Imran Khan has become the aaloo to PML-N’s anday.

There is no denying the fact that, with his October 30 rally in Lahore, Khan was finally able to convincingly announce his arrival on the mainstream political scene ... in the Punjab.

His mammoth rally in the heart of PML-N’s traditional stronghold has sent shockwaves across the corridors of PML-N’s headquarters in the city of Raiwind, shaking an already nervous PML-N leadership.

PML-N’s controversial MPA and the current law minister of the Punjab, Rana Sanaullah, kept calling Imran, ‘Pagal Khan’ (mad Khan), while talking to a local TV channel, as another PML-N stalwart, Senator Pervez Rashid, was seen sheepishly backtracking on his earlier statement in which he announced that he would resign from the senate if Khan was able to gather more than 5,000 people at the rally. Later he claimed that the figure he quoted was 50,000!

It doesn’t matter what Rashid claimed or how Sanaullah mocked Imran by calling him mad, the game is truly afoot between PML-N’s right-wing vote bank in the Punjab and a new, if I may, right-of-left vote bank developing in central and northern Punjab’s urban middle and lower-middle-classes.

This new vote bank is made up of those young people who are likely to perhaps vote for the first time in their lives in the next elections, and of also those who are set to slip into the Khan camp from within PML-N’s traditional vote bank. For PML-N this is certainly a cause for concern. And if you minus its chief, Mian Nawaz Sharif from the equation – perhaps the only element left in the PML-N still not sure about the party’s exceedingly hawkish ways against the PPP-led coalition in Islamabad – the hawks in the party, led by Punjab Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif, have finally managed to take the reins of the party and dictate its future course.

Of course, PML-N’s palpitations in this respect were always expected to increase in frequency as the date for the senate elections (March next year) draws near, and which are expected to sweep the PPP into the senate as well. But whereas, Nawaz Sharif is hoping for an early general elections (that is, before February 2013), he is clearly not so sure what - if PML-N’s anti-government maneuvers outside the parliament manages to topple the PPP-led coalition governments in the centre and in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - would mean for the PML-N.

There is every likelihood that since the PML-N is unable to move against the current government in a constitutional manner without the help of strong parliamentarian allies (that are all allied to the PPP government) PML-N hawks have decided to take the plunge.

They are hoping that either the military or the Supreme Court would intervene to (somehow) mange to persuade the government to hold fresh elections ‘due to the deteriorating law and order situation.’

This is certainly dangerous territory and thinking.

What if the military – so far willing to work with a more pragmatic PPP and repulsed by Mian Sahab’s ‘politics of principals’ that has, to the much cringing of PML-N’s hawks, not shied away from questioning the military’s role in politics – not ready to play the kind of ‘mediating’ role between feuding parties the way it did in the 1990s?

Also, what happens if the ‘revolution’ being promised by Punjab chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif ‘against corruption,’ remains restricted in the shape of agitation and street violence in the urban areas of central Punjab only?

Sindh, Balochistan and KP (as well as Southern Punjab) are (as yet) nowhere in the picture in this respect. History suggests that political violence and turmoil in urban Punjab has only meant the imposition of Martial Law that, in the post-Cold War world, may mean the chucking out of conventional political parties and forming a military-backed regime of ‘technocrats.’

The collapse of PML-N’s movement, as well as, in the extreme case of this movement unwittingly opening the gates for a government of military-backed technocrats will not bode well for the PML-N.

In fact, it won’t sit well with Pakistan itself. Because no matter how ‘incompetent’ the current government is, the idea should be to let democracy flow and let the people decide through their vote whom to elect next.

Otherwise it’ll all go back to square-one: Smug military men and so-called ‘clean’ technocrats at the helm, providing a façade of stability but once again alienating the majority of the electorate in the smaller provinces that, mind you, do not belong to the chest-beating and profoundly concerned urban middle-classes.

But what has made PML-N go on a war path that may witness its own discomfiture?

The desperation in its ranks is clearly an outcome of four main factors:

(1)    The failure of its government in the Punjab to:

•        Tackle some horrendous health issues (dengue outbreak), rising Islamist militancy (ironically being tackled by the Punjab government by trying to actually cuddle-up with certain vicious sectarian outfits).

•         Its failure to check Punjab’s economic slide and political clout.

(2)   The emergence of Imran Khan’s PTI as the province’s third political force (after PML-N and the PPP); an emergence that can dent PML-N’s conservative vote-bank more than it can PPP’s long-standing left-leaning and rural/semi-rural vote bank. It’s also an emergence (of the PTI) that PML-N claims is being ‘engineered’ by certain sections of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies to subdue the ‘dangerous (anti-Military) Nawaz Sharif in the Punjab.’

(3)      The PML-N hawks’ overreaction to the taunts it has had to face (from the media) that the Sharif brothers have been outmaneuvered over and over again by President Zaradri and,

(4)   The general feeling in urban upper and middle-class Punjab that its influential political and economic clout (consolidated by General Ziaul Haq and the Sharif brothers ever since the mid-1980s),  has been eroding, especially in the event of the smaller provinces now finding themselves playing a bigger political role without depending much on this section of the country.It is vital for Mian Nawaz Sharif to return to the kind of equilibrium he had (albeit awkwardly) struck within his party ever since his return from exile in 2007.

Or at least he should try to give some sense and direction to the party’s rampaging hawks that are willingly stumbling (rather comically) onto a path of near-self-destruction.

Losing the senate elections in March or not, PML-N’s wellbeing remains attached to attracting its voters through tangible work done on the ground and talking sense instead of trying to find a desperate short-cut through cheap, disposable talk of ‘revolution’ or of building a Tharir Sqaure in Lahore!

Supporters of Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N). -AFP Photo

But the million dollar question is does Imran Khan have what it takes to bring out all those who gathered at his rally and persuade them to actually vote?

It must be remembered that though Khan might very well spin many traditional PML-N voters to turn up and stamp their votes in his favor, a large number of Imran’s supporters still consist of young men and women who have no clue how democracy works and what their vote really means.

Such a dilemma is a reminder of the fact that many of these young people belong to a generation of urban middle-class youth that has been brought up on demagogic tirades (on TV by good-for-ratings orators) against democracy, political parties, the West and India.

It is this generation and a somewhat reactionary drawing-room/TV studio tendency that has actually given birth to the current Imran phenomenon.

Nevertheless, now that Imran has finally graduated from being a frowning, enraged caricature of a neo-Bhutto on TV, and finds himself standing smack-dab in the middle of Pakistan’s more pragmatic mainstream political arena, it is hoped that the above-mentioned generation would follow suit as well.

Becoming a political participant through the democratic process edges out the fanciful Utopianism that usually overtakes and muddles the thinking of those who want to remain outside this process in the name of revolution or whatever.The result of such a disposition is mere frustration and eventual isolation from ground realities turning the person into a mindless, babbling conspiracy theorist or a blob of reactionary emotions.

It is thus a good sign that such a generation (by attending Khan’s rally) actually turned up to experience their first taste of populist ground-level politics.

Supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). -AFP Photo

Nevertheless it is another thing as to what Khan actually said. Thankfully avoiding the foaming, desperate antics of Shahbaz Sharif’s speech (on 28 October), Imran wisely chose wit to attack the Sharif brothers and Zardari.

But much of his speech remained nothing more than a mix of feel-good sloganeering and hollow revolutionary spiel. For example, exactly what does he mean when he says that he wants to turn Pakistan into an ‘Islamic welfare state?’To me this term is as meaningless, really, as, say, Bhutto’s ‘Islamic socialism,’ or for that matter, ‘Islamic banking!’

