Imran Khan attempts to engage with new military leadership

Khan made the annoncement in a public rally on Saturday .

Islamabad: PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s ambiguous threat to quit the assemblies is actually an attempt to “stay politically relevant” and “an invitation for renewed engagement” to the new military leadership, which is all set to take over from next week, local media reported.

This was the crux of the analysis put forward by a number of legal and political experts who spoke to Dawn following Khan’s “surprise” announcement during the public meeting in Rawalpindi on Saturday night.

Nearly all were unanimous in their view, saying that Khan may not actually follow through on the threat. They speculated that the PTI leader made this announcement because he had no other option left, after telling his followers that he would spring a surprise at the gathering in Rawalpindi – the headquarters of the powerful military that is also known as the garrison city, Dawn reported.

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Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the Rawalpindi public meeting of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan was PTI’s face-saving flop show and it was anticlimactic., The News reported.

He added Imran’s announcement of the party resigning from all the assemblies was a “resignation drama in frustration”. “Unable to pull revolution crowds, failed at undermining appointments of new chiefs, frustrated resorts to resignation drama,” he said through a tweet following Imran’s speech.

Bilawal said Imran’s demand from Rawalpindi was not freedom (Azadi) but to be re-selected.

He questioned that for how long will Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab be used as political props.

PPP Secretary General Farhatullah Babar said that by announcing to quit the assemblies, Imran confessed that all his plans had failed. “The National Assembly is already working without PTI MNAs,” he tweeted, The News reported.

He said Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa could be dissolved but only if their chief ministers don’t face no-trust vote. “A reasonable face saving strategy though it is,” he said.

Babar said Project Taliban and Project Imran Khan may not have yet been totally dismantled but have been thoroughly exposed. “It’s no small achievement…nation has paid a huge price for exposing it but the price paid is worth the gains made. Despite disappointments, there’s much to celebrate,” he said.

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