New Delhi: It is now widely known what keeps Pakistan PM Imran Khan awake at night. Inflation, he said in his public interaction programme Aap Ka Wazir-e-Azam, Aap Kay Saath. He had earlier assured Pakistanis not to be afraid: “aapne ghabrana nahin hai”. Except that doesn’t seem to apply to the country’s opposition. In the video that has gone viral and is drawing sharp reactions from the general public and the opposition, Khan warned them if they unseat him, he can turn dangerous.
Pakistan is reeling under severe inflation pressure that has been amplified by the pandemic. The prime minister said that when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government came to power, they had to deal with massive deficits which increased the price of imports. He added that many countries are facing supply shortages.
Maryam Nawaz Sharif, vice-president of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), said that Imran Khan had accepted his defeat.
IK sounds like a person who is not only defeated but has also accepted his defeat. 4 years into the govt & he is still only whining. The ‘cartels’ you are complaining about are the MAFIAS on your right & left who have fleeced 220 million & who run your kitchen.
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) January 23, 2022
There were also those who interpreted the prime minister’s remark as one directed towards the Pakistan army. “A section of media is saying that Imran Khan is also hinting at the army of the consequences if he was sacked,” said senior journalist Imran Khan in his video blog on YouTube.
In a TV debate on ARY News, a panelist pointed at the “body language” of the prime minister. The channel was debating PM Khan’s aggressive messaging where the panelist concluded that the Khan was sending the message to a bigger block—to his party (not to believe rumours surrounding his exit) and to the voters who might be influenced by the opposition.
After the PM’s live, #byebyeImranKhan is trending on social media with some users even posting memes.
— Saqib Rajput (@SaqibRa08506448) January 23, 2022
— Hassaan Hashmi (@hassaanhashmii) January 23, 2022
A user posted an old news clip, pointing at what Pakistanis think of their prime minister. In the video, a man can be seen saying that his favourite actor is Imran Khan.
— Anita Verma अनीता वर्मा (@anitaverma41) January 24, 2022
Another user said that the PM’s words reminded him of his childhood and how he used to walk away if declared out in a cricket match.
— Saad Kaiser (@TheSaadKaiser) January 23, 2022
Pakistani journalist Naila Inyat also commented on the prime minister’s live with a Bollywood song to describe PM Khan’s position.
Sun raha hai na tu
kion roh raha hoon main.. pic.twitter.com/LRMc97tyaf
— Naila Inayat (@nailainayat) January 23, 2022
Another user said the prime minister looks defeated and that he should only blame himself.
Wow, what a hilarious statement PM Imran Khan has made!
In today's addressing, it truly seemed like I am listening to a defeated person and literally Imran Khan got this defeat by none other than his own foolish flaws!#ImranYouAreDone#تبدیلی_مہنگی_پڑگئی #ByeByeImranKhan pic.twitter.com/T6EXwpchhy
— Huzaifa Rana (@Huzaifa_Rana3) January 23, 2022
Data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on Saturday revealed that prices of consumer goods continue to rise in the country. December inflation rose to 12.3 per cent from 11.5 per cent, a 21-month high.
The prime minister reiterated that the Pakistan economy would grow above four per cent despite many challenges. Yet again, PM Khan cited the economic indicators of some of the western countries to justify the situation in Pakistan and praised his policy of not going for a lockdown during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020 which, according to him, saved the country from disaster.