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Published Aug 01, 2012 06:57pm


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Let me start by saying that I am a fan of Imran Khan.  I loved him as a cricketer, and I admire him as a defiant politician. Despite years of turpitude, he did not sell his soul to the devil in exchange for political success, has remained financially honest, and finally seems to have developed a public-following, large enough to bring about meaningful change in this land.

And because I like Imran Khan – I want to believe in his promise and support his cause – I would hate to see his fail.  Which, sadly, is what I fear is about to happen.

Let me explain.

The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Imran Khan, have already passed the legitimacy test (which is frequently the biggest hurdle in politics). They have established themselves as a potent political force to reckon with. And they did so, last October, without borrowing any wisdom or support from Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Javed Hashmi, Khurshid Kasuri, Shahfqat Mehmood, Afzal Sindhu or their likes.

However, sadly, despite having been catapulted from the minor leagues into a party with national appeal, the PTI’s focus has not shifted from ‘building a party’ (through induction of alleged big-wigs from other parties) to ‘building the country’.  And this is symptomatic of political immaturity.

Let’s pause and try to understand what might be the wisdom behind Imran Khan’s opening the party doors to a genre of individuals that the old-guard of PTI has spent its entire political life opposing. Why reach out to individuals with questionable loyalties and tainted political allegiances? Why do press-conference after press-conference to ‘launch’ people who will not stand with PTI for a moment longer than it is convenient or expedient for them? Has the mighty Khan misjudged this game? Does he actually believe that these individuals, who up until yesterday were exactly the junta that PTI struggled against, have now truly and earnestly ‘changed’?

Or instead, is this simply a politically dexterous exercise of gathering enough ‘winning candidates’, regardless of their political histories, before the election … sort of getting your ducks in line?

If a blind man on the street can see that (some of) these new PTI champions are only loyal to their personal ambition, and will consider jumping ship the moment it serves their political interest, we’d have to assume that Khan sahab is cognizant of this fact too.

What then, might be the reason to include them in PTI today, jeopardising the party’s integrity in the process? The answer is less than complicated, and can be summed up in one word:  Electibility! These individuals are more ‘electible’ in their constituencies than some of their (less tainted) counterparts.

This brings us to the next question. Why do PTI and Imran Khan want ‘electibility’ over integrity in their new members? Does this mean that Imran Khan believes that individual personalities, and not party appeal or the overall message of PTI, will win the elections?  And if so, then how is the PTI politics, built around individuals and not some overarching message of hope and progress, any different from that of the other parties that the nation has tried, tested and been disappointed by countless times?

This, in many ways, is a crisis of confidence. Khan Sahab seems to be unsure that his message of hope is resonating with the downtrodden masses. As though the message itself is not ‘electible’ and therefore the party needs electible personalities. Khan Sahab must be reminded that we believe in his ability to bring about progressive change through a mobilisation of the faceless people of this country… and not through the changing of guard from among the symbols of status quo. People came to the Lahore jalsa of Imran Khan not because of the ‘electibility’ of the man addressing them, but despite it. The target audience of Khan Sahab’s message is not the PPP or PLM-N jiyalas, who support their candidates because of how many favors that candidate (once elected) can lend them.  PTI’s appeal is to that silent majority that wants to see the collective destiny of our nation improve, and therefore would vote for the message being delivered more so than the men and women delivering it.

The generation who grew up following Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s message of ‘roti, kapra aur makaan’, across the dusty fields of this nation often narrates the stories of how, in the 1971 elections (not the 1977 elections), virtually unknown individuals got elected on the People’s Party ticket! Because Bhutto’s message had seeped into the national conscience.  Imran Khan and PTI have the opportunity of doing something equally fantastic. If only Khan Sahab would believe that people have heard what he has had to say. And that, if anything, the presence of tainted personalities of the past weakens his message, not strengthen it.

Politics is about perception. I once heard Imran Khan make a speech in which he described that during his five years in the Parliament (between 2002 and 2008), he observed a very weird phenomenon in our legislative assembly: members from one side of the isle stand up and hurl accusation of past corruption and misconduct on members from the other side. The other side, then, does not get up to say ‘we have not been corrupt’… but instead reply with similar allegations about the accuser. As a result, after a while, everyone just shuts-up because none of the parties (and their members) can claim to have a spotless record.  And so the business of the state continues in the status quo manner because each side has skeletons in the closet.

