Imran Khan the former prime minister of Pakistan is the most popular personality around the globe these days. Everyone is talking curiously and proudly about the great Imran Khan. As the goons are trying to suppress the great leader he is becoming the apple of the eye of every Pakistani. Recently an article was published in “The Economist” and the unexpected popularity of this article is proof of his following.

Massive shifts have occurred in Pakistan’s political landscape within the past two years. Without a doubt, the most remarkable shift has been the extraordinary rise of a populist movement behind Imran Khan and his party, which had been steadily losing support.

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Imran Khan’s disqualification by the no-confidence movement set the stage for the drama. Khan denied any involvement and accused the movement of being a foreign plot.

The rallying cry for the PTI brand and a sea change in the domestic political landscape came on March 27, during Imran Khan’s address at the Parade Ground Islamabad, when he allegedly waved a letter in the air and claimed it proved the “American intervention” behind his ouster. The PTI’s PR staff expertly shifted public support for Imran Khan by using a standard internal diplomatic cable as a promotional weapon. There is no better example in the marketing of how to build a stronger brand and improve its “positioning” on a seemingly little point or feature by using an effective communication approach to make it seem larger than it is.

Imran Khan emerged as a beacon of hope for the Pakistani people, who had grown weary of the political class’s treatment of them as property since 1945. People supported Imran Khan because his reputation was unmistakable and they had unwavering faith in him.

The “London plan” was Imran Khan’s claim to fame; he had long held the belief that Nawaz Sharif’s ascension to power was the ultimate goal of any regime change effort. Even while these kinds of illegal acts have occurred in the past, the rise of social media has made them far more visible.

The disastrous regime change operation:

Between April 3, 2022, and April 10, 2022, a political and constitutional crisis erupted in Pakistan. During a session where the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan was supposed to be voted on, Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri dismissed it, claiming that the involvement of a foreign country in the regime change violated Article 5 of Pakistan’s constitution. Khan then went on television to announce that he had that President Arif Alvi dissolve the National Assembly.

Under Article 58 of the constitution, Alvi followed Khan’s recommendation. A constitutional crisis ensued as a consequence of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) acting on its initiative to address the continuing problem, with Imran Khan essentially leading a constitutional coup. After four days, the SCP voted 5-0 to reverse the dismissal of the no-confidence motion, prorogation of the National Assembly, Imran Khan’s recommendation to President Arif Alvi to dissolve the National Assembly, and the dissolution of the National Assembly itself, ruling that they were all unconstitutional.

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Also, the Supreme Court ruled that the National Assembly wasn’t prorogued and that the speaker needed to call a new session of the legislature back to order at 10:30 a.m. sharp. April 9, 2022. The National Assembly met again on April 9, but they delayed putting the issue to a vote. Voting did not start, but the session continued all day. The speaker and deputy speaker both tendered their resignations just before midnight.

The National Assembly decided to remove Khan from office just after midnight on 10 April. He became the first prime minister in Pakistan to be removed from office through a no-confidence resolution. The motion was approved with 174 votes, a majority. In Pakistan’s 75-year history, the country’s strong military has staged several coups, making it such that no prime minister has ever finished his tenure.

The 9th May operation:

May 9 was an effort to destabilize Imran Khan and his party, the PTI. The riots of May 9, also known as the 9/5 riots, were a string of violent occurrences that occurred in Pakistan on May 9, 2023. Demonstrations by PTI supporters became violent rioting when the Islamabad High Court reasons detained Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party chief Imran Khan. The rapidly escalating violence and subsequent involvement of law enforcement caused substantial damage to various government and military installations.

A mobile internet blockage and a crackdown on PTI officials, workers, followers, and those in the media and legal community who were seen as linked to the party’s cause were the government’s responses. The country’s highest court is currently hearing a lawsuit challenging the legitimacy of military courts, which have begun to trial civilians. According to PTI, the events of May 9th were orchestrated by the Pakistani establishment as a false flag operation to destabilize PTI and implicate Imran Khan.


The PTI leader and Pakistani politician Imran Khan was arrested on May 9, 2023. The administration, headed by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, said that they had evidence implicating Khan and held him responsible for orchestrating the attacks. Numerous towns, such as Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, and Multan, saw protests by PTI supporters over Khan’s arrest.

Unrest and Bloodshed

Violence broke out during the protests organized by the PTI, leading to widespread destruction. Protesters attacked government and military installations, set fires, and vandalized property. At least five PTI workers were murdered by police using live bullets; one fatality occurred in Quetta and the other four in Peshawar. Numerous charges were launched against individuals involved in the disturbances, which were fueled by anti-terrorism legislation.

