PTI’s Anarchic Odyssey: Navigating Pakistan’s Political Storm

Political DiscoursePTI's Anarchic Odyssey: Navigating Pakistan's Political Storm

“There is no greater evil than anarchy. The worst enemy of life, freedom, and the common decencies is total anarchy”—Sophocles

By Shazia Anwer Cheema

   

In May 2022, I wrote an article “Western Dream to See Pakistan as a rogue state and current political polarization” in which I tried to inform my readers and students that Imran Khan who is an anarchist wants to abolish the state institutions his claims maintain unnecessary coercion and hierarchy and he advocates for the replacement of the state with stateless society and voluntary free associations. This article was published when “all were almost on the same page”.

Facing extreme trolling from his slur brigade, I kept standing on my position that later or sooner his followers would understand that my claims were not unfounded. Now the time has arrived and even voices are coming from PTI also that Khan does not believe in fixing things but rather meddling and destroying every situation to reach a social consensus.

We have seen in history that during the latter half of the 19th and the first decades of the 20th century, the anarchist movement flourished in most parts of the world. In the last two decades of the 21st century, the anarchist movements have been resurgent once more, growing in popularity with a political ideology against modern States because the idea of a modern state like Pakistan is based on the rule of law and a set of regulations.

Anarchist weaponry includes hate speech within the society in general and against the state institutions in particular, extreme polarization, challenging state writ, and disparaging the state constitution

These regulations are considered supreme and above individual preferences, on the contrary, a state that failed to safeguard the implementation of these regulations is called a rouge state. The anarchist denounces the state and the rule of law on which the state is being governed and proposes the idea of an alternate state. In history, we can find many anarchists who wage war against the state for their defined idea of a better state. The anarchist uses weapons which now can become the textbook example because of being tried and tested throughout history. Anarchist weaponry includes hate speech within the society in general and against the state institutions in particular, extreme polarization, challenging state writ, and disparaging the state constitution.

Instead of taking advantage of the situation and forming his party’s government in KPK headed by a law-abiding personality, Imran Khan preferred a person who has a criminal record and who was a frontrunner in planning to attack state institutions on May 9, 2023

Realists safeguard the rule of law to avoid unrest in the society. However, anarchists do not agree with state regulation and introduce a larger-than-life concept of society commonly known as Utopia which is a metaphorical state where only good exists, any chance of evil in any form, such as poverty, crime, or natural disaster cannot occur. In simple words in a utopian state, all are happy at all given times, all are successful, all are pretty, all are healthy, all are wealthy, all achieve their dream, the weather is fine and sunny in all the seasons, and no famine, no drought, no flood, no sadness such as death and sickness. The idea of a utopian land is a myth because in real life good and evil co-exist, health and sickness walk hand in hand and crime and punishment chase each other.

The point I am trying to make here is a comparison between realists and anarchists. The term anarchy is derived from the ancient Greek root anarchos (“without authority”), denoting the absence of the rule of law or settled government.

Imran Khan is again dragging the people into confrontation, his ulterior motive is to trigger confrontation to an extent that conflict becomes inevitable

Pakistan is facing a similar situation; Imran Khan systematically indoctrinated anarchy among his cult followers and what happened on May 9, 2023, was the ultimate result of this indoctrination. Now, even after winning handsome seats in KPK province, he is pushing his party leaders to launch protests and confrontations against the state instead of taking advantage of the situation and forming his party’s government in KPK headed by a law-abiding personality, Imran Khan preferred a person who has a criminal record and who was a frontrunner in planning to attack state institutions on May 9, 2023.

One can see that PTI itself is confused and worried after winning seats in the elections and more than a week has passed after election results were announced but Imran Khan is not allowing his provincial leaders to make sane decisions for government formation in KPK because Imran does not want a stable political situation in the country and still following the policies of anarchism — a complete attack on state structure. So the situation is so complex that some of the party’s leaders are saying that they will protest and will not sit peacefully in the provincial assembly and would continue to protest, while some party leaders are saying that they will neither form a government nor let the government-run. The latest news is that now a group is saying that they are ready to negotiate with the Pakistan People’s Party on forming a government. Even after winning the majority seats in the KPK, the party’s anarchic faction is protesting in Peshawar and other areas – and the daily life of the public has been jeopardized –people are worried as a known gangster has been nominated as the Chief Minister.

The situation indicates that the party has no plan, and no leader at the moment, so everyone is engaged in their own game – government formation on one side and protest on the other.

Moreover, anarchy is being seen within the party as every leader is fighting for his interest and wants to use the party to get his benefit – Latif Khosa, Marwat, Shoaib Shaheen, Barrister Gohar Khan, and Umar Ayub all have their personal agendas.

In result, level-headed elements within the party are openly admitting that PTI has not learned anything from the blunders of the past. Those aspirants of revolution who were celebrating great joy after the election results, have immediately become disappointed and have understood that Imran Khan Niazi has no interest in forming the government, he only wants the party to create commotion, chaos, and anarchy because he doesn’t care about political stability. Now some rational party leaders are outspoken and claim that Imran Khan is dragging the people into confrontation, his ulterior motive is to trigger confrontation to an extent that conflict becomes inevitable and then he will play his next move of violence. He is looking for any small chance to directly involve state pillars in battle to fulfill his ultimate desire is to inject full anarchy and infusion of violence.

He might have been a perfect anarchist, he may have the biggest abuse machinery, or he may have a cult with ignorant followers, but he is forgetting the ground reality he is facing, in the current time and space. Imran Khan is provoking the same establishment for direct conflict who is experienced and had dealt with the situation of May 9, 2023. Imran Khan’s all tactics of abusing, name-calling, and character shaming have zero effect on the state, if that had been the case then any self-obsessed narcissist with the promise of a fairyland to a delusional lot could create anarchy and challenge the writ of the state.

The audacity of PTI’s anarchic display is not only confusing but overwhelming for a Pakistani. The claim of getting the “biggest majority” is not putting their mind at ease rather they are planning more anarchy in the state. They are confused about their next step and spreading rumors which are generating fears among the masses. To my analysis when PTI formed the government in 2018 all the candidates associated with it had no clear political vision and integrity of affiliation, and even now some of them after winning from their constituencies are looking towards the PMLN and PPP for forming a stable government. PTI is divided into groups of opportunists having their personal agenda onboard. They are giving contradictory statements in press conferences and sharing different kinds of ways forward and ambition, there is no unanimous decision among them.

I always write that Imran Khan’s style of politics is anarchic and he always fancy imagining an oppressor and his crusade against it but our ground reality is that we cannot afford civil unrest. I already wrote about the aftermath of elections that the results in favor and against Imran Khan both will bring anarchy and we need some rational minds those who can get the pulse of the time and can foresee beyond their egos. Pakistan needs a government that can co-exist with the administration and establishment. Our region is more volatile than ever and it demands precaution and level-headedness. And that is utterly missing in PTI’s makeshift party members.

Anarchy is stronger than fire—-Euripides, Ancient Greek tragedian

Shazia Anwer Cheema is an author, and analyst and writes articles for national and international media outlets. She did her M.Phil in Cognitive Semiotics from Aarhus University Denmark and is completing her Ph.D. in Semiotics and Philosophy of Communication at Charles University Prague.

Disclaimer:

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

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