Imran Khan may be down but he’s Not Out


Hafeez Khan

While this criminal enterprise pursued its evil agenda in a blinkered fashion, the people of Pakistan reacted in a manner never seen before

Calling the present Government an “imported regime” is a misnomer. They should be called a “criminal enterprise” or a “crime syndicate.” There is nothing lawful or democratic about these political vampires called PDM. Since their first day in power, they have acted as rogues. They came to power with a three-point agenda: 1. To kill accountability. 2. Legalize their stolen loot and muzzle all dissent. 3. Eliminate their arch nemeses, Imran Khan from Pakistan’s political landscape. In connivance with their handlers, they have achieved items 1 and 2. By the Grace of Allah, they have failed in securing item 3 thus far.
Sharifs have deployed their eighties weaponry of repeated lying until it gains traction. They failed in their attempts to defame IK through falsehoods like “tosha khana” and “foreign funding” cases in people’s court. Multiple FIRs against IK has blown up in their faces. Third-degree torture to silence independent-minded journalists and IK’s close associates failed to break their spirit. Arshad Sharif’s murder in Kenya has galvanized the nation. He has emerged as a national hero and stands tall as a martyr.
While this criminal enterprise pursued its evil agenda in a blinkered fashion, the people of Pakistan reacted in a manner never seen before. In this digital world, the level of awareness has shot through the roof. They came out in huge numbers protesting IK’s removal the next day. Khan’s relentless campaign over six months has given direction and hope to millions who will not stop short of a complete overhaul of this rotten system.
Imran Khan channelized this anger and frustration through the Azadi March. It was “meti dey handi tey halke aanch te pakna.” It translates as “cooking in a clay oven on a low flame.” It is a pleasant change to see IK emerge as a polished political operator. He was always in a hurry; he always valued time. His detractors’ claims he does not understand politics are confounded. This slow cooker tactic was a test of nerves for all sides. The aggressors blinked. They opted for plan B that IK had identified way back in September. The Government and their handlers chose to assassinate Khan using the religion card.
Inching forward through the heartland of PML(N)’s power base, the momentum increased every day. IK was achieving two objectives: he was wiping out PML( N) support and increasing the pressure and panic in Islamabad.
This cowardly assassination attempt sent shockwaves around the globe. From deep concern, upon finding out that IK is safe, the reaction has morphed into anger. It is a miracle that Imran Khan survived. It was not his time and the Savior intervened.
Rebuilding the sequence of events it is now evident that there were two or three shooters. The one closest to the container had an automatic pistol. As he attempted to shoot, it caught the eye of young PTI tiger Ibtisam Hassan. He leaped at the culprit and lowered his firing arm thereby deflecting his aim. He admitted to firing 7 to 8 bullets. Four of them hit Imran Khan. One in each calf; one each in both thighs. The bullet to the right calf shattered his bone. The bullet lodged in his right thigh was a hair breath away from the main artery. Had it hit the artery, IK would have bled to death within twenty minutes.
Guardian angel Ibtisam’s brave and timely intervention lowered the trajectory of the bullets. I shudder to imagine the consequences if his arm was not lowered. All four bullets would have hit IK’s upper body! Being hit in the legs made Imran Khan fall down. That too was a lifesaver. By his own narration, Imran Khan heard bullets whiz past his head as he was falling, coming from another assassin. It was an elaborate plan using multiple shooters that should have worked but for the intervention by Providence.
Connecting the dots, a picture has begun to emerge. It began when Maryam Nawaz and her mouthpieces started the narrative that IK had uttered some blasphemous sentences. Word leaked that it was to rile up religious fanatics similar to what had happened to Salman Taseer. Long March was weeks away yet Islamabad was entirely barricaded. FIA was empowered to arrest social media activists for posts that they found threatening. Charges carried a seven-year sentence. BOL was shut down hours before the attempt. The apprehended culprit sang like a parrot accusing IK of disrespecting religion. His video mysteriously appeared within 15 minutes of his arrest. It was flashed on PTV and GEO TV.
The elaborate ruse of Rana Sana and his co-accused failed. It has raised the temperatures all around. People’s anger is turning into steely resolve. The first bullet has been fired. Imran Khan is a wounded tiger and his tigers are willing to lay down their lives. The gloves are off. The option of slow build-up by PTI to resolve the issues before reaching Islamabad to avoid confrontation has gone to the back burner. The options of the Establishment stand curtailed. Press conferences and threats will fall on deaf ears.
It is time for some out-of-the-box thinking to prevent the biggest turmoil ever in the country that is brewing. For the sake of the country, please announce free and fair elections.

The writer is the director of CERF, a non-profit, charitable organisation in Canada.