Two years after Imran Khan got ‘selected’ as Prime Minister of Pakistan, his biggest contribution to Pakistan's political development has been the unveiling of the Oxonian version of Pakistani Islamofascism.
Recently a photoshopped image of Imran Khan has been doing the rounds on social media. This picture shows him dressed up as a Pakistani general and sporting a Hitler moustache, and pretty much sums up the sort of regime he represents – a military-controlled fascistic government. In the last two years, Imran Khan has more or less functioned as a civilian version of the former military dictator Zia-ul-Haq.
Not surprisingly, in the two years, he has been in office, Imran has caused more damage to Pakistan's fledgeling democracy than any of his predecessors.
Displaying fascist traits, he has crushed political dissent, victimised political opponents, muzzled the media, bludgeoned religious minorities, inserted the military in virtually every aspect of national life, unleashed a thought police which will decide what can be published and read in the country, neutered an already pliable and compromised judiciary, and of course, moved to Islamise an already Islamised country through the obnoxious Tahaffiz-e-buyaad-e-Islam law passed by the Punjab provincial assembly.
Imran Khan has caused more damage to Pakistan's fledgeling democracy than any of his predecessors. (Photo: Reuters)
The signs of Imran Khan’s fascist worldview were all over the place even before he was manoeuvred into the Prime Minister’s office by the military. That he was an intolerant and undemocratic person became clear during his dharna against the Nawaz Sharif government. The street language he used against his political opponents and the vile and vulgar behaviour he has displayed, and which he has always encouraged and promoted among his cronies (including members of government) revealed his mindset.
Media as target
In opposition, his storm-troopers had physically assaulted and verbally attacked journalists and media houses which didn’t buy the snake oil he was selling or had the temerity to criticise his political stunts.
But after he became Prime Minister, the media has been muzzled like it was during martial law. In the last two years, journalists have been forced out of their jobs; newspaper owners have been jailed for refusing to sack inconvenient journalists; TV programmes are yanked off the air during transmission; newspaper and TV channels distribution is prevented and nobody, not even the “independent” judiciary, can do anything about it; media houses have been financially strangled if they don’t sing paeans for Imran Khan and the military; TV panels and newsrooms are stacked with appointees of the ‘deep state’; media persons have been forced to self-censor; journalists and activists have been abducted, beaten, threatened, forced into exile, disappeared, even killed. In the words of a Pakistani journalist, “we are being controlled by [intelligence] agencies, we get calls from ISPR [the armed forces spokesman] about what we can say and what we can’t”.
Under the garb of fighting corruption, political opponents have been arrested and thrown into jail without a shred of evidence against them. A top opposition leader has been booked under patently fake charges like drug smuggling, a former Prime Minister had been kept in prison for months on alleged transgressions which even the investigators were not sure about. A former planning minister was thrown behind bars without even a reference being filed. Any politician with the spunk to speak against the government has a case registered against him. In a recent judgment granting bail to two opposition leaders, the Supreme Court of Pakistan observed that the accountability “laws were successfully employed as tools to change political loyalties, for splintering and fracturing political parties. Pygmies were selected, nurtured, promoted, and brought to prominence and power. People with notorious backgrounds and criminal credentials were thrust to rule us in various capacities with predictable results. Similarly, those, who caused death, destruction and mayhem in our society were trained, financed, protected, promoted and eulogised, thus, turning them into Frankensteins.” The judges who rule in this case were, however, an exception. Normally under the current dispensation, judges kowtow to the demands of the ‘deep state’. Those who have an independent mind and don’t kowtow are humiliated, intimidated and sought to throw off the bench.
Not content with emasculating the judiciary, enchaining the media, and reducing the legislature into a nonentity, now the executive branch of the government is also sought to be made subservient to the military and its foreign masters – China. A new draft law to transform the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) authority into a virtual parallel government which will subordinate existing government departments and ministries is now sought to be rammed through the Parliament. If this happens, it will mean that instead of CPEC serving Pakistan, it will be Pakistan which will be serving CPEC.
A miserable failure
In the last two years, Imran Khan has proved to be a miserable failure who has in many ways turned the clock back for Pakistan. Frankly, India should send a Thank You card to his ‘selectors’ – Pakistan Army – for foisting him on Pakistan. India really couldn’t have asked for anything more.
(Courtesy of Mail Today)