Politics of forced marriages and obliged divorces

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has termed his party leaders’ exodus as forced divorce after senior vice president Shireen Mazari also jumped ship following the May 9 riots. The PTI leader said that he had heard about forced marriages in Pakistan but for PTI a new phenomenon of forced divorces has emerged. The proclaimed change advocate wondered about this newest kind of transpose during which his close confederates separated their ways from the party leaving him alone. Mr. Khan was worried at the absence of human rights organizations in the country and offered sympathies to all those who left the party under pressure and appreciated the senior members who stood fast against the pressure so far.

Pakistan Tahreek–Insaf (PTI) is currently passing through a disintegration crisis and critical changes as several senior leaders in the center and provinces announced their separation from the party in a protest of vandalism brought by the PTI workers/supporters across the country following the arrest of Imran Khan on May 9. Reports suggest that over two dozen PTI leaders including senior vice President Shireen Mizari, PTI Karachi President, and others had come to the media to announce their disassociation with the group. The majority of the renegade leaders cited PTI’s narrative against the military as the main reason for their divorce while others accused the leadership of betrayal from the Party’s manifesto of justice, democracy, and equality along with the rising radicalization and intolerance of PTI leaders/workers that led the party to this day.

Interestingly, Mr. Khan, a 73 years old former cricket star, one-time Prime Minister, renowned philanthropist, and longstanding advocate of change/Tabdili is currently embarrassed and unhappy over the ongoing meltdown and bifurcation in his political group. The so-called reformist leader is currently astonished over the sequence of events and unable to witness the repercussions of hate, violence, and destruction waged by his party workers on May 9, and thereafter. At the same time, Khan is still not ready to face abroad the spectrum accountability, prosecution, and onward justice/penalization to himself, his colleagues, and supporters that had been demanded and struggled for by his party for their opponents, alleged corrupts, and criminals over the past decades.

Mr. Khan rightly insists that forced marriages, as well as forced divorces, are common in Pakistani society, while this deplorable trend had been introduced by the establishment in the politics during the early 21st century by creating PPP parliamentarians out of the Pakistan Poppe Parry (PPP). Similarly, this illegal practice was repeated before the 2018 general election when dozens of electables and disgruntled politicians from other parties took refuge to the PTI and bartered top positions in the party, while pushing Party’s ideological workers out of the decision/policy-making process. In fact, Forced marriages are as bad as forced divorces and Mr Khan knows about this well. He should have not agreed to forced marriages in 2018 and that is why 3.5 years of his meritorious political journey washed away his 19 years of principled struggle for change and justice. At the time, the previously washed and substantially purified PTI leaders again turned to corrupt and impure after the recent exodus from the party, despite the fact, they had championed an anti-corruption war against their opponents and chased party’s agenda during the three-and-a-half rule of Pakistan Tahreek-e- Insara.

Realistically, it is time to end forced marriages and forced divorces through the introduction of fresh blood, talented, and faithful minds in national politics as the country has plenty of brilliant, and honest faces in every field. Meanwhile, Khan still has the option to induct fresh political strategists to get out of the current backlash after the group launched countrywide violent protests on May 9 and afterward. Interestingly, the Shehbaz government tactfully used the PTI-establishment gap and tried to label IK as an anti-state and anti-army leader but it is hard to believe for the masses as well as the PTI supporters who know about IK’s long history of services and sacrifices for this country and the public. However, the May 9 riots and attacks on military installations badly tarnished the image of the PTI Chairman and introduced the party as a Nazist group in national politics. At time, Imran Khan must condemned recent violence and support the fair investigation into the May 9th incidents and help the LEAs and the judiciary as Chairman of a lessing political party to bring perpetrators of those heinous crimes to justice.

Currently, Pakistan is passing through a crucial period in its history and national leadership must come out of their political camps to forge consensus on the national issues including the economy, upcoming elections, and electoral code so the country could be rescued out of the prevailing choas and uncertainty. The incumbent government has badly failed to resolve the country’s economic issues, curb inflation and provide relief to the masses so far. People are living in the worst conditions, therefore, Shehbaz’s aides must focus on public problems and service delivery if they desire to pursue their political career in the future, otherwise public will throw them in the Arabian sea in the next general election.