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Pakistan's Ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan Predicts Balkanisation of the Country

MG is a keen political observer and commentator who has a ringside seat to the turbulent years of the present political scenario

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Introduction


Pakistan is passing through momentous times. At midnight, the National Assembly was adjourned, and at 12:02 AM on 10 April 2022 a no-confidence motion was passed which resulted in Imran Khan losing the confidence of the house and ceasing to hold the office of prime minister. Imran thus became the first prime minister in Pakistan's history to be ousted by a vote of no confidence≥

Imran Khan did not take his defeat lightly because everybody agrees that he had the popular support of the people. Though Pakistan under Imran had hurtled to a catastrophic economic disaster, the people were convinced that the men who replaced him were corrupt and were working at the behest of a foreign power mostly the United States. Imran went to the people and appealed to them to throw out the 'imported' government. It did not help matters that the Prime Minister who replaced Imran Khan, the lackluster Shabaz Shariff, younger brother of Nawaz Sharif is facing umpteen cases of corruption and money laundering. Yet the army gave him tacit support and Imran was left in the wilderness, though he was the man with popular support.

Imran had launched his long march but gave it up after it became clear that the army was not on his side. He has however made some important comments and one of these is that the country is heading for a civil war.


Nation in ferment

Imran Khan is a determined man. He is mostly staying in the Khyber Pakhtoon area where his party has formed the government. In an interview that has a far-reaching effect on the global scale, the Ex Pak PM has warned the country is heading toward civil war. He has further amplified that the country will split into three parts and it will lose its nuclear weapons.(https://www.aninews.in/news/world/asia/imran-khan-predicts-pakistan-splitting-in-3-parts-lose-nukes-if-right-decisions-not-taken20220602091111/)

These are ominous words from a man who just a few weeks back was the prime minister. Imran himself is not averse to following an agenda of violence though it may lead to chaos. I am reminded of the story of Samson from the Bible who destroyed the temple of the heathens, though he had been blinded and he himself was destroyed. Somehow this fits Imran Khan very well, as he is aware that what he's doing is likely to lead to chaos.

Last month he unleashed his supporters in Islamabad. They ran riot burning down trees and also attacking police officials. They held the city to ransom and it did look like a civil war.(https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/imran-khan-s-azadi-march-in-lahore-turns-violent-as-cops-fire-teargas-top-updates-101653475193385.html)

Khan himself is saying that a civil war is on the cards. In a recent interview, the Ex-PM stated that in case his demand for elections is not met through legal means then civil war could break out in Pakistan. He went on to say that the genie has left the bottle and may not return alluding to the famous tale of Alibaba.

Khan has given his assessment of the political situation in Pakistan and is sure that the Shahbaz government will fail to perform. He listed out four things that will happen. In chronological order they are-

Firstly Pakistan will go bankrupt.

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Secondly, Pakistan's army will be destroyed.

Thirdly, Pakistan's nuclear weapons will be taken away and the country de-nuclearised.

Fourthly, as per his opinion, Pakistan will break into three parts.

What has been stated above is the pristine comment and opinion of Imran Khan. As he was the prime minister, his opinion can not be dismissed with a shrug.

What basically he is suggesting is the balkanization of Pakistan: a breakup of the country like the Balkan states. This is something that has long been predicted for decades by global think tanks. They have suggested that the only way for Pakistan to find peace is through division and the country could be split into three nation-states namely Sindh, Balochistan, and Punjab. One will not forget that Pakistan broke into two states in 1971, on the issue of economic disparity and discrimination against the Bengali Muslims.

Imran has based his premise that a weak central government will be incapable of governing Pakistan's frontiers. This will lead to demonstrations and divisions and eventually disintegration. The NW state of Khyber Pakhtoon is already in ferment with the Pakistan Taliban in action and a war of liberation is being fought in Balochistan by the Baloch Liberation Army.


Epilogue

Various reports have dealt with this aspect of Pak politics. Imran khan's idea is not original but coming from a former prime minister it does sound radical. His ideas cannot be dismissed out of hand and he has a point. A look at some recent developments a few days back can be an eye-opener. The chief minister of khyber Pakhtunvali is a member of Imran khan's party and has hinted at a battle with Islamabad. He reportedly said that he would use the provincial state police force to back Imran khan's next Azadi march against the "imported" government in Islamabad.

As a corollary the Balochistan insurgency is spiraling in the last five months Baloch insurgents have carried out more than 38 attacks killing over 80 security personnel. Reports say this is a dangerous new phase that could soon engulf the entire country.

In the province of Sindh, an all-out curfew has been imposed because of growing terror incidents. Throughout the month of May, there was a series of terror attacks in Sindh. This has prompted authorities to impose a curfew for 20 days. It's as if the entire country is in turmoil, so when Imran khan says that Pakistan could soon disintegrate, he's not really off the mark.

What he does not spell out is his own role in this disintegration. His rallies his interviews, his calls for jihad, and his warnings of the civil war; all indicate that if his demands are not met he's prepared to take his country on the path of never-ending turbulence and who knows where this road leads to.

Last word

A similar situation was created in 1971 and the man responsible for this, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto took the decision not to hand over power to the Awami League that had won the general election. The response by the army was martial law, rape, and killings in East Pakistan that led to the creation of Bangladesh. I sincerely hope that a leader emerges from the chaos who can confine the army in the barracks and lead Pakistan forward to realize the dream of Mohammed Ali Jinnah.

© 2022 MG Singh emge

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