Can the establishment go for the IJI-2 experiment after facing the disastrous results of Project Imran?

PoliticsCan the establishment go for the IJI-2 experiment after facing the disastrous...

Islamabad, Pakistan: Almost every leader of PMLN looks confident that the political situation would be fixed according to the desires of former prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and then general elections would be held because, according to PMLN leadership, the establishment has no other choice but to elect PMLN in the forthcoming general elections.

Can the establishment go for the IJI 2 experiment after the disastrous results of Project Imran? This is an important question to be answered. PPP circles claim IJI 2 is in offing and PPP would be marginalized to give space to PMLN as it was done in 1990. We remember that Ziaul Haq held 1985 Party-less elections to legitimize his rule and became President through the then Parliament which had no political party sitting on the floor of the House. The Next Party-based General Elections were held in Pakistan on 16 November 1988 after the death of Ziaul Haq and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), led by the late Benazir Bhutto won 94 of the 207 seats in the National Assembly. Her government survived only two years and she was deposed by then-President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and the country went for another general election in 1990. Islami Jamhoori Ittihad (IJI) (Islamic Democratic Alliance) was formed to defeat Benazir Bhutto and the decision of the Asghar Khan case in Supreme Court briefs readers how the then Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Army General Mirza Aslam Beg formed and used IJI to steal votes for Mian Nawaz Sharif?

Islami Jamhoori Ittihad
Islami Jamhoori Ittihad

Apparently, PMLN is the only party that is running away from general elections due to obvious reasons because its Vatican—Punjab province is strongly divided and had already been inroaded by smaller political groups/parties. Moreover, PMLN sacrificed its politics over the state by forming a government after former prime minister Imran Khan was voted out from the seat and exceptionally harsh economic decisions were taken by PMLN-led PDM  to save the country from economic collapse where the country was standing due to unimaginably poor performance of project Imran during its 42-months tenure. Though PMLN is of the view that it sacrificed its politics over the state, the allegations of large-scale corruption came to the surface just one day after the dissolution of the PDM cabinet, raising a question of whether the PDM formed the government to save the country or to enjoy another shot for power pleasure.


Political circles in Islamabad believe that everything is possible in Pakistan and the establishment that says it has nothing to do with political engineering can go for the IJI-2 experiment because PTI is still a reality. However, circles close to the establishment deny such wild imaginations and claim that the establishment has kept itself away from political engineering as the institution had decided in principle that it would not do it again after the greatest fiasco of its history in the form of project Imran. These circles believe that throwing the idea in the market that the establishment is behind the PMLN would definitely give political leverage to PMLN which is facing the lowest level of its popularity therefore directly or indirectly PMLN is becoming part of a campaign launched by PTI against the military establishment for its alleged role in national politics.

Independent circles support the viewpoint of circles close to the establishment and believe that establishments all over the world have more options than anybody could expect and PMLN or former prime minister Nawaz Sharif cannot be the only option if the establishment really wants political engineering.

Reviewing the situation calmly without having biases indicates that PTI leadership that was involved on May 9, 2023, would have no place in politics now but it does not mean that the establishment is doing some political engineering. May 9 was a kind of mutiny and it would be dealt with appropriate laws and through courts and everybody would be tried whosoever was responsible for this act of crime against the state. However, sane elements within the PTI have already left the anti-Pakistan leadership of PTI and its chairman has already been disqualified to contest election or to hold the office of Chairman of the party.

Bureaucratic circles in Islamabad claim that if the interim government would start an operation against corrupt elements then it would be across the board and without pick and choose within the political cadre, administrative structure, and even beyond. If Operation Clean Up starts against those who are eating the country’s economic base, then every corrupt person would come under the net irrespective of political or social background. I give a logic that standing with PMLN would not favor an establishment that is already facing a credibility crisis. Moreover, the credibility of the Interim setup is also important for interim ministers because upright stance, clean governance, result-oriented performance, and impartiality can provide them opportunities to come into power through political means because the Senate Elections will not be far away and best of them can be included in future’s governments through Senate door. Why should they compromise their credibility by favoring any particular political party? is another important question.

They claim that neither the establishment is going for any political engineering nor the PMLN is its IJI-2.

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