Imran Khan’s Bouncer!!!


Imran Khan gave an interesting interview to senior journalist Kamran Khan. Politically, it’s not less than a “Blast”.
All major political players and pandits are still trying to interpret the statement of Imran Khan regarding deferring the appointment of new COAS of the Pakistan army till new elections. Imran Khan’s statement is in the line with his political strategy. For his political opponents, it’s a “political Bouncer” and with this surprising bouncer, former Prime Minister Imran Khan stunned both the government and the it’s facilitators just like his cricketing career where he knocked out so many experienced players with his bouncers.
Now let’s see what former PM Imran Khan said during this important interview. He said, “In the national interest, it can be done through a constitutional provision. My legal team has briefed me about this issue and it is possible for the new government to appoint the new COAS.”
The gist of his statement is that he has consulted with his legal team regarding this issue and he also took the senior leadership of his party into confidence. Now let’s move to the next important point, “ The New Government”. Our reliable source has confirmed that an important meeting between two major players of this game, one from Banigala and the other from Rawalpindi, has taken place in the first week of September. The meeting took place at a neutral venue and there are some positive developments.
Let’s move to legal options regarding the deferring of COAS’s appointment. During PTI’s tenure, amendments were made in Army Act and it was unanimously done by all major political parties through their lawmakers in the Parliament. After the amendments, an army General can serve till the age of 64 years. Current Army Chief General Qamar Javaid Bajwa will turn 62 in November this year. This means that, as per law he can continue for another 2 years. It is worth mentioning here that legislation regarding giving the extension to COAS attracted more votes than votes received by then PM Imran Khan at the time he was elected as Prime Minister. So it clearly indicates that, COAS General Bajwa enjoys more support from politicians compared to Prime Ministers.
According to Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act 2020, the extension can be given on the basis of “national security interest or exigencies”. Now if we look at Pakistan, there is flood, there is an economic emergency and Pakistan may face a Srilanka-like situation. The situation provides the solid ground to invoke the above-mentioned “provision”.
Politically, Imran Khan’s statement has created an interesting situation. The group of “Hawks” within PMLN is still advising the party that we should move towards fresh elections. The PDM-led government is losing the ground as well as losing the popularity among masses. Imran Khan is becoming more popular and stronger. The “Hawks” group of PMLN believes that the economic melt down will damage their party and it would be better to quit as soon as possible. On the other hand, Shahbaz Sharif and his “like-minded group” want to stay in power and they have a strong reason for staying in power. The day Shahbaz Sharif was sworn in as Prime Minster, he was to be indicted in money laundering case. So Shahbaz Sharif knows that if he leaves this position, he will land in trouble.
The other two major government allied parties are also seeking their own benefits. Asif Ali Zardari who once bashed his Prime Minister and called him corrupt, now eyeing at gaining more political advantage as for him, its a win-win situation. Maulana Fazal ur Rehman will support the extension in return for extending the tenure of the current parliament. For this, the legal minds of PDM led government have already started their work but there are some legal hurdles.
PDM lead Shahbaz government is working on legal grounds to extend the tenure of the current parliament so they would get more time to manage the economic affairs which will help them in general elections. But the only problem is vision and clarity. The way Finance Minister cried during a press conference hints that they have no plan or roadmap to end the uncertainty which is prevailing on the economic front. On the other hand, Imran Khan is finalizing the road map after the above-mentioned meeting that took place in the first week of September. Imran Khan is constituting his strategy and for this, he has tasked his financial team to draft the economic strategy.