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Imran Khan: the myth and the reality


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Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf Chief Imran Khan. – File Photo by AFP

WHEN Imran Khan launched the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf in 1996, then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto rhetorically asked, “Can Imran win 51 per cent seats in parliament to form a government?” A decade and a half later, the same question haunts Mr Khan even when he has recently gathered together the largest public assembly of his entire political life. His supporters, critics and opponents are asking if he will ever get the parliamentary strength he needs to realise his aspirations of becoming prime minister.

There are, indeed, genuine reasons for scepticism. First, the nature of his politics and the political character of his supporters are such that transforming his public support into electoral success will be a challenging task. Second, the quality of his prospective, and previous, election candidates leaves much to be desired, and lastly, his political agenda is so briefly simplistic that it runs the risk of having limited appeal for most voters in the country.

Mr Khan’s inaugural political plank in 1996 was that all politics and all politicians are bad, and so it remains even today. This leaves him very little room for political manoeuvring, the alliance-making and deal-cutting that brings people to power in Pakistan and helps them throw their opponents out of it. His is, in fact, anti-politics — a non-political ideology that discredits what he calls “professional politics” in order to replace it with, you guessed it, politics.

Mr Khan conflates politics as practised by everyone else other than him with money, greed, corruption and the abuse of public support for personal gain, and thereby gives his replacement politics the lofty moral mantle of service, welfare, reform and change. But, like everyone else in the political arena, his purpose in running in an election remains as mundane as becoming the head of a government. For many years before he took part in the 1997 general election as the head of his nascent PTI, he was confused about whether he wanted to launch a movement for social reform, create a pressure group for weeding the bad stuff out of politics or launch a political party. What he came up with in the end was a cross between a social movement, a think tank and a loosely organised collection of highly educated technocrats and avowed Islamists.

Having propagated an anti-politics credo, Mr Khan ensured from the start that he repelled more voters than he attracted. Those who voted for a political party or an election candidate because they needed help in bending, bypassing or even violating the complex, corrupt and ineffective administrative and legal structures of the state would always hesitate to vote for him or his candidates. And such ‘bad’ voters have been in the majority — at least until now.

The political appeal of his anti-politics therefore remained limited to educated and young professionals who would defeat the average elected politician hands down in a battle of IQ, knowledge, understanding or articulation. To his advantage, this section of society has increased phenomenally in numbers over the last 15 years. This is Pakistan’s emerging middle class comprising bankers, doctors, engineers, techies, media persons, managers, advertisers, accountants, et al. that has benefited enormously from the privatisation of education and the economy in the 1990s and the expansion of private enterprise and the service sector in the 2000s. They are different from the traditional middle class consisting of the intermediaries of the economy and the state: traders, shopkeepers, government employees, commission agents, realtors, etc. who have more often than not voted for Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. Mr Khan’s core support group, in fact, overlaps a great deal with the core support group of the Jamaat-i-Islami. But Jamaat, having lost its ideological dynamism and its organisational expertise in the late 1980s, had handed over its supporters to the PML-N.

It took many years for this neo-middle class to have enough numbers to make its mark on the political scene, which explains why Jamaat could never make electoral headway and why Mr Khan could only subsist on the margins of politics for so long. The first major show of power of this class was the 2007 movement for the restoration of the judiciary. That the parties — mainly Jamaat and the PTI — and professional groups — bar associations, for example — representing the political ideology of this class boycotted the 2008 election meant that the beneficiaries of its maiden political activism were the same politicians that it abhorred.

With Mr Khan’s Oct 30 rally, this middle class is only coalescing and concentrating on one platform and coming out against politics and politicians in much bigger numbers and with much greater enthusiasm than it has ever done to conclude the unfinished revolution that started in 2007. Finally the time has arrived for the middle class to kick everyone else out of power and bring their own man in.

But even when it came out in scores of thousands to listen to Mr Khan speak at the Minar-i-Pakistan, its next political step remains uncertain. With its well-recorded and well-known hatred for elections and the ballot box, will it take the trouble to cast a vote — something it has done only sparingly in the past? That is perhaps the biggest unknown in Pakistani politics today, and it is the answer to this question that will determine the extent of Mr Khan’s success, or failure, at the polls.

Two factors will be vital to the answer: his decision about making any alliances or becoming part of a rightwing conglomerate reportedly already in the making, and the quality of his candidates. Having undermined and discredited every political party in the country, he has left himself almost no space to backtrack on what he never tires of brandishing as the core principle of his politics — no compromises for electoral success. The moment he utters the word ‘alliance’, he will start losing support.

On the second count, Mr Khan may already be faltering. In at least Khyber Pakhtunkhwa some of his would-be electoral candidates represent the exact antithesis of his anti-politics ideology — they are professional politicians who have changed political loyalties in the past, and some have unenviable political track records. Two of his main people in KP are Iftikhar Jhagra and Khwaja Khan Hoti. Both are the scions of political dynasties in their respective areas and both carry political baggage that may not measure up to the great expectations Mr Khan’s core supporters harbour.

Mr Jhagra is a four-time member of the provincial assembly from the Pakistan Peoples’ Party and a cousin of Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, who happens to be a senior leader of the PML-N. The former has left the PPP because he fears that he will not get a party ticket for the next election under an anticipated seat adjustment between the PPP and the Awami National Party. Mr Hoti was the PPP provincial chief for much of the 2000s before he joined the ANP just in time for the 2008 election. Even today he remains a member of the National Assembly from the ANP, though Mr Khan has claimed on a number of occasions that he will soon resign and formally join the PTI. Mr Hoti comes from the family of Nawab Akbar Khan Hoti, who was a member of the All India Muslim League. Another prominent member of the family was Nawabzada Abdul Ghafoor Hoti, who remained the governor of the then North West Frontier Province under Gen Ziaul Haq. In its earlier incarnation the PTI had Nawabzada Mohsin Ali Khan as its main man in the NWFP and, quite like Messers Jhagra and Hoti, he has been in and out of almost all political parties in the province. So much for Mr Khan’s antipathy towards family-based politics and his supporters’ disgust for politicos who represent and serve their personal and family interests whichever party they join.

In Punjab, Mr Khan’s choice of candidates is even more suspect. In a 2010 by-election in Lahore he gave his party’s ticket to one Mian Hamid Meraj, who happened to be the son of Mian Meraj Din, a one-time excise minister in the Punjab government of Shahbaz Sharif in the 1990s who was forced to resign from his cabinet post under allegations of electricity theft. The main reason why Mr Din and his family remain in the business of politics is that they come from an influential local family of Lahore that has its biradri vote bank in some parts of the city. Zaheer Abbas Khokhar, a possible PTI candidate in the next election, became a member of the National Assembly on a PPP ticket in 2002 before joining the PPP-Patriots, which eventually dissolved itself into the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam, the much-maligned faction of the League under the much-maligned Chaudharys of Gujrat. He is also the nephew of Malik Karamat Khokhar, who was a PPP candidate in the 2008 election. Another intending PTI candidate is Rasheed Bhatti, a one-time PPP member of the Punjab Assembly who created a small stir in 1989 by insisting that he will use only Punjabi in his speeches in the assembly and who is known for his many family feuds and property disputes. His brother, Jameel Bhatti, was once the head of the People’s Students’ Federation, the student wing of the PPP, at Quaid-i-Azam University in the early 1990s. The two latest entrants in the PTI from Lahore are Mian Azhar and Farooq Amjad Mir. The former was the governor of Punjab when Nawaz Sharif was prime minister in the 1990s before the two had a falling-out. After Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf took over power from Nawaz Sharif, Mr Azhar was the head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Likeminded — the first batch of League people who opted to side with the military ruler after his 1999 coup. He eventually lost not just the leadership of the faction to the Chaudharys but also lost two successive elections — in 2002 and 2008 — on a PML-Q ticket to relative political lightweights. Mr Mir was the naib nazim of Lahore in 2004 when he fought and won a by-election for the National Assembly from Lahore as a PML-Q candidate. In 2008, he lost badly to a PML-N opponent and has been in the political wilderness since then before resurrecting himself in the PTI, which is, in fact, where he had started his political career in 1996.

That leaves out Mr Khan’s most ardent and, so far, most consistent supporter in Lahore — Mian Mehmoodur Rashid. Since the PTI’s formation, he is only one of two people from Lahore who have never deserted the party, the other being senior lawyer Hamid Khan. Mr Rashid was one of the few Islami Jamhoori Ittehad candidates in Lahore who survived a PPP onslaught in the 1988 election. In 1990, he again won a seat from the city for the Punjab Assembly from Jamaat’s quota in the Sharif-led alliance. Since then, however, electoral success has eluded him.

