Imran Khan and the toxic legacy of the ‘Trump of Pakistan’

Imran Khan’s “turbulent tenure” as Pakistan’s prime minister ended last week, “after weeks of political drama,” Cyril Almeida said Al Jazeera (Doha). He was elected in July 2018 on a promise to fight corruption and fix the economy. Instead, he led Pakistan into “a deepening economic crisis”: double-digit inflation dogged much of his tenure.

In February, as backlash against him mounted, Khan announced cuts in domestic fuel and electricity prices despite global price hikes. As a result, the Pakistani rupee fell to historic lows and economic collapse threatened. At the same time, Khan had fallen out with Pakistan’s powerful military, not least because he angered Western nations by meeting Vladimir Putin in Russia hours after he invaded Ukraine on February 24.

By the end of March, a number of defectors had lost his majority and the opposition swooped in and tabled a motion of no confidence. Khan tried to get around this by dissolving parliament and calling early elections, but the Supreme Court ruled his move was unconstitutional. He was voted out on April 10.

Khan gave up the “playboy” lifestyle he enjoyed as one of Pakistan’s greatest cricketers to become a politician, Zaigham Khan said in dusk (Karachi). He became a “born-again Muslim” fueled by the convert’s zeal. Khan railed against the social elite (“to which he himself belonged”) and promised to create a better, stronger and less corrupt Pakistan with the Tehreek-e-Insaf political party he founded.

But it has failed miserably on all fronts, leaving no reforms behind at all. Corruption is worse than ever. The Pakistani people are much poorer thanks to their “economic mismanagement”; Even middle-class people struggle to afford basic necessities. For this we can blame his “hubris”, his “narcissism”, his “intellectual weaknesses”.

In many ways, Khan resembles Donald Trump, Kamila Hyat said in The news (Karachi). He has become a populist “cult leader” who, while inept, is “worshiped” by many. And like Trump, he was unable to accept his own defeat, so he invented a conspiracy theory to explain it.

According to Khan, he was ousted by the US for refusing to cancel his visit to Russia. He has not presented any evidence to support his claims, Yasser Latif Hamdani said in The pressure (New Delhi), but his faithful followers believe him. He leaves behind a poisoned legacy: his brand of “religious populism” will plague Pakistan for “decades”. Imran Khan and the toxic legacy of the ‘Trump of Pakistan’

Fry Electronics Team

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