I’m not Pakistani, and for me to make pronouncements or pass judgment on Pakistani domestic politics would be presumptuous. But several Pakistani friends have asked me to write about Imran Khan. I do so now, albeit hesitantly, because what he represents is an important subject at this pregnant historical moment.

I’ll start by highlighting points made recently by two Pakistani writers. In a long and excellent profile in the magazine The Caravan, Madiha Tahir writes: “The political worldview of the middle and upper classes — whether it’s the politics of personal expression and individual rights, moral outrage against corruption, or the outspoken embrace of tradition and piety — has almost no point of overlap with the needs and desires of millions of Pakistanis who are too poor to exercise meaningful choice in such matters.”

This cuts close to something Westerners and some Pakistani liberals willfully fail to understand about Pakistan: that it’s not really feasible to promote both Western-style or Western-leaning secular liberalism and the interests and aspirations of the much larger numbers of the Pakistani rural and urban poor. Which gets in turn to a very interesting contradiction in Imran’s own character and position: he is an elitist populist. He is “at his strongest,” writes Madiha Tahir, “delivering a trenchant critique of the often self-satisfied assumptions that underpin secular liberalism.”

On AlJazeera.com, Akbar Ahmed, professor at American University in Washington, DC and former Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK, begins with an obvious but crucial point: “There is a direct correlation between the depths of the gloom in Pakistan and the high expectations of salvation from Imran Khan. It is clear that the greater the despair in the country, the more fervent the hopes in one man as saviour.”

And he cautions: “There are already danger-signs as some old faces who have done the rounds with different parties have now jumped onto Imran’s bandwagon. The balance between making deals in order to chip away at the power base of the ruling Zardari-Bhutto dynasty and the Sharif one, and maintaining his integrity will be crucial.”

So, what do I think about Imran Khan? I don’t know the man and, again, I’m not Pakistani, but I’ve come to admire both his tenacity and his evidently genuine integrity and patriotism. And he seems to be channeling something both authentically and appropriately Islamic. But all this is not necessarily to say that I think he should lead Pakistan, or that he should want to. I certainly wouldn’t want to!

Imran has been hanging in there on the fringes of Pakistani politics for so long now that it’s easy to dismiss him or take him for granted. That’s understandable. But political credibility can consist in things other than National Assembly seats, and the enormous crowds who attended Imran’s recent rallies in Lahore and Karachi suggest that Pakistan might have crossed a Rubicon, or be approaching one. Whether the change that’s coming will be for the better, we can’t yet know. I do know from 17 years’ acquaintance that, for all its appalling inequities and glaring faults and notwithstanding the obstacles thrown in its path by not-so-friendly (not only imagined but also real) “foreign hands,” the Pakistani society does have the capacity to absorb such a change, and to become a better version of itself. Pakistanis are among the most resourceful and enterprising people I know. They’ve had to be, ever since 1947.

Imran is tapping into the natural urge all humans share — it’s part of what makes us human, by definition — to live above the level of material, moral, and social squalor, to be something better than cynical. And he’s absolutely justified and right to appeal to Pakistanis’ self-respect by telling them, essentially, that they don’t need, and shouldn’t want, to rely on aid or instruction from the United States. The challenge, as Prof. Ahmed alludes above, is what portion of the potential can be realised in the real world, where the rubber meets the political road. Relying on a single charismatic leader to change everything for the better is a setup for embittered disappointment and disillusion. Pakistanis and Americans are very similar, not least in being idealistic; and I’m sorry to have to remind you and myself of how much hope we Americans put in a charismatic figure who promised definitive change here, four long years ago.

So I’ll end these musings on a cautionary note, by telling the story of the press conference I attended at Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s famous house in Rangoon in November 1995. Suu Kyi had been released from house arrest a few months earlier, and her National League for Democracy had called the press conference to announce that they were suspending their participation in the military junta’s phony constitutional convention. It was both a stand on principle and an admirable attempt to take initiative and claim political space.

But I wasn’t convinced. The article I wrote for The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, began: “Aung San Suu Kyi’s claim to the moral high ground in Burma may be indisputable. But her party seems headed down a slippery slope toward political irrelevance.” Those two sentences led to the severing of my relationship with The Globe and Mail, because I didn’t toe its wishful line, which held essentially that because Aung San Suu Kyi should prevail, therefore she would. It isn’t that easy.

Then again, making a difference usually requires staying power and years in the wilderness. Things are finally looking a little more hopeful in Burma. Could they be in Pakistan as well? If so, then I feel sure Imran Khan has a role to play.

Ethan Casey is the author of Alive and Well in Pakistan and Overtaken By Events: A Pakistan Road Trip. He can be reached at www.facebook.com/ethancaseyfans and www.ethancasey.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 (141)

January 23, 2012 12:22 pm
Good article.The crux of the matter is Pakistanis are fed up.and they want to change.and Imran has become the symbol of that change.
Saleem Raza
January 23, 2012 12:31 pm
Perhaps he should have joined some bigger Party and tried to reform instead of clinching not so desirables from other parties
mian anwar nazir
January 23, 2012 1:31 pm
imran is an honest person.he has determination and will to serve. that is what pakistan requires
Imtiaz hydari
January 23, 2012 1:44 pm
I have known Imran personally for nearly 20 years. He is patriotic, clean as a whistle, and possesses the "nothing is impossible" steely determination to succeed. But most importantly he is not in this for self only. He remains Pakistans best hope in its time of darkness. I know he will succeed- inshallah
Imran Ahmed
January 23, 2012 2:59 pm
Whether Imran delivers or not all Pakistanis know for sure what they would be in for if they elect the sharif or zardari govt. It only makes sense to elect a new leader to give this country a chance, a breath of fresh air. Imran is the only choice the Pakistanis have if they are to give their country a new era. Whether he delivers or not is another issue, but I would like to see Pakistan free itself from these cultist like leaderships.
