Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan makes the first step to take back his role as leading the nation through a sweeping majority win in the Punjab elections
Removed from his former glory and throne, former Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan called for an early national election after his political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won 15 of 20 seats in the state of Punjab. Consequently, Pakistan may see an earlier national election before the current one scheduled for October 2023.
Khan was ousted as Prime Minister because of a no-confidence vote earlier this year in April. Khan is the first Prime Minister in Pakistan’s history to be removed through the no-confidence motion. The no-confidence motion required 172 votes in the 342-seat parliament to pass and was supported by 174 politicians. Sheer lousy luck for Khan.
Since April, the former Pakistan National Cricket team captain has been travelling the nation calling on his supporters through widely attended rallies, which has also incited many street protests.
Khan has alleged that the opposition party, temporarily leading the nation, has collaborated, and schemed with the United States of America to unseat him. Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of former three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has replaced Khan as Prime Minister of Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif was removed from office in 2019 following a verdict from the Supreme Court of Pakistan as he was ousted as a corrupted politician in the Panama Papers case. He was sentenced to ten years in prison. Nawaz Sharif is in London, United Kingdom, for apparent medical treatment on an expired bail. On the other hand, Shehbaz Sharif, who has replaced Khan as Prime Minister of Pakistan, was arrested in 2020 at the Lahore High Court and indicted on money laundering charges.
“I will not accept an imported government. I’m ready for the struggle,” said Khan during an address to the nation.
Washington has denied claims that the US has conspired against Khan.
Imran Khan began his career as a cricketer at age 18 in 1975 and played until 1992, leading the Pakistan National Cricket team to their 1992 Cricket World Cup win – Pakistan’s first and only victory in the competition. Loved by the people for his ‘generous and kind nature’, Khan has founded cancer hospitals in Pakistan’s cities of Lahore and Peshawar well before his ascent in politics.
Thousands of Imran Khan supporters attend his rally in Punjab on July 12, 2022.
Many problems resulting from corruption have plagued the nation for years, which Khan attempted to address and resolve during his leadership. He addressed the country’s balance of payments crisis with a bailout from the International Monetary Fund. He also introduced policies that increased tax collections and investments and made reforms to Pakistan’s social safety net. Furthermore, Khan’s government recognized the harms of pollution and committed to a renewable energy transition, by introducing a national reforestation initiative, and expanding protected areas.
Despite his numerous efforts, politicians blamed Khan for economic decline and rising inflation rates which caused doubt in many about his leadership.
After his impactful win in Punjab, Khan tweeted, “The only way forward from here is to hold free and transparent elections under a credible ECP (Election Commission of Pakistan). Any other path will only lead to greater political uncertainty and further economic chaos.”
Images Credit: Imran Khan, Twitter