The former Pakistani diplomat, Ambassador Javed Hafeez, has likened the overthrow of the former Prime Minister, Imran Khan to Egypt’s coup against the late President Mohamed Morsi, explaining that the military establishment in both countries feared the men’s growing popularity.
In an interview with Arabi 21, Hafeez said the Pakistani military establishment insists on excluding Khan from the political scene, especially since he is the candidate most likely to win if he is given the opportunity to participate in the upcoming elections, but the Army does not want him or his party in those elections.
However, Hafeez stressed that any upcoming elections in Pakistan that does not include Khan will be “incomplete and defective”, and the people will not accept their results, which would lead to destabilisation and chaos.
He warned that the Imran Khan case may have severe repercussions in the country; noting the deep division and intense polarisation in this regard. He also warned that the assassination of Khan will result in great chaos and even a civil war and, therefore, the military establishment will take all measures to protect him.
On 30 August, a Pakistani court ruled to keep Khan in custody, as part of an investigation into “leaking confidential documents”.
On 5 August, a court in Islamabad sentenced Khan on charges of concealing details of foreign gifts he received during his rule, which lasted about four years. As a result, he was banned from holding any public office for a period of five years by the Election Commission.
Following his removal from power in April, Khan has been in a long running legal and political battle with the current regime.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani Elections Commission has recently announced that the general elections cannot be held on the constitutional date scheduled for next November, pointing out that it would need “at least 4 additional months to circulate the updated population census to the new constituencies in the country”.
The Council of Common Interests, a constitutional body that includes the head of government and senior ministers in all provinces has recently approved the results of the new controversial nationwide census in the middle of last month.