Analysis: Imran’s Action Throws Pakistan Foreign Policy Out Of Gear

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has created several problems for Pakistan by cosying up with Russia and China while keeping at bay US who considered Islamabad as a strategic non-NATO ally.

Moreover, Imran Khan’s foreign policy is not in consonance with the Pakistan army who wants the US on its side.
Imran Khan is one more in the long list of the country’s leaders who were ousted before they could finish their tenure.

First, he lost his majority in the National Assembly after Muttahidda Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), a key ally, walked out of the coalition, accusing the government of economic mismanagement. The Opposition tabled a no-confidence vote in the parliament, seeking his ouster.

Imran Khan asked President to dissolve assemblies and call fresh elections in order to block a no-confidence vote that was tabled in National Assembly to oust him from power

However Pakistani President Arif Alvi dissolved the country’s parliament on Sunday.

The economic figures reveal the poor economic scenario in the country, the report said, adding that, despite the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)’s ‘sunny side up’ approach. Pakistan’s total debts and liabilities have crossed PKR 50.5 trillion, an increase of around PKR 20 trillion under the current PM Imran Khan government. SBP data further shows that the current account deficit has increased to 4.7 per cent of GDP, far above the target of 2-3 per cent for 2021. Moreover, the rupee has plunged to cross the mark of PKR 183 against the US dollar, indicating bleak fundamentals.

Khan, a world-famous cricketer, started his political career in 1996 with the launch of his party PTI, which aimed to challenge the dominance of PML-N and PPP. Though Khan became a Member of Parliament in 2002, his party tasted success only in 2013, when it emerged as the second-largest in Pakistan.

With the vision of a “new Pakistan”, the cricketer turned politician came back with power in 2018. The former cricket captain branded himself as a religious, anti-poverty reformer, who wished to create an Islamic welfare state and reform the country’s tax system and bureaucracy.

But none of his promises came to fruition. Pakistan was hit by a wave of inflation as the rupee plummeted and the country’s debt soared. The COVID-19 onslaught didn’t help matters. In the end, Khan had to negotiate a USD six billion rescue plan with the IMF to shore up the country’s foreign currency reserves, according to a media report.

Pakistan media has criticised the dissolution of the National Assembly in the country, saying that whatever happened on Sunday violated all rules governing proceedings in the House, particularly those dealing with the motion of no-confidence.

In an editorial published on Monday, the Dawn newspaper said that Imran Khan could have played the political game like a true sportsperson and still emerged stronger from the loss given the sharp narrative he had spun leading up to the vote.

“Instead, he chose to thrust the country into a constitutional crisis. The president, too, failed to act with wisdom: instead of looking into the constitutionality of the entire process, he acted as an Imran Khan loyalist and sullied his office with his partisan decision,” the Dawn editorial said.

The country is even finding it difficult to pay even its embassy staff. In a major embarrassment for the country, Pakistan Embassy in Serbia through its official Twitter handle recently disclosed that the government had not paid its dues for three months.

Notable, political observers say that Khan’s major issue is that he has fallen out of favour with the influential military generals. Many other political figures in Pakistan in the past have faced a similar situation. In fact, no Pakistan Prime Minister has ever completed the full five-year term. Though the Pakistan military says that it is neutral with regard to this issue, the fact of the matter is that Khan’s relationship with the military has cooled. He made the situation worse for himself by making a shocking comment at the military.

“Humans are not neutral, they take the side of good or evil; only animals are neutral,” he said during a speech.

Another point of contention between Khan and the military is the recent appointment of the new ISI chief. Khan reportedly dragged his feet over the candidate chosen by the army, which miffed the military. The outgoing ISI chief, a Khan loyalist, had helped him secure the 2018 election. (ANI)

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