In times like these, when the rot in our politics keeps getting worse and worse, and things keep getting more convoluted, people are desperate for a true and just leader. For many, Imran Khan has become just that person.
What has made Imran Khan different from others is his résumé. For many, the man has a clean slate when it comes to his political and social stature, with the added bonus of a huge following from his cricketing days.
Nevertheless, people (and Imran) need to realise that there are many things about Imran Khan that make him appear as quite an inconsistent – if not erratic – politician, and some of his decisions may actually bring (or have brought) him his own undoing.
I do not have anything against Mr Khan or any other politician for that matter. Frankly, I deem all of them unworthy to lead a nation.
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The prolonged protests and sit-ins in the state capital have borne no fruit for either of the parties. The Sharifs are still practicing a monarchical rule, the people are slowly returning to realise that nothing can be done about it, the same social evils are resurfacing again and Pakistan will again return to barely surviving the onslaught from its own people.
But what has caused Imran Khan’s gradual descent in the fan's eyes from being a favourite to just another struggling politician in the span of three months? I’ll summarise it to just five fairly obvious reasons.
1. Partnering with a band of reprobates
Deploying people with a history of party-switching into his ranks was Mr Khan’s very first mistake. He is still surrounded by people who can leave him stranded any time they want – especially now, when some PTI MNAs are reportedly turning against him.
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Right now, PTI stands a house divided in itself, but as if that was not enough, just ponder over the fact that PTI has joined hands with JI, a party that has been making PTI jump through hoops in KP. From educational curriculum changes to upholding the right of talks with the Taliban, JI has made a mockery of PTI’s self-sustenance.
2. Demanding too much too early
Very few people would have imagined that Imran would directly ask for Nawaz Sharif’s resignation, an action that was always going to trigger allegations of a personal vendetta.
Here’s the thing: politics requires patience and step-by-step planning. You do not just attempt to knockout the opponent before you have even entered the ring.
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Fair enough, Mr Khan has been yapping on and on about how unfair the elections were and he’s also been asking for re-elections since the poll results came out; all to no avail.
He created a platform to demand re-elections, and then he wasted it.
He should’ve stuck to his objective of re-elections or maybe focused on mid-term elections for that matter. But asking to bring down the titan so early was just a bit immature. This demand has brought the entire series of protests to a disappointment for Mr Khan and his followers alike.
3. Playing the civil disobedience card
The fact that it was short-lived and unrewarding for Mr Khan’s campaign speaks of its efficiency. An already depleting economy didn’t need a national civil disobedience. Furthermore, people would just get more enraged and frustrated when the state would snatch basic commodities for not paying taxes.
It’s not that civil disobedience movements are ineffective, it’s just that this one lacked the required intensity and reason. Mr Khan tried too many things at once out of sheer desperation. He didn’t know when to hit the brakes and calm things down.
4. High-handed stubbornness on the resignations' issue
Imran Khan had always set the example of a lenient and understanding leader. On the issue of asking the PTI’s elected parliamentarians for resignation, Mr Khan appears to have made enemies out of allies.
Some of the MNAs have agreed to listen to his demands because they believe that it was Imran's backing that got them into National Assembly in the first place. Others have reserved their opinions and resorted to compromise, and still others have openly antagonised Mr Khan’s ridiculous demand, while quoting and upholding the same Constitution he so dearly has vowed to protect himself.
Like I mentioned, PTI is dividing its house and Mr Khan’s loss will be the Sharifs’ gain.
5. Prolonging a fruitless ambition
The government is ready to hold talks. PTI has a strong representation in the Parliament. PTI now has another decent opportunity to put forth the demand of mid-term elections and ensure fairness. It would take less effort than the exhausting protests and sit-ins that have been going on for almost two-and-a-half months.
Why is Mr Khan not realising that the sit-ins are not going anywhere? What is he up to? The Sharifs have restored their political dominance while PTI officials have started dispersing and infuriating each other.
If he is to avoid further loss, the PTI chairman will have to rethink his strategy and make a settlement with the government, because he has literally tried everything; literally, everything to the point of even asking the ISI and MI to get involved in rigging inquiries.
It is just a matter of time before Imran Khan runs out of stamina and self-esteem (like TuQ did). Still, I’m curious as to what Mr Khan has planned after November 30.
However, from the likes of the current scenario, prolonging this political commotion doesn’t look like helping his cause much.
I do not want to come off as some sort of political expert or an Imran Khan hater. These are just some simple things one can't help noticing even from a neutral standpoint. I voted for PTI myself because I deem Imran Khan the most suitable among the whole lot only and only because he’s never been tried before.
If a mid-term election happens and Imran Khan miraculously wins it, I would have high hopes from him.
But, he is still new in the game and he must learn to be good at it.