WIN-WIN situation for Khan after Opposition Move
BY NAUMAN TASLEEM
The joint opposition parties has submitted a “No-Confidence” move in the National Assembly. Around half a dozen parties of the country headed by JUI Chief Fazl ur Rehman has agreed on one-point agenda of removing their nemeses Prime Minister Imran Khan from the office. Apparently, it seems that the opposition has completed its number game and very much hopeful of its success. Former President Asif Zardari, Faz ur Rehman and Shahbaz Sharif in a joint press conference said that this government has totally failed on internal and external levels. On the other side, PM Imran Khan is holding meetings with his allies including PMLQ and MQM Pakistan.
Though, everyone is waiting for the next session of National Assembly, which might be called in the last week of March. Opposition leaders are attacking Khan from different sides while Imran Khan is responding tit-for-tat. In this nerve game, Imran Khan successfully managed to win the confidence of the masses by terming the opposition movement as ‘supported by the foreign powers.”
PTI leadership successfully put the opposition on the back foot and the opposition leaders in the joint conference have to clarify that their move is not funded by any foreign power or America. A couple of days ago, Hamza Shahbaz had a meeting with the US Ambassador and it was a normally scheduled meeting. However, its time was ‘mistimed’ for the opposition leader, as only a few days ago Khan visited Russia. This visit was criticized by the western world but Khan did not pay any attention to foreign powers, soon after PMLN leader met US Ambassador. This provide any opportunity to PTI, which started yelling “foreign-hand” in APDM’s no-confidence move. The government ministers started saying that Khan has said NO to America and as a result, America has asked opposition parties to overthrow Khan-regime.
Soon after, Imran Khan in a public gathering roared against the action of the European Union (EU) and also clearly said that his foreign policy is not meant to please the EU or US but only for the betterment of Pakistan. His tone was criticized in some quarters but in masses, it was appeased and welcomed. Keep in mind the public sentiment is always anti-West, a thing which ZA Bhutto sold perfectly in the past. Similarly, Khan has managed to win public support by calling “West’s spade a spade” — a thing which is very much welcomed by people of Pakistan. If the no-confidence move becomes a success story (which is not possible) then for the time being it will be a set-back for Khan, as he would have to leave the PM office but in the long run, he will be a big beneficiary of this move. People of Pakistan, who already have started believing that the West is behind opposition and Khan is being punished by America thus giving a sympathy to PTI for next elections.
People are also talking on social media that the success of the opposition move will be a success of International Establishment against Pakistan Establishment. The movers and shakers in Islamabad are very much aware of this perception. So far, local establishment is not siding with the opposition of treasury benches but as the days pass, the local establishment has no option but to support Khan.
Keeping all realities in mind, the no-confidence move has become a “Win-Win” situation for Imran Khan. We have seen ‘skipper’ in the past, when he joined joint opposition soon after the “Panama Case” he was pushed towards the wall by PPP. A picture in national press showed Khan standing behind Khurshid Shah and other PPP leaders. Khawaja Asif in an Assembly session laughed at Khan and praised PPP for making fun of Khan but within days, Khan bounced and the rest was history.
The author is Founder/Editor of thefreedom.com.pk and a senior journalist. He has worked in different local and international news organizations. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org