January 23, 2012 3:22 pm
Its a very careful analysis Ethan! Fortuntately, in last 30yrs this nation has only seen two main parties coming in to the power & fighting with every each other & the instiitutions to prolong their rule. And in this period they didnt realise that Electronic media became an entity to influence the common people. These two parties have been selling the same slogans i.e. Roti, Kapra & Makan (Bread, cloth & shelter) and couldnt even delivered that. In the mean time, people of Pakistan realise that our problems are not that complex to be solved, when India & Bangladesh has put their country on right track. And for this reason only, people are now standing with Imran Khan and seeing him as a hope.
January 23, 2012 3:26 pm
A sad fact about Pakistan is that there are too many political parties. Unfortunately Imran has also started a new one. And these parties have almost become personality cults.
January 23, 2012 3:33 pm
Well I had a discussion with a lot of Upper Middle class Pakistan and i would day that they are the most confused people in terms of ideas of governance and ideology. Likewise Imran Khan. Imran Khan wants to follow the model of Europe and other democratic countries but last week he stated that he wants an Islamic Welfare state and in other words Islamic welfare state in A true Sense would be a Rightist and Theocratic government but ironically he wants to follow the model of Europe for governance and try to implement this model in Islamic welfare state which apparently are in contradiction with each other. I am pretty sure he know his goals but I have a clear understanding right now that even Imran dont know how to achieve these goals.
Omer Khan
January 23, 2012 3:43 pm
In my openion about the current situation of pakistan, Imran Khan is the only Leader to serve for country and he will do everything for the sack of our beloved country.
m waqas
January 23, 2012 3:58 pm
i agree with IMRAN KHAN when he says this that our worst perfomance would a alot better than these dynasties run by PPP and PMLN
January 23, 2012 4:18 pm
In my view: why not give him a chance.He did it once in 1992,though in different pitch. But does he not deserve a chance more than anyother leader of Pakistan? For, he has led Pakistan successfully for so many years in the past, while others have stumbled between the wickets in their time and again, fumbled crucial economic catches and invariably dropped it in front of international spectators shamelessly. I think Imran Khan is the best available choice that we have now.
January 23, 2012 4:38 pm
During captaincy Imran Khan shown his ability that how to tackle people/players to get efficient outputs. Pakistan is not a under developed country, in fact Pakistan is very near to become develop country provided people support PTI because Imran Khan has guts to get positive output from corrupted people.
M. Asghar
January 23, 2012 5:21 pm
Without indulging in the philosophycal subtleties, the things will change dramatically in Pakistan, if Imran in power can outlaw and really get rid of the deep-rooted curse of feudalism there.
Ahmed from Qatar
January 23, 2012 5:31 pm
He is an honest and well wisher of Pakistan. He speaks the language of common people and express the mind of middle class. If he comes then Pakistani will see a positive change and not just change...
January 23, 2012 5:48 pm
Didn't Imran Khan swear sometime ago that he would eliminate corruption in one hundred days or something like that? That I call doing something for peoples of the country.
January 23, 2012 6:05 pm
Please do not compare Obama with IK because Obama had done nothing and did not have any track record when we elected him. He fooled us into voting for him. Imran has a track record and is a true patriotic. He is in politics only to serve people of Pakistan. Pakistan does not have another alternative so yes, IK is the leader we should vote for. Obama does not compare well with Imran Khan as a person, as a politician, as a philanthropist. No comparison sorry dude.
January 23, 2012 6:24 pm
You people talk as if Imran is a messiah sent to liberate your country from the multitude of problems like poverty,religious problems,the talban and your powerful zamindars.He has a magic wand?Untill and unless you people support him with capable candidates that can deliver and then stand by him when he takes on the inefficient,powerful and the corrupt,you are living in a fools world.
ijaz khan
January 23, 2012 6:32 pm
Imran khan is the only ''HOPE'' of Pakistan.
January 23, 2012 6:42 pm
well said bro
January 23, 2012 7:03 pm
well maybe you should ask yourself, if the rest of middle classes are confused, a simple question - Should I vote for Zardari, Nawaz Sharif or Imran regardless of goals or ideology or how to achieve them?
January 23, 2012 7:01 pm
Clearly Imran is the best choice for Pakistan. The challenge before him will be to instill confidence in us that through our planning and hard work and efforts, we can indeed improve if not our lives, then at least our children's lives. Unfortunately today, a lot of us feel that we are helpless when it comes to improving our lives. The common phrases are "Gormaint dey gee" or "yeh Gormaint ka kaam hey" or "Bhai Saudia sey paisey bhejay ga." And PTI's latest slogan of "Islamic welfare state" promotes this mindset. If I want Pakistan to change, then I need to change my mindset. I have to invest in myself to be the best at what I do and be in a position to not have to rely or my government or family member or foreign remittences.
January 23, 2012 7:12 pm
Noor Jahan
January 23, 2012 7:51 pm
Imran Khan was player, he does not know anything about politics. His statements are emotional. He is not patriotic Pakistani. He is just wants fame.
Ahmed Saeed
January 23, 2012 8:50 pm
IK is a lucky man. Time has chosen him at the right moment. Whether someone agree or not he is going to win the elections and turn the tides. I am no great fan of him but he is better than NS and Zardari. People of Pakistan wants a real change. And please don't ever compare him with Obama. He never wanted to change the plight of Americans and only capitalized on Bush's wrong policies.
Muhammad Khan
January 23, 2012 9:56 pm
i think KHAN has the confidence and passion to drive out the country from this chaotic situation and rest of the leadership traits he could catch in real times of his innings. i think he has considerable amount of knowledge of the present day Islamic state requirements because he has already set his eyes on the Islamic states like Malaysia and Turkey and his ideal is Mahatir Muhammad, I think based on these credentials one can conclude that he will definitely fight against mafias, feudalism and corrupt politicians along with corrupt system in Pakistan and will give a new chance to rebirth of MADINA ROLE MODEL LIKE ISLAMIC WELFARE STATE but for all this we will have to wait because only time will read and write the story.