So, here is the question: Will supporters of the PTI vote for such political weathercocks in their search for a change in the political culture of the country? If they will, the party’s promised revolution will be suffocated under the heavy burden of its own candidates and the winners’ ambition for power. That some earlier passengers on the PTI bandwagon soon left in disgust and disillusionment may well mean that at least some current supporters are headed in the same direction when they find out that the quality of the candidates from their ‘pro-change’, ‘clean’ party is as low as it can get in Pakistani politics.

Perhaps the galaxy of stars from different fields that Mr Khan could muster in his early days was an indication of the promise he had. His party’s first secretary general was Dr Pervez Hassan, the internationally renown environmental law expert who now has a whole block at the Punjab University Law College named after him; the first PTI information secretary was a certain Nasim Zehra who has now become one of Pakistan’s most well-known political commentators and talk show hosts; Mr Khan’s main man in Karachi was one Nazim Haji, who founded the Citizens Police Liaison Committee which, at least in its early days, played a significant role in controlling crime in the city; a youngish Owais Ghani, who worked as the governor of Balochistan under Gen Musharraf before taking the same position in his home province of KP, was a member of the central executive committee of the PTI along with another educationist, Dr Farooq, who was the vice-chancellor designate of a proposed university in Swat and who played a leading role in setting up a school for the re-education of trainee suicide bombers freed from the Taliban in the 2009 military operation.

The people who have replaced them have either unproven or controversial credentials. The current PTI secretary general is Karachi-based Dr Arif Alvi, a dentist for the city’s elite who has pots of money and a techie son who lets go of no opportunity to promote his father’s political party through purportedly non-political ventures. The main policy advisor of the party is Dr Shireen Mazari, who for years ran a government-funded think tank in Islamabad before serving for a short period of time as the editor of the Lahore-based English daily The Nation. If she is known for anything, it is certainly not a non-jingoistic understanding of Pakistan’s foreign and security policies. The brain behind Mr Khan’s latest makeover as Pakistan’s savoir in the making — one more time after a failed earlier attempt — is Haroonur Rashid, a columnist with the daily Jang who once wrote the authorised and laudatory biography of Gen Akhtar Abdur Rehman, an intelligence czar under Gen Zia and one of the many architects of Pakistan-backed militancy in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

The last critical factor of Mr Khan’s politics is his agenda. When he started off in 1996, his catchphrases were brown sahib, VIP culture, political corruption, accountability before election, fatal dependence on foreign loans and subservience to the United States. His proposed remedies were supposed to be elaborate and were to be prepared by eight committees of technocrats with vast expertise and experience in various fields. Though these committees are known to have worked for months, their output has never seen the light of the day and Mr Khan’s interim solutions remain rather sketchy.

Many years later, he remains high on rhetoric and low on reality. Political corruption, lavish government expenditure, anti-Americanism and dependence on foreign money continue to be his hobby horses but his solutions have become more basic and irrelevant than ever before: politicians should declare their ‘real’ assets; courts are to be reformed; thorough accountability to be conducted without fear or favour; local governments to be brought back with, surprise, surprise, elected sheriffs at the local level; an end to patwaris and the digitisation of land records (something already underway in some districts in Punjab with rather mixed results); an education emergency to be declared; Balochistan to be brought into the national mainstream — it’s simple, isn’t it? — by holding meetings with disgruntled Baloch politicians; and the much-talked about end to thaana culture.

If some people find disconcerting similarities between these solutions and Gen Musharraf’s agenda after he overthrew Nawaz Sharif’s government, they only need to understand that both play to the same gallery of middle class professionals in the anti-politics brigade.

