Starting an article with a question is always a great idea as by doing this the author does want to look for an answer. George Fulton is known to all of us and a few days ago he wrote an article ‘Yes we Khan’ where he starts of with a question “Would Imran Khan make a good Prime minister of Pakistan?” The question is real simple and for me so does its answer i.e ‘Yes Khan will InshAllah’ The link to the Mr Fulton’s Article:
Like many Pakistanis who like Khan and label him to be a man of great stature but are still somehow not sure about what to make of him as a politician, George too looks undecided. He says about Khan in his writing ‘He is clearly a decent, honorable and a good man, in a country lacking few genuine inspirational role models. Yet, I, like many, still find it hard to support him.’ Its pretty understandable because we Pakistanis can bear all the misdoings of established political parties in form of corruption, failure to deal with domestic and international problems, nepotism etc but in case of Imran Khan and PTI we want an inch perfect thing.
George raised some points that we need to go through and see if they hold any merit. I agree with his point that PTI doesn’t have anyone of the level of Robert Gates and Hilary Clinton in its 2nd tier leadership ranks. However it would have been better had George named a few political figures of Pakistan equivalent to Gates and Ms Clinton and then he could have a point that Imran is not opening his arms for such politicians. Also when he says that ‘PTI is not a party of intellectuals and political heavyweights’ then we need to discuss of what according to him is an intellectual. If by intellectual he meant some person wearing a three piece suit analyzing Pakistani politics on TV with a US nationality, then surely PTI doesn’t need them. I agree that political heavyweights like in parties of Zardaris, Shareefs and Chaudries are reluctant to join PTI and its pretty understandable. Why would a person whose only aim to do politics is to expand his land and business will ever want to be part of PTI knowing that Chairperson of this party wont allow him any favor to do such misdoings. Khan is hoping for an advent of clean politics. Khan has been able to convey the message to the people about the difference between clean politics and dirty politics. The impact of enlightenment in masses about issues is so great that its forcing honest and clean politicians from other parties to leave their corrupt leadership and support PTI in their anti status quo mission. Such people are either joining PTI or are willing to be part of any Imran led alliance.
However one very interesting aspect of PTI that George missed was how a new young leadership is being nurtured by Imran. The Insaf students federation is not at all like a traditional students wing that other parties have. It has elected presidents in all provinces with their own offices. They are in constant touch with Imran khan himself .They are allowed to speak in front of thousands of people in public meetings and their opinions are heard by leadership. This new leadership will be one day be ready to take on the blue-eyed next generation of present political heavyweights.
Moving on to the statement of Khan that he gave in his interview with Guardian “The old parties are all petrified of me now. They all want to make alliances with me and I say: ‘No, I’m going to fight all of you together because you’re all the same.” .George feels that Khan’s pronouns should change from ‘I’ to ‘we’ or ‘us’. Well interestingly going through the whole interview one would find that George’s wish was granted in the very same interview as not once but many times Khan used ‘we’ and ‘us’ in describing the chances of PTI in next elections e.g Khan said in same interview and I quote “”Every poll has shown the gap widening between us and other parties.”
Similarly when we remember Khan’s speech after winning the world cup ,where clearly he was lost for words ,we should also remember his Cornered Tigers speech in the very same world cup where he used a ‘WE’ in every sentence. Statements of leaders having an ‘I’ in them is not always bad. A leader uses ‘I’ when he wants to set an example for his followers. The Muslim history tells us that our leaders used to lead by example. They would come and say ‘I will fight the evil however strong it may be. Those who are with me against this evil should come with me’ and the people followed.
Reading too much into statements and drawing conclusion from them is often misleading. Its advisable that we should look into the actions of an individual to draw conclusions. As George said ‘We need leaders who can develop teams, parties and institutions’ ,I believe that this is what Imran stands for. He made an invincible cricket team in 80’s. A team that never lost a single test match against India while winning plenty , A team that stood level with the Mighty Windies of 80’s..Apart from cricket he formed a great team in form of Imran Khan Foundation who since its creation has done tremendous work in Pakistan. He has then formed two world class institutions in form of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust and NAMAL University. He times and again have said that PTI will be an institution .Seeing his track record and knowing that many chapters of PTI recently held a genuine intra-party elections, we have every indication that PTI would rise as a true political party.
About withdrawal from US WOT and will it stop Pakistan’s homegrown problems. The answer is not an obvious Yes but there is a strong probability that the madness will stop. The tribesmen of Tribal belt were the first one to support Pakistan’s creation. They were termed as ‘My army without Uniform’ by Quaid-e-Azam, they were the ones that stood with Pak army against talibans in the initial part of WOT.. The problem started when our military couldn’t isolate militants among civilians and started some unwelcomed operations. The whole situation got even worse when Drone attacks increased massively and as a result huge number of innocent civilians including women and children got killed. We somehow managed to push away our tribesmen. They are not with Talibans but don’t trust the present governmentt either. With someone like Imran as PM, these people will once again start to look towards the state and thus isolation of militants will occur in these regions.. After that getting them to lay down arms or even neutralizing them will be an easy task.
After BB’s assassination, Imran is the only leader right now who has an image of a national leader. All other leaders are somehow seen as representing one province or another. Zardari is seen as someone representing Sindhis, Nawaz as a representative of Punjabis, Asfandyar as someone representing Pakhtoons while Altaf being taken as a leader of Urdu Speaking. The ethnic divide within the country can only end when u have someone with an image of a National Leader. The polarization that’s increasing in our society can also end with Nation seeing him as a prime minister as he is one individual who is acceptable to a Madrasa student as well as to a student of an Elite English Medium School.
The problem with Pakistan right now is that everyone is waiting inside their homes or outside Pakistan for Imran Khan to either succeed or fail. Not many are trying to help him to succeed so that failure doesn’t remain an option. If u are a serious talent, then u shouldn’t be afraid to come into politics and do some good for next generation rather just keep yourself limited to your life. It’s the people who have to decide that do they want a Pakistan where they want to see an end to family politics or they are ready to leave Pakistan at the mercy of these few families ruling us for decades now.
I still remember the column that George wrote when he left Pakistan. I always feel sad when I hear any of my friend leaving Pakistan after being disappointed with how things are right now. For me and many other educated, skilled professionals, Khan has emerged as the ray of hope that’s keeping us stay in this beautiful country. We are hopeful and so should all of the other countrymen.