Why did Imran Khan have to be reckless to threaten the Pakistani establishment?

Why did Imran Khan have to be reckless to threaten the Pakistani establishment?

C:In Pakistan, the theory of cheating is a national obsession, and so is the cricket pundit. Thursday’s botched attempt against Imran Khan confounded the most prolific pundits of both, political conspiracy and cricket.

We understand it’s a political conspiracy, but why drag cricket into it, you may ask? We’ll explain that just a little later. First, with this latest twist, five things that don’t fit the usual military-political intrigue. As you have noticed, we in Pakistan always put army before politics. Five problems.

• Political assassinations are common in Pakistan and always involve the army directly (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) or through proxies (his daughter Benazir). What is not common is a botched assassination attempt. There has been the odd one before, but it’s not a pattern. So why did this one fail?

• After each assassination attempt, either the target falls six feet under, or whoever survives becomes a “perfectly well-behaved woman or lady,” to use the language. faujis in the subcontinent they prefer. No one dares to raise a finger against the army.

• Pakistani crowds are much bigger, angrier and recklessly violent than anything we’ve seen here. They can rob the most protected institutions, including the USIS once, to protest a Salman Rushdie book. Now, Rushdie is a native Indian who was living in Britain at the time, so why rob a US intelligence center is a moot point. They did a thorough job of it. Last year, they came close to similarly sacking the now-defunct French embassy President Emmanuel Macron’s allegedly blasphemous comments on Islam. Homes of politicians and cricketers, places of worship are all fair game.

What they haven’t yet threatened is an army facility of any size, much less the residence of a corps commander. Unlike India, Pakistan does not have an army command (like Western, Northern, Southern etc.). It has its nine corps in key regions, and their commanders are the historical equivalent of a “politburo” that even the chief defers to. No one messes with the corps commander. Least of the mighty Peshawar corps. Karachi, Lahore, Mangla, Multan, Rawalpindi etc facing India are more important militarily. But politically-strategically, Peshawar is the pinnacle. It controls and largely controls Afghanistan, fighting the most active insurgents, the Waziristan and the Pakistani Taliban.

It is the keeper of the Durand Line, which no Afghan regime has ever accepted. It is also the “back office” of all the terrorist networks that are sponsored by the Government. Remember where Osama bin Laden lived and Indian Mirages fired missiles at Jaish-e-Mohammed headquarters.

While protests broke out in many parts of Pakistan, the fiercest was in Peshawar, where thousands besieged the home of the corps commander. They chased away the army troops, defied firing and chanted the chant we are used to hearing in Pakistan. Ye jo Dehshadgardi Hay. Quietly translated. Hey, you want to know what terrorism is? Behind it stands the “uniform” (army). It has been heard several times in the past, somewhat rarely, but even the leaders of the opposition have spared no effort to stop it in their rallies. No one will attack our brave, respectable army, this is the message.

So, our third question is: why did the army lose this immunity?

• Go back to Pakistani media headlines in the period leading up to the assassination bid. One of his key political lieutenants had already named the people who were likely plotting his assassination. At the top of the list was Major General Faisal Nasir, whose house, to use a more familiar Indian expression, was now more furious and angry with the Khujans than you have seen here in a long time. People who accuse high-ranking army generals or ISI leaders of the killings are usually chroniclers and modern historians living safely abroad. Usually foreigners or Pakistani exiles. Although, as recent events show, including this The assassination attempt on a Pakistani dissident in the Netherlands, we have covered, exile is no guarantee of safety. It was only earlier this week that ISI-linked “agents” in Britain were charged with an assassination attempt in the Netherlands. So how is it that key people around Pakistan’s most popular (but out of power) political leader dare now accuse senior generals of plotting assassinations?

• Fifth and last is an issue we discussed in detail last week National interest. If the head of the ISI should call the first press conference mainly to attack the Prime Minister, which they first “elected” illegally and then almost completely “overthrew”, it shows that for the first time the army is afraid of the people. political figure. Hence, the fifth question is, even after these dire warnings and the open declaration of military action by GHQ, why did Imran not do the usual, ‘wise’ thing and cut his losses by halting his march towards Islamabad?


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V:can discuss in detail the possible answers to each of the five. But why waste more ink or digital space when everyone’s common answer can be just two words or one name: Imran Khan? Which brings me back to where I started. Or the reason I said it would confuse both Pakistan conspiracy theorists and cricket pundits.

Too many political journalists who are now on a certain playing field can claim to have personally known, interviewed, met for informal chats, followed and studied the cricketer Imran Khan. I humbly admit that I have done all of the above. It is likely that most of us saw him as a unique character, unlike the usual subcontinental cricket star. There has always been a risky edge to him that borders on the reckless.

Among the many cricketers I could get to know, especially during my years of regular coverage of the serious sport, he was not only knowledgeable but insightful. India then made a habit of losing to Pakistan, he said, because Indians were too afraid of losing. He was the first to vehemently oppose the institutional tendencies of Indian cricket, going for blistering pace and defending line and length.

The usual was to take risks. In an even more quotable (and later infamous) interview with me India today driving in his very modest London flat later in 1994, when he was shot for ball-tampering, he said that no English cricket class, the Oxbridge type, had attacked him. It was only members of the “lower rungs” such as Botham and Lamb.

Botham and Lamb sued him for libel. Imran and his then wife Jemima were calling me to go and say that I had misquoted him to save him from ‘doom’. How it ended is described in some detail here article:.


Read also: Revealing a personal secret as a lesson for Imran.


C:end his political career. In his first election (1997) he was defeated in all nine seats he contested, losing his seat in seven. On a regular PIA Fokker Friendship from Islamabad to Lahore, I found his old mate and now nemesis Sarfraz Nawaz sitting next to me. How is your friend competing from five places, I asked. Why, even when he was playing, he thought he was the whole team, Nawaz said. Now, after losing power, he contested all seven by-elections and won six. And then he said that he is not returning to the parliament, which he considered illegitimate. He dared the army to allow new elections, but also showed what could happen if such elections were held. Unlike the average politician anywhere, and especially in Pakistan, don’t expect Imran Khan to keep his cards close to his chest.

So the ideas.

One, he would have to bend the ball if necessary, fight the most powerful with the worst slurs, risk British libel law, assume he is the whole team, ask and expect his “friend” to lie in court. And now he thinks that Allah is with him.

Conventional wisdom in Pakistan is casino logic. No matter what cards, skills, how much money you have, the house always wins. Like him or hate him, it had to be Imran Khan to finally threaten to bring the house down.

He can be deceitful, cynical, narcissistic, narcissistic liar. It’s just that he is not and never has been the “Gloomy Me” as Pakistani critics would call him.


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