What is Khan suggesting? Is it just about the suffix ‘Islamic’ we put in front of everything that we do but that has very little to do with Islam?

Why can’t we just have a welfare state, or is that too western and secular sounding?

And to have a welfare state, is Khan planning to nationalise major industries and businesses and have the state confiscate large tracts of land?He says he can do this with an effective tax collection system. Great, all power to him then, but, again, what has that got to do with Islam?

Secondly, he rather audaciously used (in his speech) the figure of those killed in terrorist attacks in Pakistan (35,000+) since 2004, as a direct consequence of American drone attacks and ‘war on terror.’

Since the number of people killed in drone attacks is not even a quarter of those killed in the cities by extremists; and also, since many of those killed by drones have also been Islamic militants, it was, I think, rather sheepish and slippery of Khan to associate the multifold deaths of men, women and children at the hands of extremists in the cities to drone strikes.

And why would those who, as Imran claims, become extremists after their loved ones are struck by a drone, seek revenge by striking at common civilians praying in mosques and shrines, or studying in schools, or buying and selling in open markets?When Imran talks about holding a dialogue with militants, is he talking about negotiating and sympathising with such remorseless men?

This smacks of what is called the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ – a psychological phenomenon wherein hostages begin expressing sympathy and have positive feelings towards their tormentors, sometimes to the point of defending them.

Khan’s fanciful musings in this respect are actually a rather cowardly display (by the new ‘Lion of Lahore’) of twisted convolution (if not downright dishonesty) in which he is confounding his already confused young constituency by suggesting that extremist violence is being perpetrated upon a hapless population in the cities of Pakistan by those who are being killed by American drones.

Is that what is making these oh-so-wronged men blow up markets, shrines, mosques, churches, imambargahs and Ahmadis’ places of worship and slaughtering Pakistanis at will?

And even if this is what is making them do so, then shame on them and on those who are sympathising with them. For example, when a man dies from a ranger’s and a cop’s bullet in Karachi’s slum area, does his son or daughter goes out to explode in public because he’s been ‘wronged?’

No. He might become a criminal or a ‘target killer’ or whatever, but a mass murderer ... ?

I sincerely wish now that Imran has made his initial mark in mainstream politics, he gets his bearings right and breaks out of the belief that he is still talking to a facebook crowd.

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and Dawn.com.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

 

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and Dawn.com

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (165)

