The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief enjoys huge popularity among his followers.
On Tuesday, May 9, Imran Khan was arrested from the High Court. The arrests were made by soldiers of the Pakistan Rangers, a civil defense force there. The big thing is that Imran Khan had come to Islamabad High Court to seek bail. He had to get his fingerprints registered in the record room of the court just before his appearance in the court. He was sitting there. But in the meantime 50-60 rangers of Pakistan attacked the record room inside a kind of court. The glasses were broken and Imran was arrested after entering inside. What happened after this might not have been imagined even by Imran Khan himself. Nor will Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Army Chief General Asim Munir. People will come out on the streets in lakhs. The situation became such that for the first time in Pakistan, the civilian and the army were seen face to face. In the last three days, property worth crores was destroyed. From the army headquarters to the prime minister’s office were targeted. This indicates the huge popularity of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief among his followers. But why is Imran Khan so popular that the army and the government are not able to bring him to his knees even after beating millions of hands and feet. Let us understand in a sequential manner.
Khan is not just a political leader for his followers, but he has made his personality a ‘messiah’ among them. According to The Express Tribune, supporters of the PTI chairman see him not just as a political leader, but as a political messiah. The only hope of the ‘doomed nation’. The Daily Times, citing a nationwide poll conducted by Gallup Pakistan, reported that Khan is the most popular leader in Pakistan, with 61 percent of people having a positive view of him. Imran was a respected cricket icon in Pakistan even before his entry into politics by forming the PTI in 1996. Who led the country to its historic victory in the 1992 World Cup. His supporters feel that Khan can do no wrong. Samina Yasmin, director of the Center for Muslim States and Societies at the University of Western Australia, told Time magazine that whatever story he comes up with, right or wrong, rational or irrational, people support him. He has this habit of convincing people that he is the only honest person in the whole country. PTI is not really a political party which has evolved naturally over time. Imran’s core supporters are more ideological, having been successfully taught Pakistani textbook nationalism and enthralled by Imran, who in their opinion is the embodiment of patriotism and religious devotion.
According to The Express Tribune, Khan’s strategy has been to keep the pressure on the country’s corrupt political parties by creating a narrative and dividing the society into pure people and corrupt elite. Even after becoming Prime Minister in 2018, Khan continued to raise the issue of corruption of his predecessor government. In such a situation, his arrest becomes even more important because it is in a corruption case. Khan and his wife have been accused of receiving land worth millions of dollars as kickbacks from a real estate firm through the Al-Qadir Trust, a non-governmental welfare organization. The PTI chief has denied the allegations. The fact is that Khan was arrested for corruption rather than for defamation or any other charge. But if Samina Yasmeen is to be believed, this step backfired. The fact is that he enjoys a lot of support in Pakistan.
with the young generation
Imran Khan’s promise of ‘Naya Pakistan’ was taken very seriously by the youth of the country. Sitara Noor, an independent political and security analyst in Pakistan, says her party has effectively used social media to connect with the youth, who make up about 65 percent of the total population. Ahmed said that Khan’s popularity has grown independently of the military. It is widely believed that the same army backed Khan in 2018 to get rid of Nawaz Sharif. However, it is not known when the PTI chief fell out of favor with the all-powerful army. He had started attacking officers openly, even blaming former army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa for his dismissal.