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The Othello in Imran Khan

Pakistan is in political conundrum amidst Khan’s roaring popularity
12:00 AM Feb 18, 2024 IST | Prof Ashok Kaul
the othello in imran khan

Mr. Imran Khan is in jail. Despite being robbed from his party symbol, cricket bat, most of his nominated candidates on their independent symbols have won their seats. He could have got absolute majority, but he has been willfully not allowed to cross that mark.


Neither Muslim league (N), nor People’s Party could make it to that number, in spite of having the hidden support of the agencies. Jamat-e-Islami chief resigned from his position, so did Mr Tareen from his newly established party. The political playing field was set against Khan and his party. He may not be crowned with power and positions, but his presence would be the nemesis for the fluid politics of Pakistan.


Pakistan has got fractured mandate. Even establishment does not have clear-cut solution to announce its choice. Pakistan is in political conundrum amidst Khan’s roaring popularity. Bushra Bibi’s healing charm or his own popularity once again has worked for him.


Khan was a choice of establishment in 2018. Before coming to power, he married third time. Khan claims that his third wife, Bushra Bibi is his spiritual guide. He emerged as a new hope of Pakistan’s youth for self identity and pride. His credentials before coming to power had convinced establishment that he would be their person, an alternative to the tested parties.


It did not prove so. He spoke of independent foreign policy and tried to woo religious factions, instead of his rival political parties, whom he discredited as robbers and corruption riddled feudal lords. He annoyed everybody, including his colleagues and friends in the establishment. It started with Khan’s idea to nominate Aleem Khan, as a Chief Minister of Punjab, a powerful position that was appreciated by General Bajwa. It did not go well with Khan.


He became skeptic about the intensions of the establishment. Bushra Bibi gave him her person, Mr Usman Buzdar for this powerful post that he retained until the fall of Khan. None among Khan’s friends appreciated this appointment. He proved disaster for this powerful position. Instead of Khan listening to his friends, he chose opposite to allege them that they were biased against her.


Bushra Bibi was a veiled woman, hardly visible in public sphere; Khan gradually got caged in her influence and trusted her most. The governance in Punjab became a laughing stock. There were corruption charges and inefficiency accusation against Usman Buzdar.


Khan had come to power on the plank of merit, honest and transparent governance. It was anti thesis of Khan’s previous mindset before coming to power. Punjab shapes country’s politics. The army, political commentators, and his close associates pleaded with Khan to change Usman Buzdar. Khan did not listen to them. Bushra Bibi's influence was paramount.

He believed in her powers, got imprisoned in his mythical superstition. This annoyed the ruling generals. They have their ways to interfere. Khan became open critic of them. He thought the healing spirit will come to rescue. Amidst this notion, he was unceremoniously moved out from politics in vote of no confidence. A move tacitly supported by army, against him.

May 9th protest by PTI proved a gamble that brought misfortune for his colleagues and supporters. He landed into Jail with party banned and his party symbol scrapped. His support, and youth in general, thought that he has been cruelly treated by the establishment. Khan’s  charm  prevailed.

His  fan club increased; youth and women especially became his die-hard supports and digital world and social media made him discernible all the time. First time in the history of Pakistan, generals and establishment failed to engineer the election results, perfectly to their choice.  This has divided all institutions of Pakistan army, intellectuals and feudal elites.

Khan, to his close friends is a perfect gentleman, honest and trusts beyond doubt whom he loves. His former two wives were women of substance and intellect. Bushra Bibi is no match to them. Khan’s huge persona and relative comparisons with his women of past would frown her, day and night. She made Imran Khan to feel that everybody whosoever close to him was against her.

Her insecurities made her to persuade Khan only to believe her. It happened all his well wisher, who were resource persons, one after another were left by Khan, because they were critical of Bushra Bibi’s role behind the curtain in the governance. Whomsoever Khan would praise or appreciate became target of Bushra Bibi.

Imran Khan, a right person at wrong place is a colossal phenomenon. He is placed at the most crucial phase of his life, personally and politically. To his critics and admirers, he is an unyielding person, ready to play up to finish. It would be huge relief to him, if Bushra Bibi supports him with full loyalty.

For, her former husband and his family are bent upon to prove that she was not a virtuous woman, as being perceived by Imran Khan and the establishment is unwilling to reconcile for giving him another chance. It is to be seen what would work for Khan at his hard trial times, the allure of Bushra Bibi’s spirituality or his own goodness and indispensability for the country at this crucial juncture.