Thursday, October 6, 2022

The “plus, minus” formula in politics


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Former Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed fears that due to his growing popularity, some political and non-political figures are after him and want to “minus” him from the political scene through possible disqualification.

First, how real is their fear and secondly, what is the strategy in their mind to deal with it? On Saturday, he once again postponed his protest call that his followers were expecting from him at a rally in Gujranwala.

Third, what would be the eventual political scenario if they were disqualified, as such exercises have historically failed in the past. Imran is currently facing several cases filed against him in the last five months, including a contempt of court case in the Islamabad High Court for his alleged derogatory remarks against a female judge.

He has put himself in a difficult situation by not submitting an unconditional apology and will now face formal charges on September 22. Even a minor penalty can lead to their disqualification. His legal team has advised him to apologize in writing and let a 5-judge bench decide according to procedure.

Another case in which Imran is confident and still believes he did not commit a crime but some legal experts believe he could get into trouble is the ‘Tosha Khana’ case in which he is not required to disclose it on his tax returns. is facing an allegation, it may lead to his disqualification if proved against him.

The third case that everyone is watching very closely is foreign funding, but legal experts are divided on whether or not this could lead to their disqualification. It may not be easy for the government to prove that the case was of a “foreign-aided party” and not a foreign-funded one, which is probably the reason why the government has not yet filed a reference against Tehreek-e-Insaaf in the Supreme Court. The ban has yet to be announced.

The former Prime Minister has also directly fought with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) especially against the Chief Election Commissioner before whom he is also facing a contempt of court case. Abusive language has been used against.

Imran, who in the past was declared “Sadiq and Amin” by the Supreme Court in a case against him, has now been on virtually all fronts since being ousted by a no-confidence vote on April 10 this year. have opened His first attack was on the Supreme Judiciary when the Supreme Court opened at midnight and declared the Deputy Speaker’s ruling against the no-confidence motion illegal and unconstitutional.

Later, another bench of the Supreme Court in Lahore also opened around midnight and provided relief to PTI, Muslim League (Q). The situation went in favor of Imran and PTI when 20 MLAs who switched allegiance to PTI and voted for Hamza Shehbaz in the Chief Ministerial elections were disqualified.

The alliance of PTI and Muslim League (Q) won 15 out of 20 seats in the by-elections, resulting in the return of their government and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi as Chief Minister. Yet Imran fears that some forces that were behind the no-confidence vote with the US now want to remove him from the political scene as well, leading to a split in the party.

He also said that they are trying to destroy his Punjab government as well. As mentioned above, the “minus one” formula never succeeded in the past but it was tried and it left far-reaching political effects on the system like the “judicial assassination” of former prime minister-elect Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. In the case of

He was executed when his popularity was high and General Zia postponed the elections in October 1977. Minus One was first implemented when Zia announced elections on a non-party basis, the first formal minus political parties parliament was established in 1985 but was only intended to keep out the PPP.

After the elections to keep the PPP out, Zia formed his own party, the Muslim League, and elected Muhammad Khan Junejo as Prime Minister, but Junejo removed restrictions on political and civil liberties, which led to the return of Benazir and nearly 500,000 people in Lahore. Welcomed, thus the minus PPP formula failed.

Benazir’s first two governments were never allowed to complete their term and attempts were made to make them unpopular, such as the IJI and Mehran Bank. His bad governance also contributed to this but the fact is that he was not allowed to continue in power after defeating the no-confidence motion, the same happened in the case of Nawaz Sharif when after the Minus Junejo formula he joined the Muslim League. Became the head of

In 1997, his party won a two-thirds majority, but his government was finally overthrown on 12 October 1999, and the army took power through a de-martial law, with General (retd) Pervez Musharraf as the army chief. He became the Executive and then the President of Pakistan. As Musharraf wanted both Minus Benazir and Minus Sharif before the 2002 general elections, it created a split in both the PPP and the Muslim League (N).

This formula also could not last because both Benazir and Nawaz Sharif had united and signed the Democratic Charter. The two leaders, together with the lawyers’ movement, created such a situation that Pervez Musharraf first resigned as army chief and later as president in 2008, but not before the assassination of Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007, and then Both these parties returned to power in 2008 and 2013.

In 2016, Muslim League (N) and Nawaz Sharif faced disqualification in the Panama case and a year later he was sentenced and he practically lost but his popularity remained and his party became the second largest party in the 2018 election. Emerged When Imran Khan first became prime minister in 2018, his government had relatively good relations with the establishment until October 2021, and in its first three years it thwarted all opposition efforts.

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