Official reaction

As tensions rose in the wake of the May 9 riots, the Punjab Home Department formed 53 police-led Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) to probe the many reported incidents in depth. The Punjab cabinet panel on law and order gave its assent for the creation of multiple JITs. To aid with their investigations, the prosecution department assigned a prosecutor to each JIT.

Proceedings and Arrests

The Punjab Police have stated that over a thousand individuals have been apprehended in the riots that occurred on May 9 in Lahore specifically. There were 5,615 people arrested in Punjab on suspicion of rioting, according to sources. The majority of the many incidents that were reported to the authorities fell under the purview of anti-terrorism laws. There was a wide range of recorded cases in each city, although Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, and Multan were the worst hit.

Crackdown against the PTI

The riots on May 9 had a major influence on Pakistan’s political atmosphere as a whole. Rights groups have expressed concerns about arbitrary arrests, custodial abuse, and forced disappearances following the crackdown on PTI officials and workers, which resulted in the imprisonment of hundreds. At televised news conferences, PTI leaders were compelled to resign from their posts inside the party.

The PTI leaders’ businesses were sealed because they refused to leave the party. The police and military intelligence forces harassed family members of PTI officials who went into hiding. Punjab Police confiscated the dowry for Mian Aslam Iqbal’s daughter’s wedding, attacked and looted several of their residences in the middle of the night, and destroyed the homes of Lal Chand Malhi and Ali Nawaz Awan. Khadija Shah, a businesswoman and granddaughter of former Pakistani Army Chief Asif Nawaz Janjua, was the most notable of the loud female supporters of Khan’s party, and a crackdown on them was also launched.

Ever since the riots ended, several individuals have been taken into custody, including former federal ministers Shehryar Khan Afridi and Ali Muhammad Khan, as well as former governor of Punjab Omer Sarfraz Cheema and provincial ministers of Punjab Yasmin Rashid and Mehmood-ur-Rasheed. Afridi and Rashid were each re-arrested twice, while Khan was re-arrested six times, even after being freed by the courts. Just as Cheema’s wife was about to attend her husband’s hearing, she was detained. Even though he was housed in a “death cell” specifically for people on death row, Afridi was denied the opportunity to attend his brother’s burial and endured terrible circumstances.

Press Suppression and the Kidnapping of Journalists

On May 9th, when rioting swept the nation, mobile internet connectivity was temporarily cut off. The ban had a significant impact on gig workers, freelancers, and remote workers who relied on mobile internet. According to estimates, Pakistan’s telecom companies lost 2.49 billion (US$8.6 million) during the three days that mobile internet was suspended, and the country’s software export industry lost 10 billion (US$35 million). On May 13, 2023, the whole nation’s internet connectivity was restored. As it called for the restoration of internet services in the country, GSMA criticized the suspension.

In the wake of the riots, access to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube was also curbed. The Pakistan Telecom Authority put the restrictions in place after receiving a notification for them from the interior ministry, which was headed by Rana Sanaullah. By May 16, 2023, all social media access had been restored. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif had previously said that “the script of the May 9 violence was prepared via social media,” suggesting that the government may implement another social media blockade.

Several prominent Pakistani media outlets were summoned to a clandestine meeting by the Pakistani military, wherein they were ordered to censor any mention of Imran Khan. As a consequence, the name of Khan vanished from all local print and electronic media overnight, and journalists began to euphemistically refer to him as “Qasim ke Abba” (Qasim’s father), a term that quickly became a trending topic on Twitter in Pakistan.

Imran Riaz Khan, a prominent Pakistani social media journalist, was abducted from outside Sialkot Central Jail on 11 May 2023 after being initially detained by Punjab Police. Usman Anwar, chief of Punjab Police, has blamed military agencies for Riaz’s disappearance and expressed his inability to find him in front of the Lahore High Court. Sami Ibrahim, head of Bol News, was also abducted from Islamabad on 24 May 2023 and released on 30 May 2023. Reporters Without Borders and the International Federation of Journalists have expressed concern over the kidnappings.

Military Trials of Non-Military Personnel

Following this, the government sought to transfer multiple cases to military courts for trial, citing the gravity of the crimes perpetrated during the May 9 riots. An anti-terrorism court in Faisalabad approved the transfer of four defendants involved in targeting defense sites, while an ATC in Rawalpindi approved the transfer of eight defendants involved in the attack on the General Headquarters (GHQ). The commanding officer also received 16 suspects, including an ex-PTI Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) who was charged with looting and vandalizing Corp Commander House in Lahore.