Hassaan Zia
October 31, 2011 4:32 pm
Well mr. Nadeem paracha... you are a known critic of rightists.... But one thing you know well.. Imran cant survive without using the suffix isalamic... and you would have seen him saying prayers at the stage. Why? Only because he wants to show the people.. he is pretty much concerned about Islam.... So, one thing is very clear.... Despite being secular, he cant unrelate himself from Islam.... The day he did... he will lose popularity....
akram
October 31, 2011 4:37 pm
I have hardly seen any of your previous blogs criticizing PML-N, PPP or any other major political parties other than Imran Khan. You can write whatever things you want about Imran Khan but at least he's trying from the bottom of his heart and not a opportunist like those who are sitting in the government and sucking poor people blood. How come you never speak out against Government or Army who played a huge part in bringing Pakistan down this far?
Nadeem Khan
October 31, 2011 4:40 pm
Hi NFP, I specifically logged onto your blog today. You were among the people who were not even giving Imran this-much chance to gather more than 5000 people in Lahore. When he gathered at least 5 times more, now you have nothing else but to attack his speech. For me, even if he would have remained SILENT on the stage, it should be enough of a message for people like you. thanks
Sanity
October 31, 2011 4:43 pm
Being a non-Muslim living in Pakistan, on one hand it makes me very happy that an educated and honest person is gaining popularity among masses. But, on the other hand, I am very concerned when I hear his views on secularism, which he rejects completely as a western construct, and on terrorism. To me his views resonate with those of the establishment. But then, politicians generally say what most people want to listen, as you mentioned: "Such a dilemma is a reminder of the fact that many of these young people belong to a generation of urban middle-class youth that has been brought up on demagogic tirades (on TV by good-for-ratings orators) against democracy, political parties, the West and India"
Nadeem Khan
October 31, 2011 4:43 pm
I, being one of his ardent critics in my social circles, must acknowledge (unlike you) that Imran is a real deal on ground now and not a Facebook leader. Let the man breathe a little bit more, and he will (hopefully) answer to every critique you have ever made against him. Thanks
Sanity
October 31, 2011 4:44 pm
Forgot to mention, very nice article.
Nadeem Khan
October 31, 2011 4:47 pm
My final comment: you might see things in RIGHT (Black) or LEFT (white) or CENTER (Black & White), but there are other colors in life as well. Please see other colors in our political scene.
Bilal Ali Rao
October 31, 2011 4:54 pm
Well done NFP..I support Imran Khan but I think his policy regarding Terrorism is flawed which you analyzed quite brilliantly.By the way his policy was not leaning to the right and not entirely left. Time will determine whether he will lean to left or right.
Hasham
October 31, 2011 4:59 pm
I agree with you, NFP, that Khan is wrong in attributing the 35K+ deaths to the american drone strikes. Moreover, I second your thought that sympathising these terrorists who are blowing up in public places is unjustified.
M. Malik
October 31, 2011 5:01 pm
Frankly, given the choices availabe in Pakistan politics, between a corrupt and incompetent PPP and its leader, Zaradari; and self-serving PML-N, and the MQM, Imran Khan will get my vote any day. Anything short of a new face, we should bring back Pervaiz Musharaf.
Amir Saeed
October 31, 2011 5:03 pm
Mr. Pracha, your articles are beginning to seem quite tired.
Sh
October 31, 2011 5:05 pm
I agree with NFP..... first time ever Imran has dared to face the public... he is a politician who doesn't believe in elections thats y boycotts them.... Strange as it may seem that Imran is always using Islamic slogan ....Such people just want to make sure that people can be fooled in the name of Islam and he gets votes by sloganeering.... Punjab's urban population has proved this time and again that such Islamic slogans are enough to cast a vote in favour of such hypocrites
Alex
October 31, 2011 5:09 pm
Imran is following the footsteps of Bhutto ! Despite being secular and educated he is resorting to religious jingoism and making evocative but logically incorrect statements to woo the semi-illiterate masses. But before talking in favour of militants Imran Khan should remember that he is playing with fire.
Ursilla
October 31, 2011 5:21 pm
Finallya sane article on IK by someone. But of course, there will be those ranting about NFP's 'baised article.' I think he has given some very good advise to both PTI and PML-N.
G A.
October 31, 2011 5:24 pm
We can try Imran Khan OR we can go back to the same old tried-and-tested-many-times-over politicians who will go back to doing exactly what they have been doing for the country for twenty years - absolutely nothing!
tahir qureshi
October 31, 2011 5:28 pm
i think mr pracha is a little dishonest in appraisal here.i dont for a second think that imran khan was sympathising with the terrorists,in fact he goes to great lengths to explain the reasons behind the terror mindset in pakistan.you must have a short memory,bcos before 2004 we had no terror attacks as such in pakistan.everyone knows imran is the only clean politician we have in pakistan and he gets my vote.
Sultan
October 31, 2011 5:29 pm
A rather 70's analysis of Pakistan in the 21st century. I fail to understand who are the left wing of Pakistan. The landlords of Southern Punjab? The ethno-fascist nationalist found in all provinces. Punjabs urban population are not conservative. The whole point of the excercise is that they want change. Change is not hankering back to the past but a vision of another and brighter future. The PPP, MQM and PML-N,C,Q and ANP not to speak of the religious parties want to preserve the status quo. They are the true conservatives. PPP hankers to a past glory that is no mor (ZAB era) as do PML and the ANP for that matter. Your analysis of what motivates the the people who are ready to give the PTI a chance is flawed. THey want change. Not for Punjab or Lahore but for Pakistan. A new begining for Pak and for it to move with the times. Its called progress and change not preservation of the past.
Ahsan
October 31, 2011 5:34 pm
Alex. Can you please share some example of a) evocative but logically incorrect statements and b) talking in favour of militants. I would like to learn as at the moment I think you are using these words without proper research and thinking. I could be wrong, but would like to learn.
Ahsan
October 31, 2011 5:36 pm
Hassaan, can you please share some more information on why you think a) Imran cant survive without using the suffix islamic and b) Despite being secular, he cant unrelate himself from Islam…. The day he did… he will lose popularity. Whats make you say Imran is secular. i think you are making superficial claims. I could be wrong but would like to learn
Ali
October 31, 2011 5:37 pm
Phenomenal piece of observation Brother Paracha, If I have lost a loved one because of these ruthless gangsters, how in the world I can comprehend negotiating with those barbarians who have caused Islam the most damage, ironically while having Islam as their code of conduct. Imran Khan cannot feel the pain of Pakistanis who have lost their loved ones only because of prctising a different school of thought. He is no different than Nawaz Shariff, even he supports Taliban and so does Imran. I dont see any bit of hope in Imran.
Affan
October 31, 2011 5:41 pm
Why did I even waste my time reading this innately incongruous article!
Razi
October 31, 2011 5:42 pm
Hi! You have your strong views about Imran Khan and a very very powerful gift of expressing them so well ... I sincerely hope that people in the PTI camp read you and learn from your advise. And I equally sincerely hope that you too will critique them with an open mind, as since yesterday they have practically declared themselves to be actual contenders. I am another one of their well wishers and would love it if they could take in all the honest critique in stride (including yours) and improve themselves on it.
Amin Hussain
October 31, 2011 5:48 pm
let me help you out... since you obviously dont have five minutes to spare to look things up on the internet... a quick search would've landed you at a speech of jinnah referring to islamic socialism "Pakistan should be based on sure foundations of social Justice and Islamic Socialism which emphasizes equality and brotherhood of man"... And since you cant seem to get your head around this rather simple concept... let me illuminate... when people refer to islamic... they are talking about the basic islamic concepts of justice and humanity... just like people used to talk about good christian values in the west... its simply a declaration that their ideal is one that is in coherence with the ideals declared in a particular religion... And since when is social welfare about nationalising industries? for someone who rants and raves about left and right all day long (another ridiculous simplification in my opinion) you should at least know what social welfare entails?! And of course... whats going on in the tribal regions... well... i think Imran Khan's popularity in KPK should be the indicator of what are the actual ground realities there... since everyone seems to have an opinion about the issue with very little facts... from what i hear he seems to be faring rather well in KPK... then again... i wouldnt know... and unlike you i will not present my opinion as gospel truth about a subject i have very little actual facts on! O, and Stockholm Syndrome... Its about sympathy for ones captors... the taliban are not holding us hostage... perhaps a better fit would be defending a government that repeatedly lets the population down while fattening its own wallets...
