Imran Khan was ousted by “constitutional means”– a no-confidence vote but barely. It was clearly a “civilian coup”, a means of correcting the political balance when it has to be changed within the tenure of an elected government.
The Bajwa-Shahbaz picture was pathetic and hurt the hearts and minds of millions of Pakistanis. So was his move to invite him to North Waziristan and make every officer salute him. What has Shahbaz got to do with these operations and terrorists anyway but why give him that opportunity?
The architects of the judicial coup to depose Imran Khan had underestimated his popularity among the people – from urban to remotest rural areas of Pakistan. It made him more popular and acceptable than ever before and solidified his leadership for years to come, which at the same time cemented further the national unity and solidarity in Pakistan. The private citizen Imran Khan is more powerful and popular than the premier Imran Khan.
The visit of Prime Minister Imran would go down in the history books with his supporters and critics having their own interpretations. What Pakistan gets out of this visit and what are the long-term ramifications only time will tell.
President Biden can change the course of history by amending his executive order so as to keep Afghanistan's assets untouched, faciliate infusion of cash into its economy and continue with the good policy of sending humanitarian aid to one of the wold's poorest counntries.
Pakistan's economic policies under the watch of Prime Minister Imran Khan may have contributed to increased tax collection, and high growth in exports, but the costs are long-term and unbearable for the working class.