Mon, 15 Aug 2022

Washington [US], August 4 (ANI): Amid the host of problems afflicting Pakistan, former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was ousted from power, has managed to retain his political base.

Writing for the Foreign Policy magazine, former Pakistan envoy to Washington Husain Haqqani argued that Khan may have gained some supporters after he was voted out of power.

"If anything, he has gained some support for being a leader willing to stand up for Pakistan and resisting dictation by Western powers. Khan's PTI party won a string of by-elections in Pakistan's most populated province, Punjab, and retained control of its regional government," he contended.

Amid this challenging time in the country, Haqqani said the country is divided between Khan's supporters and followers of Pakistan's traditional political parties, between Islamists and supporters of Western democracy, and between proponents of the military and its detractors.

Haqqani, who is the director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute, said Khan's opponents identify him as a populist refusing to follow democratic norms. However, his supporters view him as an anti-corruption saviour who has been removed from office by Washington.

This line of argument comes as Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) protesters gathered at Islamabad's F-9 park on Thursday to protest against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) amid the row on the foreign funding case.

Decked in red and green scarves and bands, the crowd raised slogans against the poll body demanding the resignation of all its officials, the Dawn reported. Several PTI lawmakers today assembled outside the electoral watchdog's office in Islamabad and registered their protest.

This protest comes in the backdrop of the August 2 judgment that declared PTI to be a "foreign-funded party". Imran and his party members had rejected the decision, calling it "illegal and unconstitutional".

Blaming the CEC for being biased, the PTI leader said, "from the investigation to its verdict, the case is surrounded by severe doubts," the memorandum stated, adding that Imran Khan had also, on multiple occasions, expressed his reservations with the ECP and the CEC.

They also alleged that the verdict of the poll body was influenced by the CEC's meeting with the coalition parties last week. However, the Shehbaz Sharif government rejected all these claims. (ANI)

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