The much hyped and live telecasted political drama in the capital is finally moving towards its drop scene. Both leaders of the twin protests have announced the final stage in their own ways; Imran Khan will march towards the Red Zone, while Tahir ul Qadri will hold a people’s parliament – it’s hard to decide which of them is more ludicrous. Both are most likely to fail in achieving their respective goals, but in either case they have already caused enough havoc which stands independent of the outcome of their next moves.
Last but not least, if any bloodshed happens because of Khan’s reckless call of marching in the Red Zone, he must be held responsible.
The twin leaders’ haughtiness has not only brought the daily lives of citizens to a halt; they are also causing severe blows to the economy. Imran Khan being part of the electoral process has more stakes in the system than Qadri hence his actions call for extra scrutiny. Until recently he has been one of the few politicians to consistently advocate dialogue with the Taliban; but he is not ready to extend the same favor to a democratically government. His relentless pursuit to unseat the government has not been supported by any other political party within the parliament. Even within his own party, a number of people are not happy with his extreme calls. At the same time his popularity among the voters and supporters is on steep decline. Even if he succeeds in his desperate demands, the dangerous trend of taking out to roads to topple a sitting government will be a hanging sword for any upcoming government, including Khan’s. In case of his more likely failure, the current misadventure will result in further weakening of the future opposition. Most importantly, PTI’s possible positive role in flagging the PML (N)’s electoral monopoly in Punjab will also be doubtful.
The way Imran Khan has moved from one demand to the other eventually exhausting all the political options, it appears that the real target of the protests is not just the government; it is the state of Pakistan. From threatening police to refusal to accept the decisions of courts, Khan has reduced rule of law into a mockery. By giving the most unsuitable call for civil disobedience, if taken seriously, he has further debilitated the state to govern. His stubbornness to come into power through a mob is a severe blow to the fledgling democratic culture. Khan is severely undermining the role of respective institutions and hell bent on achieving everything through personal intervention. Is this the new Pakistan he has been talking about?
Last but not least, if any bloodshed happens because of Khan’s reckless call of marching in the Red Zone, he must be held responsible. Also if any undemocratic force seizes state power in this situation, Khan’s demagoguery will not exonerate him.