Pakistan crisis: Who are the 3 'stooges' out to topple Imran Khan?
Imran Khan said that the three "puppets" who were sitting in Islamabad at the moment, want to overthrow him and take his place, hoping to serve the interests of the foreign power
Image: Imran Khan
The political storm in Pakistan took a new turn when Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his address to the nation, refused to step down from his post and instead blamed three "stooges" who were working with a foreign country to topple his democratically-elected government.
In his address, Khan said that the three "puppets" who were sitting in Islamabad at the moment, want to overthrow him and take his place, hoping to serve the interests of the foreign power (he did drop the name of United States before retracting). Let us take a look at the who these "stooges" -- as Imran Khan called them -- are.
Image: File photo of Shehbaz Sharif with his brother Nawaz Sharif
Shehbaz Sharif is the brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Shehbaz is currently the president of PML-N. He is the current Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly (the lower house of the Parliament of Pakistan).
Shehbaz has the distinction of being the longest-serving chief minister of the Punjab province of Pakistan. He has been chief minister thrice. He became the chief minister of Punjab Province for the first time in 1997. But, after the 1999 coup by General Pervez Musharraf, he had to leave Pakistan and spend the next eight years in exile in Saudi Arabia. Shehbaz and his brother returned to Pakistan in 2007. He again became the chief minister of Punjab after his party's victory in the 2008 general election.
Sharif's third term as the chief minister of Punjab began in 2013 and he served a full term until the PML-N's defeat in the 2018 elections. He was named the Leader of the Opposition after the 2018 elections.
Image: Asif Ali Zardari
Asif Ali Zardari
Asif Ali Zardari, aged 63, is the current co-chairman of the Pakistan People's Party. His son, Bilawal Zardari Bhutto is the president of the party. Zardari -- husband of the country's first woman Prime Minister, late Benazir Bhutto -- has also been the President of Pakistan. He was the 11th President of the country, serving from 2008 to 2013.
Zardari has also been associated with controversies. There have been many allegations of corruption against him. He made headlines in 2018 in connection with a massive money laundering case. Along with Zardari, his sister and some other associates are also accused in this case.
Image: Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman
Maulana Fazlur Rehman
Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the national president of Pakistan's biggest religious party and fundamentalist party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, is the third "puppet" named by Imran Khan.
Fazlur Rehman's father, who has always eaten the cream of power, has been the CM of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Maulana's family has been very influential in the politics of Punjab. However, the very existence of Maulana's party came under threat in the 2018 general elections. He himself lost the election.
However, in the past, Maulana took part in the march taken out to oust Imran Khan from power. Fazlur Rehman millions of supporters of his party and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) joined the march till Islamabad. It was named Azadi March.