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Pakistan

Imran’s narrative gaining traction?

ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s narrative of a ‘foreign conspiracy’ behind his ...
07 May, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s narrative of a ‘foreign conspiracy’ behind his administration’s ouster replaced by a ‘cabal of corrupt politicians’ has gained considerable traction compelling the eleven-party coalition government led by Shahbaz Sharif to go on the defensive.

This is evident, so stated a number of senior members of the coalition on condition of strict anonymity, from the Cabinet’s decision to establish an “independent” inquiry commission to probe into the alleged “foreign conspiracy” narrative, which Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rejected out of hand insisting that an “open hearing” by an independent judicial commission is the only acceptable forum for investigating the “foreign conspiracy”.

The divisiveness within the country has split not only friends and family, and long-time neighbours but also between and among institutions, including the establishment with security implications.

This divisiveness, according to informed sources, is visible amongst the retired military personnel and those serving, though both are under oath not to express their reservations publicly.

In a meeting held on April 29, 2022, ex-servicemen under the forum titled Veterans of Pakistan (VOP) – called for free and fair elections within 90 days as the “immediate solution” to all the issues and demanded that as the expatriate Pakistanis are the largest source of forex they should be given the right to vote. The VOP issued a statement in which they claimed to be making an effort to avert crises that are assuming a divisive twist through media and hostile agenda. “It is unfortunate that ultimately, the flak is concentrated against an institution we served with honour, dignity and distinction. VOP asserts its role in the best interests of Pakistan and reputation of the Armed Forces”, it added.

In response to Imran Khan’s narrative, Minster for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb alleged that the PTI “sold” Pakistan’s foreign policy and invited the wrath of “friendly countries” through its narrative of a “foreign conspiracy”.

She said that the government has decided to form an inquiry commission, which according to her would bring the “facts” before the nation about “Imran Khan’s lies”.

In response to a question, she said even if Imran Khan is not ready to accept the inquiry commission yet parliament and the people of Pakistan would accept the findings of the commission.

She also accused Imran Khan of attempting to divert public attention from the alleged corruption of Farah Khan, a close friend of Imran’s wife Bushra Bibi.

She further alleged that the PTI’s previous government facilitated opening of around 34 bank accounts between 2018 and 2022, most of them in the name of Farah Khan, adding that Rs 870.4 million were transferred into those accounts during the Khan administration.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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