Pakistan and Political Vendettas – OpEd – Eurasia Review

State institutes are major and one of the most important pillars of every country. No country can progress and excel without the cooperation of any State Department. The primary objective of state institutions is to work tirelessly for the development of the country. The deliberate politicization of state institutions on fragile foundations for mere political gain has serious consequences for the country politically, economically and militarily. Therefore, the whole world is doing its best to facilitate and strengthen its state institutions. It doesn’t matter which party or leader governs the country, affiliations are state departments with the federation and not with any particular political party.

In democratic states, the government extends its support to all departments of state in order to make the country economically, politically, and militarily strong. However, in Pakistan, the situation is different from the rest of the world. In this country, slandering state institutions is part of the political vendetta. If a party loses the elections, it begins to accuse the pillars of the state of rigging and prefers to choose the path of confrontation with the institutions of the state. In order to satisfy their selfish approach, some parties, which possessed anti-military sentiments, began to slander the military establishment for their defeat. Not only that, they target high ranking security leadership to facilitate other political parties. All the accusations are just myths, without solid arguments or evidence. They spread venom against them when they know that these institutions have nothing to do with politics and that they infect a political entity.

Recently, former Prime Minister Imran Khan lost a no-confidence vote in parliament, leading to the collapse of his government. The no-confidence vote process is briefly outlined in the constitution and any party can present this resolution to the National Assembly if they feel the prime minister seems unfit to rule the country in a brutal way. After losing a majority in parliament, Imran Khan’s government ended unceremoniously. Since then, he has launched an aggressive political campaign peddling the tale of a foreign conspiracy behind his ouster and his establishment role in it.

Military and civilian leaders adamantly denied Imran Khan’s flimsy narrative and urged him to follow the constitutional path. However, he refused to go down this path: he therefore launched scathing attacks against the country’s political leaders. As a former prime minister, Mr Khan must understand that blaming his own institutions for mere political mileage is not in the country’s interest at all. There are also hostile elements in the country, who look for such loopholes to exploit the strategic interests of the country. He must not stir up venom against his own institutions and choose his words carefully. His veiled attacks on the armed forces and the establishment declaring them local accomplices in his ousters following a so-called US plot are further widening the societal divide in the country. These remarks will have lasting negative effects on Pakistan’s bonhomie with the United States. Mr. Khan’s comments also put Pakistan in a lock-down policy, which is not in the country’s interest at all.

The armed forces of Pakistan have sacrificed their lives to maintain peace and security in the country. The people of this country have always shown respect and love for their law enforcement. However, Imran Khan’s flimsy narrative, based on lies, may create divisions between the armed forces and the people of the country. He must therefore choose his words carefully. His political vendetta will have a negative impact on our society. The fact is that the former Prime Minister tried to hide behind conspiracy rhetoric to cover up his governance failure which actually led to his removal from power when he failed miserably on the economic front. He has no justification for his failure. He put the country’s economic system at stake by borrowing more money and failing to control rising inflation. These are the main reasons for his ousting. If he (Imran Khan) had been competent enough to pull Pakistan out of economic crisis, he would not have been ousted by an unprecedented censorship movement.

Similarly, Imran Khan’s criticism of military and political establishments for their neutrality is incomprehensible, what is his intuition behind the pressure on the armed forces to cross their constitutional role and indulge in politics? Moreover, the armed forces give their lives on the border and in the war against terrorism and while eradicating the threat of extremism from the country, Imran Khan’s attempt to involve them in politics is the agenda of the enemy to divert the army’s attention from security issues.

By peddling this flimsy narrative, he actually demoralizes the brave forces of his country and their sacrifices as well. It plays with their feelings and undermines the sanctity of state institutions. Similarly, Imran Khan directly challenged state institutions using the metaphor of Mir Jaffar and his followers also believe that people connected to state institutions and their families are also buying into this PTI narrative, but they forget that the real power of state institutions is unity of command. But the fact is that Khan had failed to elevate the economic system. He came to power on the narrative of stamping out corruption, but instead of accepting his failure, he foresees that if the military wanted it, the NAB and the judiciary could have punished the thieves. Pakistan’s ranking on the TI Corruption Index declined during Khan’s tenure. Thus, he must stop blaming state institutions in order to achieve his political goals.

The author is a regular contributor based in Islamabad.

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