ISLAMABAD: PTI Chairman Imran Khan (IK) played the last wild card of his agitation campaign against the present dispensation by deciding to resign from National and provincial assemblies, sans KP Assembly, on the heels of his non-starter and illogical civil disobedience call. But Imran’s insistence on civil disobedience movement on Monday is reportedly prompted by clear signals from the military establishment asking him not to cross the red lines – defined as Red Zone housing sensitive government apparatus and diplomatic enclave.
Still, IK plans to lead a peaceful, non-violent march towards the defined boundaries of the Red Zone to test nerves of the government in a display of misplaced bravery and velour.
Opponents believe, the PTI chief may have a hidden agenda to prompt the Sharif government to arrest him, in order to secure a safe exit from the current political impasse. The ruling regime, having finally launched political negotiation committees, plans no such extreme move, till date.
As of now, PTI may not be able to force the PML-N government and other stake holders in the present Parliament to go for a mid-term elections, but the mass resignation campaign has all the potential to stir the electoral system in case the resignations actually materializes, become effective.
What compelled IK to go to this extent without proper consultations and homework? Independent quarters believe PTI’s failure to amass people at the agitation venue from the country’s most populous area along GT Road is a big contributing factor. Then his middle class, urban voters couldn’t not be convinced to launch such a campaign at this stage. Resultant was a few thousand diehard workers, students and youth, especially from KP, who camped in at the capital since August 15 to save the grace. Low attendance of the next two days compelled PTI to delay IK’s address until the evenings so that the television camera drones find it difficult to show tail of his often claimed mammoth crowds. Emphatic calls and collective efforts of party leaders finally resulted in Sunday’s show of the PTI in the heart of capital which became peak point of the whole campaign in terms of attendance of several thousands, but not enough to send alarm bells ringing across the power corridors.
Whosoever advised Khan to go for the civil disobedience call without consultation with his party rank and file, presented as hall mark of his 18 years long political career, tried to push him to a dark alley and made him a literal laughing stock in almost all segments of the Pakistan society. Lawyers, traders, businessmen, were the first to reject the move, out rightly. Households, common man and public at large didn’t understand the logic behind the move at this juncture when the country was going through economic hardships, joblessness, inflation, and power outages.
Political strategists advising PTI chief Imran Khan have landed him in a dark alley of “civil disobedience movement” instead of a way out he and his party needed at the moment for a graceful exit from the present political impasse. Dr Qadri’s rag-tag political cum religious followers are a different mould as they came prepared, both mentally and logistically – naturally for a long haul of many days or a few weeks, if the situation demanded. The PAT is also ready to test the PML-N government’s nerves through a nation-wide call of agitation and sit-ins through his political affiliates – may be Red Zone violation and a gathering of forces with PTI still on cards. As of now, Imran was seen desperately trying to appeal to unmoved voters and supporters to amass people at the sit-in venue for a final showdown on Tuesday.
Apart from the stick wielding, rag-tag, semi-literate youth, he boasts to possess, it still remains to be seen how rest of his voters, supporters and public at large take his latest move? It is a key to his political make or break.
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