Political rifts in Pakistan widened recently when soldiers expelled demonstrators occupying the Pakistan Television building; at least three protesters died and 400 people were injured, writes International Affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe. It’s another example of trouble for Imran Khan. An excerpt of Manthorpe’s new column, Imran Khan: from sports hero to prophet of doom:
The occupation of the heart of Pakistan’s capital by thousands of demonstrators demanding the resignation of the government is not so much a political crisis as a sad, public flameout by the protest leader, former cricket hero and international playboy Imran Khan.
For over two weeks up to 15,000 followers of Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice or PTI) have occupied the country’s political hub, the “Red Zone,” in the capital, Islamabad, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
But the fiery exhortations to his followers from the man who in the 1970s and ‘80s was the darling of London gossip column columnists and the lion of international cricket when he led Pakistan to its only world championship in 1992, are increasingly disjoined and unfocussed. An offspring of Pakistan’s wealthy and highly educated elite, Khan has adopted the language of the marketplace in an apparent attempt to court the support of the masses.
And beyond the resignation of Sharif, it is not at all clear what Khan wants … read Imran Khan: from sports hero to prophet of doom. (Log in or subscribe* first)
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