Monday, Sep 24, 2018 | Last Update : 11:29 AM IST

Kaptaan a sitting duck, can he read military’s doosra?

Neena Gopal is Resident Editor, Deccan Chronicle, Bengaluru
Published : Jul 29, 2018, 12:12 am IST
Updated : Jul 29, 2018, 12:11 am IST

The headstrong fast bowler either doesn’t know or is unwilling to acknowledge that when it comes to Delhi and Kabul, he may have to sit it out.

Pakistani politician Imran Khan, chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, speaks to media after casting his vote at a polling station for parliamentary elections in Islamabad. (Photo: AP)
 Pakistani politician Imran Khan, chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, speaks to media after casting his vote at a polling station for parliamentary elections in Islamabad. (Photo: AP)

Delhi’s fears that Pakistan would ‘mainstream’ terrorists through the Milli Muslim League may not have materialised, with the Pakistani electorate rejecting religious parties, denying the ‘deep state’ an easy entry route to legitimacy for its terror proxies, as it has done before.

But that doesn’t mean that India – or the rest of the world — can breathe easy. The victory of Imran Khan in this election, where he won on the back of a wave of support from the young voter with his clever proffer of building a ‘Naya Pakistan’ is vastly different from the 2013 poll when Pakistan’s military had not yet fully fashioned its strategy to reclaim control of the levers of state and could do no more than watch as  populous Punjab rose up to claim the electoral spoils and installed their man, Nawaz Sharif in office.

This time, there was no confusion. In a plan they put into play a full year before the July polls, the ‘deep state’ efficiently ensured Imran Khan’s victory by removing the one man who stood between him and the prime ministership -  Nawaz Sharif, whose undoubted wealth would be flagged as the fount of corruption.  The hole in that argument is that his investments in the Gulf and elsewhere have been no secret for the last 20 years or more. But the Sharifs, on the wrong side of the military, not just for their sustained campaign to go after President Gen Musharraf to settle scores for ousting Nawaz in a coup, and calling out the military on its lie on using terrorists to front the horrific 26/11 Mumbai attack as well as Pathankot and Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, couldn’t rally his troops; vastly depleted through disqualifications and the pressure to exit the party by intelligence agencies.   

Nawaz, who had been picked by one army chief to be the face of Zia ul Haq’s Islamic Jamhoori Ittihad to crush the people’s popular choice, Benazir Bhutto in 1990, must know that Imran Khan, as the PPP’s Bilawal Bhutto has openly said, is Musharraf’s pick to counter him. And India and the U.S.!  

Imran’s smooth pitch on making peace with India and Afghanistan, Pakistan’s immediate neighbours makes for the ultimate makeover of Imran Khan, the South Asian peacemaker.

The headstrong fast bowler either doesn’t know or is unwilling to acknowledge that when it comes to Delhi and Kabul, he may have to sit it out. In the perennial battle for the upper hand, the military will always have a doosra up its sleeve.

Tags: imran khan, nawaz sharif, bilawal bhutto