Imran Khan: Pakistan is much more complex than cricket

Beatrice E. Rangel.
Beatrice Rangel

On Palm Sunday we were woken up by the news that Pakistan’s prime minister had lost his battle against parliament’s no-confidence vote and would have to step down. Imran Khan was one of the greatest glories of cricket, a game that fascinates the nations of the British Commonwealth but is an archaic predecessor of baseball, possibly created by the Normans who occupied what is now England. But, Lord Khan forgot the golden rule of cricket which is to keep the balance between the wicket and the ball. Immediately two powerful rivals jumped onto the field: the Pakistani army and the people of Pakistan. These two actors rarely line up. But, like in cricket,

The motives of those responsible for the fall of Imran Khan are different. The people reacted against a government that had shown signs of not knowing how to manage the economy by tolerating high inflation that became astronomical with Russia’s occupation of Ukraine. The conflict suspended Ukrainian cereal exports to Pakistan, forcing the government and the private sector to resort to the spot market to ensure supply at astronomical prices. The violent increase in the price of food catapulted many families towards insolvency. Popular anger against the government did not wait. For the Pakistani army the problem is purely geopolitical. It is essential to maintain closeness with the United States in order to keep India at bay and open the game with China in order to block Russia, India’s traditional ally. The Pakistani army, therefore, did not share the policy of distancing from the United States practiced by Imran Kahn, who preferred to distance himself from the United States to approach Europe. From China Pakistan obtains investment for the development of infrastructure through the Belt and Roads Program and from the United States cooperation for its national security and response capacity to a possible aggression from India. For the military high command, distancing from the United States does not make the slightest sense. From China Pakistan obtains investment for the development of infrastructure through the Belt and Roads Program and from the United States cooperation for its national security and response capacity to a possible aggression from India. For the military high command, distancing from the United States does not make the slightest sense. From China Pakistan obtains investment for the development of infrastructure through the Belt and Roads Program and from the United States cooperation for its national security and response capacity to a possible aggression from India. For the military high command, distancing from the United States does not make the slightest sense.

This is how Shehbaz Sharif comes to power, who is not only respected as an effective economic operator, but is also admired for the way he operates relations with the United States and China. And even when he has a difficult situation from the economic point of view, it is most likely that he will close a new round of negotiations with the IMF. In practice, the people and the army of Pakistan united to close Russia’s channel of influence in Central Asia.

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