January 23, 2012 10:00 pm
We all know Imran Khan as a great cricket legend who helped Pakistan in achieving its first ever world cup victory and by erecting a cancer hospital. His idea of formulating a welfare state is very old and indeed is a good one. It’s true that we the Pakistanis are now literally fed up with the concept of roti, kapra and makaan, and the tigers of Punjab the khadmay ala and his elder brother. The present situation of the State is real pitiful as the leaders are more interested in filling their personal economies with money rather than the state economy. Both the PPP and the PML-n have been given a chance twice to show their competence but failed poorly. Hence, the end result of their tenure was extreme corruption and the downfall of the economy. Today, the people want to come out of the shackles of these two political parties and want a change in the political scenario. Till now the track record of Imran Khan is clean and people prefer to give money to his charitable organization rather than to the governments. Thus, I really hope that Khans PTI will create a Tsunami in Pakistan and will not only win but would clean sweep the next general elections. So it’s Good Luck to Mr. Imran Khan!!!!!!!
Abubakr Usmani
January 23, 2012 10:16 pm
To be a good leader, you need two qualities: integrity and aql. Imran Khan has both. End of story
January 23, 2012 10:36 pm
Pakistanis have, for all their political experience, little understanding of democracy or politics. It takes more than honesty and patriotism to pull up a country. Any farmer in the country picked at random would display such honesty and patriotism - and Ethan should know better. It takes vision, which IK may have, clarity in thinking, which IK is totally lacking, and organizational skills, which IK does not seem to have. Also, notice how he has backed military govt's for survival, including backing Musharraf for a while, and now silently getting backed by the Pak military. At best, IK will be a stooge, at worst, another politician who will deliver another wasted decade.
Shakil Ahmed
January 23, 2012 10:58 pm
There is a lot of talent in Pakistan, and Imran Khan is the ONLY (as far as I can see) breath of fresh air who can channel this talent to any good use for the people of Pakistan. We have tried the 'rest', please give him a chance to bring the change we can really trust. Otherwise, if he is not up to the task the continous democratic process (if we let it keep going) will "weed out" the right leadership for this talented country!
January 23, 2012 11:30 pm
@Hasan - Firstly, I am afraid you are making a flawed assumption that Islam and democracy are inherently incompatible. Secondly, I think the key here is the goal of welfare state which is focused on addressing the basic needs of citizens such as healthcare, education, and employment. This is something not new; it has been PTI's motto since the inception (for last 16 years). And there is nothing non-Islamic about building institutions that cater to these Scandinavian ideals.
January 24, 2012 1:15 am
Imran Khan will destroy Pakistan. He is not the right person for such a role.
January 24, 2012 1:32 am
Good luck imran khan.you need it in pakistan.
Abid Malik
January 24, 2012 1:50 am
Imran talks about self esteem, the philosphy Iqbal expalined in his poetry. Self Esteem is the fundamental element for ONE's success. We need leadrs like IMRAN
January 24, 2012 4:06 am
Good or bad, people Pakistan have choice - IK is an option you have. Elect him or go with Zardari & N.Sharif, then don't complain that you had no chice.
Zarar Khan
January 24, 2012 5:44 am
Imran has already made a huge impact in bringing awareness amoung the masses and not only in his own part also in other parties as well. The change is inevitable and IK is the symbol of change.
Adil Jadoon
January 24, 2012 5:51 am
IK is not a career politician and whatever does is with his peoples welfare at his heart. Pakistan Zindabad.
nayaab khan
January 24, 2012 6:12 am
Although your article sounds great and convincing to those who probably don't keep up with Pakistani politics I have complete faith in Imran Khan. He will most definetly bring a positive change to Pakistan InshaAllah and then all those who think and speak otherwise will probably come say they were with PTI all along. Obama and Imran are two completely different people who don't have anything in common other than the fact that they are politicians.
January 24, 2012 7:15 am
Enough is enough. Imran is the man. Let's go for him. He deserves a chance. Everybody make sure, you have your vote registered and must vote. Pakistan Zindabad..
Usman Ahmad
January 24, 2012 8:19 am
We all living in America are going to vote and support for Imran Khan. One and only honest and worthy in Pakistan.Rest are all looter and thugs.
January 24, 2012 9:06 am
Welcome Imran.pakistan needs your leadership.Save the nation from the corrupt leaders of Zardari and Sharifs.
noman khan
January 24, 2012 9:39 am
long article but in the end does not tell me anything.. IK has substance, track record, integrity, authenticity, but most importantly, a vision. A vision that provides hope to a nation that desperately needs it The faith that this nation can get back on its feet. For that to happen, he will need our support. In libyan revolution, the generals who were in Qaddafi army defected. were they angels? most likely not but they found a new vision and hope. Is everyone joining IK an angel? NO. but will the vision and the leadership guide them to the right path? I would think so. and oh by the way, whats the alternative? dont answer that because there is no right answer. there is no alternative.
January 24, 2012 10:07 am
Pakistan really need a better change.PPP has corrupted more our society.A lot of stories of corruption are in air about of our PM. A lot of stories of corruption are also being told about Nawaz Sharif's corruption.PPP leaders and PMLN leaders are in politics for corruption.We need an opposite of them.And we look forward to Imran Khan to reverse this trend which is dragging us to devastation.
Arshad Jagirani
January 24, 2012 10:32 am
Imran Khan is so hard worker, he is honest, international personality well known, educated, liberal so he must be the leader of pakistan. he is not trying to implement west ideas in pakistan,bu he just build pakistan as Islam Welfare State.
Ehtesham Qamar USA
January 24, 2012 10:38 am
Nice article. Definitely there are very high hopes for IK. I am not sure if IK is the right answer but the problem is that there are no other answers, if he is taken out of the picture. Either he will perform fantastic or just average. So I say we have nothing to lose. It is a win win situation.
Abid Malik
January 24, 2012 10:41 am
I will give Imran Khan the credit of developing a third party and competition. PTI has made party worker valuable and set trends. I see his credentials and think he deserves a chance. Lets embrace the change and don't compare Pak with other countries as we do have unique challenges and opportunities.