The writer is Editor, Herald


Comments (162) Closed

ghumman Nov 06, 2011 05:08am
useless analysis. Imran's tsunami will come and sweep away everything. you and your kind of Intellectuals will again be connecting dots afterwards. would be giving useless analysis again .please write down those words somewhere.
Falcon Nov 06, 2011 06:07am
For the first time I have seen a well written piece of criticism on IK with facts and far as the issue of turncoats goes...I can understand that they have switched their loyalties over the past...but do they have any significant cases of financial corruption against those?...I think PTI faces two challenges of being electorally relevant as well as remaining true to core seems that how things are turning out...they would be better off not compromising on the core ideals and therefore, don't let themselves get distracted on electioneering issues...instead they should focus on outlining and detailing their approach to nation's problems...the power and win will follow
Pakistani Nov 06, 2011 06:27am
And may I ask what is the reality of others? PPP and PML(N) et al. Please show some courage and at least acknowldege that he is untried and, therefore, should be given a chance. Pakistan has come to a point where honest rooky would be more acceptable to the people than a dishonest expert.
AK Nov 06, 2011 06:56am
Why is DAWN focused on publishing opinions raising suspicions about Imran Khan ? Give the guy a fair shot, instead of sponsoring a campaign against him ?
Hamid Waleed Nov 06, 2011 08:18am
Well done Badar Alam. It is really an objective analysis of Imran Khan's politics. Unfortunately, his public meeting in Lahore has given a strong impression that the establishment is backing him to balance out Nawaz Sharif. It means the status quo would long live in Pakistan. Imran Khan will not prove a change but only a change of face in Pakistan like last 64 years.
sarmad Nov 06, 2011 08:58am
After reading this article I can say that IK political views are still half cooked. It took 15 years for him to reach at this point and he may need another 15 years to become a fully matured politician. Regarding making political advances by having honest people around him, Jammat-i-Islami in its whole history could muster support of more than few thousand and similarly the military dictator General Zia-ul-Huq until his death kept on wishing for having few hundred around him. No doubt the middle class segments mentioned here are on the rise but still far being strong enough to put IK in power. Remember the Indian election which Atal Bihari Vajpayee lost despite “India shining” slogan when Indian farmers were deprived off economically. Pakistan’s middle class is smaller than India and in result less powerful politically as well
JahanZeb Qureshi Nov 06, 2011 09:18am
I don't think you understand this Phenomena. It is Revolution in the making, Politics as usual is what You have are Misunderstanding it for. Imran Khan shaping this phenomena..
Ubaid Niaz Nov 06, 2011 10:19am
Well whosoever wrote this thing, with all due respect, i just want to add here, Pakistani people are tired of Mr. Zardari, Sharif guys n everybody else who is contesting elections since long, at least we can see the ray of light in him that may be things might turn right for Pakistan, as being Pakistani, my country comes first and whoever will come forward to lead or take the rope, in whom i will trust, i will support him, knowing that he is not corrupt and always fulfill his promises. Well, if talk about facts then can anyone tell me could any of the political party managed to hold such a spacious rally, if i am not wrong then over 200,000 people gathered. If you are optimistic or can anticipate things are going to change this time....
Mohammad Assad Nov 06, 2011 10:31am
I find it odd that the media mock him at first for not having 'electable candidates' then when he gets people who were elected (albeit in the past) he gets mocked again for taking in turn coats into the party.
Abdul sheikh Nov 06, 2011 10:36am
Good article for his supporter.
umazir Nov 06, 2011 10:55am
good artical same wahabiat establishment but with new trends of media his popularity ll be fizzle out with media sensational news
Mehreen Nov 06, 2011 10:58am
Suffice to say "Imran Khan is our best OPTION"!
Shumail Nov 06, 2011 11:40am
The article is pretty well written and it represents facts, that cannot be denied by anyone. The first thing is that IK is an idealist. A risk taker, a man who does not fear losing. He formed his party in 1996, in fifteen years, he has stayed in opposition and we all know that many people come and leave in opposition. Second thing is that when we say about his team, one needs to understand that the electables would represnt us, not like sentaors of pppp who are running the important posts like interior, budget,law etc. Many would jouin him and it is the vision of the leader that leads you. a man who doesn't have self interest and that distincts him from others. We all need to be a part of change and change ourselves, rather than keeping on saying that he will not be able to attain it.
ahsan goher Nov 06, 2011 11:47am
This is the story of a man, his son and a donkey. First they say you don't have electables, then when you come up with few they say that these are traditional politicians. I think people like you cannot be satisfied. So please stop blaming Imran Khan and tell us how you see Pakistan's future in Zardari or Nawaz Sharif's hand?
Rai Ahmed Nov 06, 2011 11:50am
balanced comments, Khan sahib's test has started especially canidates selection.
Junaid Nov 06, 2011 11:52am
None of this goes against PTI demands for politicians. Clean and not corrupt. The author did not point to one incidence of corruption of these individuals; simply their loyalties. So by that same vein, I suppose, no good man or woman should leave the corrupt parties they are in because then they would be 'suspect'. Interesting that this comes out when PTI has undoubtedly ruined the sleep of the bigwigs. For those who read this article, I request them to Google 'Badar Alam' and see the string of articles he has written. Rhetoric against Imran Khan is his mainstay. It is human nature to defend oneself even when we are wrong. I think Badar Alam is afflicted by the same human predicament.
zaka Nov 06, 2011 11:54am
good article based on reality.writer has done injustice in two matters, disaproval to his agenda is not agreeable and making him a counterpart of musharaf in the matter of agenda is not acceptable. but overall,great description about the party and its workers.
zaka Nov 06, 2011 11:55am
good article based on reality.writer has done injustice in two matters, disaproval to his agenda is not agreeable and making him a counterpart of musharaf in the matter of agenda is not acceptable. but overall,great description about the party and its workers..
Ali Nov 06, 2011 12:01pm
Isn't he taking in the turn coats? Please read the article again!
Jabbar Mohmand Nov 06, 2011 12:05pm
Good analysis... Imran's honesty and integrity is beyond any doubts, but he still needs more to do. I think he should just focus on one or two regions, and should begin working from now make some settlements in KP (ANP, Sherpao, etc) and Karachi (MQM), etc. He can play in Punjab while making some alliance with anti-Noon figures...
Javed Miandad Nov 06, 2011 12:14pm
Yes your pontifications are all fine - no one said imran is perfect. But granted all that you have written above, the question boils down to the following... who exactly will you vote for in the next elections Badar Alam? Or, as is more likely and sad, will you be amongst the few remaining educated Pakistanis who plan to stay home and watch tv next election day?
Masroor Ahmad Nov 06, 2011 12:18pm
Excellent Article. I would request the author though to analyze the candidates and policies of both PML-N and PPP in the same cut-throat manner, so we as voters can get a good understanding of which is the worst of the three of them.
Mujaddid khan Nov 06, 2011 12:20pm
A Well written article and a good research work
Faisal Mahmood Nov 06, 2011 12:25pm
In a situation like our's, smaller compromises on quality are unavoidable but starting with the approach of making alliances to come into power is loathsome. Would anyone admire MQM for that skill? Mr Khan gained respect for preferring to stand alone. He has to sound 'anti-politics' because politics is discredited, especially the 'politics of expediency'. His message, though simple, is much clearer now than before.
Nabeel Anwar Dhakku Nov 06, 2011 01:04pm
Excellent Badar Sahib. You have presented a realistic sketch of Imran. We need a bold liberal leader. Imran is liberal but is not ready to confront with the extremists. His stance on Asia Bibi and Ahmdis was a coward one. First he spoke for Asia but later on prefered to keep mum. So where is that leader who could get out of the nation of the rut of retrogressive and concocted ideas that have become "Emaan" of the majority of Pakistan. I'm looking forward for a detailed report on Mr. Imran and other present lot in Herald's December issue.
sonia Nov 06, 2011 02:10pm
wonderful sketch ov inner working ov PTI...REVOLUTION SEEMS FAR N CHANGE BURIED..........nodobt sir imranz integrity may be intact but systematic approach z required to deal all programs on PTI agenda....that all seems next to imposasible per pak political scenario..the deeply rooted feudalism n tribalism.hence the task z clossal but hope z change can rise like phoenix
Mrs Z Khan Nov 06, 2011 02:55pm
A very well-written and balanced article. It is difficult to know whether the PTI will be able to translate any appeal into votes but there are two other options open to it that could lend it more credibility and make it an effective force within the country. First, it could act as an effective opposition, so forcing the main parties to raise their game (and standards). Second, it could serve as an intellectual guide in shaping the outlook of the new, younger generation – which is not just the party’s main cohort, but that of the country at large. These two (opposition and reformation) could perhaps induce a higher calibre of person to enter politics – something that would benefit everyone and all parties, given the pathetic candidates on offer, again in all parties. (Surely we can do better than the Bhuttos and Sharifs?) As they say, a nation gets the press and politics it deserves. Surely, Pakistan deserves better? If IK/PTI can spur the nation towards that direction, they could, I think, be regarded as successful, regardless of their political performance. Indeed, its success here might well make it more attractive and credible to a higher calibre of candidate as well as to voters.
Abdul Muiz Iqbal Nov 06, 2011 03:11pm
Unimpressive article..!! Author, please I need some other good reasons to lose my support for Imran Khan..!!! guys are suffering from Imranphobia...haha
Imran Iqbal Nov 06, 2011 03:30pm
I hope Imran Khan reads this article without being subjective and intoxicated with growing popularity and massive public support. If he lose his credibility and as someone who loves revolution and change then people will soon become disenchanted with him and his party. He needs to keep the momentum of Lahore Jalsa and to that he needs to demonstrate that he represents educated and honest class and not the same corrupt turncoast who are opportunist and fair weather friends.
