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Imran Khan

Imran Khan

'Prime Minister in waiting'

by Ashaar Rehman

There has perhaps been none more suitable claimant to the ‘prime minister-in-waiting’ tag than this 65-year-old aspirant for power, that particular sherwani at the ready.

But then, Imran Khan has also been a man working assiduously to earn this distinction. His influence on the 2018 election, whichever way the contest may swing, cannot be overestimated.

The general poll this time is all about him — and those opposing him in various parts of the country. The post-election period will also feature him and his legacy as one of the most significant forces driving this country forward.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf supporter in 2018 is excited, assertive, intimidating, in a combative mode, all by design.

The saying goes that this kind of energy is the hallmark of a reformist — if not downright revolutionary — entity which must trample upon the old and the unwanted.

Those who opt for change must consider impatience a virtue, and a few fistfights along the way the smallest price to pay for change.

Come election time, however, their leader must find ways of channeling this simmering ‘ideological’ mass into an efficient electoral vehicle, in the presence of the old ‘electable’ souls he has collected in the party in order to improve its chances to reform the very system they feed.

Imran is the latest in the long line of those willing to commit the crime of perpetuating the system just once. According to his own script, he is going to repent after that and remove all the ills that afflict his country and its people.

The mantra is attractive. Imran is most definitely going to get a whirlwind of votes and may ultimately be able to justify the swagger in his walk and barefoot, baresoul pilgrimages to the land of blessings.

He has a part by him but remains the single biggest reason why there is going to be a contest between him and those who have perfected the habit of ruling this country.

In that way, Imran has already contributed more than was ever expected of him.

Key stances