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EDITORIAL: The unfortunate showdown on Tuesday wasn’t as much about what was done as how it was done. Both the manner of PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest – Rangers storming into IHC (Islamabad High Court) premises as opposed to the capital police formally presenting the warrant – and PTI’s reaction – physically attacking military installations instead of concentrating on the Al Qadir Trust case – left a lot to be desired.

The result is that we now find ourselves in a situation where too many lines have been crossed to expect any sort of sanity, already in painfully short supply, to prevail in the political realm all the way to the elections, whenever they are held.

The first order of business, for everybody’s sake, ought to be controlling these protests and ensuring that they remain peaceful. PTI leaders as well as supporters seem convinced that the Al Qadir Trust investigation is merely an eyewash, contrary to the details of the case, and it is the establishment that has decided to go after their chief.

Either way, they must still be made to respect by the PTI second tier leadership, the fine line between genuine protest and breaking the law, attacking and destroying public property and disturbing the people’s peace. And it’s one thing to have issues with the military’s habitual meddling in politics, but it’s quite another to export images of charged protesters, most of them barely out of college, physically destroying army properties to the whole world to see and make fun of.

PTI’s senior leadership, which can be usually found surrounding and echoing Imran Khan, was also conspicuous by its absence in most places and in two places in KPK where the provincial leaders tried to discourage the protesters from violence they were physically manhandled by the protesters and had to flee the scene.

While the protests are getting out of hand the protesters need to be reminded that their chairman never had an issue with the military as a whole, just a few persons that he consistently named and blamed. Now one can bet that neither the government nor the military will easily let go of these attacks, and fresh cases stemming from the rioting will assume a life of their own and divert yet more attention and resources from the real issues at hand.

The sooner it is realised the better it will be that neither the PDM (Pakistan Democratic Movement) alliance nor the powerful military establishment can simply wish the leader of the largest political party out of the bigger picture, no matter how much the latter himself stretches the boundaries of the law.

There are genuine issues in the Al Qadir Trust case that must be addressed, no doubt, and with Imran Khan not cooperating when issued notices and his party tearing the country down upon his arrest, it’s not immediately clear how any progress can be made unless the judiciary takes the lead once again. And that, as we have come to understand only too well, tends to muddy the waters even more instead of clearing them. So, we go round in circles without any tangible result.

Nobody needs to be reminded that the country is, quite literally, on the very brink of bankruptcy and financial ruin. Yet instead of joining hands and heads to get the people out of this crisis, all political parties and now even top institutions are completely consumed by this zero-sum game of power and privilege that has been playing out on the airwaves as well as streets of Pakistan ever since Imran Khan lost the government in a rare, successful vote of no-confidence.

How can we expect the IMF (International Monetary Fund) to bail us out and friendly countries to vouch for us, by committing billions of dollars to shore up our reserves when the people and institutions that hold this country together are at each other’s throats?

Push has indeed come to shove and unfortunately one can say with certainty that this game of thrones will get incrementally uglier till at least one of the principal parties is comfortably out of the way.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

Comments

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BK May 11, 2023 08:13am
MILITARY NEEDS TO GET THE HELL OUT OF POLITICS!!! MUNIR AND HIS STOOGES HAVE NO RIGHT IN MEDDLING IN CIVILIAN AFFAIRS. THE CIVILANS CAN SORT THESE THINGS OUT THROUGH BALLOT, IF ONLY THE BLOODY ARMY WOULD RESPECT ITS BOUNDARIES AND LET DEMOCRACY FLOURISH. WHAT A COWRD ARMY IT HAS TURNED OUT TO BE!!! SENDING RANGERS AND AGAINST ONE MAN, THE WHOLE ARMY AGAINST ONE MAN...BLOODY COWARDS!!! I ASK BAJWA AND MUNIR TO COME FACE THE PEOPLE OF PAK RIGHT NOW, YOU WILL SEE HOW MUCH LOVE AND RESPECT WE HAVE FOR YOU...CROOKS! AND SOLEY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MESS PAK IS IN TODAY. BLOODY EGOTISTICAL MANIACS!
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Love Your Country May 11, 2023 10:21am
Dodge the real issue has been the main stay of PTI's political strategy and expect it to do everything to divert attention away from this Trust case.
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KU May 11, 2023 10:55am
Yes, a lot to be desired when the pillars of state want status quo and their motivation to benefit themselves, rest of it is propaganda to keep the nation divided. Mob crowd or angry crowd mentality is also influenced by decades of injustice by public sector as well as economic insecurity. These incidents are result of economic monotony with no change in future security.
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HashBrown® May 11, 2023 11:49am
This has set a dangerous precedent in terms of law and order. Any powerful bigwig if arrested for corruption, can hold the nation to ransom by hooliganism. This surely will be emulated by many more corrupt people in future. If khan is honest all these shenanigans is unnecessary. As a Khan supporter, I am beginning to suspect whether Khan is really what he claims
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Fastrack May 11, 2023 11:53am
Pakistan needs Khan more than ever. Don't let honesty be muzzled by Bajwa and his stooges.
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HashBrown® May 11, 2023 09:41pm
@Fastrack , "Pakistan needs Khan more than ever. Don't let honesty be muzzled by Bajwa and his stooges." Fair enough. But it wasn't even 18 months ago that most PTI supporters were fanatically in favour of Bajwa and the Army...because back then the same establishment was meddling in PTI's favour. Can you see why Khan's credibility has been so badly damaged?
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TimeToMovveOn May 15, 2023 08:20pm
@HashBrown®, Irrelevant that IK was backed by the Army in the past. Right now, if elections were held per the constitution, IK would win hands down. Thats how democracy works. Who would the people elect today--IK. Why is your PDM, afraid to hold the constitutionally manded election with 90 days instead provoking PTI with arrests and cases? With every arrest, IK has become more popular and powerful. Hold the elections now. So that democracy can prevail, and IK and his bunch of clowns can once again come and screw up the economy and foreign policy as they did during the first term.
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TimeToMovveOn May 15, 2023 08:24pm
@HashBrown®, "As a Khan supporter, I am beginning to suspect whether Khan is really what he claims" Nope not even close. As as Khan supporter, i can say that he is not even remotely close to what he claims. His administration was full of chaos and contradictions. The perennial Uturns made him a laughing stock. He will come to power, back the military (which he now hates), and try to stay in power forever. There is not real leaders anymore in Pakistan, There are all shenanigans. IK supporters will forgive him, and he and the army will be in bed together gain. But for the sake of stability, lets have an election, and bring the PTI clowns back to power.
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