Sajjad Ali Gopang
January 24, 2012 11:46 am
I think we don't have any other option, Imran Khan is only one who may Bring improvement in the country.
January 24, 2012 3:40 pm
Let us look at the alternatives. PPP has no vision, no clarity and totally lacking any organizational skills whatsoever. Sharif brothers are no different, although they are a tad better than PPP. It is presumptuous to say that Imran is lacking organizational skills. He has shown excellent organizational skills when it comes to SK Hospital and running his own party. In my opinion he deserves a fair chance. Status quo and corrupt leaders are no longer an option for Pakistan. If you don't like Imran then bring a new party with honest leadership.
January 24, 2012 4:18 pm
looks to be the best out of the lot, success and failures are not be measured now give him a chance for 5 yrs and see if he will make any difference to pakistan, Ideally he will make a difference
January 24, 2012 4:56 pm
if we ask IK supporters about why they support Imran Khan they would say he would bring change. if these people are so deperate for change why not let the elected government complete its 5 years in power and have elections on time wouldn't this be biggest change and achievement..... or for a change don't let army intervene. The truth is had this nation been so deperate for real change, the entire nation would have protested the army over Osama bin laden's case.
Muhammad Fahim Anwar
January 24, 2012 5:09 pm
Good Article!, IK have all the leadership qualities which an excellent leader should have (.i.e. vision , personality ,courage , pressure handling , speaking power , decision making etc. He is amongest fewest Political leaders of the world who gets fame after doing hard social work ( SK Project ), building NAMAL University etc. While in our Pakistan society People comes to politics just to get Fame , Power , money etc, while on the other hand IK is fighting for some cause sine 15 years. It is already proved that IK is ability wise best in picking GR8's / future heros for Pakistan. InshAllah We hope and Pray from Almighty Allah that IK will be next Prime minister of Pakistan and InshAllah under his leadership Pakistan will once again arise in World map with champions in economy / rule of law / human rights/ best governance.
Mian Javed
January 24, 2012 5:21 pm
Imran Khan is coming trough support of peoples.and honest person. we need that kind of leader.
January 24, 2012 5:28 pm
and you are saying this based upon what??????????
Waqas Nawaz
January 24, 2012 5:58 pm
Yes, Imran Khan is the only option left today for Pakistan. I also attended 30 October rally where hundred of thousands of people came with unity...
January 24, 2012 6:23 pm
Khan's party is like the Tea Party, against the insider in politics but without a workable plan. There is timidity, call it lack of honesty, in telling the voters that there is a trade-off between prosperity and sovereignty. A poor Maoist China could have invaded Hong Kong and imposed communism there. An economically dynamic China had to forego the use of force, putting up with free expression of dissent, when the British departed in 1997. If Pakistan is to become prosperous, hitherto unmentionable critique of religion and politics, even questioning the basic tenets of belief, might be the price to pay. Imran has not told his consituency that the idea of Pakistan may become irrevocably changed if economic growth does pick up.
Prof Zubairi USA
January 24, 2012 6:45 pm
Thanks for the analysis. I reiterate my question I asked Imran Khantwo yearsd ago in washington.
January 24, 2012 6:47 pm
Bhuto also gathered lot of popular support and then it fizzled out as he retreated from his democratic socialist stance. Imran Khan has to go forward from his Insaf slogan and indicate how real problems like Kalabagh,provincial autonomy, and civil liberties has to be addressed.Above all there is the looming problem of big and expensive government.
January 24, 2012 7:01 pm
I will not go into detail. The only thing I want to say is that we have tested the other players many times and each time they let us down. No harm to give Imran Khan a chance. Worse than now will never be during his leadership.
January 24, 2012 7:05 pm
Worse than now will never be during his leadership, so no harm to give Imran Khan a chance. The other players have each time let the Nation down.
Prof. Zubairi USA
January 24, 2012 7:05 pm
Thanks for the analysis.Our elite continue to ask our impoverished and illiterate masses to eat cake if they do not have bread. I ask the same question I asked Imran Khan two years ago in Washington. How arre you going to fix Pakistan? What is your ideology, platform etc. on major ailments? It is not enough to point to others mistakes and problems. Imran needs to delineate the methodology in specifics and in details. What is he going to do about land reform, about provincialism and hate, about Americans pressure to fight your own, power and water crisis, diseases, money-laundering etc.? Imran is spending all of his energy to criticize others. His heart may be in the right place but does he know his limitations, material and intellectual? Has he ever solved community problems? A basic problem of Pakistan has been that it never evolved into a nation or a country. Without such integration no one will succeed.
Prof. Zubairi USA
January 24, 2012 7:07 pm
We Thank you for the analysis.Our elite continue to ask our impoverished and illiterate masses to eat cake if they do not have bread. I ask the same question I asked Imran Khan two years ago in Washington. How arre you going to fix Pakistan? What is your ideology, platform etc. on major ailments? It is not enough to point to others mistakes and problems. Imran needs to delineate the methodology in specifics and in details. What is he going to do about land reform, about provincialism and hate, about Americans pressure to fight your own, power and water crisis, diseases, money-laundering etc.? Imran is spending all of his energy to criticize others. His heart may be in the right place but does he know his limitations, material and intellectual? Has he ever solved community problems? A basic problem of Pakistan has been that it never evolved into a nation or a country. Without such integration no one will succeed.
mohad afzal khan bai
January 24, 2012 7:12 pm
YES WHY NOT 100% last and final need if can change we looking better way for isaf all pakistan but fouj.....?
January 24, 2012 7:22 pm
Hope and despair leads to wishful thinking. If IK get elected and secure enough seats to become PM. His life long real struggle will start. If he remains faithfull to his current narraitives he will partially succesful;when first time BB came to power; lots of us- had hopes but soon that became dashed-. Hope is a waking dream; hold fast to your dreams; because if dream dies; life is a broken wing bird that can not fly. I wish IK good luck. Only time will tell-
January 24, 2012 7:23 pm
Without any kind of doubts, yes Imran is the right person to run the country. If you look around, do you see any other person?
