Boom and Bust of Imran Khan’s populism and hybrid regime

MediaBoom and Bust of Imran Khan’s populism and hybrid regime

Islamabad, Pakistan: “The May 9 sporadic violent attacks against the armed forces installations in Pakistan were unprecedented. Most provocative was the desecration and destruction of the memorials of the valiant heroes and martyrs of various wars with India. Even a politically ‘reluctant’ and moderate high brass of the armed forces could not take such defiance of its power and honor with patience”.

This is observed by senior journalist Imtiaz Alam in his piece titled “Boom and Bust of Imran Khan’s Populism and hybrid regime”. He said the army showed exceptional patience in the face of such a violent provocation by not-so-big but furious crowds to perhaps ostensibly avoid a bloody showdown with the enraged Punjabi youth.

The demagoguery of charismatic politicians—A leap from the “Imran Khan Cult” to “Imran Khan Faith”
Cartoon by Feica

He further wrote:

“It seems that after successfully running a “foreign conspiracy to dislodge him with domestic facilitators” narrative on his ouster through an otherwise constitutional in-house change, he has lost all his wits, after numerous political somersaults, amid a huge patriotic groundswell in favor of the army. The allies in the Shahbaz Sharif Coalition Government, reeling under mass disappointment over its poor performance and hyper stagflation, found a great opportunity to capitalize on Imran Khan’s shenanigan and adventurism of his amateur anarchist cult followers. The double gamble that Imran Khan played, first by wooing the army’s high command to resume its patronage and then threatening it to succumb to his pressure from within and retired military personnel, finally backfired when he crossed the Rubicon. When populism seeps into the mass psychology of fascism, it’s difficult to unravel it without demolishing all those traits of a cult that are eulogized by the masses.

As prime minister for over three and a half years, Imran Khan enjoyed being on the “same page” with the Army leadership until he tried to outsmart his benefactors who got extremely disenchanted with his clueless poor governance. Surrounded by sycophants and fortune-seekers, the Kaptan not only failed to deliver on any promise, except fixing his opponents and the media. He did not let any leader emerge in the provinces he governed, nor allowed a worthwhile team to flourish. Now, he is left with a disorganized mass of chaotic youth without any ideology and any measure of organization at any level. Unlike the Bhuttos and the Shariffs, who stood the pressure and hostility of the establishment for too long and survived, Mr Khan’s political fortunes are under deep clouds”.

The writer is a freelance journalist and Secretary General of SAFMA. He can be reached at:



The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk News Agency.

Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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