Maham Javed Nov 06, 2011 03:31pm
Imran khan,no dought, will take charge of government one day or the matter how much obstacles lay in his way.....he gave his best when he played ICC world cup & raised the name of Pakistan...& i am certain that he will give his best when he enter politics & raised the name of Pakistan..........
Ahmer Murad Nov 06, 2011 04:05pm
I have to agree that there are deficiencies in the detail that Imran Khan and the PTI have shared with respect to their policy statements, and I have to agree that some areas of their policies are, prima facie, flawed. However, broadly speaking, his vision is compelling and he is probably the only one who has been successful in articulating a vision for Pakistan. Even more importantly, he is the only one who we can trust to faithfully and diligently make an effort to formulate and execute strategies to achieve that vision. The others, whether it be PPP, PML-N, MQM or any of the others, offer only corruption, mismanagement, ineptitude, nepotism, cronyism, economic ruin, inflation, unemployment, an energy crisis, global isolation and, ultimately, a failed state. For more of my thoughts go to The bottom line is, Imran is (with all his flaws and weaknesses) the one and only beacon of hope that the moths of our desperation are being drawn to. He offers hope and the only other available option is despair...
Jahanzeb syed Nov 06, 2011 04:28pm
Well researched but concoted.
Yaser Hasan Nov 06, 2011 04:52pm
The article though well written has no constructive conclusion. Its easy to find faults in Imran's politics but what other alternative is the writer suggesting. At this juncture there is no comparison between Imran and the rest of the crop. Whatever his faults maybe, he still deserves all our votes.
Shafi Nov 06, 2011 04:56pm
I refuse to take more of the same, Mr. Alam. You can have the 'reality', but I am taking the 'myth' ... I am voting Imran Khan!
Shafiq Khan Nov 06, 2011 06:36pm
The political analysts have no duty to answer the question you pose. The votes are still secret. He has the right to keep it so. You should know that. Look at his analysis and find fault , if you have the knowledge or the skill. Shafiq
John Nov 06, 2011 06:53pm
Wow to your English!
Mohammad Assad Nov 06, 2011 08:06pm
Please re-read my comment.
G.A. Nov 06, 2011 08:12pm
I think we should give Sharifs and Zardaris another 20 years to govern just incase, by some miracle, they give up corruption, seek forgiveness and put the country to the path of progress. Just in case. Whether Pakistan will survive by then is another matter.
MarkH Nov 06, 2011 08:44pm
You could always come to terms with the fact that politics really are just that shallow and whether you like it or not, those issues will remain not only issues, but issues with big implications to final decisions in regard to who is elected. Just because you don't like it, it doesn't mean it doesn't matter.
amjad mumtaz Nov 06, 2011 08:49pm
Agreed with writer about constituency politics of PTI ,But what I find missing in Imran,s agenda is future shape of our Islamic Republic.Shall we keep on running our affairs like a security state and our Islamic Idealogical Council will function as in the past.
Hamza Nov 06, 2011 09:48pm
starting of article is well balanced but I would Like to ask Editor what solutions he have against corruption and terrorism. It's really easy to write some thing against someone, but sorry editor is also fail to give any solution or suggestion to Pakistani ppl and especially Imran Khan and PTI.....
Abdul Jabbar Nov 06, 2011 09:57pm
Imran enjoys support of few anchors, these anchors are very biased towards PML N and PPP. The reality is he can only manage 5 to 10 seats with the help of ISI.
ramzan Nov 06, 2011 10:05pm
imran khan is the only person who can get a presedent seat and also he can do a good job for duty so i think there is only one person is honest in pakistan and also he want to avoid corruption its my views
mohsin meghani Nov 06, 2011 10:20pm
I totally agree with the author.Imran by virtue of his previous blunders and decisions and his affiliation with the righties do not give him the same charismatic look of Z A Bhutto who can win the peoples vote by his own personility.People are looking for the change but the Bhuttos are not born always.I wish to see Imran in power and strong PPP in oppositon.
Pakistani Nov 06, 2011 10:26pm
i hope and pray he will come stronger in the coming elections and become Pm and his team will deliver. why we say he can't win seats he sure can and he will... its useless to keep electing those corrupts the country not a property of some specific parties that no othr then those, can emerge as stronger....I wish u luck PTI... Pakistan Zindabad.
Asim Nov 06, 2011 11:46pm
IK words and action are clear contradiction. 9 individual along with me contact IK as a group of overseas Pakistan who are well-known in there field (mainly science and technology). Unfortunately corrupt IK team willing to offer free services thou after 4 email to leadership on PTI team and several phone call thou no heed to engage for betterment of Pakistan.
saadia usman Nov 06, 2011 11:50pm
Indeed a very pragmatic analysis of the situation. I like Imran Khan but is he capable of leading a revolution because this what our country needs.I doubt it.....Interestingly same "well educated middle class" not too long ago were ardent suppoerter of Musharaff and the same people are now with Imran who despised Musharraf.,,,,,it peaks a lot of our political and mental maturity as a nation.
Omer Adhia Nov 06, 2011 11:53pm
You took words right out of mouth !
Dr Omer Mallhi Nov 07, 2011 12:05am
Hi There is one thing which i want to point out in this very well written article. It says here that most of the people joining Imran Khan will be coming with their political point is no one here is a saint and frankly who doesn't have a skeleton in ones closet. Imran Khan has become a brand and his brand power is equal to that if not more of Bhutto in 1970 or Nawaz Sharif in 1996...........and the fact is that nothing in the world is stronger than the idea whose time has come.
faria khan Nov 07, 2011 12:06am
Thats the best thing said or done by you after your sixer in sharjah against india. i love it
Dr Omer Mallhi Nov 07, 2011 12:08am
Thats the million dollar question :)
Syed Nov 07, 2011 12:20am
IK will not be able to form govt for atleast 15 more years. His party is not popular among sindhis, Baluchis, Mahajir and even many pakhtoons and pujnabis. Baluchistan, Karachi, Sindh, NWFP will not vote for him. However situtation in punjab will change this time. Even if he gets elected there is no gurantee he will not do coruption or his mates will nto do any corruption. Power changes everything! I strongly believe if he comes to the power he will destroy other party leadership to survive in govt and that will make pakistan even weaker becz than he will become dictator like Gadafi and any others. Pakistan need experienced people like we have in ppp or pml-n any non experienced person like himself may hurt pakistan even more!
Fuad Nov 07, 2011 12:42am
The argument about candidate selection is spot on. IK needs to be careful in this regard. However, the swing lies with those who have never voted before. These are the same people who had never been to a jalsa before Oct 30th.
Asif Bhatti Nov 07, 2011 01:16am
All I have to say is that after going around and around , touching Imran khans elegance and go around and around again , in the end you portray the current government`s point that Imran Khan may not be the solution. Did not you see the ocean of people calling for a change? " who can save pakistan? Imran Khan , Imran Khan, give the man a chance , If we could give Zardari a chance we can certainly give Imran Khan a chance to show what he says he is capable of
Humayun Afridi Nov 07, 2011 02:09am
I think the writer is more confused than IK. It looks like he started out anti-IK and although in his heart is convinced that IK is the right person but is afraid what his friends will think if he switches sides. Dont be afraid Badar, its ok.. In my opinion, you have to be a traitor to not vote for IK in the present situation..period
shahreyar Nov 07, 2011 02:29am
i just conclude one thing from your article that IK must do the same tactics as other politicians do to win elections,secondly you do not mention the most important factor that majority of pakistani nation is involved in all types of corruption so this nation is also not mentally ready for the revolution which IK wants to bring.thanks
Usman Nov 07, 2011 02:33am
I absolutely second you. This writer believes we are looking for an "angel" who would replace the current ruling elite. Imran Khan should be compared with the current ruling elite as opposed to a set of principles that can't be fullfiled. PTI is becoming an amalgamation of some new & old faces whose past is not tainted with corruption & as far as their past affiliation is concerned, just remember even Quaid e Azam was once a part of Congress.
Abid Nov 07, 2011 02:56am
Excellent comment!
Kamran Nov 07, 2011 03:44am
I fully agree with you Junaid, excellent point you make there. I wonder why the author never thought about it, that makes this whole article pointless.
Imtiaz Nov 07, 2011 05:14am
A good article. But what Mr. Khan needs to do to play an effective role is to have a shadow cabinet and start taking into account all the needs and resources of the country and the nation. Get advice from like minded people in the Establishment - who are sincere to the country. What are his plans to do after... or is it just a revolution like Egypt and Libya? Responsible politicians, and not talking about the Pakistani lot in power or opposition, start with their shadow cabinets to play an effective role whether they are in power or opposition or outside. His shadow ministers should be working as if they are in power on what does the country need? To assess his success because of a few huge gathering of people, which constitute of 50% who can't even vote, is not realistic. If we want to save this nation, and country, then we need people who are sincere to this nation and country and not power hungry who will defect, on that premise, when it suits them. Just my two cents....
fazil Khan Nov 07, 2011 05:17am
A good article. There is no doubt that IK's honesty and his vision about future Pakistan may not ever be idiolised because of his immaturity and lack of understanding of Pakistan politics. He is dreaming about making a clean sweep and is only possible if he can live in politics for another 15 to 30 years. He is too emotional and destroyed any chances of Alliance with any political party. Although my choice would be Musharaff's APML. This will be IK's great down fall. There is no way he can win the election by relying on his own party PTI. His success in Lahore rally on 30 Oct. means nothing to gain enough seats in coming Election and for sure heading for hat-trick. Until and unless he re- think over and look closely at himself what he is missing to Govern.
