Islamabad: With the army stepping aside, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is fastly losing all options to survive as he could choose suicidal tactics–sacking of the army chief which could make the situation even more perilous or release some damaging videos or documents against his party leaders or opponents to project himself as a martyr, said a media report.
The report said that PTI workers’ attack on the Sindh House, where a large number of party leaders have taken shelter, show Imran Khan’s “final desperation”.
He has threatened to flood the capital with his party workers on the voting day to browbeat the parliamentarians. These could include his supporters from the ranks of militant groups which he has been supporting in his short tenure. Any mass violence or attack could bring only death and destruction to his country, and his own sad ouster, said the report.
From whispers and conspiracies, the rebellion against Imran Khan is now out in Islamabad where pitched battles are being fought on the streets and inside closed-door meetings.
Long knives are out in Rawalpindi where there is another battle of nerves between the Chief of Army Staff and a group of senior commanders over Imran Khan and the aftermath of his inevitable ouster, according to the media report.
The capital is abuzz with deals reportedly been sealed between various parties–from a new political dispensation in Punjab to the new Army chief later in the year, marginalizing Imran Khan in the process.
In all, a nuclear-armed, economically challenged, terrorist infected Pakistan is up for grabs between various stakeholders, making the region highly volatile without a bullet being fired.
Things began to unravel when opposition parties managed to overstep their differences and ambitions to present a no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan government. Flood gates opened for fence-sitters and dissenters within his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), to desert him in hordes.
Reliable media reports put the figure to be above 24 including at least three federal ministers. The numbers could rise till the motion is put to vote on March 28. Clearly, Imran Khan’s days are numbered as the premier, said a report.
Much of the fault lies with Imran Khan and his blustering ways of governance and managing his own party politics. His arrogance matched his failures in dealing with issues of governance and brewing dissent within his own party. An issue which has rankled his supporters for long has been that of Imran Khan’s protege, Punjab Chief Minister, Usman Buzdar. Imran Khan has stalled persistent demands from party leaders for Buzdar’s removal, said the media report.
The reports further said that another grievous error has been playing politics with senior Army commanders. He came to power with the support of the army, especially Lt. General Faiz Hameed who played a key role in managing the electorate for him.
Hameed was the ISI chief then and close to the chief, General Qamar Bajwa. But things began to sour between them when Hameed began openly flouting the directives of his chief and hobnobbing with political leaders, the report said.
Bajwa moved him out to Peshawar as a Corps Commander last year but Imran Khan chose to delay the appointment of the new ISI chief, a pointer to the collapsing triangle. Bajwa, interested in a second extension, had till then chosen to play along Imran Khan but gave up his ambitions once he realised the rumbles within the top leadership. By all accounts, he has abandoned his one-time protege, Imran Khan.
Back against a wall, Imran Khan is flaying like a sinking ship, threatening to take down whoever he could. The problem is the rising number of dissidents within his government and party. The hemorrhaging of his rank and file has been so rapid that Imran Khan is using violence to browbeat his own dissenting supporters, the media report said.
Besides the 24 and more Members of National Assembly (MNAs), scores with his own party are waiting for the No-Confidence voting to show their support or anger against Imran Khan. National Assembly Speaker has reportedly sent 20 MNAs abroad on party-funded vacation.