navid
October 31, 2011 5:50 pm
Some aspects such as the suffix 'islamic' are for popular consumption so i guess it is unfair to blame IK for using it because after all he is a politician and Pakistan is not a secular liberal democracy in the western sense. Most people criticise NFP for being too anti-IK but i guess this piece has been nice and somehow showing appreciation for IK's new standing at the political stage of Pakistan.
SMahf
October 31, 2011 5:55 pm
i hardly ever read NFP stuff but started reading this one because of IK didnt really finish - so boring and depressing..
Fawad Gul
October 31, 2011 5:57 pm
what do you want Mr. Nadeem Paracha? Zardari or Nawaz or Altaf? you want them once again?
Ayaash
October 31, 2011 6:06 pm
I am yet to comprehend what NFP means by the left/liberals of Pakistan and why they are supposed to be important. I am true supporter of a secular Pakistan and would love to have nonjudgmental people who know how to tolerate others' way of living, but does this mean this is the sole requirement I need in the future Pakistan. The answer my friend (NFP) is: No. The foremost things I want Pakistan to have is a free of corruption government, an unbiased and honest judiciary, a progressive (in terms of education, medical, infrastructure, technology) thinking on part of the government and people. If secularism and liberalism is all I wanted, I would have been pretty content with the Musharraf. And the way you make Zardari out to be a liberal is such a low blow.
Adeel
October 31, 2011 6:18 pm
the current PPP setup is nothing but disgustingly incompetent. what imran brings is hope, flawed in parts maybe but hope nevertheless. its sad that pseudo-intellectuals like yourself are defending the status quo.
Ali
October 31, 2011 6:22 pm
Putting everything aside, he is the only one that has an impeccable and clean past and record!
m choudhry
October 31, 2011 6:23 pm
Excellent article, but at the same time, Imran is the only hope in the corrupt Pakistani political culture. We as a desperate nation looking for some light who direct us in the path of hope and Glory. We should remove religion from politics, otherwise no Imran or messiah will save this desperate nation
T. Khan
October 31, 2011 6:33 pm
It is not only PML N is nervous about Imran Khan's rise as a formidable opponent, PPP/MQM jointly are just as concerned. They both may loose their young & educated voters to PTI. Also, facebook and other social media will be a great tool for Imran Khan as he has used it quite efficiently. Anyways, it is getting interesting as finally NFP succumb to recognize Imran Khan as a leader to reason with. Slow start for NFP but a good start.
Rubab
October 31, 2011 6:33 pm
Non muslims living in pakistan are as a reality as muslims ar. Imran talked about rights of non muslims and minority. Not following western culture doesn't mean its against minorities in pakistan. Minorities have different religion but largely the culture is similar.be pakistani and thats it, everything else is secondary.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir A
October 31, 2011 6:41 pm
No doubt, Imran Khan can provide the kind of sincere, patriotic and dedicated leadership that the people of Islamic Republic of Pakistan want and are in essence looking forward to since the demise of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Nevertheless, since majority of voters in the 'land of the pure' still live in rural areas where Khan's party is not so popular, all scholars, academics, experts and intellectuals of democracy realize that he can't muster enough votes quantitatively to have majority in the National Assembly and form a government at the federal level. At the same time, all true, hard-working, educated, civilized, caring, brave, mature, faithful and dedicated Pakistanis support Imran Khan and his vision about the future of Pakistan and wish him good luck in his endeavors to make this important and precious country corruption free and one of the most modern, forward looking , prosperous and egalitarian Islamic societies of the 21st century. Imran Khan Zindaa Baad, Pakistan Paeenda Baad.
Bilal Kayani
October 31, 2011 7:24 pm
I agree that various holes can be picked in Imran Khan's speech - but, to be honest, not any more than in any other politicians speech. If anything, what he was saying made more sense to me than the speech of Altaf Hussain. I am currently on the fence regarding whether Imran Khan can convert all this euphoria into votes and whether he has the potential to actually execute things. However, when I look at the alternatives, I wonder whether there is anything to lose in giving Imran Khan a vote - and the only answer that comes to mind is "No". So my vote will go to the PTI at the next elections. But he finally has the spotlight he has craved for so long, and it is upto him to grab this opportunity, become more pragmatic and establish himself in the mainstream. Whatever the outcome, there is something refreshing about the threat the PTI now poses to the status quo...
ASIF
October 31, 2011 7:24 pm
I belive allah give a new chance to pakistan in shape of Imran .Iam Happy to sea imran getting more and more power and inshallah soon he will be in islambad . All the Best For Great Imran.Seayou in Present House.
Sid
October 31, 2011 7:24 pm
Why is it wrong to use "islamic" slogans? isnt our country an islamic state? Please stop criticizing on everything IK says. True he might not be the best politician but he is the only hope of this country and a true patriotic and honest leader. He is an idealist who will bring back Pakistan's lost glory. So NFP saab i would like you to suggest to start writing good things about PTI an IK and let go of their short comings. IK and PTI are the only ones giving hope to the youth of this country but your journalism is not helping the general public. If you want to give constructive criticism to IK then please email them. Please please please do not spread negativity as we already have too much of that. Thanking you in advance.
Yawar
October 31, 2011 7:33 pm
Just can't understand why so many IK fans get so sobby when some one takes on Imran. This is a fair and rational critique of PML and PTI.
dalrymple
October 31, 2011 7:37 pm
See NFP once you drop the cringeworthy comedian act and actually write a political piece with the sole purpose of putting forth your view point in a straight forward manner, it turns out to be so much better.
Asim Khan
October 31, 2011 8:08 pm
I read the article, i am not sure if i should agree with it. This is not the problem, the problem is that we as a nation have become so critical of everyone that it sometimes become very hard for us to appreciate someone who is atleast making an effort to do something with a clear heart. I am not suggesting that Imran Khan if given a chance can turn this country into one prosperous nation in a matter of months. The only thing that excites me is the fact that there is a voice that coincide with pretty much most of the people living in pakistan who are sick and tired of the present establishment. If the sore purpose of Mr NFP is show everyone that he has a better understanding of the current political situation, then please my vote is all set for you sir if you can bring about a change that satisfies the nation. Please refrain from criticising everyone just because you feel you have the power to pen down your thoughts that would reach the masses. This is another problem of pakistan. Our professionals be it from any walk of life just stand up and say whatever they want to say because they are so sure that nobody is going to standup against them to check their credibility......
PP (Punjabi Pakistan
October 31, 2011 8:18 pm
When will PIT and Imran khan going to declare how much and who paid for expense for rally on 30th OCT?
Saad
October 31, 2011 8:48 pm
Wow, its people like you that provoke others to change their minds. I can't believe I wasted my time reading this article. Maybe you have been sleeping this whole time so let me catch you up to speed: there was a time when we didn't have trerroris attacks in Pakistan and that was when there weren't any drone attacks. We want a change and I'm not saying Imran is perfect but he is the best choice right now. Wake up paracha and look what's happening around you.
Fahad
October 31, 2011 8:59 pm
Nice and logical article once again by NFP. But from a moral and ethical perspective there is a wrong argument in the end. Is there any difference between a target killer and a mass muderor. A killer is a killer if he has killed one or many. The rest I really appreciate his work.
WM
October 31, 2011 9:03 pm
not once did IK sympathise with the terrorists...he gives the ppl of pakistan an alternative to military solution much tried and tested before. we have nothing to lose in pakistan today...y not give IK a chance!
Beenish
October 31, 2011 9:08 pm
Your article amazed me....your logic or lack there of stuns me...Its all too easy to point fingers at others and criticize, Mr Paracha...thats what everyone does nowadays... At least give the man a chance!....he has yet to come in power and actually prove himself...it would be fair if he is actually criticized after he fails to handle the task, if at all that happens which is quiet unlikely...So, hold your criticism until is actually deserved!...before that, its all meaningless. Regards
manzoorkhantareen
October 31, 2011 9:17 pm
these are our political leaders which are curpt but the only men that bring chang
OmairZ
October 31, 2011 9:20 pm
