It seems that Pakistan is determined to shed its tag of an “almost failed state” and successfully transform into a failed state run by Jihadis in light of the recent events taking place in the revanchist state. Imran Khan has not turned out as he had promised, rather, he has proved to be a loyal puppet of the Military.
Facing serious opposition from political opponents, Khan has struck back at his detractors as suspicions are rife that Khan’s government has plotted to permanently eliminate his rivals by poisoning them as Zardari and Nawaz Sharif have been taken ill while in custody and their condition is believed to be critical.
The economy continues to lie in the doldrums and while Pakistan might have escaped getting into the FATF blacklist until February 2020 thanks to China, Pakistan has failed to check terror financing despite being in the grey list which in turn, costs the Pakistan economy an annual loss of whopping $10 billion. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is doing his best to mislead his countrymen which is evident from the fact that he recently posted some incomplete statistics about foreign investment and current account deficit of Pakistan, and labelled it as an economic turnaround! A 111.5% increase in foreign direct investment in September 2019 as compared to the corresponding month last year could be attributed largely to the $224.6 million in licence renewal fees paid by the Norwegian multinational telecommunication company Telenor that was issued to it fifteen years ago. The total FDI in September 2019 without Telenor’s licence renewal fee inflow reduced by almost 12% compared to the corresponding month last year and direct investment from China also reduced by almost 70% in the first quarter of 2020 as compared to the same period of the fiscal year 2019.
Inflation in the country has also hit double digit numbers and this prolonged suffering of the people may spark a civil unrest. This has prompted the Pakistan opposition to turn the heat on Imran Khan and his government and demand his resignation.
Imran Khan has moved to jail nearly all his formidable opponents including former Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Maryam Nawaz and former President Asif Ai Zardari. The Imran Khan government is under increasing criticism as former President and leader of PPP Asif Ali Zardari and former PM and leader of PML-N Nawaz Sharif, charged with corruption, were shifted from their jail cells to hospital after being taken seriously ill under mysterious circumstances and with similar symptoms.
Both the opposition leaders registered a sudden and serious drop in their platelet counts as they were lodged in their jail cells in Adiala and Lahore respectively. The mysterious turn of events has prompted Sharif’s son Hussain to claim that his father has been poisoned in jail. Now Sharif’s daughter, Maryam has also been admitted to the same hospital as Sharif as she registered a drop in blood pressure.
Zardari’s health has improved somewhat after the transfusion increased his platelet count as the doctors have diagnosed that his bladder glands had grown unusually and claimed that this could become dangerous and further complicate Zardari’s health while Sharif’s condition continues to be critical despite the transfusion.
The platelet count of Nawaz Sharif “dropped from 16,000 to a critical level of 2,000” when he was brought to hospital late on Monday night, prompting the medical board members to go for “immediate transfusion of the platelets to save his life” said one of the board members. The doctors are yet to ascertain what prompted such a severe drop in platelet count in Sharif as the Imran Khan government has been slammed for its negligence.
It is important to note both Zardari and Sharif weren’t allowed home-cooked food in jail and the jail authorities and the government were solely responsible for their health and upkeep while there are increasing concerns that the opposition leaders were poisoned. Former Interior Minister and PML-N General secretary Ahsan Iqbal alleged that NAB officials turned a blind eye to Nawaz’s health despite repeated requests of Dr Adnan (Sharif’s physician) and “threw his medical reports into the bin”. He said the ruling PTI had meted out strange attitude with their political opponents. Another PPP leader, Khursheed Shah who is also currently lodged in jail has been shifted to a hospital after complaining of chest pain.
The series of events is quite worrying for a Pakistani as Imran Khan continues with his autocratic ways thanks to the tacit support from the Pakistani Army. Khan issued a defiant and callous response when questioned about Zardari and Sharif’s health by claiming “Today I read a news that the court has asked the federal and provincial governments whether they can guarantee Nawaz Sharif’s life by tomorrow. I cannot even guarantee my life by tomorrow, so how can I give a guarantee for someone else’s life.”
That is why I demand investigations to be fine if he is poisoned. The way his platelets again rapidly decreased today, makes my fear more firmer that Miyan Sahib has been poisoned in kotlakhpat jail and they might poison Maryam & Zardari sahib as well. #FreeNawazSharif https://t.co/zaf4z5t08U
— Shama Junejo (@ShamaJunejo) October 23, 2019
-Mullahs marching to Islamabad for Dharna
-Ex PM Nawaz Sharif & Zardari are being victimised & poisoned by @ImranKhanPTI
-Anarchy in the country
-political Govt not arresting terrorists
Enough reasons to convince West, for a coup, like Sisse’s coup in Egypt?🤔
— Arif Aajakia (@arifaajakia) October 27, 2019
This comes amidst the planned ‘Azadi March’ being taken up by a united Pakistan opposition to demand Imran Khan’s resignation as the country faces an increasing threat of food insecurity as food prices have increased by over 15% as compared to the last fiscal year.
More concerning is that as two formidable leaders with a massive support base are facing a threat to their lives, the Pakistan government has banned its TV anchors to give their ‘personal opinions’ and restricted their jobs to just being moderators.
It is clear that Khan is nothing but a puppet of the Pakistani Army who continues to call the shots in the country. While Zardari and Sharif in the past have shown courage to stand up to the Army, Khan lacks spine as his government continues to be a piece of furniture. While elimination through bombings, hangings or shootings, as has been with leaders that challenge the military, is rather violent and can lead to civil unrest that Imran Khan, may not be able to contain, the chances of poisoning of leaders in custody has set alarm bells ringing among opposition leaders.