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Playing with fire

Last week, there was an attempt at Imran Khan’s life. The ex-prime minister of Pakistan and a popular opposition leader.

It’s pretty common in Pakistan for its political leaders to be assassinated. Over the years, some notable assassinations include:

  • 2011: Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer
  • 2007: Two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
  • 1988: Military ruler and President Zia ul-Haq.
  • 1979: Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the father of Benazir Bhutto.
  • 1951: Pakistan’s first Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan.

Some were assassinated for their views, and some for convenience.

But Imran Khan’s case is very curious.

The all-powerful military responsible for bringing him to power can’t withstand him anymore. So they are trying to take him out. Or so the narrative is.

Imran Khan’s PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) came to power in 2018. There was a change in the air, many new social initiatives were launched, and Pakistan had a leader that didn’t come from the family of previous political leaders for the first time in a long time.

But PTI, under Imran Khan’s leadership, turned out to be just like all the previous political parties in power – incompetent.

Long story short, Imran Khan fell out of favor with the all-powerful military establishment. And now he needs to go.

But here’s the thing. The establishment is playing with fire this time.

His followers are unafraid. Frustrated. Angry. And ready to take to the streets.

The military is used to dealing with politicians. But this time, they are dealing with a popular leader with a cult-like following.

And if they don’t tread carefully, there could be severe backlash.

So what’s next for Pakistan? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure. The country is in for a bumpy ride.