Cricketer turned politician Imran Khan is all set to take oath as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, but it looks like the Pakistan Army is already at loggerheads with him. It is no hidden secret that the Pakistan Army backed and supported Imran Khan with all its might and because of rigged and unfair elections Imran Khan managed to get the PM post.
Recently, a leader of Khan’s party said, “The core committee of Tehreek-i-Insaf is considering inviting the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) heads, including Mr Modi, and a decision on this is expected shortly”.
It looks like the plan to invite PM Modi did not go down well with the army and considering the fact that foreign policy matters pertaining to India, Afghanistan and USA are looked after by the Pakistani Army, hence, there is not much that Imran Khan can do. One of the reason behind the fall of Nawaz Sharif was his desire to ameliorate relations with India and Nawaz Sharif’s open attempt to bypass Pakistan’s Army during PM Modi’s surprise stopover in Lahore on Nawaz Sharif’s birthday 25th December in 2015. The peace efforts came to an end with the Uri and Pathankot attacks. Pakistan’s Army with the help of superior judiciary ensured the disqualification and imprisonment of Nawaz Sharif.
A certain level of hostility between both India and Pakistan is necessary for the Pak army to justify its existence and aggression, and therefore, they never allow the civilian leadership to improve ties with India. Since, Imran Khan had the backing of the army during Pakistan’s elections, he decided not to provoke the Pak army anymore. Hence, his party has finally decided not to invite any foreign VIPs. PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said, “It has been decided that no foreign personalities will be invited to the ceremony—it will be a completely national event. Only a few close friends of Imran Khan will be invited.” He also added, “There will be no show of extravagance at the event.” Imran Khan is expected to take oath on 11th August. According to PTI spokesperson PM-in waiting- Imran Khan will take his oath in a simple ceremony at Aiwan-e-Sadr (President House).
It is clearly evident that the PM-in-waiting- has been asked by the army to stay within his limits and perform his ceremonial duties and the rest will be managed by the army. This seems the only plausible reason behind the u-turn of Imran Khan’s Party Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). In Pakistan the army manages most of the affairs of the country. As senior congress leader Shashi Tharoor has rightly said, “In India, state has an army; in Pakistan, army has a state.”
Imran Khan has managed to upset the army even before taking the oath as Prime Minister. It would be interesting to see how the relationship between him and the Pakistan Army would develop in the days to come.
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