Imran Khans threat to Pakistan democracy - Financial Times


Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
Imran Khan’s threat to Pakistan democracy
Cricketing hero’s anti-Sharif campaign is overstepping the mark

Imran Khan was a true cricketing hero for Pakistan. He was an exceptional all-rounder, a graceful batsmen and a formidable fast bowler. But as a politician – seemingly hell-bent on becoming prime minister at whatever cost to his country – he makes a far less edifying spectacle.

Mr Khan has spent the past month camped out in a shipping container next to a parliament whose legitimacy he has questioned in fiery speeches. With Tahirul Qadri, a moderate cleric, he is calling for the resignation of Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister whose election last year marked the first democratic transition in Pakistan’s 67-year history. He has, however, taken his protest too far. In his stubbornness, he threatens to tear the very democratic fabric he claims to be protecting.

Mr Khan may well be right that last year’s elections were marred by irregularities. However, given the easy margin of victory, it is simply not credible to claim that Mr Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party stole the election. Mr Khan is also right to bemoan the poor performance of the government, which has failed to address a worsening energy crisis and pursued a confused policy towards Pakistan’s terrorism. Mr Sharif, who has been prime minister twice before, appears almost bored with the job, taking long trips abroad and rarely bothering to show up in parliament. None of this, however, justifies Mr Khan’s determination to force Mr Sharif’s resignation and plunge the nuclear-armed country of 200m people into political crisis.

Indeed, the campaign has caused significant damage. Xi Jinping, China’s president, cancelled last week’s visit to Islamabad, adding insult to injury by spending an extra day in India, Pakistan’s arch rival. It is not as though Pakistan does not have enough to contend with. In some areas, 20-hour power cuts are the norm. Floods have killed hundreds of people. While the political elites tussle for power, the economy, which had been marginally improving, shows signs of sinking back into malaise.

The stand-off also risks bringing the military back into politics. The army has been able to present itself as a neutral “third force”, a mirage in a country that has been under military rule for almost half of its independent years. Mr Khan has vehemently denied suggestions that he is being manipulated by the military, which is angry with Mr Sharif for pursuing the prosecution of Pervez Musharraf, a former military ruler, and for trying to seize control of foreign policy. Yet Mr Khan’s actions are playing into the hands of those who would bring the whole shaky democratic edifice toppling down.

At least Mr Sharif, unlike Mr Khan, has shown some appetite for compromise. He has agreed to several opposition demands, including a judicial inquiry into last year’s election and discussion of electoral reforms. He must not sully this by resorting to arbitrary arrests of opposition forces or violent suppression of demonstrators. Above all, he should concentrate on re-energising his lacklustre government and tackling the country’s urgent problems.

There is much riding on a peaceful resolution of this crisis, and not only for Pakistan. In too many Asian countries, from Afghanistan to Thailand, democracy has been jeopardised when those who contest elections refuse to accept the result. Cynics will argue that this proves many countries in Asia lack the institutional foundations on which to build a stable democracy. There is some truth in this. But what is the alternative? Rule by the military or by unelected technocrats installed by force? It is the duty of Pakistan’s warring political elites to show that democracy can be better than that.
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Prime Minister (20k+ posts)
Yes I Agree. IK is a Threat to family democracy.



MPA (400+ posts)
when the west write against the sit ins, it makes me support them more becuase it confirms that they could not buy either Imran and the current government is their stoodge. The do not care about democracy in Saudia and plotted against the democracy in Egypt. This is their last ditch attempt to protect their stooge.


Minister (2k+ posts)
I need PAID social media activists, FAKE Bloggers and PAID online promoters for my Online shops . Kindly contact me in PM. Thanks.

Asad Khan

MPA (400+ posts)
Since when has Financial Times become Pakistan's well wisher? India, the US, UK & now FT... hmmm Imran definitely is doing something real right to have rattled all of these. Either the person posting doesn't know FT or s/he is naive to the extent that s/he fails to distinguish between a friend and a foe.


(50k+ posts) بابائے فورم
جمہوریت ہے کہاں اور نا ہی یہ کوئی مقدس گائے ہے جیسے کچھ نہیں کہا جا سکتا


Senator (1k+ posts)
Its not a democracy in Pakistan, its a parody of democracy. Hasan Nisar.

that should be enough for one to understand what democracy they are talking about


Minister (2k+ posts)
خان صاحب کی آگ کافی دور تک لگی ہوئی ہے
تن کے رکھو خان صاب
اور جاتے جاتے تھریڈ سٹاٹر کے لئے گو نواز گو


Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
There is no democracy in Pakistan .Its non-sense to say democracy is under threat.The only people who are under threat are political and family mafias who have been plundering Pakistan for decades .