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This is apropos an editorial ‘Technical knockout?’ carried by this newspaper a week ago. That this editorial seems to have lent a fresh perspective to the situation is a fact.

According to the newspaper, for example, “And though Imran’s fate as the leader of the country’s largest political party has been dealt a blow, it will really be decided by higher courts just as the country goes into a temporary caretaker setup that will most certainly violate the constitution by overstaying its stipulated 90-day welcome, just as two provincial governments have been doing all this time.” However, my perspective or conclusion is different from the newspaper’s because of a variety of reasons.

Firstly, Imran is widely expected to have an unfortunate and inescapable outcome very shortly mainly because of the May 9 events that are just enough to seal his fate even before the timely or delayed general elections. But Imran Khan is already in deep mess of his own making.

Not only is his party in complete disarray, he has himself conceded ground since the start of crackdown against his party by failing to reach out to his workers in person. Issuing sermons through digital media was not just enough. That is why perhaps he has alienated a number of his admirers or supporters.

Secondly, all of us know the phrase ‘technical knockout’ means the termination of a boxing match when a boxer is declared by the referee to be unable to continue the fight.

In Imran’s case, however, it is quite difficult to name the identifiable ‘referee’, given the complexity of the situation. Imran Khan will therefore not find a situation in which everyone has the same chance of succeeding. Unfortunately, however, little does Imran Khan realize the fact that Pakistan turned into a security state following the dismemberment of the country in 1971.

But he seems to be fully aware of another fact that populism easily degenerates into paranoia in the minds of most Pakistanis.

The May 9 mayhem is a strong case in point. He has only himself to blame for squandering away an opportunity or a partnership that he had successfully and assiduously achieved between himself and the establishment. For all practical purposes Imran Khan appears to be out of the contest as he has found himself in a tournament in which the loser in each round is eliminated.

Mehdi Hasan (Karachi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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