among those Indians who hoped that Imran Khan would put out his hand of friendship towards India. Unfortunately, he fell for a purely Islamist agenda.
At one time Mr Imran Khan was vastly popular in India, as one of the outstanding cricketers of all time—superb batsman, bowler, fielder and an exemplary captain. Almost single handed he ensured Pakistan winning the Cricket World Cup in 1992.
He married late. His wife came from a very wealthy British Jewish family. The Muslim world watched but accepted Mr Imran Khan’s decision.
In 1996 he launched his own political party, which broadly speaking played a prominent role in Pakhtunkhwa. Imran Khan lost several elections in his effort to become a member of the National Assembly.
In 2018, he with the backing of the Army became Prime Minister. He had no blood on his hands. Coming from a well to do family no one could cast aspersion on his financial integrity.
The Army has now decided Prime Minister Imran Khan has to resign. He has refused to oblige, in spite of the fact that his government is in a minority.
Imran Khan has also lost “his cool”, a fatal flaw in a politician. Speaking in the National Assembly on 30 March, he used intemperate language against his opponents. “What is most disturbing is that our people, who are sitting here, are in contact with foreign powers…” He named “three stooges”. Pakistan Muslim League President Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistan People’s Party Chairman, Asif Ali Zardari and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s Maulana Fazlur Rahman.
The no trust motion against Imran Khan will be voted upon in the National Assembly today. He does not have a majority.
Unlike India, democracy has not taken roots in Pakistan. Since the assassination of Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan in 1954, no Prime Minister in Pakistan has completed five years in office.
Imran Khan will, today most likely, become an ex-Prime Minister. He needs the votes in the Assembly to continue as PM. He only has 164. The opposition has mustered 177. His two allies—Muttahida Quami Movement and the Baluchistan Awami Party have deserted him. Imran Khan’s dream of “Naya Pakistan” will be history very soon.
I was among those Indians who hoped that Imran Khan would put out his hand of friendship towards India. Unfortunately, he fell for a purely Islamist agenda. He soon took to “vilifying” India and repeatedly parroted the out of date Security Council’s pro Pakistani resolutions. Not even the Islamic world paid any attention.
“The Tribune” of 1st April wrote in its first editorial, “In February, Imran Khan admitted that he could not bring change in Pakistan as he realized that ‘our system was incapable of absorbing shock’. His acknowledgement of the ‘biggest problem’ was in effect a sad commentary of his own glaring failures. As Pakistan seems heading for a new phase of political uncertainty, Imran’s tumultuous tenure would be remembered for frittering away a great opportunity to make the beleaguered nation turn a new leaf.”
How have the Chinese reacted to the political acrimony in Pakistan? It asked all groups (read parties) “to stay united” with the government.
PLA colonel Wu Qien said on 1st April that “military-to-military relations serving as the main stay of the China-Pakistan friendship, have played an important role in the development of bilateral relations for a long time.”
Can China bail out Imran Khan? No, I would say.
The US Deputy National Security Adviser Daleep Singh should never have been sent to India. He cut a sorry figure. Was impolite and presumptuous. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar put him in his place. He said, “We bend to no one.” He made it clear to the US that India follows an independent foreign policy.
The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov is a genuine friend of India. His visit was timely and a resounding success. He said Russia appreciated India’s neutral stand and abstaining in the Security Council on Ukraine. India was Russia’s close friend. India-Russia relations have been close and cordial since 1955. The USSR and now Russia have supported India on Kashmir in the Security Council. The US has not.
The Americans have always got Indian democracy wrong. They feel comfortable with dictatorships like Pakistan.
The UK Foreign Minister’s visit was on the whole a non-event.
When will West learn that India will never tolerate arm-twisting?