Mohammad Akram
January 24, 2012 7:30 pm
Imran Khan got a very clean slate. People do like him He got a great chance to become the third party. It is possible that after the memo gate and NRO beneficiaries verdict by the SC There is a chance that many will go with the wind and new faces including Imran Khan and his party will become the winners.
January 24, 2012 7:34 pm
Imran now or never:-!
Shehzad Usman
January 24, 2012 7:38 pm
As most of the pakistani nation is below poverty and education line so rather than being sensible they are attracted towards emotional charged slogans and imran khan being a sensible politician able to successfully raised this slogan. as far as his party is concerned ill give you this eg that if the driver has proper skills he can win the race even with a C class car.
January 24, 2012 7:49 pm
Sir --surely he has something what we can say as manifest --We have all the institutional set at least in pakistan --the requirement is for a motivated loyal pakistani at TOP---so Definitely change will come--
Suhail Zubaid-Ahmad
January 24, 2012 7:49 pm
For methodologies in specific you shouldn't be listening to Imran Khan's public speeches. Yhey are meant for general public and give the the big picture, the strategy if you will. Instead, you should contact his spokespersons or better, visit PTI's official site.
January 24, 2012 8:27 pm
The whole world can recognise the real reasons for downfall in the Pakistan's economy. Pakistanis, themselves, are not even ready to watch for the real reasons what to speak of recognising the same. By blaming your leaders you will go nowhere. Tomorrow, you will be blaming your today's hero Imran Khan. Words and speeches can't take a nation forward without rcognising the real problems and finding the solutions.
January 24, 2012 8:37 pm
Here we go my fellow pakistanis as naive as always been.....Imran is using his 'never been exposed card' very well to garner all this support. We really need a guy like Ahmedinejad to rule a country like pakistan. We lack dignity, integrity & self-esteem and I dont see any leader giving it back to us.
January 24, 2012 9:00 pm
Benazir once very famously said that there are only two political parties in pakistan, PPP and Army. Now because of Imran Khan there are three political parties- PPP, PML-N and Army. That's the change I can see because of IK. People of Pakistan are deluding themselves if they think IK has a magic wand and he's going to fix everything.... Even if he comes to power, I don't know how soon people are going to become impatient because things are not going to change overnight. Even after landslide victory I expect him to loose popular support quickly like Bhutto. and bhutto was a much more astute politician.
January 24, 2012 9:53 pm
The professionals educated class of Pakistan are all supporting Imran Khan.Inshallah he is the future PM of Pakistan.
January 24, 2012 10:13 pm
He is clearly the leader the establishment needs. They've realized that working with tough politicians like the Zardari and Nawaz Sharif is uphill and Pakistanis don't want the army running things (just yet). Once they've made him, they can break him and a daily reminder of this would be adequate to control him.
Dildar Ahmed
January 24, 2012 10:19 pm
So much is said and promised but reality remains the same, Pakistan need a leader to fight its name internationlly and domestically ,everyone needs a start what if he blamed few wrong names for problems over the years, IK is better equiped n popular then benazir who carried her father's dynasty or nawaz sharif who learned to speak urdu after becoming PM . Atleast Imran is trying to talk to masses , I think he deserves a chance if not PM then atleast honest oppostion to check people in govt. Pakistan deserves a true n bold leader which is Imran Khan Niazi now. Its Now or Never.........
mian anwar nazir
January 24, 2012 10:53 pm
I hope so
January 24, 2012 11:03 pm
Unfortunately, I see him as moustachless Zia-ul-Haq.
Umar G
January 24, 2012 11:23 pm
You ask has IK ever solved community problems..I will just mention 2 examples...The vision behind and set up of Namal University in a backward area of Pak that is now empowering the youth of that area by giving them access to a quality of education and future opportunities they could only have dreamt of...secondly please follow the work of IK foundation which is not only rehabilitating equake and flood affected areas but training and empowering the youth of the areas its helping out in to take charge and solve the problems they face in their communities (follow IKF work on facebook for more info)...and lastly if u happened to attend either PTI's karachi or lahore jalsa the one over powering feeling you sensed from both events was how IK managed gather people from such diverse backgrounds shoulder to shoulder with one common cause of a better Pakistan
January 24, 2012 11:46 pm
We don't need a guy like Ahmedinjeadabad... we need a clean and normal leader who can focus on problems and work to resolve them. Any human being, to whom we can relate should be the leader.. Examples?? Mustafa Kamal, Pervez Musharaf, Imran Khan. They are normal and clean people. When they talk, you can relate yourself and understand what they are saying. They have delivered.
Asif Bashir
January 24, 2012 11:58 pm
There's a lot wrong with Pakistan but what it needs most right now is good governance. If IK can curb corruption by even 20% there will be a huge improvement in the lives of ordinanry people. We don't need an intellectual to fix the basic things in Pakistan. It's not a question about his ideology or platform. He can and should run on the platform that all he is going to fix is corruption and justice for all. That is enough for us right now. It's funny how we're questioning his credentials on foreign policy, economic policy etc when we don't have the basics right. He can continue running the country with the same policies as are in place right now but just run them efficiently and justly and some if not most of our problems will be taken care of. Even that is enough for us right now. We can elect an intellectual later!
Sanam Abbas
January 25, 2012 12:00 am
Imran Khan may not be the best choice, but,do we have any choice..can beggars be the choosers?
January 25, 2012 12:05 am
Ajay, no one can bring change over night the people of Pakistan are not demanding an over night change niether expecting as it is not practically possible not only in Pakistan but i guess in india as well even if Mr. hazare with his agitation policy could be succeeded by his bills but would it be implemented on the masses over night NO. same here. but Nation expect a forward move a step forward in the Right direction. if he could do it then our future generation will get a prosperous land if not we and we are ready to give a properous land and country for them even if we have to sacrifice for them....IK may not be the perfect person in all department and plans but he is the only one at the moment and we cannot loose this chance to again give power to those whom Nation have voted brought in power many times before..give a chance to face new people and hope for the best.