Dear Pracha, A few quotes for you: "Out with the old in with the new" "Iqbal's Pakistan" "No suicide bombings before 2004" "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" I am sure you will figure it out, you are a smart man, or at least people think you are but your childish article questioning Imran on some very basic questions, leads me to think otherwise. Good luck, O
kenny
October 31, 2011 9:24 pm
this time i am really optimums about imran khan will bring the difference
Latif Khan
October 31, 2011 9:31 pm
I concur with you that Imran Khan’s Islamic slogan is just a trap for innocent people who had no or little knowledge of Isam. If he sticks to the Qauaid’s advice to keep the theocracy out of the state affairs, he can lead Pakistan and set an example for other Muslim countries that how best a secular Pakistan would become fully developed country. My advice to Imran is to keep away from mullahs.
FAA
October 31, 2011 9:33 pm
I fail to understand what has made the writer to come to this conclusion that "large number of Imran’s supporters still consist of young men and women who have no clue how democracy works and what their vote really means", is he trying to say that uneducated pakistanis from rural parts of the country know more about true democracy and fair political system. I would say 0/100 for the assessment of Imran's supporters.
ghumman
October 31, 2011 9:38 pm
It is isn't about right or left or center. It's about Right or Wrong. I saw mixed phenomenon there. I saw people from all classes there. it shows that he has support in every corner. Tsunami is coming bigger then anything that anyone has ever seen........
Hassaan Zia
October 31, 2011 9:45 pm
Well... i meant he doesnt advocate Islamic System.. like Jamaat islami... but he doesnt openly say that Islam is a private matter like PPP.... so where does he stand?
Rashid
October 31, 2011 9:46 pm
NFP I admire your observation; it is time for Pakistani voters to acknowledge the difference between a "dogma" vs reality. Nothing against MR. Khan, but it is very easy to do the politics of criticism, hope Mr. Khan will rise above the regular rant and start giving some solutions for the real problem.
Shakir
October 31, 2011 10:38 pm
Mr. Paracha I think you are stuck in your college days of 70's. You have a habit of describing every phenomenon as a struggle b/w left and right, whether it is ouster of Shoaib Akhtar or Rally of Imran or anything else on the world If you want to eliminate something then you should be proponent of the alternate, instead of just criticizing. For example if you are against war then be pro peace. You have told us a lot about what you hate; for a change let us know what do you support. What kind of Pakistan you want to see?
Yasir Imran
October 31, 2011 10:54 pm
The gathering of Imran Khan has totally changed the expectation of analysts who were thinking PTI a weak opponent. But Imran needs support from rural areas and villages as well, because huge vote bank exist in central Punjab that consist of illiterate people and blind supporters. Once Imran manage to get support from those areas no one could stop him to capture the national assembly.
Rehman
October 31, 2011 11:08 pm
You people simply can't digest, better compromise now otherwise we will make you compromise with new reality. Our dream is socio-economic justice. Corruption free society and we are with Imran Khan
raghu
October 31, 2011 11:14 pm
Its an interesting development in pakistani politics.The question is, can pakistan sustain such a high dose of democracy at this juncture?
Naveed
October 31, 2011 11:27 pm
so who are you going to vote for?
Samejo
October 31, 2011 11:34 pm
I think new space is being generated in political scene in here and world around and IK is trying to use such space but strong doubts are expressed of his backing from some murky places, but none has doubts about troubles of N, Paracha has mentioned it so us all
Masood Haider
October 31, 2011 11:38 pm
To call IK, 'Pagal Khan' is impolite but as Cyril Almeida does. naming him 'Taliban Khan' is quite appropriate and that alone to say nothing of his simple minded and childish approach to foreign affairs should disqualify him from serious consideration by the so called 'educated elite'.
Qasim
October 31, 2011 11:49 pm
Pakistanis, whatever their profession or background are programmed to be negative and sarcastic. I am not surprised by negative comments as it is these attitudes that have brought Pakistan to its knees.
QB
November 1, 2011 12:00 am
I don't think IK said 35K deaths by drone attacks --- he said 35K deaths as a result of war on terror including the military casualties. Military jawans are Pakistani sons as well, at least till the last time I checked.
Zaeem
November 1, 2011 12:10 am
unexpectedly NFP seems quite reasonable in this article ..
Adil
November 1, 2011 12:12 am
NFP - How about writing an article on ZARDARI ? Don't hide behind your personal ideology. Let's hear what you have to say about the shameless and the corrupt.
Wasit
November 1, 2011 12:16 am
Imran has arrived. It is time for the corrupt Zardaris and Sharifs to buy tickets for Dubai.
Raza
November 1, 2011 12:23 am
"a large number of Imran’s supporters still consist of young men and women who have no clue how democracy works and what their vote really means." Really!! I stopped reading the article after this statement. I think the young people are a lot smarter then you think.
Afnan
November 1, 2011 12:26 am
As always, NFP tries to play 'I know it all' but alas, music (about which he started writing) & national politics are poles apart and NFP is close to neither! Utter waste of time, reading this!
Ahsan Jahangir
November 1, 2011 12:43 am
Mr. Paracha you cannot blame Imran khan of dishonesty, May be things are a little exaggerated in some places but this is part of politics. This is the start of his true political career. Give him some time, no saint will desend down from heaven to lead Pakistan!
Zed
November 1, 2011 1:10 am
I am amazed by the things i've read in reply to the above article. I have never taken much interest in politics but when your country is left in the state that our country currently is in, you have no choice but to pay attention to the politics. First and foremost, IK has been criticized for his references to Islam when he talks about the future of Pakistan. For non-muslims the message is, ISLAM is not just a religion for Muslims but a way of life and the Quran is sent to us as a guidance of how to lead our lives. When he has made references to Islam, he talks about equality, he talks about womens rights and he talks about betterment for Pakistan...in what way is that negative for any Pakistani, whether they are muslim or non-muslims? I never realised people are so pessimistic. How can you blame IK for becoming like Zardari or Bhutto when you haven't even given him a chance. You cannot judge a leader before he has been given leadership, all we know about IK is his views and what he intends to change in the future and i don't think anyone can fault that. He talks about becoming a more dependent state, people are writing here that Pakistani ties with America are beneficial, i'd like these people to point out when exactly it has proven to be a good think for Pakistan?! IK wants Pakistan to be left alone for a good period of time so we can sort ourselves out (which needs to be done) and this can only be done on our own, not with American intervention! Critics will always be present, all i can say is that Pakistan is in desperate need of change, and IK seems a genuine, honest and trustworthy individual capable of making this change happen...with the help of ALLAH. INSHALLAH.
shahrukh khan
November 1, 2011 1:11 am
But the million dollar question is does Imran Khan have what it takes to bring out all those who gathered at his rally and persuade them to actually vote? You are questioning Imran. My question to you is Does any other political leader in pakistan has what it takes to bring out all those who gathered at his rally and persuade them to actually vote? All others are corrupt. show us any corruption where Imran was involved?
AK
November 1, 2011 1:21 am
NFP is more concerned with projecting his own ideological bias on the situation, than on what is likely good for Pakistan. Its about time he stops being a mouth piece of NSF or PSF - and look at the situation from a "Pakistan-only" lense, but that'd be tough for this biased word-smith !
ProPak
November 1, 2011 1:21 am
Excellent article Nadeem. Not many would agree with you because of their preconcieved notions about right and wrong. Anyhow, keep up the good work. I think Imran's show of Namaz during Jalsa was as cheap as Nawaz's fake attempts to console victims of rape in Sindh back in 90s. He could have easily gone behind the stage to offer his prayers but he used it to gain political mileage. He is not much different from Nawaz , just better looking.
Ahmed
November 1, 2011 2:14 am
congrats NFP for another piece of worthless tirade
Jum
November 1, 2011 2:24 am
For the critics HE IS THE BEST OF THE WORST , and for the Supporters HE IS BEST OF THE BEST !!
shuja
November 1, 2011 2:54 am
"a large number of Imran’s supporters still consist of young men and women who have no clue how democracy works and what their vote really means" ....Well I would disagree on that, a large number of the supporters of our corrupt politicians have no clue what democracy means because they keep on voting the same corrupt people to power. That I think is anything but smart
Sakeel
November 1, 2011 2:56 am
How long you going to deny that IK will be Pakistan next PM.
Syed
November 1, 2011 3:33 am
Are you professor Salma Hooshmand?
Ace
November 1, 2011 3:56 am
+1 Ahsan.
Ace
October 31, 2011 10:57 pm
Couldn't have agreed anymore.
Ace
November 1, 2011 3:58 am
