Will the Supreme Court judgment that set aside the July 22 ruling of Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari, and declared it void, further feed Imran Khan’s popular narrative — that he was ousted from power in April 2022 on the basis of an international conspiracy orchestrated with the help of handlers at home?
It is important for the opposition alliance to understand, now than ever, that it will be impossible for them to prove the narrative of intervention as false, since the logical way of opinion formation that can be legally substantiated, is not on their side.
It is important to understand the process of opinion formation if one wants a logically-sound conclusion in an age where credible information gets drowned in senseless frenzy. It is the popular opinion that shapes the electoral results. The political forces that dominate popular opinion usually gain from mass support. In case of the intervention narrative, Imran Khan’s PTI has dominated the balance of popular opinion – because, he struck the right chord at the right time. Khan was able to mobilise crowds against his ouster, and ensured that he was not beating the drum to a stolen tune. He made sure that what he said could be legally upheld in a court.
Further, he was able to call a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) while he was in office. He chaired the meeting attended by the services chiefs, interior minister, national security advisor and other relevant office holders. Together, they deliberated on the contents of the controversial cypher and issued a presser which explained that the contents of the cypher amounted to “blatant intervention” in the domestic affairs of Pakistan.
When the all-important National Security Committee admitted of “blatant intervention” in the country’s domestic affairs by a foreign power, it became difficult to play it down as a hoax. As soon people at large started to believe the conspiracy theories, the legal argument was shattered. In the intervention narrative case, however, the facts were not conspiratorial, given that they have the strong institutional backing of the state.
The logical and legal extension runs not from the intervention to the conspiracy but from the conspiracy to the intervention. So in all probability there is some truth to what Imran Khan has been saying all along.
Later, the DG-ISPR tried to put his weight behind the “no conspiracy” narrative against Imran Khan. But people were quick ask him the difference between a ‘conspiracy’ and an ‘intervention’.
As soon as Shehbaz Sharif was sworn in as the new prime minister, he called the meeting of the National Security Committee to re-ascertain facts behind the cypher story. The National Security Committee upheld its previous position — that intervention did take place, however, there was no proof of a conspiracy.
Veteran lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan explained on TV that a conspiracy is a meeting of minds, where an idea or a plan is hatched. A conspiracy is a first step that comes before the actual act. So if there was intervention in the country’s domestic affairs, then it must be assumed that there was a conspiracy hatched even before the actual intervention took place. The logical and legal extension runs not from the intervention to the conspiracy but from the conspiracy to the intervention. So in all probability there is some truth to what Imran Khan has been saying all along.
Which brings us to why are people believing the NSC claims and not Maryam Nawaz’s? One Maryam Nawaz was not in that meeting. Two, she has much to gain by denying Khan’s claims. Three, she is a person with long-standing political interests to counter Imran Khan’s narrative. Fourth, if she and her party accept that Khan was indeed ousted with influence from abroad, it shows that they came into power with the backing of dubious forces. Fifth, and most important, how do we know that Maryam Nawaz is telling the truth?
Imran Khan can present the NSC findings at any forum to substantiate his claim.
For any person who wishes to establish a logical and learned opinion, this is the conclusion to arrive at. Apart from that everything is political trickery.