By Agha Iqrar Haroon
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan in March 2022 claimed he was fighting against Western powers; particularly the USA which, according to him, had taken away the sovereignty of Pakistan.
For accusing the Pakistan Army to be part of a conspiracy against Pakistan, he gave examples from the rules of Gen Ziaul Haq and Gen Musharraf, who according to him had been working for the interests of Washington instead of protecting Pakistan’s sovereignty.
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After propagating that Pakistan was not a sovereign country, he sold a dream of an independent state if he could be allowed to rule again, therefore he said his struggle against the PDM government was actually the struggle for “real Independence” because Pakistan was not an independent country. He categorically said that India had a sovereign foreign policy but Pakistan had never enjoyed this pleasure.
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His thoughts look novel, exciting, attractive, and honest for those who do not have an idea of a long history of different political philosophies that spread mostly in Europe and South America and died down after disastrous outcomes. The dream that Imran Khan sold was not different from what the political philosophy of Revolutionary Nationalism believed. When Imran was infusing hatred against Pakistan’s military into the minds of the youth, he was also trying to get the support of US congressmen and political lobby firms for coming back into power. What a contradictory action he does.
We know he hired lobby firms, we know he gave several interviews to Western media stating that he did not mean that the “US was behind his removal from power” by saying “US was behind his removal from power”. One can only laugh at him and his followers for such kind of narrative he had been trying to sell. Interestingly infamous enemy of Pakistan former diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad landed on the scene to support Imran Khan and for lobbying for mending his relations with US politicians. Things have been exposed lay by layer when on May 20, 2023, an audio of Imran Khan almost begging a US Senator to him to come back in power.
Revolutionary Nationalists demanded their followers to break down the existing system (politics and governance) while promising followers that after the dismantling of the Old System, they will construct a New System (Naya Pakistan kind of rhetoric). The majority of movements evaporated after creating unrest and chaos between phases two and three.
In this alleged audio leak, Imran Khan is talking to US Congresswoman Maxine Moore Waters and begging her to release an official statement favoring Imran Khan. This whole audio is full of fabricated story Imran Khan is sharing with everybody since he was voted out from power through a vote of no-confidence motion in the National Assembly when he lost the majority of the House. In this audio, he threw a new version of “regime-change conspiracy” after 14 months of beating the drum that he was removed from power on the instructions of the United States and the Pakistani military acted against him on the desire of the White House.
On May 20, 2023, he claimed that “99% of Pakistan wants Imran Khan”, I am (Imran Khan) is the most popular political leader in Pakistan”, “I was shot three times in my leg”, “Pakistan is currently facing an immensely challenging situation”, etc. He forgot that his previous position was that he was shot four times in his leg.
Since this audio leak is embedded in this article therefore there is no need to open his baggage of lies rather there is a need to discuss how much suck political leader can be dangerous to his country in reference to what history has taught us.
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In his quest to reclaim lost power, he is using all tactics but one of them is instigating the youth that “Pakistan is not a sovereign country” and this is a disastrous move because he is not only injecting hatred against institutions that are responsible for the sovereignty of the country rather creating hopelessness among population claiming that Pakistan has no future without Imran Khan.
His campaign of a “sovereign country” evolved around the political philosophy of “Revolutionary Nationalism” which had been a popular political thought of the 60s and 70s and even the early 80s and the last popular movement of this political thought was the Iranian revolution. We can find traces of “Revolutionary Nationalism” in Imran’s public discourses that actually became a popular Political Movement demanding so-called “independence” from “foreign dependence” in Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa.
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Born in France, this political philosophy strongly influenced revolutionary forces against the established order of their eras. Some of the known movements were the French Revolution, the Irish Republicans struggle, the movement against French rule in Vietnam, the Mexican Revolution, Benito Mussolini, and the Italian Fascists, the Autonomous Government of Khorasan, Augusto Cesar Sandino in Nicaragua, the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement in Bolivia and last popular was Iranian Revolution.
In-depth researches indicate that leaders of these movements indoctrinated their followers either as Cult Leader or as charismatic liberator. They instigated followers to break down the existing system (politics and governance) while promising after the dismantling of the Old System, they will construct a New System (Naya Pakistan kind of rhetoric). The majority of movements evaporated after creating unrest and chaos between phases two and three. The majority of leaders left the countries and got asylum in other countries and some of them were killed by their followers when nothing came out of the disastrous breakdown of the administrative systems of their countries.
Imran Khan is a little unique case because he is offering this Movement after ruling the country for 42 months and he did not realize that country was not sovereign when he was in power. Actually what he has been offering to his followers is a blend of every available political discourse, and he has a bag full of dreams; offering millions of jobs to youth and housing to the poor, and free education (his election 2018 manifesto). I (with my 34-year experience covering Pakistani politics) consider him a successful juggler who can sell any item in an old-fashioned public bus plying on a remote village route.
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One of my colleagues who is an expert in the philosophy of communication, Imran is perfect at injecting “cognitive dizziness” in society by spreading confusion, contradictory claims, and using Artificial Intelligence for creating deep and cheap Fakes and all of this is resulting Cognitive Dysfunctionality in Pakistani society.
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.