Game over for Imran Khan and PTI? This question repeatedly being asked among political circles — Does anyone has it’s answer?

Game over for Imran Khan and PTI? This question repeatedly being asked among political circles -- Does anyone has it's answer?

By Raza Ruman

    Is it game over for Imran Khan and his party — Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)? This question is being asked from all quarters and Dawn too raised it in it’s editorial.

     The says it seems to have been the foremost question on most people’s minds as the DG ISPR began addressing a sombre press conference late Monday afternoon.

    “Curiously, there was scant mention of Mr Khan and his party in the military spokesman’s almost hour-and-a-half-long address, which was otherwise focused on the ‘tragedy’ of May 9. But while he may not have named names, there was little doubt whom the DG ISPR was addressing when he stated that the military believes that, currently, the ‘single biggest threat’ to Pakistan is from the “internal political instability” that has wracked the country over the past year or so,” Dawn writes.

He also described the events of May 9 as a planned conspiracy masterminded by people involved in “misleading the people for the past several months against the army and its leadership”, making it clear whom the finger of blame is pointed at — obviously Imran Khan.

     “More concerning was his public acknowledgement that three army officers, including one lieutenant-general, had been stripped of their uniform over the events of May 9, and many more were facing accountability and/or disciplinary proceedings.”

   The paper further writes the DG ISPR went to great lengths to explain that the men were dismissed not because of their involvement or for being ‘co-conspirators’ in the events of May 9, but for procedural lapses and inadequacies of security arrangements in certain areas under their watch, which allowed vandals to run amok and damage military installations and properties on the day.

    “To some journalists, however, this seemed to conflict with the narrative that the armed forces had deliberately shown restraint that day by refusing to engage with the protesters. The DG was repeatedly asked to clarify why three officers had to be let go for not engaging the protesters when the military itself wanted to show restraint, but his answer remained the same.”

    Importantly, the paper says by underlining that the military had penalised its own over the May 9 ‘tragedy’, the DG ISPR seemed to make it clear that his institution believes it is time to make the civilian perpetrators pay. He defended suspects’ trials by military courts, revealing that the court martial of 102 suspects was already underway.

“Those creating hurdles in the way of making this process reach its logical conclusion will be dealt with strictly,” he warned. With the Supreme Court currently hearing a case challenging the legality of trying civilians under military courts, the implications of the warning seemed rather ominous. However, considering how many times the DG ISPR stressed the armed forces’ deference to the Constitution and the state, it is hoped that the security establishment will take the legal challenges to military courts not as a provocation, but as a procedural hurdle that must be crossed.

 And besides all this some prudence and wise thinking need to deal internal challenges. PAK DESTINY

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