‘Welcome back to old Pakistan’: Imran Khan’s ousting marks return of political dynasties

‘Welcome back to old Pakistan’: Imran Khan’s ousting marks return of political dynasties

The toppling of Khan on Sunday was a triumph for Pakistan’s leading political families, the Sharifs and Bhuttos, who were once bitter rivals but united in an alliance against the former sports superstar after he won election in 2018.

Pakistan has been ruled by the military for about half of its existence since the nation was founded in 1947 while the Bhuttos and Sharifs have led multiple civilian governments since the 1970s.

Nasir Ali Shah Bukhari, who heads brokerage KASB [Securities], said Sharif’s experience working in his family’s metals business before he went into politics would reassure the business community. “He himself is a businessman and has a thorough understanding of the challenges faced by businessmen,” Bukhari said.

Sharif and his brother Nawaz have been dogged by corruption allegations, which they say are politically motivated. Nawaz was serving a seven-year jail sentence for corruption when he got special permission to visit the UK for medical treatment in 2019. He has remained in the UK since.

Asfandyar Mir, an expert at the US Institute of Peace, said the two families found common cause as Pakistan’s powerful military sought to reduce their influence. “The military have deep disdain for both of these political parties,” Mir said. “So I suspect they’ll work together . . . they realise Khan is the common rival they have, and that he can make a comeback.”

Imran Khan loses no-trust vote, prime ministerial term set for unceremonious end

Imran Khan loses no-trust vote, prime ministerial term set for unceremonious end

After announcing results, Sadiq gave the floor to Shehbaz Sharif, who is the joint opposition’s candidate for the post of prime minister.

He rejected the claims that the “threat letter” was fake, adding that the meeting in Washington took place on March 7.

“On March 8, the no-confidence motion was submitted against the prime minister. Look at how these things coincided,” he said, calling for holding an in-camera session.

Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari’s speech revolved around the alleged US influence on Pakistani politics. “It is this nation’s misfortune that America has always been successful in [changing] the leaders of Pakistan.”

She recalled that the opposition was invited to check the ‘threat letter’ that according to government is ‘proof’ of a foreign-funded conspiracy.

“But I know why you did not come … because you’re a part of that conspiracy, which clearly states that ‘if you will oust Imran Khan and no-confidence vote is successful, then the nation will be forgiven.

“What will be forgiven? What crime has Pakistan done? An independent foreign policy? Who the hell is America to forgive us? And for what crime? For God’s sake have some shame. This is America’s old ways. In the 1950s, America and UK conspired to oust Iranian leader Musaddik — who was a democratic leader.”

She said America has either ousted democratic leaders or assassinated them and has installed dictatorship in countries.

“A few days ago, [US President Joe] Biden went to Poland and said ‘remove Putin and bring regime change’. This is America’s way.”


Succeeded: Regime Change in Pakistan