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The Media Lens

Sameera Casmod | sameerac@radioislam.co.za
09 August 2023 | 10:28am SAST
2 min read

Photo Credit: WORDCRAFTWITHANNISA

This week, the Media Lens segment focused on the jailing of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. During the interview with Hafez Ibrahim Deen, light was shed on the intricate web of politics and media manipulation surrounding the incident.

Imran Khan’s imprisonment revolves around allegations of selling gifts he received while in office, with an estimated value of £600,000, including watches, a ring, and cufflinks. Critics have argued that these charges appear to be highly politicised, stemming from Khan’s tumultuous relationship with the military establishment. Khan currently faces over 150 charges, a move that has prompted the Pakistani Electoral Commission to bar him from standing for Parliament for the next five years, effectively ruling out his chances of returning as Prime Minister.

Media coverage of the saga has diverged significantly depending on the source. While international outlets like The Guardian, BBC, AP, and Al Jazeera have, in this case, offered comprehensive coverage, highlighting the politicisation of the case, domestic Pakistani media have taken a different approach. Reports suggest that the domestic media landscape has been heavily influenced by the military’s interests. Leaks indicate that the military has actively guided media outlets on how to portray the case, leading to limited and biased coverage within Pakistan. Reports suggest, however, that outside influences are directing the military.

As Imran Khan faces a five-year bar from political participation, the prospects for his future remain uncertain. Analysts speculate that the military’s objective may be achieved with this move, even without completing his three-year prison sentence. The army could detain Khan until the upcoming elections, capitalising on his popularity to maintain control. It’s worth noting that Khan’s party has already faced significant setbacks, including arrests of supporters and a decline in protest participation due to the military’s crackdown.

The fate of Imran Khan’s party in the upcoming elections seems grim. With the charismatic Khan out of the political picture, the party’s prospects have dimmed considerably. This could lead to its fragmentation or even a potential deal post-election, depending on the political landscape. Experts point out that the Pakistani military, acting on outside directives, has a history of exerting influence behind the scenes while avoiding the perception of outright control.

Listen to the full interview on Sabaahul Muslim with Mufti Yusuf Moosagie here.

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