January 25, 2012 12:08 am
Imran Khan is a novice with full of idealistic dreams with not much connection to reality or any background, intellectual depth or experience to back up his statments. Granted he is an honest man and, so far, not implicated in any corruption. But it is one giant leap from being an honest injenue to be able to deal with the mess Pakistan is. One thing is sure though, how could he do any worse than the current corrupt feudal elites passing themselves as leaders of Pakistan. Only time will tell. Good Luck, Pakistan. You need it as much as you need oxygen. God Bless.
Ali S
January 25, 2012 12:16 am
Even if Imran Khan somehow becomes president, the fact is that even with the best intentions and efforts he simply can't turn Pakistan's problems around overnight. It's a long, sustained process that requires cooperation from the public as much as it requires commitment on part of the government and yes, even the army. The expectations put on his shoulders by his supporters (mainly urban youth fed on a constant diet of conspiracy theories) are simply unrealistic and will eventually crumble. With all that said, however, I do believe that he should have a chance to show this nation what has he got considering what kind of leaders this nation has democratically elected in the past - but for that, first he needs to come up with a concrete, clear manifesto
January 25, 2012 12:36 am
We should give a chance to Imran Khan but its not a one man responsibility for change its we ....... as a pakistani nation or for the betterment of pakistani people we should take step as a nation and recognize our responsibility
Arshad Karim
January 25, 2012 12:55 am
Just one challenge - Tell me alternate name of a political leader who can bring change better than Imran Khan and his credentials are clean. I can't think of any name in current political mess!...so my obvious choice becomes IK by default as the only option where you can pin some hopes of change.
January 25, 2012 1:17 am
Ethan. There is a difference between Burma and Pakistan. That country has been struggling to see a glimpse of democracy for quite sometime. Pakistan and Pakistanis have tasted it time and time again. The issue is not with IK being a one man show the issue is the ability of one man to be able to convince enough Pakistanis to step up and have the strength to change their fate. Something that hasnt been done in a while. In a country where we are divided on the basis of Caste, creed and religious affinities. We need a party that stands for Pakistan and PTI is one such party. Pakistan is a complicated country to say the least the estremists the mililtary the elite and the poor are all part of our diaspora. Alienating one or the other will not get us where we need to be. We have religious parties, mahajar parties, baluch nationlist parties, sindhi parties, punjabi parties. What we didnt have was a Pakistani party until now. I was once part of Imrans Tigers who help build Shaukat Khanam with Imran Khan. We know his ability to bring people together for a single cause and show results. And this time his cause is Pakistan. As for people from other parties joining him well if they are clean and not corrupt everyone has the right to change their minds. We are a democratic country after all.
January 25, 2012 2:33 am
No one in Pakistan has this delusion that Imran will fix all the problems overnight....but is the best choice under current scenario.
January 25, 2012 3:24 am
Imran Khan all the way for me. He has become symbol of hope and change. I will fly to Pakistan to just vote for him. My conscious wouldn't allow me to vote for someone else. He is certainly not perfect but no body is as I believe like Millions that he is going to be better than the current lot trying to rule Pakistan.
January 25, 2012 3:51 am
yes.Imran was a player and a successful player.No other politician knows any thing about politics in pakistan.Imran khan is patriotic Pakistani.The proof is that all his Assets are in pakistan.
Saad Salman Zia
January 25, 2012 5:29 am
I hope the Ahmedinejad part was a joke! He's run his country into the ground and alienated himself from all neighbors.
January 25, 2012 8:06 am
For the critics of Imran Khan : Yes ! he is untested political power yet. But is'nt it more plausible to put him on test and then throw him out to political oblivion , rather than picking up the garbage all over again. Please be passionate for Pakistan but dispassionate in your decision making.
January 25, 2012 9:17 am
Suhail you are partially right, that his speeches obviously are catered more towards rousing emotions in people, and its more for media soundbites and marketing than anything else. But imdo agree with professor zubairi, there needs to be a full agenda, white papers, technical details on how to implement the plan. Giving such details is not necessary to placate the few of us that have the background to even critique his policy, but it is necessary to et the media unequivocally behind him. Yes the media does support hi,m, but now they also question some of these lack fo technical details. I have a background in economics and have managed vasts amount of funds for investment in businesses and built business. He needs to produce almost a business plan for the country and thats the only way he will succeed in turning around the country. His heart might be in the right place, but without a solid plan it will be difficult to execute. He needs to hit the ground running. Its easy to say that he wants to create jobs and do good for the poor, but ipwithout land refrom, without denting the feaual system, without controlling the militaries budget, he will notbe able to do anything.
January 25, 2012 9:20 am
That seems to be the reson a lot of people are giving for voting for him, the problem is that youre almost doing him a disservice but using such statements. If thats all it takes him to get your vote, then he wont be working towards the bigger picture of improving his party, himself as a leader, and actually coming up with a good plan on how to turn aroundmthecountry. Youll elect him, and he will waste his 5 yrs trying to come up woth a plan. So to all of the pti's supporters,dont squander his 5 yrs in government if he is going to be elected, make sure he has a good plan to turn around the country, he needs to earnyour vote, not just get your vote because youre disillusioned by everybody else.
Fawad Siddiqui
January 25, 2012 10:27 am
Apart from the emotional slogans, Imran Khan is the "Only Hope" !!
Deen C
January 25, 2012 10:35 am
If I were Imran Khan ,I would just concentrate on 5 ; just 5 major things & our future generations would see the results of new & emerging Pakistan. Provide secuity to the public by fixing the state of Police. Provide clean water to the public. Provide electricity & energy to the industries & common public. improve & fix the education system. And work on the health system. I think everything will will atomically change.
Izhar Minhas
January 25, 2012 11:03 am
Whether PPP & PML-N like it or not this time defeat is definitely chosen for them by All Mighty Allah (SWT) for all the henous crimes they have committed again this poor nation. I hope and pray Allah (SWT) will give Imran khan a chance. I am coming from abroad along with with entire family to vote for Imran Khan. We pakistanis living abroad are extremely worried about the future of our beloved motherland PAKISTAN.