Thank you for making me regret wasting about half a minute on this article.
Ace
November 1, 2011 4:03 am
Mr Hassaan, I think you are making superficial claims. I could be wrong but I am pretty sure I'm not.
Ace
November 1, 2011 4:07 am
Not allowing US army to operate =/= Supporting Taliban. This is not Bollywood.
Zohair Alam
October 31, 2011 11:09 pm
Really nice piece was hoping someone would critique Imran. A lot of what he has to say is questionable and rightly pointed out nfp! but i guess he is still the best pick. the really true argument going for imran khan is that he has a CLEAN SLATE. pakistan has all the time to test him; we give incompetent politicians all the time they need to loot and plunder. i don't think imran could take pakistan any lower than the rest. i would've hoped that you would correctly praise imran for at least trying to talk about issues that matter in a speech and not rely on rhetoric alone (although it accounted for perhaps more than half of speech-time). i give imran 10/10, scale relative to the choice set, for TRYING (although much more was hoped) to talk about real issues and presenting a way forward. Good luck Pakistan!
Trollzerker
November 1, 2011 5:06 am
HI GUYS SHOULD I BOTHER READING? SOMEONE INFORM ME IN ADVANCE THANKS
Tahir Rizvi
November 1, 2011 5:12 am
Glad to see Imran Khan's evolution as a main stream and popular leader. He has done a lot of work even while out of any office to serve Pakistan and its citizens. He has demonstrated by his past services that even out of office you can do a lot for the country and its people. This is a good example of service that he has set for other politicians who operate on a basis that they have to be in power to do something for Pakistan and the people. He has also demonstrated that while not in office, he did not try to initiate any activities to rock the boat just to shake up the elected Government to achieve its fall. I support Imran Khan and other leaders of various parties who sincerely and honestly want to serve the country and promote functioning of Democracy. God bless Pakistan, its democracy and all our good leaders. May the best party and best leaders win?
Usman Ahmad
November 1, 2011 12:41 am
I live in USA.I know majority of the Pakistanies will vote for Imran Khan in the upcoming election because he is honest,devoted,educated and has a vision. Look at our neighbors. where they are heading and where we are after 64 years. Our peoples are dying of hunger and diseases while corrupt politicians have nothing else to do except watching their bank balances grow. Sure they know how to feed the hungry masses with empty slogans and pull each other’s legs Do not take my words just check any politician ‘s past and present. Check his bank balance abroad. You will find out the truth. How did we get here? We have been fooled by these corrupt politicians for too long. Wake up or our next generation will never forgive us. For some reason ,we people, living abroad feel little extra pain for our beloved country which gave us everything. Now it is our turn to do something in return. WHOULD YOU? PAKISTAN ZINDABAD
jagjit sidhoo
November 1, 2011 1:25 am
Well said brother no point trying methods and leaders who have had their chance and failed. Only some lucky cats have nine lives humans do not.
Pak4Ever
November 1, 2011 1:41 am
As a Pakistani, we have seen enough of these corrupt politicians - like Zardari, Nawaz. They MUST go. We need to create a Pakistani government that is for the people of Pakistan. Imran offers us that hope. Let's give him a chance and support him for a better Pakistan.
Khalid
November 1, 2011 2:10 am
Only think Imran Khan had been saying is "negotiate" and negotiate from position of strength. If this is you call favoring Taliban then After naively jump in the war without a real plan, now US is also talking about negotiation?? Don't you think he was the smartest guy who knew the history and which direction this war is going to go?
Babar
November 1, 2011 7:45 am
NFP come out of literature and bookish staff and face the reality. We all need a common man to lead us and we have got Imran Khan who has proved it. It all begin now we are just half way there...... we will have a bigger crowd in Karachi very soon too
saleem
November 1, 2011 8:01 am
great analysis NFP; hope that Imi and his crowd graduate to be a more serious contender and seriously consider the insight and depth in your comments. Currently I see them jumping up and down to criticize you!
Mohammad A Hussain
November 1, 2011 8:40 am
Mr. Paracha, After reading your article, what I have concluded is that you are not a neutral writer and not willing to write what is in the interest of your country. When you see those corrupted politician took the charge of the country multiple times before and what they did with the country. Still going on the same path as master commanded without using your brain. I don’t know if you live abroad or not, for everyone’s information the reason for success of the first world countries are the laws which have pretty much same fundamentals as Islamic laws except interest and nudity in there system. If you call Imran’s agenda or his view of state as Islamic welfare, there is nothing wrong in it. If you check the history of France how many times they change their government in few years to have one that meet the people need. Time has changed, people can see how corrupted politicians we have and they can very well judge who can put Pakistan on the right track towards prosperity and humanity where people can have their rights and not treated like an animal or beggars. Your article actually demoralized the young generation instead of encouraging them. Please be wise when you write. There is no doubt with the system there in Pakistan rural areas where landlord makes decision related to voting. But don’t give up time will come that people in those areas will stand for their rights too.
Farhan
November 1, 2011 8:46 am
Hahaha - This article is nothing but an attempt to discredit Imran Khan by faulty logic.
Farhan
November 1, 2011 8:48 am
how about listing down the failures of the central govt.??
naseem
November 1, 2011 8:52 am
Who cares whether IK is secular or religious. Is he GOOD for PAKISTAN. Does he care and have concerns for the survival of PAKISTAN. PERIOD
Shahid
November 1, 2011 8:54 am
Any justification of supporting Zardari or Sharif brothers please get some courage and let people to know truth..and please give a break..
Ah Khan
November 1, 2011 9:03 am
Imran Khan is the hope. If you fail him, you and your next generations will continue to suffer the corrupt system. VOTE FOR CHANGE; if you want to see a change in your own lifetime.
Abdul
November 1, 2011 9:07 am
Imran khan's show on Sunday also sent shock-wave to people like Nadeem F,Marvi Sarmad and Raza Rumi the ultra liberals of country. and lastly IK always condemns every suicide attack and drone attack. but our ultra liberal friends never protest against drone attacks..why? for the record im not supporter of Khan's taliban policy but i believe hes n honest man and when he comes in power and watch the reality of TALIBAN"S he will alter his policy
Imran
November 1, 2011 9:26 am
I would consider myself be a secular, yet I don't understand what "being islamic" or using the "islamic" rhetoric is bad. Islamic does not equate to being anti-secular; quite the contrary. Lets try to avoid being allergic to "Islam". If you really want to criticize someone, criticize those you commit crime against society in the name of Islam, not those who are trying to instill the best practices of Islam for our society.
Zain Siddiqui
November 1, 2011 9:33 am
Show me one statement by Imran Khan that is sympathetic to the militants. Your comment is disingenuous at best and dishonest at worst.
Junaid
November 1, 2011 9:36 am
That is because Secularism is a Western construct. Read about its historical origins. I am proud of the non-Muslim Pakistanis but it is pretty immature to think that Pakistan is or ever was a secular society. DO not believe the alternative narrative on Jinnah. He struggled to create Pakistan so Muslims could live in it as a majority state. So the concept of secularism seems to miss the point in that case. Non-Muslim Pakistanis deserve better rights and the best way for this is to actually follow Islamic principles to provide these rights.
Mehran Khan
November 1, 2011 9:53 am
When USA is trying to negotiate with Talibans, that is not sympathetic or is it? Agreed that those brain washed people have killed our people but directly on indirectly that is related to the war on terror. I believe these days its really hard to find a person like Gandhi at this time who will offer his other cheek after getting slapped on one. Only negotiations can bring a change and Imran Khan is absolutely correct on this matter.
bangladeshi
November 1, 2011 10:05 am
I think Imran khan is probably the only Pakistani leader who has self respect; national pride and still can communicate with the western audience and represent Pakistani interest and Muslim’s point of view . (At least he does not loose his mind looking at woman.. it is the other way round! )
Dixit
November 1, 2011 10:12 am
IK is just reaping the crop of his popularity among the people of Pakistan.
Imran
November 1, 2011 10:13 am
First let me own up that I have been with the PTI since 2002. I commend the objectivity of this piece, much but not all of the analysis is valid journalism and at least worth debating objectively. We should learn to deal with criticism of our shortcomings and not blindly deny them. Blindness, even if caused by passionate loyalty, is a handicap
Abbas
November 1, 2011 10:23 am
