By Justice Markandey Katju
The Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan reminds me of the American con artist Soapy Smith.
Like Soapy, Imram Khan is as smooth, slick, and soapy as they come.
After a successful cricket career, Khan entered politics, making honesty and accountability his election plank..
But in his election campaign of 2018 Imran Khan hobnobbed with Tehreeke Labaik and other extremist religious groups in Pakistan to get votes, and gave PTI tickets to dubious ‘electables’, including many shady businessmen, and the infamous Amir Liaquat, whose TV show resulted in the killing of many innocent Ahmadis. He kept repeating his belief in khatme nabuwat ( finality of Prophethood ) throughout his election campaign, to appease the religious bigots, and after his victory expelled Atif Mian, an internationally renowned Princeton based economist from the Pakistan Economic Advisory Council only because he was an Ahmadi. Attacks on the tiny Ahmadi community continued throughout his tenure as Prime Minister.
Imran Khan abandoned all his professed principles soon after coming to power, and became a pucca ( hardened ) politician, like a Faust doing a deal with Mephistopheles. All his pretences of being liberal and modern ( having lived for long years in England ) have proved to be a façade, Despite all his talk of democracy, he has suppressed media freedom in Pakistan.
Khan had promised a Naya Pakistan ( New Pakistan ) and a ‘Madina ki Riyasat’ ( a state like that in Madina at the time of the Prophet Muhammad ) if elected to power, but it has become a nightmare.
He had promised 10 million jobs, and bringing down prices but under his rule the Pakistani economy has gone downhill, with record unemployment, and skyrocketing prices of foodstuffs, fuel, electricity, etc.
Imran Khan’s pledge to build 5 million homes in 5 years has proved to be nothing but a mere election slogan ( a ‘jumla’, as Amit Shah would say ).
Of late, Imran Khan entered into an agreement with that group of bigoted religious thugs called the Tehreeke Labaik Party ( TLP ), over the issue of expulsion of the French Ambassador, which is akin to the infamous Munich Pact of 1938 by Neville Chamberlain to appease Hitler, but it may hasten his own doom, as explained in this article in indicanews.com :
Imran Khan thinks he is safe as long as he has the backing of the Pakistan army ( which many say ‘selected’ him ). What he forgets is that the army is like a tiger, and will devour him once his utility is over and he becomes a liability. One is reminded of this Limerick :
“There was a lady from Niger
Who went for a ride on a tiger
They returned from the ride
With the lady inside
And a smile on the face of the tiger”