Imran Khan was elected as prime minister of Pakistan in August 2018. People of Pakistan must be looking for change from age-old routine politics, and opted to add some celebrity spice to their national scene.
Imran Khan, former skipper of Pakistan cricket team, must have thought that the people of Pakistan will support an adored celebrity who fetched the 1992 Cricket World Cup for them, no matter what. He needs to remember that like a cricket match, he has to deliver results at every front to gain confidence of a nation.
Modi-2.0 is doing wonders since day one for which Modi-1.0 had sown the seeds. Not only did the Swachh Bharat campaign that got him the 'Global Goalkeeper' award become a 'people's movement', but also any initiative by Prime Minister Modi is received with a large and overwhelming response. Murmurs of Modi's voracious foreign visits have fallen silent after US president Donald Trump was seen walking hand-in-hand with Modi during Howdy Modi where Trump was a guest of Indians in America.
Being the world's most powerful leader, Trump was keen on mediating between India and Pakistan after Article 370 was revoked in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan is scared to lose its battle for Kashmir and seeks interference from Trump. But Modi made it clear that India does not require any intervention as it is their personal matter. Also, India wants to keep an upper hand by not seeking any ‘help’. This has baffled Pakistan and PM Imran Khan. He had promised his nation before leaving for the USA to attend United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that he will take a step that is not taken by anyone before to make Kashmir an international issue.
No member of UN showed any interest in interfering with the matters of Modi. Imran Khan's depressed and defensive body language has become a topic of discussion in media circles. He has also accepted that he is doing everything that he can but “launching a military attack on India is clearly not an option”. The pressure of “no pressure on Modi yet” could be seen on his frown lines.
Last month, Imran Khan has extended the tenure of General Bajwa for another three years. It is very well known that military has great influence on Pakistan politics. The military coups have overthrown governments at multiple occasions.
Although not written in their constitution, Pakistan politics works with Formula Minus-one. It means that if the establishment or army and ‘aavaam’ are unhappy with the leader, they would remove him from the top position and the next one in line will take the charge. Clearly, Pakistan is not happy with the turnaround at Kashmir and lack of a firm stance by Imran Khan.
In an instance, when Nawaz Sharif was the prime minister of Pakistan and the establishment was unhappy with his governance, Imran Khan had warned him by saying “Minus-one is already applied on Nawaz Sharif.” Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court of Pakistan as a result of the Panama Papers case. Parliament elected Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as the Prime Minister after the impeachment of Nawaz Sharif. Abbasi was put in jail being a prime accused in multiple scams. Hence, there were general elections in Pakistan that led Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), a party formed by him in 1996, to be the prime minister.
Imran Khan had also suggested formula Minus-one to senior members of Pakistan People’s Party and recommended them to detach with Asif Ali Zardari.
After accepting that attacking India is not an option and that Pakistan has failed over Kashmir issue, another acceptance of the Pakistan prime minister came a few days ago. He was asked by a tele-news anchor whether there was any investigation by the Pakistan government after Osama Bin-Laden's capture near Islamabad. He stammered saying that there was some investigation but he has no clue about the results. He added that Pakistan has funded and trained militants to fight against Afghanistan and these militants definitely have links with the terror organisations.
Well, acceptance is the key. As Imran Khan accepts that he has lost over the Kashmir front, he should also accept that his people require basic amenities. Food, water, electricity, hygiene, homes, education and employment are the front he should be fighting at. Any country would help him out if he asks for help on these grounds but terror funding is unacceptable.
He was vocal while proclaiming that people of Islam are branded as fanatics and terrorists. World leaders using terms such as Islamophobia and Islamic radicals has invariably associated the term ‘terror’ with Islam. Muslims are being marginalised all over the world. He said that no religion is related to terrorism but all terrorism is related to politics. If he could understand the fine line between religion, politics and terrorism, the world can expect him to understand that Pakistan needs to grow as a nation from within and not from its borders.
Pakistan people have suffered greatly from terrorism and extremism. It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate civilisation, order and peace. Pakistan can set some standards if it could get tourists from around the world. People from other religions, cultures and nationalities are scared to visit its heritage. It takes a big heart and lot of resources to make people your guest. Pakistan needs to prove its sincerity towards world peace.
General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff said earlier this month, “Humanity is supreme to everything. Moral authority is superior to military power and no religion in the world allows injustice to fellow human beings.”
Taking a thread to their own comments on various platforms, General Bajwa and Imran Khan can avoid formula Minus-one, instead be plus-one to world peace.
The writer is an educationist. Views are personal.