Imran Khan adopted a conciliatory tone on talks with the government — a volte-face seemingly marking a departure from his earlier populist position on the matter, reported The Express Tribune.
In a rare indication of retreat, Imran Khan has quietly taken a page out of his rivals’ book and is now repeatedly indicating that the “doors were open for negotiations” but reiterated that a prerequisite for that would be the announcement of elections in June.
This tone clearly militates against his populist rhetoric. During his time in office, Khan leaned into the most combative points against the Sharifs, giving muscular thumbs down to working across the political aisle with the “corrupt leaders” lest he ends up disappointing his rock-ribbed base, reported The Express Tribune.
Lawmakers of the ruling alliance and political observers believe that Imran’s stance on the sticking point seems softened after his long march fizzled out in the face of the government’s crackdown.
His characteristic drawing powers were heavily injured by brute force and eventually, after a long day of high heat, the government had the last laugh, they said, reported The Express Tribune.
The optics didn’t look good, they admitted, but the anticlimactic conclusion came as a shot in the arm of the ruling alliance as Imran had to abruptly call off the rally, which he had earlier planned to convert into a sit-in.
Meanwhile, Imran Khan while accepting that the fear of police action hampered their spirit, hoped that this would not happen the next time.
He also conceded that the party was caught off guard by the police attack, adding he would return to Islamabad with proper preparations the next time, reported The Express Tribune.