Fida Bangash
January 25, 2012 11:53 am
To me he is not a leader even he is not a politician, he is just a cricketer........He has not yet announced a clear description of policies to bring the change in this country........I have never seen him talking on key features to revive the economic condition, how to revive the water and energy policies, how will be our foreign policy, wot would be its key features........and most important thing he never talked on security matter except war on terror....how will he control army, what will he do on Kargil Operation, role of army in Politics, wot he thinks on Abbotabad operation and mehran base attacks.........nothing he didnt said anything...its just his slogan of change dat wil never bring change in the country......
January 25, 2012 1:36 pm
Lota Parties dont change anything. They just change labels.
January 25, 2012 3:25 pm
The only hope is Ik. Atleast he is an honest man n we all know, honesty is the best policy! He follows the Best Policy,so there are 8/10 chances that situation will only 'improve'!
January 25, 2012 3:29 pm
Pakistan needs to change and someone like imran khan will definitely change it. I am all the way for imran
Asad Mehmood
January 26, 2012 2:08 am
Being normal Pakistani if we compare our current leadership like Mr.Zardari ,Mr.PM ,Mr.Nawaz or Mr.Altaf , can anyone share their economic and other policies surely not but at least IK has the vision about these policies . No one perfect in our leadership ,as mentioned above by someone , at least corruption free country and justice for all is the best slogan of IK . Almighty bless our country . long live Pakistan Pakistan zindabad
Asad Mehmood
January 26, 2012 2:11 am
Corruption free society and justice for all is the best slogan of PTI & IK . Almighty bless our country . Long live Pakistan
January 26, 2012 8:09 am
So much has been said about candidacy of Imran Khan, for and against, but my fear is if Imran Khan is lucky to be elected as President or Prime Minister of Pakistan, there will be dissatisfied people as well making accusations against him, and most likely a younger and more handsome person than Imran Khan will form a party and the cycle of “action for change” will start. Pakistan will never have a stable government until people are united as one nation regardless of their ethnic background, language, religion, religious school of thought (Sunni, Shia etc.) financial status (rich or poor) and above all, allow elected governments to complete its mandate.
Riaz Ilyas
January 26, 2012 3:06 pm
In my view Imran Khan is the only last hope for the people of Pakistan. I hope this time Imran Khan will won. my best wish for him.
January 26, 2012 9:13 pm
By your definition there is no leader in Pakistan, because no party has ever given any policy outline.
Noor Chaudhry from C
January 27, 2012 11:21 am
Well, Dear Asad Mehmood. Nothing better than your comments. I strongly support Mr. Khan's PTI, Insha Allah it will work for all Pakistan. Thanks Noor. from Canada
January 27, 2012 2:01 pm
Only Pakistani who has wisdom, currage and experience of governess is ex president Musharraf. He is honest and known in the world.
January 27, 2012 2:12 pm
No one man can make such a change. The nation is full of corruption... how can one man do anything? The people who think he is getting more powerful and are flocking to him... are they not also corrupt?
January 28, 2012 8:18 am
Instead of a great leader, Pakistan needs a good system of governance and economics as in China. China is the biggest success story ever in history, in the economic sense. After Deng Xiaoping they didnt have a strong leader.
January 28, 2012 9:01 am
I think IK deserve chance - we have tried all other parties - we have no choice. Look PMLN, even cant run province they have lost plot.PPP finish their term but they didnt do any thing - Ok fair enough they came in difficult time to control the situation but four years ???.We need new blood.
Raj Patel
January 28, 2012 10:17 am
People of Pakistan are living in fools paradise. They believe that only one guy who had never been manage any panchayat or district panchayat can able to manage the country and defete their problems.They convincingly forget that in democracy nobody is indespensible and people also have to take part and have to take resposibility other then voting at the time of election.
Abdul Ghafoor Shaikh
January 28, 2012 2:00 pm
January 28, 2012 11:29 pm
Pakistan is suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder.. people wake up!!! The Editors should think about it..
January 30, 2012 12:17 am
YES Imran Khan is the true leader of this country and has ability to bring the country out the current problems. Whole nation is with him.. God bless him!
January 30, 2012 3:12 am
Imran Khan is not the right person for the job!!!
January 30, 2012 4:15 am
Latest news: Mr. Hashmi, the leader in Mr. Imran Khan's party said that the current system is based on injustice, corruption and lies. The people must come to the streets to get rid of the current government and reach out for a better Pakistan. He also said that if doing this makes him a rebel, then that is what he is. It is for Pakistanis to decide whether the problems in Pakistan are due to behavior and conduct of its leaders within government, opposition and population at large or due to alleged corrupt systems within Pakistan that has been here for a long time. It is also for Pakistanis to decide whether hot-headed leaders, rebels, protest marchers, fighters are the right kind of people to bring stability in Pakistan or those who are cool, thinkers, coordinators of peace quite willing to allow current government to complete its mandate.
January 30, 2012 5:36 am
If Imran Khan is the best choice than surely Pakistan is doomed
January 31, 2012 5:21 am
All the Great Revolutions begin with one man ... Play your role for the Country .... If not Imran than who ? If not NOW then WHEN ?
Awais Khan
January 31, 2012 10:08 am
Imran should present a concrete strategy in front of the people including how he will be tackling the issue of terrorism and denying the terrorists access to weapons and IEDs.
Falak Sher
February 3, 2012 2:25 pm
If PML N has been given chances, that party has delivered comparatively better than any other party. Performance of present Punjab Govt is far better than other provincial Govts. and PTI.... A man is known by the company he keeps. Khurshid Qasuri (owner of Beacon House School System) will change education system...???? Asif Ahmed Ali (big role in bogus degree issue, higher education) will change education system...?? Zafar Iqbal (responsible of Lal Masjid) will help in changing Pakistan in Islamic state...???? a lot more........
April 6, 2012 8:35 pm
if you care so much about your beloved motherland, why won't you just go live there on a permanent basis - and share the fate of your fellow Pakistanis - instead of living abroad (?)
