An irrational Khan

May 27, 2015 OPINION/NEWS




Sattar Rind

The head of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party Imran Khan, a cricketer turned philanthropist and politician has without doubt proved himself to not only be inflexible but pretentious also, having no link or rapport with political logic or sensibility, in this writer’s opinion.

Khan seems like another Arvind Kejriwal, though it appears that he will take more time to reach his ultimate destiny in politics. He is in a rush therefore, having a longing for a perceptive and political impact.

Before the general election 2013, experts were of the opinion that his party would barely get 7 to 10 seats in the National Assembly, due to the great shortage of political stalwarts in his party, normally marked as electable candidates. This is the approach and practice we have been observing throughout the country’s electoral history.

However, Khan’s rigorous election campaign and associated support enabled him to secure 33 seats (27 general & 6 women seats) in the National Assembly resulting in the PTI emerging as the largest single party in the provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). In respect of the popular vote, the PTI became the second largest political party in the last general election.

With the view of keeping democracy intact, Imran Khan accepted the election result, at the same time referring to it as one that was massively rigged. He immediately demanded a thorough investigation of results for four national assembly constituencies in Punjab, being of the opinion that the rigging was committed there by the involvement of the judiciary.

It was not too far fetched a charge in Pakistan that the election results were invalid. This was dangerous and infuriatingly negative for the country however so all parties accepted it and the raison d’être known to them.

After fourteen months had passed and all federal and provincial governments were running smoothly, Imran Khan began to protest politically, staging sit-ins in front of parliament in Islamabad along with rallies in different cities of the country. As a result all provincial governments refused to follow his claim and join his movement against the vote rigging. Apart from the KPK, all other governments have taken a stand to keep their respective governments intact, this being open to everyone who gives and obeys such commands.

The KPK government under the PTI party preferred Pervez Khattak as chief minister to run the show, who proved not too capable of managing government in a long distressed province. However, it was a great chance for Khan to establish good governance which could have increased his personality and an example to lead the rest of the country.

Instead of that Imran Khan had chosen the model of confrontation which was notorious to one and all in this country. In this period before the Pakistani Army operation in Waziristan, Khan was very vocal in favour of talks with the Taliban that ruined the whole countr with suicidal bombs and the killings of thousands of people in Pakistan.

It was an astonishing act in the end by Khan, but instead of being criticised by his supporters, they went on to advocated the public that Imran Khan was right in his vision about the Taliban.

Imran Khan enjoys the support of the middle and upper middle classes that live in the posh urban areas of Pakistan who, although limited in number, are more effective in many ways. A large number of foreign qualified people who returned from the west had joined the electronic media and unconditionally started supporting Khan.

With this support, at a public gathering in Bahawalpur on July 21st, Khan announced that if the government did not agree to launch an inquiry into the four constituencies in question, then he would start a march of a million people the next month in order for his demands to be met.

Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, a Canadian citizen and religious scholar also announced a similar million long march and both were set for Islamabad on 14th August. Mr. Qadri only recently arrived on the scene and was very theatrical in nature, once being associated with existing Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, when he was the Chief Minister of Punjab.

Despite the fact that both Khan and Qadri had been granted favours from Sharif in the form of expensive land to establish a Cancer Hospital and Madrasa in Lahore, the capital city of Punjab, both still staged sit-in protests and demanded the resignation of Sharif.

This drama went on for more than two months in the capital city and was extremely gripping for anyone in the country. On the occasion of the sit-in program the president of the PTI and seasoned politician Javed Hashmi resigned and levelled an allegation against Imran Khan that he was playing into the hands of the Army and establishment, accusing him of wanting to derail the democracy system to enforce a technocratic government.

The Pakistani media and general public brought this issue under critical debate to protect the country’s democracy. Khan did not comment on this but instead announced that Hashmi would be ejected from the PTI and repeated his stance to get the Prime Minister’s resignation, launched a new slogan ‘Banega naya Pakistan’ meaning the formation of a new Pakistan. He claimed that he would not move from the capital unless he got Sharif’s resignation, remaining on his container especially arranged for this long march and sit-in protests.

After two months Qadri lost his stamina and vacated his tent-city at Constitution Avenue in front of parliament house, announcing that his march would spread all over Pakistan. He later left Pakistan for the US to get eye treatment and launch a fund raising campaign to restart his movement in Pakistan. Critics marked his departure as a deal with the government. The number of PTI sit-ins also started to drop and inhabitants only of the twin cities visited the gathering as an outing in the evening.

It transpired that hey had been waiting for the army’s intervention, as planned by the PTI leadership, in particular the vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, as disclosed by Javed Hashmi after leaving the PTI and his withdrawal from the sit-in protest.

An analysis of Imran Khan’s personality shows him as one not graced with patience and and therefore not a tranquil person by nature. He appears in my opinion as egotistical, something that may be beneficial in his own mind in terms of leading the public, but ultimately a trait that would bounce back on him.

He was not the only person who won the world cup in 1991 in a game of cricket. There were eleven players then but he used this win in his politics negatively in that he had done an incredible job for the country all by himself. Such a statement sounds like he is demanding from the country the reward that he should be Prime Minister.

The establishment of a hospital for cancer patients does not mean he has made a great contribution and as a result claim massive support from the public. Besides, he looks from this to be demanding that the country be given him to be run.

He is the politician who has fallen before he has risen, unlocking also the myth that people who went to Oxford or Harvard and return are more logical and sensible.






Sattar Rind

Sattar Rind lives in Sindh, Pakistan. and is an Author with four books to his credit. three poetry and one on politics. As a Columnist he has written for a number of newspapers and magazines since 1991. Sattar can be contacted at the following email address: [email protected]


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