OmEr Jamil Nov 07, 2011 05:36am
To be realistic, I find Imran Khan as the best lesser-evil of nowadays. But the question is, how long would it take him to realize that he himself is his own question? Vote not the personalities but the ideologies, I do believe in being fair while adding my opinion but the now-Pakistan needs a strategic vote from not the voters, but the very stakeholders! In the upcoming elections, whensoever, I see PTI with a dozen of seats tops! Most of you may agree to my supposition fact that more than 75% of PTI's voters would surely be the ones that would, or have voted for the PML-x instead, lets say PML-N. Voting for PTI, thus, would divide PML-N's votes hence indirectly strengthen PPP esp. in Punjab; PML-N's major vote-bank! Still, over 80% of PTI's candidates at Punjab could always be measured lost! The could-be reality is to think deep as to how would voting for Imran Khan do for Imran Khan himself? Further, what if (Allah na karay) PPP takes over Punjab this election, would the sindh-card holder PPP be as fair to Punjab as it is now to it's sensitive-point Sindh i.e. handing it over to MQM at large & full to just destruct the way they want to? So would be the scenario in all provinces of Pakistan just the way we now witness and can't deny. I do fear that, though I so wish I'm proven wrong this (s)election! Long Live Pakistan
maroosh Nov 07, 2011 05:40am
whether you like it or not, Imran Khan is sweeping the next elections. 5yrs is nothing in a nations history,where we have seen military coup even of longer duration ... it doesnt sound bad at all to trust Imran Khan this for the candidates, let the mystery unfold soon ambiguity will fade away!
Salim e-a Ebrahim Nov 07, 2011 06:53am
See my comment in reply to "Javed Miandad says (Yesterday at 12:14 pm)
Salim e-a Ebrahim Nov 07, 2011 06:59am
Well stated Mohammad Assad. You are absolutely on the mark!
Salim e-a Ebrahim Nov 07, 2011 07:08am
Exactly. Badr Alam, pray tell us HOW you would sort out - or HOW you have already tried - sorting out Pakistan's problems.
Naeem Ahmed Khan Nov 07, 2011 08:54am
Imran Khan is our only option!!! Just think , Justthink for a minute what would happen if PPP or PML-M or Q ever elected again. I know I would quit Pakistan for good. Enough is enough is enough of PPP/PML-Q.
m yaseen Nov 07, 2011 10:22am
you can not comporomose on the goal but comporomise for the goal [imran khan 15th oct manchester ]
Asif Nov 07, 2011 11:02am
sorry to my pessimistic comments Had the participants of Imran Khan's gathering held in Lahore been paid their taxes, Electric bills and other govt. dues honestly Pakistan would have been in a self sufficient position. Basically the whole nation is corrupt and every one involves in it whatever the position and whatever the business we are doing. Will Imran Khan Import some Angels to run this corrupt state? All of us know very well how to bypass the laws.
Raoul Nov 07, 2011 12:22pm
IK will work for pro establishment people and educated but elitist people who believe dictatorships are good and compromose based wheeling-dealing politics are bad per se. They forget that the Art of Compromise is what makes things work in a world where everyone today has an individual agenda and choices are multiple. IK has come a long way is true....Badar Alam is ONLY saying IK also has a LOOONG way to go. Nothing wrong in that. he has to mature as a politician. Next elections, at best, he may become a king maker with a large slice of seats but personally his party may not come to power.
Human Being Nov 07, 2011 12:54pm
Dont live in a fool heaven and dont go by the crowd. In country like Pakistan, unemployments and low education system creats more crowd.. Whether these crowd will support him ?? big question. I think he is lucky if he even win his own in the past.
Qasim Nov 07, 2011 01:10pm
The real challenge for our country is to end corruption which can only be done by honest people, and i think Imran is the right person for this.
Ahmer Murad Nov 07, 2011 01:21pm
I have to agree that there are deficiencies in the detail that Imran Khan and the PTI have shared with respect to their policy statements, and I have to agree that some areas of their policies are, prima facie, flawed. However, broadly speaking, his vision is compelling and he is probably the only one who has been successful in articulating a vision for Pakistan. Even more importantly, he is the only one who we can trust to faithfully and diligently make an effort to formulate and execute strategies to achieve that vision. The others, whether it be PPP, PML-N, MQM or any of the others, offer only corruption, mismanagement, ineptitude, nepotism, cronyism, economic ruin, inflation, unemployment, an energy crisis and global isolation. The bottom line is, Imran is (with all his flaws and weaknesses) the one and only beacon of hope that the moths of our desperation are being drawn to. He offers hope and the only other available option is despair.
anum Nov 07, 2011 02:41pm
hit the nail on the head. best 'imran piece' that has come out of the commentariat so far
Junaid_pk Nov 07, 2011 03:19pm
Well we should learn from our past expereinces. Those who don't... may Allah help them. Only the coming elections would prove whether we learnt lessons. To be honest I feel myself equally responsible for the country mess, as I have voted in the previous elections.
Adnan Nov 07, 2011 05:48pm
Unfortunately the author is doing what most people do in Pakistan--- look at the pessimestic and glass half full side. thanks to Badar Alam for informing us of the family tree some PTI candidates! that he is the son of this and that and the grad son of this and that. enough of this approach. - and frankly i agree with each of my country mates who have mentioned hope and who say, we need to give him a chance.... the key word here is 'WE'. so let us get ourselves registered and not use facebook and internet so much as to deviate from actually doing something and making a difference. the only problem is that currently we are not a 'WE'... we are more indicidulaistic, everybody knows that about pakistanis, born leaders, yes some of them but dont take the crowd with them. so Imran is not responsible for changing us, we need to change. every poor man to the rich establishment beaureucrat.... step out and change... we need to do what Obama couldn't. i.e. CHANGE. kudos to my country mates who think imran needs to be given a chance... and enough of this anti-change propoganda by certain newspapers!
Shazia Nov 07, 2011 05:55pm
True.... stop blaming and criticising Imran Khan... and stop splitting hairs.. Just go and vote. he is our ONLY chance, if we ever want to continue to live in a free (or freeer) Pakistan. i doubt which way do you lean Mr Badar Alam? and frankly whose agenda are You pushing? It does NOT at least seem like you have Pakistan's best interest at heart. Remember you only get what you give. Only those who dream can win or do something... we need to kepe dreaming and keep acting.. get out there and become a member, political parties need funding, so does PTI.. please pay the meager sum of 100 or so dollars.. and at least get ourselves registered. its time to give Pakistan a re-birth like in 1947... do not be distracted by such 'look over your shoulder' pesudo intellectual political analysis! bring the change, details will work out later. .. always change the big picture first.
Pakistani Nov 07, 2011 06:17pm
very well said
Sajjad Nov 07, 2011 08:31pm
I believe this guy(Imran Khan) can deliver it. If people of Pakistan are willing to bring a positive change to their lives they should certainely support him. I have no political affiliation what so ever and have lived most of my professional life abroad but this time i am going to support and vote Imran khan for the betterment of Pakistan and its People.
Salman Nov 07, 2011 08:49pm
Arif Dilkusha Nov 07, 2011 09:25pm
A very well written article, and very well researched too. But one thing it did not do, was to guide us to a better future. He has tried his best to make us believe that Imran is not a good option, but he has done nothing to tell who else is then!!!!!!!! If i be very pessimistic, as the happenings in this country have made most of us to be, I would still vote for Imran. And that is because if it is in my fate to let the rulers make money, I would rather like a new one to make money than letting the already billionaires become trillionaires now!!!!!!!
abdulaziz Nov 07, 2011 09:34pm
The author has done a marvellous job of highlighting the weaknesses and trickery of political candidates in Pakistan. Imran is no exception to many other candidates. Even if (big if) he wins, it will be a coalition govt. We all know what happens when coalition govt comes to power. Imran, Jamat e Islami candidates and PML-N candiates together in a govt? This is another nightmare for Pakistan.
Irfan Butt Nov 07, 2011 09:41pm
Badar Alam, You are up for a rude awakening. PTI will win, if not rule the country, it will have enough seats to steer the country in the right direction. PTI can't be ignored. Stop whining and criticizing IK and PTI. I know this new for you being the writer for the old guard, but your time is up.
NK Nov 07, 2011 09:44pm
Don't just talk. PLEASE VOTE. We have given Nawaz and Zardari ample oportunity, NOW PlEASE GIVE IMRAN A CHANCE.
Asad Nov 07, 2011 11:12pm
I believe in the honesty and sincerity of Imran Khan but regrettably I am also an skeptic of his method to bring about change staying outside of the game of politics. That said, Pakistan require a gigantic change of reality as a society and there is no one but Imran Khan that believe in the impossibility of a clean political system. I am reminded of a saying that to achieve great things, one has to dream the impossible first. I hope Imran Sahib is succesful in his noble goals and I for one will support him. May Allah give him success.
jalaluddin S. Hussai Nov 08, 2011 12:11am
Although, I agree with some of the points of the Editor, Herald, I most humbly feel that, after more than 6 decades of "Biradari" and "Jagirdari"-based politics, the masses of Pakistanis have got fed up and will only vote,in the next general elections,for those candidates who have the track record of serving at the grassroots level. Analysis, therefore, on the basis of party-politics, cannot be wholly supported. In my humble opinion, therefore, many of the stalwarts of the traditional political parties, who are candidate in the next elections, will be rejected.
Qasim Nov 08, 2011 12:36am
Good article, however Imran is the only choice for change in Pakistan and PTI have to play the other parties at their own game in other words PTI has to moderate of it,s stance on other politicians for short period of time (if you can,t beat them, join them).
Ahmad Zubairi Nov 08, 2011 01:08am
Altthough I agree with somethings writer mentioned the truth is this is the option against the zardari and Nawaz. I will take Imran over them anyday.
Aamir Nov 08, 2011 01:56am
No matter what he does, the political opponents to Sir. Imran Khan will never be satisfied. All those who support Sir. Imran Khan, please continue your struggle and do the right thing, inshah ALLAH, one day we’ll bring the change in this country.