May 2, 2012 9:08 pm
I have read this more than couple of times that the ultimate goal of IK is to bring secularism, can anyone confirm that this is the party objective and stated by IK....
April 6, 2012 9:02 pm
khm... Turkey is what it is right now because it modeled its program of political, economic, and cultural reforms on European nation-states, seeking to transform the former Ottoman Empire into a modern, westernized and SECULAR nation-state .... Is this the same type of reform that IK's is striving to implement ?
Dr Abdul Majeed
April 6, 2012 8:19 pm
If it is NOT Imran Khan then who - the tried corrupt lot of Zardari, Nawaz, Fazal, Asfandyar, Altaf???????? In such eventuality is there any other stronger word than "Dommed". Sorry my friend!!
April 27, 2012 6:27 am
Answer to the topic: YES If someone disagree, give name who can be considered instead of IMRAN
April 28, 2012 1:49 am
Imran Khan is the greatest.
May 3, 2012 4:55 pm
If he does get elected it will take a very long time to get this country back on its feet all Pakistan has had is corrupt leaders bleeding its people dry i think Imran Khan could make a differance and make Pakistan what it should be a great country you people just need to give him a chance to prove himself,
Surinder Jeet
April 24, 2012 9:35 pm
I will like Imran Khan, or any one, to bring peace to Pakistan but there are too many variables here. His integrity or tenacity to stand his ground are not in dispute but so is the strength of the radicals and the army. He is only an individual whereas the others are well entrenched and formidable adversaries, if he decides to stand up to them. He is an unknown commodity when considered for ruling Pakistan and may go either way. Unless people back him in the street he may end up being a 'tear gas' rather than a 'silver bullet'. I wish him good luck.
April 28, 2012 7:39 am
We are going away from the topic. Anyways if Turkey achieved the height due to secularism, then why the islamist party is winning election again and again now.
April 28, 2012 7:41 am
would you care to suggest anyone else
April 28, 2012 7:42 am
my friend people of pakistan are ready for years to do the the job. They just waited for the right guy and in the current scenario there is none better than Imran
May 1, 2012 4:44 am
Starting from 1969, the Pakistani natiom is looking for a change. Politicians and army rulers are coming and going, but the basic desire of a change is still there. The reason is very simple, very well known but ignored. The main point of concern of the common person on the road is absence of vision. The common man wants to see a change in his own daily life. Unfortunately this is not coming. Instead quite too many other problems like security, foreign influence etc etc had made the situation worse. Imran Khan may be the person to bring a change in Pakistan. But he may not be so too. It depends on the key point of his performance. If he succeeds in bringing a basic change in the life of a common person, he is the leader that Pakistan needs.
May 3, 2012 1:04 pm
Imran Khan has not yet presented a clear cut menifesto he is only playing with the emotions of masses and the person who is only playing with the emotions of masses cannot be a leader rather a big leader. Great Leaders always set path for the masses. HE IS AN EMOTIONAL PERSON his views regarding internal and external issues are very limited rather very narrow same as extremists have in Pakistan
Tariq K Sami
May 20, 2012 7:01 pm
Imran can be assasinated. Then what.? Sirajuddaula and Tipu Sultan were betrayed. Battle of Buxar was lost and centuries later a Mohammad Amer did do the no ball a tragedy so senseless that even the great Micheal Holding cried. All the wrong things can happen and may happen. The floods will come again and so will the earth quakes. When I am filled with doubts and dismay I hear the ringing voice of Mohammad Ali Jinnah saying Pakistan has come to stay. I firmly believe that just like our Cricket team Pakistan will continue to enthrall and exasperate the predictors of doom and gloom and remain the most unpredictable nation. It can implode and yet it can fetch a victory from the jaws of defeat. This is what makes Pakistan the most interesting country. There is never a dull moment.
Cyrus Howell
May 22, 2012 12:24 am
(A) Last week the Mexican Army and Police arrested the Deputy Security Chief of Mexico and a top Mexican general for drug trafficing and working with drug gangs. (B) One of the main suspects in the killings of 49 people in northern Mexico received orders from the top leaders of the Zetas cartel, a military official said Monday +. Daniel de Jesus Elizondo Ramirez hurled a grenade and fired at troops with a rifle as they closed in on him, Brig. Gen. Edgar Luis Villegas told reporters. After his capture Friday outside Monterrey, Mexico, he disclosed details of the brutal slayings, They even got him to confess. + Will Imran Khan be able to make the tough decisions: Arrest criminals, murderers and corrupt politicians, police and military officers? Pakistan officials only do a dance around the maypole. You don't see arrests like this in Pakistan.
Cyrus Howell
May 22, 2012 12:32 am
The Pakistani Taliban do.
Cyrus Howell
May 22, 2012 12:43 am
Liberals have no taste for criminal justice and no nerve for a street battle. So they say to the army, " You do it ". This being the case, the Pakistan Army would first need to arrest every policeman in Pakistan and find out which ones are dirty. There is little difference between a policeman and a criminal. They see each other every day. The middle class grows up believing everyone is good. Criminals grow up believing everyone is bad. So that the criminals in society are automatically safer.
Mubeen Alum
May 24, 2012 11:42 am
Imran Khan should be given a chance to Prove himself, if the current goverment was given a chance back in 2007, so should Mr.Imran Khan.
Dr Abdul Majeed
May 24, 2012 2:26 pm
Pakistnis need a "Messiah" like the Indian Muslims after 1857 and Quaid-e-Azam had to struggle and win a country for the Muslims almost by himself. Why not Imran Khan? I am fully confident that he can be "Messiah" for this corrupt (Not all - Mind you) nation at this stage. He has great ideas which if translated into practice chane change the whole scenario.
Khalid Sami
May 31, 2012 5:56 am
He also spoke about eliminating corruption and providing justice to all. Poor will have equal access to the court.
August 8, 2012 11:38 am
I think IK deserve chance - we have tried all other parties - we have no choice. Look PMLN, even cant run province they have lost plot.PPP finish their term but they didnt do any thing - ok fair enough they came in difficult time to control the situation but four years ???.We need new blood.
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