Good one but the underlying core message that Nadeem always mentions is-is Pakistan as a nation ready to experiment with democracy? After 30 years of rigid islamic traditions and syllabus.? Add to that the denials of that Imran has openly supported Taliban in the past. We have tons of guys who deny even the facts...so Nadeem goodluck! Abbas Hyderabad, India
Baloch
November 1, 2011 11:04 am
Very Sad Artical Mr. Paracha (what do you think of us the "Baloch" ) We are being killed by our own military, our young’s are disappearing every day and we have no freedom of speech inside Balochistan. Yes there is government but its Puppet of Military. We finally find some Hope in Imran Khan. He talked about us and said he will give our due rights to us and consider us Pakistani. I am very happy that this revolution is happing and we fully support Imran Khan. In Lahore i saw the New Birth of Pakistan
Mona
November 1, 2011 11:05 am
People are supporting IK only because he is honest and provides an alternative to the corrupt politicians around. Do they believe that he is a Taliban supporter? No. I think IK would not have been as successful as he is today if he had not tried to neutralize a very virulent religious segment of the society. But does he endorse their views? I am not at all convinced. I think his strategy, if elected, will be to focus on the economy and education first, rather than religion. He is hoping that once these two issues have been tackled Pakistanis will go back to their sufi traditions. He may look like a right wing politician but I think he is quite a leftist.
sam
November 1, 2011 11:11 am
The Politics of ballot box in Pakistan is certainly different from just holding big public rallies. Imran khan has , so far proved that he is not smart enough to turn urban populace support into his favour in the previous elections.
gp65
November 1, 2011 11:19 am
Have you completely forgotten the Niam-e-Adl fiasco in Swat just a couple of years back?
ruzuzuzu
November 1, 2011 11:28 am
Imran Khan is a man of some comrpomise and that is good for democracy. He wants to compromise with the Pak Tlibans but the Talibans have never asked for a negotiation or compromise. The Taliban dont like people who compromise and in the 90s they hanged many compromising leaders in Afghanistan. Some compromising leaders were also hanged in Iran in the 80s. I hope Imran Khan will successfully contribute towards bringing peace and prosperity in Pakistan.
sania
November 1, 2011 11:29 am
i would like to say that imran khan first campaign in universal defeat in the 1997 polls while in 2002 he won his party's only seat. Be seen in the 2008 general election, imran khan never even left the pavilion.so far his support in Lahore or other urban centres in Punjab will only affect Nawaz Sharif's vote bank. The PPP and ruling coalition will continue to enjoy the support of the rural and traditional constituencies.
DR IMRAN
November 1, 2011 11:39 am
I WILL PRAY FOR THIS HONEST MAN IMRAN KHANTO LEAD THE BEUTIFUL COUNTRY OF PAKISTAN IN LETTER AND SPIRIT AS HE WISHES.
Danish Lamuel
November 1, 2011 12:06 pm
If elected, Imran Khan will be to Pakistan what Obama has been to the US ... big dissappointments
Nazish
November 1, 2011 12:10 pm
Mr Nadeem is too critical because of which he misses the point that since we are a declared Islamic Republic we have to attach the word 'Islamic' to welfare state to get it through the masses that welfare does not mean following the west as it is but rather modifying ways according to Islam. there is no harm in being critical but at least don't miss that IK is trying to get through the masses' mind-sets not all of the voters are educated population, uneducated masses are bigger in number. and secondly there is no harm in dialog for peace
Abdul Raqeeb Memon
November 1, 2011 12:18 pm
Right now, country needs positive change... In this regard Imran Khan is great hope.
Azam
November 1, 2011 12:32 pm
Mr Paracha, this article is not aligned with the tone of the people.
Yasir
November 1, 2011 1:02 pm
Zabardast article. NFP is one solid guy. never allows to be swept away with euphiric tides and sticks to the kind of logic that may be umpopular today but turns out to be true. He's done this over and over again. That's why along with Najam Sethi, NFP remains to be one of the most insightful social and political commentaters in Pakistan.
john
November 1, 2011 1:26 pm
i want to say that imran khan will have to work very hard that he can turn the PTI’s popularity with certain segments of the electorate into votes, and seats , at the next election, scheduled to be held in 2013 so till then , it is too early to claim that the PTI is a success in the full meaning of the word.There is a long way between holding rallies and the politics of ballot box.
Aamir Ishaq
November 1, 2011 1:33 pm
I do agree that Imran Khan, (TI) is hope for the pessimist people of the Nation, in my point of view he should be given the chance to prove him self, as ruling party and other major political parties have been given chance to Govern but they were not able craft a solid standing for the Nation. furthermore i am also of the opinion that Imran Khan should be matured now so need for improvement is there for best prospect of the Country.
vijay, chennai, Indi
November 1, 2011 1:42 pm
@ NFP You did not mention IK's views on Kashmir which definetly will draw many votes
SU
November 1, 2011 1:46 pm
"No. He might become a criminal or a ‘target killer’ or whatever, but a mass murderer …" are you trying to say being a target killer is justified in some circumstances??? NFP a normal Pakistani does not have the ability to think clearly. We are overloaded with emotions. And yet you suggest that a young man whose family has just been bombed should think rationally before blowing himself up? I think suicide bombing is a heinous crime but i also think that we have to eliminate the source of suicide bombings which include poverty, illiteracy and drone strikes. You cant fight fire with fire... all u'll get is a bigger fire.
Ahsan
November 1, 2011 1:48 pm
I have been through most of the comments and come to a conclusion that almost 95% of the comments are favouring Imran Khan. But there is still a huge way ahead of him before success can be realized. Just to mention few examples: How will we ever get rid of this “Bratheri” concept? Also the low literacy rate in Pakistan is hampering the “change”. But what can you do about it? Just write comments in here and leave rest to God? God will not help unless you do something about it. Don’t you think it is about time to take some responsibility? It has been several decades ago Pakistan was declared independent but unfortunately our brains are still caught by “slavery”. What you need to do is to bring awareness about what it really means by being an “azaad” country. Why don’t you begin with your family and friends? Let us initiate a chain message: “We want azaadi” We all have to work together to achieve our goal/the “CHANGE” we have been looking for ages. I want to live as a proud Pakistani I want to die as a proud Pakistani Imran Khan: hum aap kay saath hain.
Rana
November 1, 2011 1:58 pm
very positive thinking and therefore great reply, .. IK by far very honest person in Pak society.
Rana
November 1, 2011 2:08 pm
Mr. Baloch your comment brought tears in my eyes. being a pakistani (lahori) i apologies that my tax money is being used to kill people. I'm glad that you heard man of words "Imran Khan" and we all endures his words.
Salahuddin Ghaznavi
November 1, 2011 2:14 pm
"... a somewhat reactionary drawing-room/TV studio tendency that has actually given birth to the current Imran phenomenon" This is beyond the realms of the ridiculous. I'm surprised at how naive you are. Do you really believe a congregation of such a scale gathered, as a result of drawingroom debate? You are remarkably cavalier, for a journalist, so as to make a fool of the efforts that you have made here.
Information Age
November 1, 2011 2:15 pm
IK, PLEASE be warned! stay away from these MULLAHS and the boots as they are the biggest and most powerful stakeholders of the STATUS QUO that you and your followers are up against.
Imran Sherwani
November 1, 2011 2:23 pm
Sir you are one fantastic writer. Everything is open. Parday may rehnay dow...parda Na utta ho.. As a writer u are doing great job. keep it high world deserve writers like you. God bless you.
Natesan Narayanan
November 1, 2011 2:28 pm
We all Indians want a peaceful Pakistan.
Zareen
November 1, 2011 2:49 pm
Adil, very good question! Lets hear what he has to say about Zardari.
Sanity
November 1, 2011 3:17 pm
Thanks for your short lecture on secularism. Lets assume for the time being that secularism is a western construct, does it automatically make it wrong system. In a way you proved my point: politicians sell want people want to buy. As simple as that.
Combaticus
November 1, 2011 3:18 pm
NFP stated that the youth men and women who attended Imran's rally " have no clue how democracy works and what their vote really means". I think they know exactly what their vote will mean. It will mean bringing an honest man to power. You may disagree with many views of Imran on issues like the Afghan war or role of religion in Pakistan BUT the fact that he is not corrupt like most of the rulers of the past is enough reason to vote for him.
Haseeb
November 1, 2011 3:20 pm
Mr. Paracha, You have serious problems when Khan said 'Islamic welfare state' but you did not hesitate for a second in adding suffix 'Islamic' when militants alone would have been enough. Why this contradiction???
Babar
November 1, 2011 3:21 pm
