So far, Imran Khan has strongly resisted holding elections to the local bodies, as he knows the people will not vote for his party. If further confirmation was needed, in the recent Cantonment elections, his party was able to get only thirty percent of the seats. In fact, in four major cities (Lahore, Peshawer, Multan and Rawalpindi), his party appears to have been almost wiped out. Naturally, he will blame the social media and other external factors (like election rigging) for this debacle. But his party did very well in the Azad Kashmir elections a couple of months back. At that time, he had no problem with the present Chief election commissioner. Now his ministers have started accusing the Chief Election Commissioner of being biased in favor of the major opposition party, the PML-N, which did very well in the Cantonment elections, getting almost as many seats as the ruling party did.

But what must be worrying Imran Khan more than ever is that he can no longer expect any support from the establishment to rig the elections in his favor (as happened in the general elections of 2018). That is one reason why he wants to clamp down on social media, which is the only outlet people have to know the truth about his corruption and ineptitude. His insistence on getting the Pakistan Media Development Authority ordinance passed is due to the social media conveying to the public the real state of affairs in the country. By clamping down heavily on the print and electronic media, he can easily coerce them to toe the line. But social media is another thing entirely. Let's hope the opposition parties remain united on this issue at least.