Later, trials of as many as 102 defendants, who were deemed to be involved in attacks on military installations, were transferred from anti-terrorism courts to military courts. The movie drew widespread criticism as military courts have been deemed as opaque systems shrouded in secrecy with little regard for human rights and legal due process by both the United Nations and the International Commission of Jurists.

Several constitutional petitions were made before the Supreme Court of Pakistan to declare the trials unconstitutional, including by the former Chief Justice of Pakistan, Jawwad S. Khawaja, who deemed it a “militarization of justice”. Pakistan People’s Party leader and prominent lawyer, Aitzaz Ahsan, was also one of the petitioners as he considered the move “a complete anathema to the constitutional separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary, the inalienable right of every Pakistani to be treated by the law, and the fundamental rights of life, liberty, fair trial, and due process”.

Imran Khan also filed a civil petition separately. These petitions are now part of a bigger Supreme Court bench consisting of six members, and the matter is being heard in military courts.

Lawyers Being Persecuted

Also hit hard were members of the legal community, especially those who were calling for the protection of Pakistan’s constitution and an end to the use of military courts to try civilians. Uzair Bhandari, a famous lawyer, was kidnapped and then freed from Imran Khan’s house after they discussed military courts. After criticizing the Punjab interim administration and the use of military tribunals to try civilians, armed men stormed the home of former governor Advocate Latif Khosa.

Imran Khan’s ideological politics:

To state it frankly, the people now view Imran Khan as a popular leader. Given the recent developments in Pakistan, his popularity has been steadily rising. He is now deeply embedded in the hearts and minds of Pakistanis.

Let’s have a look at the qualities that Pakistani most famous leader has:

Being religious:

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The fundamental goal of the Pakistani people is to maintain a strong religious foundation. During the daily routine of Namaz (Prayers), it is common for people to pray for leaders similar to Hazrat Umer (RA), a companion of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) who was renowned for his exceptional leadership during that time. This measures the level of religious observance in Pakistan. Additionally, Hazrat Umer (RA) was renowned for a prosperous period for minority groups.

As is fitting for Islam, a religion that preaches peace, non-Muslims were granted full protection throughout that time. Moving on to the point, Imran possesses every quality necessary for leadership within the Muslim community. There was a profound impression on people’s hearts from his renowned speech at the United Nations, in which he attempted to convince non-Muslims not to stereotype Muslims’ history and significant symbols, and in which he also made it clear that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lives in their hearts and that any action against Him would hurt them deeply, leading Muslims to take to the streets in protest.

Muslims were greatly moved by his defense of Islam on this majestic platform. The religious observances have also been observed by him.

In the face of overwhelming opposition

The Pakistani people also want their leader to have the guts to stand up for what they believe in. The truth is that political leaders frequently flee in confusion when confronted with mafias, leaving the populace in shambles. During election seasons, politicians make grand promises to the voters, but they fail to deliver.

There are encouraging signs that Imran Khan is making progress in this area. Going abroad would have been easier, and he has been offered that opportunity many; but, he has chosen to remain here and deal with all the false accusations. This was formerly absent from political party leadership. For example, the Muslim League’s Nawaz Sharif ran away from the country to avoid prosecution, which he left behind a devastated nation. Similarly, Imran Khan was the target of an assassination plot, but he thankfully did not back down. These characteristics have deeply affected the people of Pakistan.

Put an end to political dynasties


For a long time, dynasty politics has cast a shadow over Pakistan. Under this political system, the average citizen had very little possibility of becoming a prominent executive, such as the prime minister. At some point in the future, the people would witness the leaders’ offspring. This style of politics finally caught people’s goats. They finally achieved their long-sought goal thanks to Imran Khan’s political approach. Youth make up the bulk of Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). For a long time, the youth of our nation have sought a way to have a say in national policymaking. In Imran Khan, all kinds of people have found their answer.

Aspirations for low-income communities

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At the national level, Pakistan favors the wealthy and powerful. Most of the time, the wealthy and powerful get the subsidies. Shortness keeps the downtrodden at arm’s length. Imran Khan stands out because, right from the start, he prioritized helping the underprivileged. While serving in government, he oversaw the construction of affordable housing projects.

He started talking to individuals face-to-face, which was a change from before. People were finally able to finish the long-stalled work thanks to his legendary telethon. In one of the calls, sober ladies begged the government to help them recover their hard-won plots from the clutches of the mafia, and the response was swift: the security forces were ordered to crack down hard on the mafia. For citizens living under a dysfunctional state system where the court has abandoned its responsibility, these were some welcome reliefs.

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