Pakistan’s lower house of parliament voted in favour of removing him from office following a nearly 14-hour stand-off between the opposition and Mr Khan’s ruling party that started on Saturday morning.
The former cricketer had tried to block the motion from going ahead by dissolving parliament, but that was ruled unconstitutional by Pakistan’s highest court.
I’m of two minds about this. Firstly, it’s great that Khan is being told to bugger off; he is a vile reprehensible man who made everyone feel nostalgic for Musharraf. The underlying caveat is going to be who replaces him. My $0.02 is that Pakistan is going to move back towards military dictatorship rule, but we shall see. Iran’s reaction towards this is also going to be very important to watch.
How did he do that? I haven’t paid much attention to Pakistan’s internal politics; I was softly positive on him for how he handled the India-Pakistan dustoff a few years back, and thought he was just another leader succumbing to COVID woes which I think even some good leaders have responded poorly trying to navigate; ie, the leader of Ethiopia.
That was a bit hyperbolic on my part, but there is/was trepidation towards Khan and his pro-Taliban attitudes. When he was re-imagining himself as the alternative opposition in Pakistani politics during the mid 2010s I was working in a retail outlet in Westmead, a part of Sydney that has a lot of expat Indians. It was amazing how white Australians viewed Imran Khan becoming a political leader compared to Indian Australians . It was probably the only time I saw Punjabs, Muslims and Kashmiris agreeing with one another; Imran Khan is a real piece of work who likes how Pashtuns run things a little too much.
And that seems to be the issue with Pakistan’s government. I freely admit that my perspective is insultingly simplistic, but it appears to me that Pakistan’s cycle of leaders goes military dictatorship, pro western government rife with corruption then Islamic fundamentalism. Rinse and repeat.
That makes one of you.
Torture continued to be widespread and endemic in Pakistan. Detainees were routinely slapped, beaten with sticks, stripped naked and sexually abused, hung upside down by a rope from the ceiling, and burned with cigarettes. Among case reports were those of men whose genitals were crushed with pliers, and their legs pulled apart until bones were broken or ligaments torn. An official with the Pakistan CIA (a body created to investigate cases which fall outside the purview of the police) publicly stated in February, “Without torture interrogation is impossible.”
It’s the best you can get out of those people. Same with India. They’ll never be Swedish to think so requires the suspension of thought. It was actually a shameful time for our CIA not so much their ways. Their ways were always low and at that point we went in many ways as low as them. Peak colonialism, yeah I hate the whole slavery thing we have here, but the aboriginal you had going was bad. To be of English heritage means to be. born out of colonialism you can’t change the past only the future. I try to distance myself from colonialist history by letting myself know up until the 1920s my family were Irish, and dutch and had little to do with that. Chinese kids sow or clothes and sneakers in the western world as well as eastern no soul has no blood on their hands.
Here’s the atypical part. Imran Khan is very conservative and very religious. And yet his base is predominately young people. Anyways, Shehbaz Sharif is now Prime Minister (Nawaz Sharif is his brother). As a consequence, the entire Tehreek-e-Insaf Party resigned leaving nearly a third of Pakistan’s Parliament vacant.
This is going to be a rollercoaster. Khan supporters believe without evidence that the vote was rigged and influenced by foreign governments (sound familiar?), notably from Washington. Despite that, pretty everyone is in agreement that the no confidence vote would never had happened in the first place without tacit support from the military so it will be interesting whether they step in the upcoming by elections. And of course everyone is waiting to seeing if Nawaz is going to be given a ministerial role in the new government.
I’m going to call it now - the upcoming Pakistani elections are going to have a more far reaching impact in the region than the US pulling out of Afghanistan. And I’m not sure that’s a good thing.