In Pakistan, the gloves are off and knives are out. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has fallen out with the army at a time when the opposition has built a strong movement for his ouster has warned that “if I am forcibly removed, I would be more dangerous to you.”
But to whom has he issued this “threat”? Is it to the political opposition or the military establishment headed by army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa?
“I warn you if I am out of the government, I will be more dangerous to you. Till now I was watching the situation. If I come out on the street then you would not have any place to hide because people have seen your true colours,” Imran Khan said in a live television TV show on Sunday.
(Main aap ko Khabardar Karna Chahata hoon, agar main government se bahar nikal gaya main aap ke liye zayada khatarnak hoon. Abhi tak toh main tamasha dekh raha hoon, Main agar sadakon pe nikal aaya toh aap ke liye chupane ki jagah nahi hogi kyonki log aap ko pehchan chuke hain).
Video : If I am forced to leave, I would be more dangerous to you says Imran Khan
"اگر میں گورنمنٹ سے نکل گیا تو میں آپ لوگوں کیلئے زیادہ خطرناک ہوں.."— Raza Ahmad Rumi (@Razarumi) January 23, 2022
یہ پیغام کس کیلۓ تھا؟؟
It seems that Khan’s attack was on the opposition parties who have united under a common platform PDM against him but Pakistani experts believe otherwise. They think that this was a “veiled threat” to the Pakistani security establishment.
“The privileged were on the streets before the 2018 elections. Therefore, this message is not for the opposition. The rest is up to you,” says a Pakistani journalist in his Twitter post, referring to the street protests by Imran Khan and his party before he was “selected” to lead the country by the most powerful institution of the country - the Pakistan army.
Imran Khan’s “threat” has come at a time when the situation is changing rapidly in the country. There are now strong indications that the military establishment has finally decided it can't support Imran Khan any more. In the last few months, the relation between Khan and his boss, the Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has soured.
According to credible sources, Bajwa has decided to support the movement to oust Imran Khan by March, launched by the eleven party Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).
Amid the uneasiness between the two, Gen. Bajwa is mulling over various options which include supporting the combined opposition front. There are many indications that the Pakistani military establishment is in touch with the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the former President and co-Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party Asif Ali Zardari.
“Imran Khan is feeling the heat but he has become emboldened with recent judgements or observations by the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the army regarding widespread corruption in the powerful institution. Khan is convinced that if the army removes him, he can do further damage to them,” says one Pakistani expert.
But given the history of the country in which the army has always called the shots and deep resentment against poor economic conditions, the Khan government cannot take on the military establishment.
Despite tall claims, Imran Khan knows that the next couple of months are crucial for his survival.