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Imran is victim of his own standards

Waheed Hussain

Former Prime Minister and Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Imran Khan, has finally been convicted under section 174 of the Election Act. The court ordered that Khan was guilty of “corrupt practices,” therefore, sentenced him to three years in prison, five years of disqualification for holding any public office and Rs 100,000.00 fine. If khan failed to pay the amount, he would spend another six months inprison. His legal team would filean appeal against this order. Imran Khan and his lawyers have been expressing dissatisfaction over the judge, Hamayun Delawar, declaring him being totally biased against chairman PTI. Earlier former PM and his legal team hadapproached Islamabad High Court and Supreme Court of Pakistan against the said judge, requesting to shift the case to anothercourt; however, the superior judiciary didn’t stop the court proceeding in the Toshakhana case,directing the applicant to approach the relevant forum.

Let us leave the merits and demerits of the case to the legal fraternity and superior courts to debate and issue final judgement on Khan’s conviction in the Toshakhana. In the past many former prime ministers were convicted in various politically motivated cases, which later were either reversed by the appellate courts or failed to stand to the test of ‘justice system.’ This time again khan, his legal team, and the PTI supporters werepromoting this narrative in the media,that Toshakhana was a politically motivated case to sideline the PTI chief from any future electoral process. One thing was obvious that khan has left many loopholes (legal technical grounds) to his financial matters related either to the party fundings or Shoukat Khanum hospital’sdonations, which might haunt him in the coming days providing an opportunity to his opponents to get him convictfrom different courts.

Apart from the legal complications that Khan has to face, the most important aspect of the issue was, the strict moral standards that PTI chief set for others before coming into power in 2018.

Since 1996, throughout his political career,he always lectured the public that public office holders especially those on the top positions, should observe fairness, transparency and honesty in their day-to-day policies and decision making. They should not use or misuse official position to get any administrative or financial benefit. Here in Toshakhana, khan, actually used his position, benefited like the previous presidents and PMs. So, people do ask the question that what was difference between him and former presidents and prime ministers who benefited from the Toshakhana. 

The fundamentals of Imran khan’s so-called “Naya Pakistan” and “Tabdelee” slogans were based on hiscomparison with Sharif family and Asif Ali Zardari.Imran accusedthe two political families as the most corrupt. He called himself as Mr. clean, who always remained transparent in the financial matters.But the khan’s claim had many flaws particularly, after spending almost four years in office asprime minister.

His 2014 Dharna (sit in) in front of the Parliament at D-Chook was actually against the 2013 election result, where he blamed the ruling PML (N) for massive rigging in 2013 elections.For consecutive four months PTI chairman vocally spoke about fair use of government authority, resources and public money. He presented himself the only savior of the nation.

But his life was not free from the black spots as human being. The first and the foremost compromise that khan made was, when he welcomed those politicians to his party, to whom he used to call dacoit (those who looted the tax payers’ money being in governments), corrupt and incompetent. Pervez Elahi was the one to whom he blamed for massive corruption as the chief minister of Punjab during late General Pervez Musharraf regime. He accused Sheikh Rasheed as a corrupt and stated in one of his TV talk-shows that he would not appoint him even as his personal staff officer. But the same Sheikh Rasheed remained part of his cabinet for almost four years.

There was huge list of the people from late Musharraf League, PML (N) and PPP that he included in his party as winning horses, to achieve the magic number of 172 in National Assembly tobe elected as the prime minister. His whole idea of fairness, transparency, honesty and fair use of tax payer money were buried under his wish to become the prime minister. The lust for power in fact deviated him from his original principle of honesty and fairness. The whole Pakistan knew what was his opinion about the MQMP, but PM post changed his mind about the party as he needed them. He compromised on his own set standard.

Imran Khan without holding any public office in the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, illegally used the Chief Minister’s helicopter between 2013-2018. The BRT Bus Project in the KPK had financial mismanagement and irregularities. When Federal Investigation Agency(FIA)initiated aninvestigation, Imran Khan’s government went to Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) requesting to stop the inquiry. When the Khyber Pakhtoonkhawa NAB started investing the corruption cases of the provincial government the institutions the department was shut down. Why? Was Usman Buzdar as CM Punjab nominatedor elected on merit? Who asked Chairman PTI to appoint the most incompetent person as chief executive of the biggest province of Pakistan? Who was controlling CM Punjab from Bani Gala? What Imran khan did to the petroleum crises inquiry by the FIA against Nadeem Babar who served as the PM advisor on Petroleum? Why was he allowed to travel US without the completion of the FIA inquiry? Why Imran khan did not share the details of National Crime Agency UK settlement with Malik Riaz with the cabinet members? Why, IK accepted the Shahzad Akhber’s deal with the NCA and MaliK Riaz? Imran khan was accused of misusing his authority as PM in the NCA 190 million pounds for his personal gain through the Al-Qadir Trust. The case was pending in the court. In the PTI funding case, ECP pointed out many loopholes in the financial books of the party. The party failed to justified the sources of funding and the way money wasspent over the years.

So, where was transparency in all those cases during Khan’s government. What the khan government did with the economy? His government added Rs. 22000 billionto country’s debts. Where the money was spent? There were zero reforms, zero privatization, zero economic uplift projects in his government. Before 2018 elections,Chairman PTIclamed of having a team of 100 experts in various fields, who wouldturn Pakistan into a paradise. Unfortunately, except some social network programs under Ehsas portfolio, thecountrywasonce again pushed to the IMF inviting massive inflation and price hike. PTI failed to run the economy and financial matters through its own team hiring the services of Dr. Hafiz Sheikh and Shaukat Tareen. In short khan had serious governance and planning issues which ultimately effected the masses.

After his removal from the power, he developed enmity against certain individuals in the army. When he was in office, he used to praiseformer COAS General Bajwa in every public gathering and media interaction,even gave him three years extension, while, today he accuses him of the all the failures that khan has suffered in last 15 months. Chairman PTI did not restrict himself to the former army chief butbitterly attacked the present leadership of the institution. Imran must understand that whatever happened to him or would happen, he was solely responsible for it.As far as his cases were concerned he must be given an opportunity for fair trial to defend himself. 

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