Self contradictory article. At one place Mr. Paracha says to respect the voters "... no matter how ‘incompetent’ the current government is, the idea should be to let democracy flow and let the people decide through their vote whom to elect next." then he says that Imran's followers have no clue about democracy . ‎" ... a large number of Imran’s supporters still consist of young men and women who have no clue how democracy works and what their vote really means." He himself is not respecting the people's right of choosing who ever they want to vote for.
Omama Moin
November 1, 2011 3:31 pm
Imran Khan....Please a request for one such event in karachi. We are really tired with MQM and PPPP. Its just a beginning....youth really wants you...
Ashok
November 1, 2011 3:44 pm
nice article. DAWN doing great job... its very interesting that some Indians also spending time to get info about pakistan via dawn. keep it up. god bless all..
Ahmed Nadeem
November 1, 2011 3:55 pm
imran khan's recent history tells us how he switches from on commitment to an otherwith out fullfilling it. one day he files a, case against MQM leader next day he prtests against Drowns andafter few daysyou will find him sitting in front of president house and then stopping Nato trailers and also does not mind in taking part in the refrendam of a dictator,with out achiving any result in all the cases and has no consistence in his polices
ramesh
November 1, 2011 3:57 pm
Few years ago, I listened IK on one TV debate discussion along with other pak political leader .I realised that this guy has maturity and sense to understand international relation , more particularly with India and USA What I see in indian leadres with respect to ground realities of Pak Being an Indian, I feel IK IS THE BEST CHOICE WITH NEW GENARATION PAK
yaz
November 1, 2011 3:59 pm
Hahaha... very well said.
yaz
November 1, 2011 4:11 pm
ok then lets all vote for zardari. He's surely changing Pakistan!
syed mohammad
November 1, 2011 4:14 pm
This is how Z.A.Bhutto started his campaign. Getting support from rural Punjab should not be a problem if IK can mobilise his urban youth to work in the rural areas. The old Aligarians did miracle in the then NWFP when they were effectively mobilized by All India Muslim League led by the Quaid e Azam. IK and his think tank in PTI should now sit down and draw a serious plan and keep up their campaign. I am sure they,ll be able to convince the masses in the rural areas as did ZAB. They were despertely looking for a change then as they are looking for a change now.
Ahmed
November 1, 2011 4:58 pm
The Criticism Equation: The amount of criticism is directly proportional to the popularity and support of a person. The larger the criticism, the larger the popularity and larger the support of a person.
haider shaikh
November 1, 2011 5:01 pm
Mr. parahca, Today’s youth is better informed. They know who can lead and deliver. Please don’t underestimate their power. Take a look around in the Middle East. It’s all youth who is bringing the change and challenging the status quo. I know some urban friends from elite families who had never been into any politically rally, were there….The wind of change is blowing. Hold your pen and cigar tight, I am afraid they will not blow away!
SNA
November 1, 2011 5:06 pm
oh goodness, here we go again! I think IK is simply feeding into the disillussions of the Pk's new generation, the one which so badly wants to use FB and ban it in the name of religion at the same time. The one that can't reconcile its modernity to its religious values. So here they are sharing their soft spots for terrorist. I say, bring it on, lets bring IK into power and watch as he turns Pk into the utopia he paints but lets not hold our breath.
Aabid Hussain
November 1, 2011 5:24 pm
Imran Khan is the best choice for Pakistan, obviously, we have been fed up from PPP, PML-N PML-Q and MQM as well..... We are united, we are one nation. Sindhi, Mahijir, Punjabi, Pathan, Balochi (brothers). but unfortunately, due to few politicians like Zardari, Nawaz, and Altaf we have been separate. but we are united by hearts. Pakistan zindabad...
Imran
November 1, 2011 5:53 pm
It's the western secular stuff that is causing a problem for Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam did not want a Pakistan that follows western values as they are corrupt, he wanted a state based on Islamic principles and that is what we should all work towards.
Dr. Eraj Khan
November 1, 2011 5:55 pm
And we are not "breaking any party's vote" as much as we are getting the fresh ones. Around 40% of our Public cast their votes in 2008. Those with Imran Khan are the majority of other 60% who either didnt believe in voting process until now, or didn't have their votes registered. This was the public, sitting in the drawing rooms and criticizing while laying on their couches, but these so-called "Tourus" are on the streets now. If they can come out for a 4-5 hrs jalsa using their own transport and money, i am sure they shall find it easy to cast their votes, which wnt take much of the time or money. NFP, and many others, have been proven wrong. The analysts were taken aback, and mostly admit it now. Political parties, esp PML-N, are still confused at how it all happened. Guess its time for you to wake up as well Mr. NFP.
AKWazir
November 1, 2011 6:53 pm
NFP's assertion ' Military willing to work with more pragmatic PPP ---' A statement that only a blind supporter of PPP would believe. No party is justified doing appeasement on the ground of expedience. It is never pragmatism, it is holding to power at the expense of scruples. This is PPP 's mode aperendi. Hope IK can bring some semblance of integrity to the highest office in the country.
Latif Khan
November 1, 2011 8:13 pm
A good analysis on Imran Khan’s speech. I can add that Imran Khan’s Islamic slogan was just gimmicks to please innocent people, who gathered around him, particularly, youngsters. He can do better if he sticks to the Qauaid’s advice to keep the theocracy out of the state affairs and work on it with all Pakistanis. In this way he can unite the country and bring about the reforms he intends to implement in the countr
Mehran Khan
November 1, 2011 9:15 pm
@Yaz your comment made my day, I cannot stop laughing.
VS
November 1, 2011 9:18 pm
Change is difficult to accept, particularly from those who are looking inwards. Living in Dubai for the last 6 months and carrying out my own survey with the Pakistani taxi drivers, only one name came up who can bring the much needed change....surprise surprise it was not the leaders of PPP or the PML flavour of the year....
N
November 1, 2011 9:27 pm
Really ???? is it the western secular Stuff thats causing problem.... hahahah .... the biggest problem with Pakistani's - blame it on the west, look at our leaders, political system, corruption, education, law and order, .... come on imran wake up to the reality
N
November 1, 2011 9:30 pm
and Nawaz Zardari and other keep their promises , what is wrong with you people
Mavra
November 1, 2011 11:26 pm
People of tribal areas which are being victimized by the drone attacks have always been 'warriors' as it is part of the tribal culture, still untouched by modernization. But it must be acknowledged that these people have always been peaceful despite the fact that they have not been given their basic rights as citizens of Pakistan and have always been neglected. When their families get killed (as the drone will not see what object its hitting so yes many innocent men, women and children have died), they start thinking what has this country given us that now its taking everything away from us? These tribal people are losing hope and its the height of their frustration that the blow themselves up. Also that not all of them do so or we would have been living in ashes by now. Is it wise to alienate them? Is it not reasonable act to talk about curing the disease rather than crushing people for the symptoms? Imran is being wise but sadly you are not talking sense here.
Sideburn
November 2, 2011 1:45 am
I am saying this as Canadian of Pakistani origin, right now best available option for Pakistan is PTI / IK. As a Christian I want Quaid -e-Azam's Pakistan not Bhutto;s, Zardari's, Sharif's,MQM. I want to see Pakistani people live in peace and harmony. Vote for IK give him a chance.
Mehran Khan
November 2, 2011 9:27 am
Well said, good examples can be Jinnah and our Prophet S.A.W. History is clear and precise
Amir Arif
November 2, 2011 9:30 am
Aabid Hussain, Thank comment, That's great
Arun Khokhar
November 2, 2011 11:09 am
Imran always gives statements with the intention of drawing votes whether against the Darwin theory or stating Secularism to be a 'western' concept
Sarwar
November 2, 2011 4:02 pm
Good reply, Other way to understand Nazish's point is, Islam is complete code of life, and definitely its dynamics may vary with other codes of lives.
jamshed
November 2, 2011 9:03 pm
I have read comments from Imran. I assume that is The Imran Khan himself. I would like Imran to reply to Sanity comments please. That where do you consider all the Non--muslims of Pakistan. Do you have any plan for them. If you have decided to run on ISLAMIC agenda then should secular minded people leave Pakistan or appoint a different candidate?
DK
November 4, 2011 1:03 am
This article reminded me a quote from the movie "GURU". "mere gaon mein ek kahawat hai, jab log tumhare bare mein bura bolna shuru kare toh samajh lena ki taraqqi kar rahe ho". All the best IK. God Bless!!
CHEEMA
November 5, 2011 10:14 am
No. I say keep the status quo. We deserve these corrupt politicians.
CHEEMA
November 5, 2011 10:21 am
I can answer this. Its called BIAS.
Shahid
November 7, 2011 2:14 pm
Please, let the lions remain in jungle or the Zoo.
Marine
November 7, 2011 7:17 pm
True.
Abdullah Wiqar
November 8, 2011 2:31 pm
Good catch Haseeb. Piracha Sahib, do you have anything to say or is mum the word now? :)
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