thames fisher Nov 08, 2011 03:46am
what difference it makes who is in IK's band wagon,If his govt can provide clean drinking water , standard education to every child,hospitals,jobs to those who deserve,security when one is out doors,He should be given a chance and if he dont we can always dump him in five years time we will loose nothing we have nothing to loose any way, give man a chance, go on vote for him .
Asghar Nov 08, 2011 04:07am
Mr. John - what language do you speak at home and why should the quality of anyone's English be the yard stick?? Come on - have a heart and get real
Asghar Nov 08, 2011 04:16am
It is easier to be critical than to be correct!!!!
fizzy Nov 08, 2011 07:50am
Imran khan is the best available choice we come forward and support him.You,me and any young educated person can be his canidate.If we want change we will have to get rid of these old faces.
A.Bajwa Nov 08, 2011 08:25am
Imran no doubt has considerable potential though he has some contradictions. It is very important that he shuns personal attacks on others. His approach to good governance is too political. Good governance does't come with shifting your bowlers around. It will come with deregulation, decentralization, privatization, collective and transparent decision making.
Haris Nov 08, 2011 08:45am
It is not balanced, rather, the author is clearly biased against IK. He is making assumption that IK's is immature, without providing any reason. He implies IK does not have well known politicians who can win, and at the same time complains that known politicians are joining him. His aim it seems is to convince everyone not to vote for IK due to fear of PPP winning. How sad when people sell their souls and morals to advance a hidden agenda. The fact remains: IK is more educated than other politicians. He is more sincere and honest than others. People who support or join him will be LESS corrupt (though not angels) than those with other parties. Apart from being able to commit crimes do "dhandli" to win elections, what are these politicians good at about which this author is harping about?
Haris Nov 08, 2011 10:06am
can someone explain what do they mean when they say IK needs to be more mature politicians
khany Nov 08, 2011 10:46am
PTI is not perfect but painting it with the same brush as the mainstream politcal parties requires some stretch of imagination. in this article PTI members are criticized for belonging to the wrong family e.g. jhagra, hoti, meraj, khokar, bhatti. why not let each person carry their own individual burdens mr. badar alam?some criticism is heaped on "potential candidates", e.g. khokar and bhatti. on whose authority mr. badar alam, may i ask, did you label them candidates! very arrogant of you to assume. finally there is criticism of PTI for taking on individuals who have changed multiple political parties in the past. allegedly these individuals had failed in the mainstream setup and are now exploiting the PTI for their own personal benefit... may be. however, they have left political parties that are currently part of the power sharing structure to join PTI which has only political promise. that counts for something. what is glaringly absent in this article is any direct criticism. many ifs and buts. and several baseless claims trying to pigeonhole PTI's support base as eithe middle class, or educated, or conservative, or profoessional, or urban, etc. mr. badar alam wake up and smell the coffee. the question is not whether imran can get 51% of the vote. rather the question is whether PTI can get 70% of the vote. PTI's supporters are young, confident, disciplined and assertive. we will not wait for your views to catch up with reality. rather we will let you reflect on the transformation in our wake. peace.
Syed Nov 08, 2011 11:01am
I can bet Imran Khan will not contest the next election as he know where he stands in electoral politics. He has not prsented a single plan as how he will tackle country's problems. So, if he wins even a few seats in national Assembly he will have to vote on bills and will be responsible for the outcome. It is much easy to stand on sidelines and use rhetorics than real policy proposals. This is his politics, this is what he is doing all this time
Dr.Mehwiwsh Nov 08, 2011 11:14am
when benazir came in 1986 all peoples were against a dictator and want democarcy to re stroe.But the scenerio is changed now so in PTI jalsa on 30th oct-2011 all youth (60% of total population ) came forward to change the syatem not the faces. Imran khan is honest,straightfarwrd with postive attitud and have a vision for pakistan's bright future. Actually this is the time to save pakistan from corrupt leaders and raise hands for Imran khan
mukeet Nov 08, 2011 02:04pm
So if you dont think Imran Khan is upto the challenge of making Pakistan a better place, do you have an alternate solution? Maybe you want to give Nawaz Sharif another chance, or is it Zardaris son who should lead Pakistan; maybe you would prefer Altaf Hussains MQM or are you partial to the Choudhries. Going by the tone of your article, i guess you would only vote for people who have experience of leading before; what you conveniently leave out is the extent of damage their stints in power have done for Pakistan.
Saagar Tarar Nov 08, 2011 02:49pm
Excellent Analysis....superb....I have the same concern that khan has a lot of people in his party who are only with him just to secure a seat in next elections. Besides alot of corrupt politicians are just waiting for a right moment to join his party just to fulfil their agenda to remain in power. I have no doubt that Khan himself is an excellent man and practices what he preaches but at this stage he should only give chnace to the new faces, never known before or never been in any political party before, if he wants people to vote for him. other wise he will end up with nothing but a big failure.
zafar jafri Nov 08, 2011 02:59pm
Great reading. IK will not be able to change anything as he is being propped up by "you know who".
Sarah Khan Nov 08, 2011 03:21pm
This is what I call a hate literature! The easiest thing to do is criticise someone... If you hate Imran so much then why don't you make your own party and solve Pakistan's problem? Or why dont you give a solution... I know you have no other solution... I know Pakistan has no solution than giving a chance to Imran...!!! Looks like you have some issue with Imran... you always talk against him... Also, it doesnt matter if you reach your goal in 15 years or 50 years... the main thing is that you play with the rules and you keep on fighting! Thats exactly what Imran and his team has done for the last 15 years!
Sarah Khan Nov 08, 2011 03:30pm
you are referring to establishment I guess... Establishment can help and give a high profile seat in government to someone who has never been in Politics before.... like they did with Nawaz Shareef... Shaukat Aziz... etc but Establishment can not make someone polular... Imran is now popular in Pakistan because of his 15+ years of struggle not because establishment... if he had to chose establishment then he could have done it in past!
sarah khan Nov 08, 2011 03:33pm
brilliantly said!
Awakened Nov 08, 2011 03:38pm
The author is writing off Imran based upon a very weak argument that the solutions he proposes are simplistic. Another proponent of status quo I guess. Well indeed the only simple solution to Pakistan's problems is an honest government or comparatively an honest government. Everything else will just fall in place by itself. Competent people who are subdued by this corrupt system will come up in ranks. And believe me the country is only running because of this handful hard working individuals. You see them in every sphere of life from a hawker to a top bureaucrat. We can't have a miracle overnight and have saints running our country in blink of eye. Change will be gradual but sustained. Thus while it comes to vote we should be voting for the least corrupt candidate in our constituency. Our leaders are a reflection of our people and unless we improve as individuals, asking for good governance ain't going to happen. It’s not question of brining 100% honest government, no such thing exists even in developed countries, but a comparatively better government and PTI seems to fill that blank. We have seen similar thing happening in India and China.
Sanity Nov 08, 2011 04:14pm
One of the key problems that Pakistan is facing today is intolerance. Unfortunately, we have become so intolerant that we do not want to read/listen an opposing view to the one held by ourselves. If one does not agree with the author of this article, he/she should debate using logical and rationale arguments, instead of labeling the article as a 'hate literature'.
Fazal Nov 08, 2011 04:27pm
Very well said
C Hussain Nov 08, 2011 04:56pm
It is very easy to sit at your desk and critisie someone... because all you need is to take up a pen and write something.. thats all... but its another thing to go out and deliver someone.. May I ask what this writer has contributed to the society of Pakistan... except for his writings.... while Imran has postively contributed to Pakistan... he always brought laurerls to Pakistan be it world cup, shauket Khanum Hospital, NIMIL university, and scores of other projects. He has above all inspired youth and he is trying his best to take people out of despair for this country where people like Badar are spreading nothing but despondency and making them feel that nothing can change... Imran is doing well... and he would do well.... this writer wants us to give up and accept the alternate.... we have no other alternative.. we need a change... what will happen.. maximum... Imran would fail.. ok let him fail.. but at least we should have the right to choose for an alternative because in other case... we have surely to be doomed with people like Altaf Hussain, Zardari, NS, Gilani and Asfandyar...
C Hussain Nov 08, 2011 04:59pm
Bhai sahib... its easy to criticse someone .. thats what our Pakistani nation is expert at... not look at what he is offering but always find deficiences... thats why we are going down the drain...
A.Rahman Nov 08, 2011 05:34pm
Very true."Many years later, he(Imran Khan) remains high on rhetoric and low on reality.
tariq awan Nov 08, 2011 07:16pm
What other choice we have other than IK?.WE have already seen the bad governance and corruption of our current leadership.
Fareed khan Nov 08, 2011 07:22pm
Nation bring changes through idealistic people and not through the realistic people. Pakistan needs a non corrupt and honest leadership. We have to select candidates from our corrupt society and if the leadership is honest I am sure many would change.
Daaku Thug Nov 08, 2011 08:32pm
Wow, people don't like criticism do they? This was a very reasoned and thought out critique; Pakistan's free Media needs more of this and less reactionary ratings driven provocative bile. I like PTI and IK, but people need to stop being sycophants; Just because Zardari and Sharif are the alternatives, doesn't mean we should blindly follow IK and others. Questions and an inquisitive nature are essential.
Saif Nov 08, 2011 08:41pm
