Nothing in Pakistani politics is done half-heartedly. One of former prime minister Imran Khan’s cabinet members, Shahbaz Gill, was detained for instigating a revolt within the military. Gill’s comments were perceived as an effort to split the nation’s troops.
This, combined with Gill’s ensuing complaints about his treatment in jail, infuriated Khan, who this week threatened to hold many judges and police personnel accountable for their involvement in the case. Khan was charged by the police under anti-terrorist statutes after an Islamabad magistrate claimed that Khan’s words amounted to threats.
Khan’s conspiracy-minded fans believe that a “junior US official” was behind the removal of their leader as prime minister, but the real cause of the frequent use of the phrase “political crisis in Pakistan” is probably less dramatic.
Furthermore, it asserts that populists like Khan, whose politics feed on resentment and street protest theatre, are the only ones who gain from Pakistan’s recurring cycles of hostility and overreaction. Every action Khan takes, in the opinion of his supporters, elevates Pakistan.
Rarely does this degenerate into farce, but Khan’s fans are constantly sharing news reports about his alleged arrest on social media, arguing that this proves he is a truly global leader.