Imran Khan, the puppet planted by the Pakistani Army as the nation’s Prime Minister has thought it befitting to indulge in a bit of a muscle-flexing against his masters. Speaking to media on a sunny Friday morning, Imran Khan developed the gall to say that he does not fear the Pakistani Army, as he is not a corrupt politician.
Imran Khan asserted that the government is going nowhere and that the agencies knew who was doing what and that was why those who indulged in corruption, had fear of the military, whereas Khan, as claimed by himself, was neither corrupt nor making money by doing politics. “That is why the army is standing with me. There is no tension whatsoever between the government and the army,” a report in The News International quoted Imran Khan as saying.
Imran Khan’s desperate remarks on the rogue military establishment reflects that all is not well between the puppet and his uniformed masters. The very thought of Imran Khan standing up to the Army is comic relief at best. A man who was arm-twisted into granting an extension to Gen. Bajwa, while he did not have the mandate or the authority to do so, is indicative of the lengths Khan is willing to go in order to please the Army, while also facing angry generals who oppose Bajwa’s extension.
Two weeks after the Article 370 move by the Modi government, a desperate Imran Khan as Prime Minister issued a notification granting an extension of three years to General Bajwa. However, it was then told to his office that he had no authority to do so and that an extension could be granted only by the President of Pakistan. So next, Imran Khan got the President to grant an extension to Bajwa. Here too, however, Imran didn’t have it all covered. It turned out that the President had granted an extension to Bajwa without a recommendation by Imran Khan’s cabinet. So now, Imran Khan got his cabinet’s approval and shot it off to the President. By now, the extension got challenged in Pakistan’s Supreme Court, which informed Imran Khan’s government that there was no constitutional provision to grant an ‘extension’ to a COAS. However, being the country of clowns that Pakistan is, their Supreme Court granted Bajwa an extension of six months nevertheless and directed Imran Khan’s government to frame a law for a full-fledged extension in the meantime and get it passed by the National Assembly.
Despite going unnaturally out of the way for Gen. Bajwa, for Imran Khan to now claim that he is not scared of the latter is seriously hard to believe for Pakistanis as well, and nobody is willing to buy his rhetoric of being a Prime Minister who can stand up to the military hegemony.
All is not well for Imran Khan. Only last month, the Economic Times had reported that Imran Khan had upset close to 20 generals of Pakistani Army, who were all set to be contenders for the top post in the Army over the next three years before Bajwa was gifted an extension.
Among these twenty generals is Lt. Gen Sarfraz Sattar, who was put under house arrest and forced to resign, as he was deeply upset by the unceremonious extension of Bajwa’s tenure. If not for the extension, he would now have been Pakistan’s COAS. By putting Sattar under house arrest, Imran Khan quelled one potential coup, but just how many will he be able to fight?
The Pakistani military establishment is fragmented. Ever since India abrogated Article 370, Bajwa is acting like a headless chicken, knowing not what to do next. As for Imran Khan, he has assumed the role of a broken track record, occasionally tweeting about India and Kashmir through his official handle. The entire terror network of Pakistan has been paralysed in the valley, and this has infuriated many in Imran’s backyard. Anger against Khan’s government is rising as inflation skyrockets beyond 14 per cent wherein food prices are most affected. With a crashing economy and political instability looming over Pakistan at large, Imran’s little show of strength may just act as the catalyst for the military to now overthrow him. After all, how difficult would it be for the Army, which rigged elections in his favour, to now dismiss him with one stroke?