Imran Khan, the Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has made a call for a “Jail Bharo Tehreek,” which has raised the eyebrows of political experts. They have advised the former Prime Minister to conduct himself in a more statesman-like manner and to avoid making hasty decisions. Some have predicted little success for this arrest movement, suggesting that Khan should work within the Constitution and the parliamentary system, instead of adopting an aggressive approach.
Others view Khan’s announcement as a continuation of his tendency to follow his political playbooks and escalate the political confrontation. According to the PTI Chief, this announcement was made in response to the government’s efforts to suppress opposition.
He stated that he would soon give the signal to move forward with this action, and party leadership would start to “court arrests”. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, the President of Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT), criticized Khan’s decision and referred to it as a continuation of his past impulsive decisions. Khan was advised to emulate Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s constitutionalism rather than Mahatma Gandhi’s policy of agitation if he wished to be remembered as a statesman in the future.
Rasul Bakhsh, a Professor of Political Science at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), views this as a strategic move by Khan to force the government to make a mistake. According to him, Khan’s decision is consistent with his strategy of keeping the political ball in his hands and making the opposition defensive.
Renowned political expert, Zaigham Khan, agrees with this analysis and believes that the main objective of this movement is to avoid jail. He has called this the most challenging strategy for PTI till now and has warned that Khan would need battle-hardened workers who wouldn’t give up easily.
PILDAT’s Mehboob has emphasized that Khan cannot reject negotiations with opposing parties and that the continuation of the parliamentary system requires dialogue to resolve critical issues. He has advised Khan to control his anger, resentment, and the urge to agitate and to approach issues in a more nuanced manner.
Overall, political experts have expressed mixed reactions to Imran Khan’s announcement of the Jail Bhari Tehreek. Although some view it as a rash decision, others view it as a strategic decision. However, the experts have advised Khan to act with more statesmanlike conduct and within the confines of the Constitution.