Imran has the gift to inspire people and instill self belief in themselves thus giving the most of precious of gifts that any leader can give and that is hope. It is is this hope that has finally awakened the scores of people that are following him and that has the potential to remake Pakistan
Nabeel Nov 08, 2011 11:03pm
I think Imran can deliver, if he selects honest canidates in coming election, if he get good professionals in his team, if he trains the young members of his party and if he introduces a problem-solving manifesto for his party.
asif Nov 08, 2011 11:49pm
A very balanced and nice analysis worth appreciation.This nation need more of truth based arguments.
kdspirited Nov 08, 2011 11:53pm
I am not going to talk about the various ways Imran Khan has proved his critics wrong. People who always brought him and his efforts down saying they would never amount to anything. All I would say to them is look where he is now. People called him a non politician an idealist a mad man. All I have to say is those were the same things people said about Quiad-e-Azam when he set out to give muslims a seperate country. Imran is a proponent of a system. If the system runs well without corruption then individuals become less important. He is the only entity in Paksitan who has challenged the electoral process and filled a lawsuit agaist the fake voters list in the supreme Court. As a result we are revamping all of our electoral votting processes to try to have a free and fair process. Again the emphasis on the system. To me Imran Khan is the only politician with a record of delivery that has benefitted the common man
jamshed Nov 09, 2011 01:02am
@Sanity: I am very impressed by your opinions, your arguments and your language which has already created a persona that I admire. Keep it up!! Your Fan
Z Nov 08, 2011 08:28pm
A very biased,routine criticism of IK.Thanks for letting us know who represents the status quo n what we r up against.
sardar Nov 09, 2011 01:37am
Tolerance towards everything. This has been the main excuse of writers. He/She can write whatever he wants and can't we criticize irrationality of this article. You criticized everyone for years without any solution. Always you preferred easiest way. Imran Khan and us shouldn't listen any of you.
khan Nov 08, 2011 09:24pm
It is very easy to criticise something but it is very hard to fix it. But on the other hand i dont think mr. Khan wud b able to succeed, not because of him but because of the people of pakistan. Our minds are slaves
Sohail Pirzada Nov 09, 2011 02:24am
Good article; you are good at analysis and you did good. We need more people like IK who can bring accountability to the system. When two people compete, only one wins. All great things happen when they are part of the process. The process is democracy; I go for Pakistan n democracy first and party affiliations second. Another things concerns me that Lahore/Central Punjab is not Pakistan, IK or for that matter even PML (N) is not popular in entire Pakistan. To the best of my understanding, there are only 2 entities that are keeping Pakistan united in addition to our Constitution; Army by force and PPP voluntarily. IK should also focus in Pakistan not just Central Punjab. That's it for now......
Saboor Syed Nov 08, 2011 10:02pm
@ C. Husain: You Sir, question the weight of a pen. Does anyone need to say more... Still, let me: The Editor of Herald is delivering his duty to inform the public, and I must say completely, fully and factually with no bias of one part or the other. He has not in one clause advocated acceptance of any alternative, actual or vague apparition. He is only pointing out with clarity the true picture of political make up led by Imran Khan, without getting excited by some slogan mongering revolutionary talking young gun who is either unaware or oblivious of the great game played within out country by folks who should be protecting its borders. Even if you disagree with the analysis, you should celebrate it for its differing view. Doing what you're doing with your comment only goes to show that the supposed coming change is no more than another view into past ...
Abdullah Nov 09, 2011 04:14am
Agree with you completely. Real threat to the country is terrorism. All the parties should come together to protect the country
Tariq K Sami Nov 08, 2011 11:28pm
Mr Badar Alam if you remember twenty some years ago the late Moin Akhtar said jokingly "kaha Imran da dar hai, Kaha Imran to hoga."
Joji Nov 09, 2011 06:45am
Nobody is being intolerant here. So called PTI supporters are open to opposing views on all platforms. The problem being that atleast for this article the author rests his reasonings on Imran khan's solutions being too simplistic and certain corrupt political figures. May be his political manifesto is too simplistic, but the man has a proven leadership track record as in the Pakistan cricket team, Shaukat khanam hospital an NIMIL university etc. At this moment atleast I am more sure of him being honest with the cause which he actually believes him. On the same note, what have since been achieved by political heavy weights like PML-N, PPP and MQM with political manifestos as thick as a text book? Secondly, the writer is hard pressed to prove the short commings of PTI, by pound for pound, he was and still is way better than any other alternative (which I doubt exist) in current political climate. The bottom line as far as I can pick up from this article is that PTI is no good and it won't matter if we support PTI/IK or not since they can't win the elections? So? What are we supposed to do then? The author fails to address this very important question?
Joji Nov 09, 2011 06:51am
you sir, have penned my thoughts very eloquently !! Very well said.
Kashif Qureshi Nov 09, 2011 01:51am
Think lil positive Badar Alam. Your writing is very disappointing. Imran Khan has already changed the big picture and Inshallah you and people like you will witness the "Reality" and your "Myth" about Mr. Khan will disappear.
Abid Nov 09, 2011 07:03am
What is so intolerant if some passionately support Imran khan against the dynasty politics that we have always been told to call democracy.
NHKhan Nov 09, 2011 09:21am
I think this is a good article.The writer is correct in pointing out that same political families are joing PTI. I doubtImran khan can bring any change,it will be just like Obama, he also raised the slogan of change but nothing happened.
Laeeq Khan Nov 09, 2011 09:28am
absolutely true, writer seems hopeless and using his pen to spread it matter who joins or leave Imran Khan, we need a new top man for top job....teams develop with time but leaders come from nowhere.... Mr writer stop spreading hopelessness
waqas Nov 09, 2011 09:38am
Excellent article.... after all these years of pakistani politics the conclusion i reach is that only corrupt people can dominate in democracy, and if u need to win in democracy u need to gather corrupt, rich and greedy men around u, who will support u to power for further corruption! Democracy in Greece, Italy, India Pakistan etc just proves Democracy = corruption and Democracy is rule of the elite, for the people, by the elite!
faria khan Nov 09, 2011 09:41am
.... hey budd, IF we get Honest leaders, you and i will not have to bypass the laws then, we will start doing things the way humen do and islam supports. if the goverment is not corrupt it will bring peace and prosperity in the country 100 percent . IK is the MAN.....
Hadi Nov 09, 2011 09:42am
jeay Imran khan, good luck and keep it up.
MUHAMMAD QADEER Nov 09, 2011 10:34am
Being a student and normal Pakistani citizen i wud,nt criticise any body .Because its free and democratic country.every one has right to express their concerns .hope IMRAN KHAN and PTI will have a look on these points .but as MR khan still mention in many interviews that there are no angels who will be revealed from heaven.if he brings new and young people forward then also many fingers raise up.that these are new and Unexperienced wud,nt able to run this country. i would be very please if Author write some words about his concerns .
Mueez Nov 09, 2011 11:13am
I dont knw y people especially columnists nd anchors do not support new person in politics ,even knowing that he is clean .....they will always criticize old nd corrupt politiCians but ll never support new entry...because they r also ones who r getting benefits frm this system Peopl also claim that pti will not b able to make policies..I want to ask them which policies past govt have made?????
Mat Ullah Nov 09, 2011 11:19am
With due respect, may I please bring it into your kind attention that the same intolerance applies to yourself. Political parties do not just come on the scene in a fully loaded and completed form. To reach to the mature level and a well established position it needs some time. If you could please look at the way PTI has been evolving, it shows a very rapid and high growth. Initially one can't just let anyone come and join the party- like others did, especially with an agenda to eliminate corruption and bring a merit based system. It would i think need some proper planning and supervision of someone who is not corrupt. And then would be the time to let it rum on the trajectory. I hope my request wouldn't have harmed yours and anyone else's feelings. Thanks
Nasim G Nov 09, 2011 11:20am
Very well written article which covers the recent political history of Pakistani politics with a broad brush. The write has simply tried to offer what I consider a neutral analysis of Pakistani politics and how Imran Khan fits in. There is no doubt (as is evident in above comments) that most educated Pakistanis are putting their faith in Imran Khan
Nasim G Nov 09, 2011 11:22am
Very well written article and an honest assessment of Imran Khan and his politics as well as the challenges of being an honest politican in Pakistan. Imran's supporters should consider this article as an honest advice to help Imran improve his political vision and strategy for Pakistan.
Adnan Nov 09, 2011 11:45am
Neither Imran Khan nor anyone else can bring any change to Pakistan, it must be understood that Pakistani Nation is corrupt in general. This article itself speaks for Pakistani nation, the writer himself represents an educated class within Pakistani society (a very minor one, which everyone should be ashamed off being a Pakistani even Bangladesh have higher literacy then Pakistan) and his views, logic, and arguments are all there with valid reasoning but underneath you can smell a corrupt nature of a Pakistani individual who is looking for some personal benefit coming from who so ever he wants to make happy through his gift of writing (Which could be used for better as country really needs it). As for Mr. Khan he needs to understand that winning a world cup is leading a group of 14 individuals with lot of talent and winning an election is leading a nation of millions of uneducated and selfish bunch. So Mr. Khan I have no doubt in your WILL, I have no questions when it comes to your integrity and I have my well wishes for you but what you are trying to achieve in Pakistan cannot simply be achieved for a simple reason, you are trying to inject “GHRAT” into a “BEGHARAT Nation” which cannot be done. So please spend time with your children and the game you love and we as a Pakistani nation will live on complaining, crying and enjoying our selfish lives just as we did in the past 60 plus years.
