Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf should commission a research program to explore if all the cricket matches he lost twenty years ago as skipper were also fixed. If established in the positive, he should come out on D-chowk in Islamabad to protest against whoever he thinks was responsible. As it is, he stands unable to decide who exactly is responsible for rigging the election last year. Is it the Sharifs from Raiwind, the Undertaker Caretaker Najam Sethi, the living legend Fakharuddin, the then Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry?

For a probe into his cricketing defeats in the ‘80s, it would be helpful for him to know that former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had just started his career as a lawyer in Balochistan when Khan was leading the national cricket team. Similarly, former Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retired) Fakharuddin had just returned to advocacy after refusing to take oath under General Zia ul Haq. Ibrahim also had something to do with probes into match fixing and cricket affairs, hence his possible role in electoral rigging as chief election commissioner. Above all, the people of Pakistan; all those who did not vote for PTI are also suspicious, and they must be interrogated one by one.

What else can we suggest to a man who is running a government in KPK province, acting as a major opposition party in the National Assembly for the last year, and at the moment he is supposed to justify his first year performance, begins crying foul at others. Here is a man who has waited for the first anniversary of his electoral victory in a province and defeat in the center to make a point. He plans to smash the cake on the opponents’ face and lick his fingers with what’s left over. And the left-overs are not too insignificant either; a provincial government in Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa, and a respectable opposition group in the National Assembly. At a time when Khan was supposed to present his annual performance report to the people of Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa, he wants them to come to Islamabad for a protest.

Interestingly, Mr. Khan has successfully distracted his voters from scrutinizing his party’s one year performance in the province as per the election manifesto. The solemn pledges made during the elections about rooting out corruption within 90 days, improving the law and order situation in the province, and visible reforms in health and education sector needed to be checked against their delivery. Unfortunately, the media watchdogs-turned-hounds started barking up the wrong trees as well as at each other. As the Nawaz Sharif government was fully prepared to sit in the exam after the first year of studies in “Democratic Governance,“ some students in the examination hall announced the boycott shouting that the exam paper was “out of course” as they had only prepared the chapter related to election rigging. And now, the examiners of Pakistan will have to decide whether or not they will be distracted by the boycott.

It would have added to the prestige of Imran Khan and his PTI if detailed research was done on the performance or otherwise, of the ruling PML-N after one year. The protest could have only focused on the first year performance of the federal government rather than an issue which is already pending before the courts in which Imran’s party had full faith before the May 11 elections. The protest will surely be looked at as a means to pressurize the courts over pending electoral disputes. To a suggestion from PML-N about forming a parliamentary committee for sample thumb verification in selected constituencies, Imran Khan asked, “Should we shut the courts down then?” No, but at the same time we must not pressurize them. Why not wait for the court’s verdict before street protests which are directly related to subjudice matters?

It seems that Imran Khan is utilizing his cricket skills in politics. Back in the ‘80s after failing to bowl out a batsman, fast bowlers used to repeatedly and unnecessarily make Leg Before Wicket (LBW) appeals to intimidate the batsmen. The umpires then used to have complete faith in their eyesight and wisdom. The umpires today, which of course, are the people of Pakistan, too need to see and decide with all kinds of sources of information and levels of awareness. The bowler has to work harder to beat the batsman. Imran Khan cannot travel back in time twenty years or one year to get himself declared the winner. If he couldn’t bowl his opponent out and win an LBW appeal in the day, he should not sneak back onto the pitch during the night to destroy it with his spikes for ulterior motives.

It seems the skipper was looking for the perfect wind for his late swinging yorker at the Nawaz government. With an apparent standoff between the army and media as well as army and the government, the winds seem to be blowing as desired. With the gloved and padded Dr. Tahir ul Qadri behind the stumps, the Johnty Rhode from Lal Haveli and the umpires in Khaki, the people in the stands would never even know if there was a no-ball bowled.  The appeal to a black-robed third empire might never be allowed. Whatever follows might still be labeled a democracy and the victors might proudly announce that real democracy has triumphed over “punctured democracy.” Indeed, Imran Khan’t claim to have his democracy cake, and eat it too.

    The writer is a senior supreme court reporter and anchor for Waqt News.