Imran Khan: From Prime Minister to Prisoner - Seeker's Thoughts

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Imran Khan: From Prime Minister to Prisoner



Imran Khan Removed From Office After Vote of No Confidence

Pakistani former cricket star Imran Khan currently faces over 100 cases, from corruption and sedition charges to blasphemy allegations and accusations that he and other political opponents and US agents conspire to remove him from office. He blames both of them as being behind these efforts to remove him.


Khan initially enjoyed close ties with the army, supporting its policies and providing prominent retired generals with government jobs. Unfortunately, this relationship began to sour when he made foreign policy choices which opposed US interests and angered the military establishment.

 Read about - Current Situation of Pakistan

Who is Imran Khan?


Imran Khan, an ex-first-class cricketer and current political leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Khan gained notoriety on the cricket field during the 1970s as a powerful all-rounder; among the greatest batsmen and bowlers ever. 

Additionally, in 1992 he experienced a spiritual awakening which led him to embrace Sufi mysticism over his previous playboy persona.

After retiring from cricket, Imran Khan quickly entered politics, joining the PTI and running for elections with them. 

In 2018, Imran won them and became Pakistan's prime minister on a nationalist platform promising to fight corruption and revitalise the economy; and also ushering in a more independent foreign policy which moved away from US influence towards China and Russia.

As prime minister, he was widely criticized for his relationship with the military and for failing to combat corruption sufficiently in his nation. 

Additionally, many were critical of how he handled the 2021 floods that killed thousands and caused widespread destruction; his tenure began unraveling further when he was arrested on corruption charges in 2022 and faced protests by his supporters.

The arrest triggered a political crisis in Pakistan and was met with massive unrest by thousands of supporters, who blocked roads leading to Islamabad and tried to stop traffic from passing. Police responded with tear gas canisters aimed at dispersing protestors before resorting to force to remove them from the streets.

Imran Khan's supporters claimed the government was conspiring against him due to his anti-American rhetoric and plans to block NATO supply lines. They further accused it of mishandling flood relief efforts and not doing enough to address terrorism issues within Pakistan.

As part of his campaign platform, Khan pledged to bring peace and prosperity to Pakistan while creating jobs for young people. Additionally, he pledged to fight corruption as well as battle Taliban insurgency in Pakistan. Khan is well known for his charitable endeavors including founding a cancer hospital in Lahore in 1994.

What makes him controversial?

Khan gained headlines during his brief time as prime minister for making numerous controversial comments, some dating back decades like when he suggested Pathans visit India for "their women," but most coming during his political career and, specifically, during and shortly before becoming PM.

As Khan transitioned from cricketer to politician, his views have evolved significantly as his political agenda became more focused. Now appealing to military and religious fundamentalists in Pakistan, Khan advocates for Islamisation while seeking to limit western influence within Pakistan.

His support for the Taliban and Tehreek-e-Taliban in Afghanistan as well as his anti-American views has come under scrutiny, and he allegedly used government resources to finance these organizations.

His most controversial comments came in 2020 when he blamed Bollywood and Hollywood for rising sexual violence in Pakistan, an assertion many have viewed as perpetuating misogynistic mindsets and victim blaming. Furthermore, they accuse him of not doing enough to protect victims.

After his election win in 2018, many analysts believed he had the support of what is commonly referred to in Pakistan as "the establishment" or the army - an instrumental player behind-the-scenes that plays an essential role in nuclear-armed Pakistan. Yet upon being ousted from power by way of no confidence vote he refused calls for him to step down, while also denying any role played by military in his removal from office.

He has been charged in multiple instances ranging from corruption and sedition to terrorism and blasphemy - with the latter becoming especially contentious. On Thursday, his supplementary response will be heard before the court; it should be fascinating to witness if his testimony meets approval or earns another rebuke from them.


Why did he not a prime minister anylong?


Imran Khan, Pakistan's former prime minister, was dislodged from office on Sunday after suffering a vote of no confidence from parliament. Assumed power with popular appeal and populist platform, Imran oversaw an eventful term defined by external events. Carnegie nonresident scholar James Schwemlein examines what his departure and arrival of new government mean for domestic politics, foreign policy and economy of Pakistan.

Imran Khan was marred by allegations of corruption and close ties with the military establishment, prompting allegations of anti-corruption activity from activists and politicians alike. Critics criticized his crackdown on militants and fragile state of economy; also forced to drop plans to build hospital in Karachi which had been delayed for years due to funding issues.

Late in 2020, several opposition parties joined together with the aim of strengthening civilian government independence from military control. They boycotted Khan's leadership vote of confidence and accused him of being controlled by military interests.

Khan was further discredited by the Panama Papers scandal, which revealed that his family held offshore assets. This compounded perceptions of corruption which had plagued previous administrations.

Khan frequently denied allegations of corruption and expressed disdain for the subject of graft, even suggesting that the Supreme Court was biased against him.

In March, police attempted to arrest Khan based on a court order regarding another matter; he and his supporters fought back, eventually forcing the officers away.

Khan's tenure as prime minister was marked by internal strife and scandal within his party, most notably an alleged embezzlement scandal at state-run firm RYK Mills by one of its directors, Moonis Elahi. Elahi used these funds allegedly used them for purchasing personal property which then was sold off at a profit; further fuelling public outrage against Khan and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).


What did he do for the people of Pakistan?


As Pakistan's prime minister, Khan was immensely popular, drawing thousands to his rallies with his populist anti-corruption and foreign influence message and his push for reforms that strengthened democracy. Yet, his government was often chaotic due to disagreements among its own members over economic policies as well as conflict with opposition parties and outside interests.

His primary challenge, however, was his tenuous relationship with Pakistan's military establishment. For most of its history, Pakistani militaries have either directly or indirectly controlled its government; Khan's political opponents feared they were trying to exert control over him through controlling his army; this accusation is denied by the army itself.

Khan, whose Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party won impressive victories in local elections earlier this summer, continues to enjoy wide support since his ousting. Indeed, his supporters recently filled streets near Islamabad demanding he run for parliament again - although given Pakistan's long history of coups such a return is highly unlikely.

As president, Khan worked to restore Pakistan's independence from the US while moving closer to Russia and China. Additionally, he overseer a crackdown on militants. Unfortunately, however, his foreign policy was often seen as controversial: He accused American officials of conspiring against his government. Likewise, Khan blocked attempts by army officers to partially restore trade between Pakistan and its regional rival India.

Khan claims his arrest was part of an attempt to force him from office, and has threatened legal action against police officers and judges involved in his case. Additionally, he blames the army of conspiring against him in an effort to assassinate him; thus claiming to be victimized by "a coup by a hybrid regime."

Conditions that led to Khan's fall remain unresolved and his arrest on terrorism charges threatens civil unrest in Pakistan where inflation has reached 36% and economic problems including food shortages have resulted in near complete industrial activity shutdown. His arrest also heightens tensions with India who launched an unexpected air assault against Pakistan this February, raising fears of civil war within that nation.


Also Read about the Current situation in Pakistan

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