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What Does Imran Khan Want?

The ousted former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, called off his protest, on 26 May, after clashes with the police around the politically significant D-Chawk, in the capital, whilst giving a six-day ultimatum for the announcement of elections.

Pakistan’s government had banned ousted prime minister Imran Khan from holding a massive, planned rally in Islamabad and cracked down on his supporters in raids across the country, arresting hundreds. The ban on 24 May 2022 came hours after a policeman was killed during one of the raids, when a supporter of the former leader opened fire after officers entered his home in Lahore. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah warned Mr. Khan that he would “not be allowed to disrupt peace in Islamabad” and would be arrested if needed, should the rally go ahead. Mr Sanaullah earlier in the day accused Mr. Khan of seeking to create a civil war-like situation. Earlier this week, Mr. Khan urged supporters to converge on Islamabad on 25 May 2022 for a massive rally to pressure Mr. Sharif’s government. The demonstration, he said, would continue until a date for snap elections was announced. (Source: ABC)

The army’s dismissal of Imran was a consequential effect of the conflict taking place within the army institution itself, particularly between the Chief of Army Staff, General Bajwa, and the former Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence, Lieutenant-General Faiz Hameed. Faiz was dismissed by Bajwa and sent away from the capital, the decision-making center, via appointing him as corps commander in the city of Peshawar. However, the new ISI chief, Lieutenant-General Nadeem Anjum, did not assume his post immediately, due to the escalation of differences between Bajwa and Faiz, with Khan’s refusal to sign the order to appoint Anjum. This is because Faiz was instrumental in the success of Imran in the 2018 general elections that brought Imran to power, after Faiz rigged them, preventing the opposition of Nawaz Sharif’s party from entering into competition with Imran. So it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Imran was supported by the anti-General Bajwa wing in the army, led by the former intelligence chief, Lieutenant-General Faiz Hameed. Faiz was coveting to succeed Bajwa for the leadership of the army. So Imran probably calculates that these protests can pressure the army chief, Bajwa, to make a deal between him and Faiz.

Whoever thinks that Imran embodies a movement of legitimate sacrifice, after he was removed from his post and a new face for the regime was selected in his place, is sadly mistaken. Imran Khan knows well, first hand, how the rulers are chosen and manipulated by the real policy makers in the country, a faction within the military leadership. It is then that they endorsed by the actual master of the regime, sitting in the White House. Imran knows that the democratic system in the country, like other democracies in the rest of the world, is a mirage of freedom to choose the ruler and constitution. Imran Khan was removed from power because of his quarrel over the negligence in implementation of the army’s policy, his lack of commitment to what was entrusted to him and his shortfalls in blind disobedience to the military leadership, the actual ruling faction in the country. The state of affairs did not merit his assassination or exile, as happened respectively with Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. Imran’s stance did not provoke deployment of these options. Instead, the military leadership merely removed him and installed Shahbaz Sharif, who had been convicted by a previous court ruling, due to corruption cases.

Imran Khan’s public actions are nothing more than his demand for early elections in the country, although they also appear as a reaction from him, to his humiliating dismissal, in order to save face. Imran Khan’s movement in the country will only bring evil for the people of Pakistan. In fact, the deep state left Imran free and alive for its own interest. Imran’s movement gives the regime an opportunity and an excuse to suppress the real opponents of the regime. The arrest of more than 400 of them is an example of that, so letting Imran loose is a means to an end. Tragically, the cheap struggle over power has a heavy price for the people to pay. As for early elections, it is merely another grab for power, in which the people have no benefit or stake. The regime and the constitution, the source of people’s suffering, will not change through the elections. Elections will merely change the face of the regime and the front of the deep state.

Even if we assume Imran Khan’s victory in the elections, which is less likely, then does Imran have a doctrinal, political and economic vision that will bring the country out of its crisis?! The answer is no. Had Imran a radical vision, he would have already implemented it when he was in power. However, Imran is bankrupt like the rest of the Ruwaybidah lowly rulers who preceded him, as well as all the lowly rulers who will be born from the womb of Democracy’s deep state, in the future.

Imran’s movement serves the regime and does not harm it, or the interests of its master, in anyway whatsoever. Moreover, by herding the Pakistani street to pursue the mirage of change through Democracy, Imran diverts the Ummah away from the movement for real change, through the establishment of the Khilafah (Caliphate) on the Method of Prophethood, on the ruins of this failed regime. Thus, with his movement, Imran diverts the people from ending the deteriorating economic and political situation in the country, where inflation and unemployment have skyrocketed, and whose only escape lies in ruling by all that Allah (swt) has revealed. Therefore, what Imran is doing and striving for is a continuation of his political career in the service of the corrupt regime and prolonging its life. He is covering up the flaws of the system and falsely depicting the problem. This is his demand and this is what he seeks, and we do not say that he does this out of ignorance, so he does not think well of a ruler who ruled by other than what Allah revealed even for one day.

Therefore, the sincere amongst those who participate in the protests, as well as others from the silent majority in the country, must demand real change in the country. They must not allow any political leadership, from the government or the opposition, to deceive them, by ensuring the continuation of a system that does not benefit, but brings great harm. They must not accept to be burned as fuel for personal ambitions of visionless politicians for power. As for the sincere people of strength and power, they must clean their ranks of traitors and overthrow the political and military leadership, sweeping away the deep state and Western influence from our country. All that can only be done by their granting of their Nussrah to the political leadership of real change and liberation from colonialism, Hizb ut Tahrir, in order to establish the state of glory and victory, the Khilafah (Caliphate) on the Method of Prophethood.

Written for the Ar-Raya Magainze
By: Bilal Al-Muhajir – Wilayah Pakistan