Abdali Nov 09, 2011 12:09pm
Politics in Pakistan has always been a dirty game. Sincerity and honesty does not work here, but these are the qualities IK possesses and therefore he will be rejected. I don't blame Badar since he is the product of this society, where the incapable are being applauded and the capable are being mocked at.
JP Nov 09, 2011 03:23pm
Hi Friend Adnan Why be so pessimistic? A nation might or might not have a collective consciousness!So would refrain from calling a nation begairat. From outside i already see changes happening in your country. first step always is what everyone is doing. Discussing and noticing things which are perceptly not right, then working in the right direction. i have seen some changes in my part of the globe here in Delhi. I wish and for see same happening for your land also! Insha Allah! lets be more optimistic and give our future generations education and opportunity to live better!!!
Akhtar Lodhi Nov 10, 2011 04:01am
The writer thinks that Imran's biggest flaw is his "simplistic policies". Will he kindly tell us what sophisticated policies have the other parties & their leaderlike Nawaz Sharif, Zardari or Altaf Hussain gave to the nations? Zilch. He should also tell us if eradication of corruption, good governance, providing education & health facilities and refusing to bow to the Americans are not sound policies, what else are. Is corruption not out number one issue which is sinking us fast? Who else has the credentials to provide this agenda? Nawaz Sharif, Zardari or Altaf Hussain? Your atricle lacks any objectivity & serious thinking. Very superficial.
MZKhan Nov 10, 2011 09:58am
Hmm……let me admit, Mr Badar is a very “Good” writer in a sense that he can manipulate thing in whatever directions he want. He has playfully told the new generation not to support IK as he has the people having affiliation with the corrupt parties in the past, but he is not telling that these are the candidate who have no corruption charges against them. He is comparing IK with Musharraf but why don’t he compare it with Jinnah, as only the leadership of Jinnah let us get Pakistan, otherwise he had the same problems of selecting good candidates during the polls. I think Mr. badar has done what he was advised to do by his “LEADERS”.
Hussain Nov 10, 2011 02:17pm
Imran: You are the legend. Do not care what other people say. You gave your nation the cricket world cup and you can give them the status they deserve. BUT Please keep a distance from those politicians who are trying to sneak in to your pary of sincere people and who have been tried before. ARE YOU SINCERE IN Saying that you will try those who looted your country and even today looting them. I am not supporting NAWAZ who is also not a trust worthy politician. Please be strong. Do not be afraid of anyone. You have a strong army of Pakistani nation and they will support you when you speak their mind and do what they want.
Anwar H. Khan Nov 10, 2011 08:51pm
As the popularity of Imran increases, so does the derogatory remarks and comments about him by the political elite and their co-hangers. This gives me the hope that he must be doing something right, otherwise there wouldn't be such concerted assault on his efforts to change the rotten political culture in Pakistan. As Badar Alam writes, there may be genuine reasons for scepticism, but it does not mean that IK should give up because the environment seems hopeless. He ought to admire Imran for the simple reason that he keeps on struggling all the odds to pursue single-mindedly his praiseworthy goal Politics is the art of compromises. It may be true that the quality of his candidates may not be 100% uncontaminated, but he has to play the system, if he wants to survive and achieve his final goal. He has to choose relatively clean persons from the rotting political stock. To find upright people like Imran is so difficult. It does not mean that Pakistan is devoid of honest people: only that good people do not stand any chance in this culture to have any position. Unless he has a reasonable effective team to support him in such an arduous and uphill task, he will stumble. On his own he cannot achieve his praise-worthy purpose. I left Pakistan more than 40 years ago: but my heart and mind is still there. It pains me to see and hear about the conditions in Pakistan. How can Pakistani people tolerate such state of affairs and put up with such awful leaders and rulers. Pakistan has all the resources to become potentially a great country. Imran is the only politician who truly reflects my feelings and aspirations. There would be many like me. We all, including Badar should pray and help IK in any way we can, as I honestly believe he is our last hope, to save this unfortunate country. We should also pray for his long life. Anwar Khan NOTTINGHAM, UK
Enter your name... Nov 10, 2011 09:45pm
sir let him enter in practical politics and then declare this ambitious imran khan as a legend.he was nd he is a legend in cricket but the disgusting politics of our lovely nd sweet pakistan is bit different. any way i pray for mr khan to achieve his goals.
Ali Nov 10, 2011 10:59pm
Good article with good analysis of the candidates fielded by PTI. Badr is also correct about the assertion that PTI policies are simple but the suggestion that complex policies are needed is incorrect. Unfortunately in Pakistan, we are missing the fundamentals of honesty and governance. Imran Khan is right, in my view, that we should tackle the simple fundamentals first to set the country on a good path.
faisal rehman Nov 12, 2011 02:58am
not an optomistic article at all, the writer must be a pragmatic old guy or scared person, be strong man IK and we will show you how its done.
Aliaulikh Nov 12, 2011 09:43am
Discussion is always good. Healthy sign is we are getting it.Most difficult thing to happen is " CHANGE ". However unless their is an attitude," LET US CHANGE " it will not come. Rhetoric yes but only enough. His book "Pakistan" is an interesting reading especially chapter 10 of it.Every one supporting him should read. All that Imran needs is a ROAD MAP WITH MILESTONES. It should appear to be achievable in 5/10 years may be. Please try it.
Muhammad Ali Nov 12, 2011 12:33pm
alliance with anyother party would prove suicide for the party. Member selection is very difficult for him because everyone is not sincere as he is. But the law and order can play decisive role in success of Imran. May God bless u . We are praying from the core of our hearts for ur success. ASSALAM O ALAIKUM KHUDA HAFIZ
Noor Nov 13, 2011 12:37am
Only if the writer to spend his energy to educate the uneducated. Go away you nay-sayer. No one is listening to you!
Zaid Nov 13, 2011 06:50am
A really biased article in terms of IK's options for the next elections. I think IK will Inshallah sweep the next elections with a vast majority if he plays his cards well from here. And one more time a REALLY BIASED ARTICLE.
Abrar Nov 13, 2011 07:34pm
Actually PPP and PML (N) have ruled this country enough time if they were true and honest, Pakistan would have been on track of progress what so ever the rate of progress may be.But these two parties are just filth and nothing. Its wise that new faces with new determination be given opputunity . . The people are looking for it because of free media and if free media is allowed to work, change is inevitable. Nov 14, 2011 12:39am
Imran Khan's slogan, Pakistan should stop borrow money from US or other countries while he himself visiting UK and US to collect funds through fundraising dinners. What is the outcome of his movement to stop dron attack? An arrogant personality can't run his own family life happily. How to run a country?
Nazir Ahmed Minto Nov 14, 2011 02:16am
I would only say this to Imran , 'You that Choose..Not by View..Chance as fair, Choose as TRUE !.. Be careful of your choice of candidates , bring in some young men , stay away from the crowd that is tending to change sides,.. We are looking for a New Pakistan !,therefore, THE CHANGE ! you ! and we ! SEEK .Is in the system and the Politicians that has been imposing upon us . Voting in the next elections will be for Imran Khan,not for the people he selects !It is Imran Khan, who the people Trust ! Whoever,he puts up for the Vote, will win !Just make sure that ,that person is honest,educated and cut out for the challenges that will come..after the elections..when The re-making of Pakistan commences !Old Faces and a New system will not be accepted .
o.a.pasha Nov 15, 2011 12:11pm
Once Quaid-e-Azam said,he had some bad coins in his pocket.And with those bad coins,he made the impossible possible within the span of 7 yrs.True, Imran may have a lot of bad stuff with him at the moment.But it is upto his wisdom & strength to use them to the advantage of the nation building.And remember,politics is not one time game to power.If does well,he may get 2-3 full terms easily,which may put Pakistan on the right track.
Michael Warner Nov 16, 2011 09:12am
Imran Khan understands politics and is in for a long haul.He has been there for more than 10 years and will be their until the end.He is too intelligent to base his popularity and support by doing only one big mammoth gathering,we all call it a Jalsa.He got this due to last 10 years of tough resistance against all governments.He is a fierce campaginer and will continue to hold meetings until he gets majority in the parliament and form government.PTI is the party of future, PPP and PML(N) will have a struggling time to cope with it.
Omair Nov 17, 2011 06:56pm
Do you know family troubles that Quaid-e-Azam went thru, especially with his daugther? Do you know Gandhis domestic problems. Great leaders sacrifice their personal life for greater good of a nation. And secondly when you take loan from another country or organisation, they press you on their agenda and goals because they need it back (IMF has always destroyed economies by putting conditions to return the loan and not on long term economic sustainability), and you end up being a slave. so please start to distinguish between charity and financial loan.
ysk Nov 20, 2011 12:17pm
Its disappointing how IK fans cant take any criticism. They are making a Bhutto out of him which in the long run gives out a Zardari... Lets hear out before making do or die judgements.
W Shaikh Nov 20, 2011 09:49pm
Imran Khan ran a clean political campaign until very recently. The recent moves he has made raised some serious questions. Embracing politicians who do not have a clean record, some of his statements, and visit to Turkey cannot be ignored. It appears that IK has realized that compromise is a must with the establishment if he wants to be in the power. This is some what troublesome and we must be very cautious in embracing Imran Khan. IK may be an honest person and sincere in reforming the country's political system, but his recent overtures indicate that the politics of Pakistan under IK will be as usual. I do hope that I am wrong but the life experience has made me a little uncomfortable and I am not as confident as I used to be about IK.