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  Opinion   Edit  09 Aug 2023  AA Edit | Imran past point of no return?

AA Edit | Imran past point of no return?

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Aug 10, 2023, 12:05 am IST
Updated : Aug 10, 2023, 12:05 am IST

The Election Commission of Pakistan has disqualified him for five years, effectively ending his political career.

Former prime minister of Pakistan and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan. (AFP Photo)
 Former prime minister of Pakistan and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan. (AFP Photo)

Imran Khan Niazi is up against it and that is putting it mildly. Not only is he in the Attock jail serving the beginning of a three-year conviction with flies and insects for company but also the Election Commission of Pakistan has disqualified him for five years, effectively ending his political career.

The former cricketer who staged many a comeback from injury during his active sporting career is in the last chance saloon as it were with only the Pakistan Supreme Court having the power and, perhaps, the nerve to reinstate him as a political leader qualified to stand for elective office like the post of Prime Minister that he held until he lost a no confidence motion in Parliament in April 2022.

The former poster boy of the Pakistan Army in politics who came through to head the mercurial country’s executive with the unalloyed blessings of the military brass had run afoul of them, particularly the then army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

In keeping with the tradition of the Pakistan Army invariably calling the shots as the power behind the scene, Imran was ousted and a pliant executive and an election commission, acting on the letter of the law, have toed the line as if it were more loyal than the king in this game of political checkers.

Any similarities with the Indian situation that the prominent Opposition figure Rahul Gandhi faced might end at the doorstep of the top court across the border. Given the volatile history of Pakistan, one of whose Prime Ministers, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was executed on the orders of the top general of the time, Zia-ul-Haq, it becomes hard to believe that the court could first rule that Imran is eligible to be a candidate in the elections this year and then stand by him through to the polling day.

A few purported plays with the gifs received when in office as Prime Minister were sufficient for a court to decide that Imran Khan was guilty of corrupt practices, such acts of criminality interpreted to be big enough to lead to conviction that began almost at the instant the verdict was delivered. But then this was a classic case of a conclusion drawn and a verdict stitched up long before the facts were heard and sifted by the court. But that is Pakistan and Imran Khan is just the latest victim.

Tags: aa edit, pakistan politics, imran khan