Beyond Nawaz Disqualification – What Next Mr Khan?
Major Gen (R) Saad Khattak
Within the plagued and rotten system prevalent over the last 70 years something unbelievably miraculous happened on 27 July 2017. The third time elected Prime minister, the strongman of Punjab, the man who could never remain on workable terms with the pillar institutions of the state yet more often getting away with it, ultimately got nailed by the Supreme Court, this time responding to collective conscience rather than succumbing to the usual Doctrine of Necessity. While the traces of evidence against these white collar criminals always existed, it required convincing both the public opinion and legal fraternity. With Mr. Nawaz having been removed, wounded and humiliated, is the battle over? With his 35 years of politics and remaining in power, during which he along with his brother mostly concentrated on creating political power centers that would ensure electoral victories notwithstanding the well-designed fatal blows at the state institutions one after the other to the pleasure of Pakistan`s enemies worst of all India. Despite, Mr. Nawaz is well entrenched and remains well poised for a comeback given the conglomeration of corrupt now seeing themselves vulnerable courtesy the recent judicial activism and public mood energized by PTI to rid the country of the rot.
After having celebrated their victory on 29 July at Islamabad, the battle for ultimate Coup de Grace spearheaded by the forces of change begins. There is however, a perception within the learned community in the society that the forces of change operates in a self-created utopian environment which is not realistic hence seriously impinging on its credibility duly exploited by the forces of status quo. What therefore need to be done? One, despite Mr. Imran khan`s politics over the last 20 years, I am still clueless about his vision on how he sees Pakistan`s positioning in the prevailing and evolving global and regional environment? He, henceforth needs to focus more on sharing his vision with the nation at large. Two, While, the fight against corruption saw its successful beginning with the disqualification of Mr. Nawaz, it somehow has been achieved with a heavy price of a perception successfully built that Mr. Imran wasted too much of energies, time and resources which could have been utilized for improving of governance remaining within the system. This perception remains and has to be addressed by aggressively taking overt actions at policy levels and governance issues in KPK.
Three, given the overt body language of Imran khan, a perception of rigidity and inability to reconcile to ground realities is being deliberately built creating anxieties about his outlook once at the helm of affairs. This perception has to be addressed the sooner the better. Four, with the beginning against high level white collar crime effectively launched, the impetus need to be maintained with aggressively following it through the judicial process. Five, while the hunt for the electable is on, it is surely taking place at the reputation of the party and sidelining of founding ideological members who are not very influential within the leadership. While Mr. Imran did make a mention of it in his recent speech he needs to follow it with actions for greater impact across the party and country.
Six, Pakistan`s democracy and its evolving culture is unique which must be well absorbed and understood. Any Westminster type of application has neither succeeded nor likely to succeed. Mr. Imran needs to take full cognizance of these realities as he is seen as someone having all the potential to be at loggerheads with other state institutions when in power. Seven, unfortunately, there are very credible information of serious internal wrangling and multiple power centers within the party which Mr. Imran has not so far been able to address amicably. This is surely not helping him at a time when the party is building up its momentum against the greater corrupt constituency and approaching 2018 elections.
The Supreme Court verdict has created great hope and confidence not only in the institutions but the accountability process of the bigs. This has been made possible through the resilience and ability to mobilize the masses by the forces of change. Continuity of the momentum while expanding the canvas of awareness reinforced by superior conduct promises a bright future for Pakistan`s democracy and its people.
Author | Saad Khattak keeps a close eye on country's current events. He can be reached here: email@example.com