TIPP Insights: American political theater reaches Pakistan’s lows

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By tippinsights Editorial Board, TIPP Insights

Sunday’s New York Times described the fate of a country’s former chief executive. “He was charged under the country’s antiterrorism act on Sunday, in a drastic escalation of the tense power struggle between the country’s current government and its former leader that threatens to set off a fresh round of public unrest and turmoil.”

No, the story was not about former President Trump. It was about Pakistan’s former Prime Minister, Imran Khan. That American politics had descended into the tribal ways of Pakistan’s political theater went unnoticed by the media and political pundits on the Sunday morning news shows.

Imran Khan, the former playboy cricket captain with no previous political experience, swept into power in 2018 as Prime Minister. He ran on a populist anti-corruption platform to drain the country’s swamp. When in office, his opponents regularly accused him of political victimization.

In April, Khan was deposed in a no-confidence vote engineered by his political enemies in parliament and the courts – although he enjoyed widespread support in the nation’s heartland.

Eight thousand miles west, we are reminded about the two impeachments against Trump, the numerous 2020 election irregularities orchestrated by the Left, the media, Zuckbucks, and since, the J6 committee.

Khan’s political opponents agreed on a consensus candidate to lead the new government, bringing in Shabaz Sharif, a member of Pakistan’s infamous Sharif political dynasty. [Nawaz Sharif was convicted of international corruption in the Panama Papers case and is now exiled in the U.K.]. Remember how then-candidate Biden became the Democrats’ savior in South Carolina primaries, although he had not won one primary until then?

Vowing to return to power – Pakistan may face general elections in October – Imran Khan has been crisscrossing the country holding political rallies and helping candidates in local elections. The Times story noted that Khan’s party won a sweeping victory in July in local elections in the most populous province, Punjab. In August, it also fared well in voting in the country’s economic hub, Karachi. The American parallel? Trump has been campaigning vigorously for his chosen candidates. According to Ballotpedia, 92% of Trump’s 235 endorsements have won in the primaries this year.

In early August, the new government arrested Khan’s chief of staff, Shahbaz Gill, after he made comments on a talk show critical of the current government. The similarity with how the Biden administration went after Trump’s former advisor Steve Bannon, who runs his own podcast and is now facing jail time for refusing to cooperate with J6 subpoenas, is striking.

Imran Khan addressed his supporters at a huge political rally last week, condemning Gill’s arrest. The next day, the government charged him under the counter-terrorism act. Khan “will have to face the law for threatening and hurling abuses at the Magistrate and Police officers. Such acts of brazen thuggery are responsible for instigating extremism in society,” Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah tweeted early Monday. Fearing Khan would be arrested, his supporters gathered in front of Khan’s palatial residence. If the government can successfully prosecute their case in the courts, Khan can never run for political office again.

The FBI’s recent raid against Mar-a-Lago, citing Trump’s obscure national security violations under the Espionage Act, and speculation that Attorney General Merrick Garland was doing his boss’s bidding to use government power against Trump, came to mind. Garland’s presser was a close twin to Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah’s diatribe against Khan.

After Rep. Liz Cheney lost her Republican primary in Wyoming by over 35 points, media reports said President Biden called her to offer support. We wonder if the President called the other losers of his opponent’s party.

Despite her election rout, the media has treated Cheney as royalty. She appeared on the Today show the day after her election, and NBC did not cut her off when she actively promoted her new Political Action Committee. On Sunday, Cheney, wanting to purge all political opposition, said on ABC’s “This Week” that Republicans, including Sen. Josh Hawley, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, have “made themselves unfit for future office. Either you fundamentally believe in and support our Constitutional structure, or you don’t.” Jon Karl, the show’s host, never challenged her absurd vision of converting America to a single-party monopoly or questioned her as to why Cheney was opposed to investigating last-minute election law changes leading up to the 2020 election, which provided the Democrats with a clear advantage.

The deep-state cabal in the two countries – against Trump and his allies and against Imran Khan and his supporters – is on overdrive. The Dems know that if Trump is not prevented from running in 2024, he could win the general election in their worst doomsday scenario. But the risk that their current prosecutorial actions could backfire seems lost on them. They should listen to Adil Najam, the dean of Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and an expert on Pakistani politics. He told the New York Times, “Imran Khan is clearly an order of magnitude stronger than he was when he was removed — the removal was probably the best thing to happen to him.”



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