Today my heart is bleeding....
April 9 was a dark day in the history of Pakistan. This day would be remembered in days to come. A regime change happened in Pakistan - ousting the current sitting PM Imran Khan (IK). I hope IK get a second chance to come back in power - else people of Pakistan would never forgive those responsible for this.
The whole opposition consisting of many parties united to beat this one-man IK and his political party Tehreek e Insaf - PTI (Movement for Justice) which IK started in 1996. Tehreek e Insaaf was never a threat to any political party until the recent elections in 2018 where it built much momentum before the elections - and it won.
Imran was born in an affluent upper middle-class family in Lahore Pakistan. IK attended the prestigious school Aitchison College (established 1866) in Lahore, joining Royal Grammar School Worcester in England and finally graduated from Oxford where he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics, graduating in 1975.
IK played cricket (college, county and national) while in Pakistan, then in England and continued to play until 1992. IK retired from Pakistan's national side after he captained the Pakistan Cricket Team and winning the only cricket world cup for Pakistan in 1992.
After the World Cup win, Imran Khan built a cancer hospital in Lahore (Shaukat Khanum - named after his mother who died of cancer) - which still provides free treatment to people who cannot afford the treatment. This was a amazing feat as something like this hasn't happened in the world where the expensive cancer treatment is provided for free - run entirely on charity.
After his political struggle for 22 years, IK disrupted the political landscape of Pakistan by taking the reigns of the country from the two-party system (PPP and PML-N) and by becoming PM in 2018 at the age of 66. Before Khan, people of Pakistan were tired of political party’s broken promises and seeing same faces years after years, elections after elections.
In Khan's PM acceptance speech, he mentioned that he wants to make Pakistan a welfare state and promised to help the most neglected of the community. He was ridiculed for this as well by the opposition. However, if anyone was capable of this insurmountable task, it was Khan.
It was an uphill battle to run a country at that time. Pakistan was in a disarray when IK held the reigns of the country. The previous government had left the country in a deficit. Pakistan was being run with the money which was lent by World Bank. And just to pay the interest on the World Bank loans, previous governments had gone to IMF to borrow money so that interest could be paid to the World Bank. And to pay back the interests on loans to IMF, they had taken more loans from IMF. This was going on for a while. It seemed though that no one before Khan cared about this. To put this in perspective, this is like the head of the family has a credit card, and to pay the minimum payments on the credit card, the head used another credit card, once that second card is maxed out, a third credit card is used so minimum payments can be done on that second credit card, and on and on...
Since he became the Prime Minister, he tried making changes to the grass root level. Some changes he succeeded, some he did not - but no one ever questioned his intentions. He was genuinely trying hard - removing ministers who weren't able to perform.
During his tenure, government of Pakistan collected record number of taxes, increased exports (despite COVID-19 where lot of countries in same regions had negative growth), and so many other great things (see list below).
His opposition never was able to find any dirt on him. They kept on bringing up his playboy lifestyle from his time in London, but other than that, there were no cases of corruption, no foreign properties, no bank accounts, etc.
It is worth mentioning that after becoming PM Khan was not living at the official PM House which was available to him. He would pay for the expenses for his residence himself. He would go to PM Office in the morning and go back to his personal residence in the evening - working long hours and not taking any days off. Despite his great health, I am sure this wasn't easy in his 66+ years of age.
While IK was busy working, the opposition had all united to put a notion of No-Confidence in the parliament against him. Some of his coalition partners had joined the opposition. The number of MNAs needed to make this notion successful was 172 - opposition pulled it off by a thin margin of 174.
PTI insisted that there is a US conspiracy to uproot his government. PTI said that a cipher had come from a US Diplomat Donald Lu which had clearly mentioned in a threatening manner that the vote of No-Confidence has to succeed in the parliament against IK for US to make things easy for Pakistan. There were proofs of meetings of US Officials with the MNAs which switched sides and with opposition leaders and opposition MNAs. Some media outlets reported of money given to some members of his party members so that they would become part of the opposition succeeding the vote of no confidence. IK and PTI had agreed to shared the Donald Lu's cipher with the Army, National Security Council and with the Opposition Leaders. Opposition Leaders weren't interested to see it. Opposition without seeing it insisted that the letter it was a lie. US denied their involvement in this. When Donald Lu was asked by the media, he neither accepted nor denied this cipher.
On the late night of April 9, after the No Confidence motion succeeded, Imran Khan for one last time went to his residence with his belongings (his diary and some papers).
The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius once said: When a bunch of known corrupt people unite against one man and spare no effort to ridicule him, blackmail him and attempt to assassinate his character, blindly follow that one man!
Today, I am disappointed, I am sad, I am angry.
I truly hope you are given another chance.
Saad is a Senior Collaboration Engineer. He is CCIE x 3 (Collaboration, R&S and Data Center)