Pakistani Army’s attempt to paint itself in glory and put all the failures on former Prime Minister Imran Khan has failed immensely as General Qamar Javed Bajwa was leading on the economic front and had senior positions in various ministries and departments filled up with serving and retired Army officers.
After losing the no-confidence motion, Imran Khan has not gone into hiding and has won new-found support among the urban middle class for taking on the mighty US and Army.
From running a “puppet” regime under Pakistani Generals, Imran Khan has emerged as a strong leader among the urban youth while Army is scurrying to mop operations against Imran Khan to salvage its prestige and influence, as per Islam Khabar.
Willing to take the fight head-on, former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, though reckless, has emerged as a leader among the youth, on the other hand, the Army has lost the public faith and has gone into deep retreat trying to do damage control.
The Army planned to carefully oust the old political leadership and replace them with new, more malleable, leaders. However, the situation remains difficult for the Army as the new leaders now also faced mountainous corruption and ineptitude charges. So abandoning Imran Khan sabotaged this carefully crafted Army plan.
Even the former senior officers of the Army have come out in support of Imran Khan. On April 8, a day after the Supreme Court’s verdict, Lieutenant-general (Retd) Tariq Khan declined to head a commission formed by the federal cabinet to investigate an alleged “foreign conspiracy” charge against Imran Khan.
Tariq Khan has since written articles supporting Imran Khan and blaming the army. So has Lt. General Asad Durrani.
Imran Khan does enjoy support among the ranks and middle-rung officers if only for the simple reason that he was not as corrupt as the other ones in the queue., as per the media outlet.
The former PM has supporters among the top leadership. This is why the Army is not sure whether it was a good idea to make its ‘own boy into an enemy’. There is a strong feeling that Imran Khan should have been handled with more subtlety.
The army’s hurried public declaration that there would be no more extension for General Bajwa is a pointer to this dilemma. The new Chief and his men may or may not play a different game of roulette while the country spirals into economic ruin. Imran Khan seems to have won this round over Army.