Is Imran Khan Setting The Stage For The Minus-One Fomula?

Is Imran Khan Setting The Stage For The Minus-One Fomula?
Will the latest victim of the minus-one formula be Imran Khan? Has he grown too big for his own shoes? He surely has brought himself to the point of the minus-one formula because of his desperation for power and authority that he lost in the vote of no confidence in April this year. Instead of accepting the result of the vote of no confidence, he has started mobilising people on a charged narrative of foreign conspiracy, which is a big mistake on his part, given the state of economy of Pakistan.

He has used the media as a tool to spread lies against the institutions of the country. Rejecting the result of the national security meeting on foreign conspiracy, he has shamed the security institutions of the country. He has also called out the institutions’ heads as traitors. However, the Election Commission of Pakistan ruling on the prohibited funding case again the PTI has backfired his narrative.

Though Khan has kept the political pot boiling since his ouster from the PM office, he has made a number of mistakes. The most catastrophic one is that he has shown himself unfit for the office by speaking about internal matters of the country, such as, his hands were clipped, he had no power – implying that the unelected forces were all in all. He has portrayed himself to be a victim, when, in reality, he is not. He has used every tactic against the opposition to put them behind bars. He has not shown any interest in governing the country other than annihilating the opposition of his time.

Going against democratic norms, Khan has isolated himself as his allies have abandoned him because of his hate politics. Instead of shedding the container mood after coming to power for the sake of running the country, he remained unchanged and unpalatable throughout his tenure of three and half years. In the same vein, he messed up with foreign policy of Pakistan by offending Saudis and Chinese, by not fully cooperating with them. He has made Pakistan’s strategic relations a scapegoat of his reckless behaviour and policies.

Calling up the OIC meeting in Islamabad, he lectured on pornography and started moral policing the world as though he is a messiah of the whole ummah. He went to Russia at the acme of his short-lived tenure. He jeopardised the stance of Pakistan on Kashmir and Palestine.

Having done all this, he has shown himself as a narcissistic megalomaniac, who does not believe in the give-and-take politics. He is ready to even talk to the TTP who have butchered our children in the APS attack in 2014 than to talk to “thieves” of our nation.
It is high time for Imran Khan to learn more lessons on politics, as going belligerent is not enough -- countries are run by politics, not rhetoric

He is luring masses with emotional statements, in the same manner as Hitler and Mussolini. But Khan needs to understand that this is not the way to do politics. He is paving the path for a minus-one formula for none other than himself.

The minus-one formula involves sidelining the leaders who dare not to submit to the will of the powers-that-be. A dangerous thing for the democratic culture, it has been used as a ploy to maintain their hegemony in the country’s national political landscape. However, the lack of pragmatic political culture and apolitical policies have paved the way for the same.

Undoing this encroachment of political milieu by the unelected forces warrant sanity and political harmony. It is thus high time for the politicians to come out of their petty politics and own the political arena of the country. A broader political consensus and smooth power transition through fair elections would help serve the purpose. However, for that to materialise, the country’s leadership needs to display political acumen and discipline. Khan is no exception.

Driven by vengeance and superiority complex, he has laid down a minefield by subsidising petrol, electricity and diesel at a time when prices were going up as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war. He thought he would disturb the coming government but in fact he disregarded the national interest of the country. Khan has failed as a politician and as a leader. He has failed to honour his duty of safeguarding the national interest of Pakistan. Just like any other populist demagogue, he has preferred himself over everything else that matter to the country.

Thus, it is high time for Khan to learn more lessons on politics, as going belligerent is not enough -- countries are run by politics, not rhetoric.

Conclusively, the foreign funding case may dislodge Khan for sometime from politics but this does not mean that his politics has come to an end. He will surely bounce back but before that he needs to learn to negotiate, to talk and to deal with political situations by sitting with other political parties. Otherwise, the powers that be may have the chance to use the minus-one formula against him.

The writer is a freelance columnist. He tweets at @Shahzai02364040. He can be reached at