Imran Khan has always been the eye candy for Mummy Daddy Pakistanis. He was a very good cricketer but as a politician, he has been more important as the mantelpiece while other important things go down.
Pakistan has become somewhat relevant once again thanks to its geography. The United States needs a graceful exit from Afghanistan. It is already pivoting towards South East Asia and needs Pakistan to play a different role. It does not serve the interests of either the United States or its allies like India to have an unstable and unhappy Pakistan.
And Afghanistan is the lolly pop.
Both the US and Pakistani Deep States know that. That is why the “anti establishment” PTM and “Independents” have had better electoral success in the recent elections in FATA and Parachinar even as ANP and PPP have been electorally wiped out.
PTM was the new O Brien to draw out the old O Briens (PML N and its media division) and make the latter gradually irrelevant.
PPP will not be relevant in Punjab and KPK in the near future. Synthetic and inorganic Ziaist parties like PML N is in the despondency mode. The stark contrast between Maryam Nawaz/Shahbaz Sharif versus Zardari/Bilawal is evident of who has no future and who could rebuild towards one. PPP has to discard those of its urban elites who are more sympathetic to the Sharifs versus those who care more for the issues facing Pakistan.
This is important if PPP wants to regain lost political ground.
PTI will limp on for the foreseeable future as Khan serves an important function as the lightening rod for his critics and as a demagogue for his supporters.
Religious fascism that was lead by the Takfiris is likely to weaken. WSD (Wahhabi-Salafi-Deobandi) proxies have been disastrous and in the post US-Afghanistan, their space is likely to reduce in Pakistan.
The loving relationship between the US State Department and the Pakistani Generals is as old as Pakistan itself. The rapidly changing situation on Pakistan’s Western and Eastern borders once again puts Pakistan in the ambit of the United States.
It is time to recognize this reality and adjust accordingly. Failure to do so will only hurt those who are intransigent.