I think about that speech.  And I wonder: if the PTI comes to power (with the current roster of big-wigs) would things be any different?

The writer is a lawyer based in Lahore, with a keen interest in fundamental and constitutional rights.  Previously, he was Vice President in the Global Markets & Investment Banking Group of Merrill Lynch, New York.  He has a Masters in Constitutional Law from Harvard Law School.  He can be reached at:

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 (119) Closed

ahmad butt Aug 14, 2012 11:18am
Imran Khan and PTI are on the right track, you can expect to win a landslide vote, the people in urban areas have a bit of freedom, come small towns they are still in the grip of the powerful so his options are still to negotiate on grasping power, as he has missed his opportunity with Musharraf, something a lot of people wish he had taken that route, come to power and deliver results, rest people will slowly accept you, rather than fill your brief-case and go scoot.
ahmed Aug 02, 2012 04:16pm
Well written and a very realistic article. Just like the author, I'm also very keen on change and was hoping that Imran will provide that. What I've witnessed in the last few months is however, a sterotype Pakistan politician, doing exactly the same as the rest of the guys. Similar speeches, plenty of rhetorics, hardly any substance, no economic or social policies. One day he wants to turn us into an islamic welfare state, next it's Norway, Singapore models. For God's sake, we are not Europeans or Chinese. We are Pakistan with population of 180 million (and rising), with a total fiscal budget of just $40b and substantial % spent on Armed forces and security. How'll he get rid of poverty, inflation and allocate bigger budgets to education?
Shoar Aug 01, 2012 04:09pm
He will build the nation when he come into power. Until then let him build a party ready to mount a serious & credible challenge against all the corrupt & resourceful politicians.
Mustafa Razavi Aug 01, 2012 04:22pm
Building the party is the first step to building the country. Party is the means and country is the goal. Whether PTI can win the elections is a big question in my mind. PTI support must come pretty close to 50% in Punjab, i.e it needs to gain 15 percentage points from it's current standing in Punjab.
saythetruth Aug 02, 2012 02:18pm
PTI is headed in the right direction. PTI will make mistake and is making mistakes the question is are the correcting mistakes or keep on repeating. There track records shows they are quick to fix internal problem and the reply very well to external threats. Let's give PTI a chance and not to confuse people with complex scenarios and other mambo jumbo that got nothing to do with PTI.
dr.muhammad orakzai Aug 01, 2012 03:47pm
PTI workers have been ignored and the party is being run by tried and tested politicians who are there to get the Chair
One Pakistani Aug 04, 2012 02:04pm
Keep away motions for casting your vote in next elections. Vote for honest, motivated and experienced candidates regardless of their party affiliation.
Imran Aug 01, 2012 11:26am
very well written. but I still don't believe that old and young ideological cadre of PTI will allow these 5 or 10 electables to take over. That is the beauty of daring and outspoken culture of PTI.
sher khan Aug 01, 2012 11:41am
yeh go back to PPP/PML/MQM/ANP . its him or them , no angels are coming down to sort this country out.
qaderi Aug 01, 2012 03:31pm
focus on party is quite important as the party overall would manage the state of affairs in the country and bringing the right faces as leaders chosen by masses is even more important the vision and plan of action to be followed by PTI is much clear and straight forward compared to all other parties
ahmad Aug 02, 2012 10:49am
85% ....dude where did u get these figures?
Jafri676 Aug 01, 2012 03:07pm
I was just reading the allegations made by Khawaja Asif against Imran khan (Shaukat khanum hospital)....If those allegations are wrong, and I am 100% sure that it is wrong,then just thinking how low can these polticians can go it is beyond imaginable. Becuase it is a public hospital. Not for VVIP ppl..I guess for these ppl party is more important than Pakistan...
BK6 Aug 01, 2012 03:00pm
Saad, while IK seems to be focused on building his party I think he is also building our country. While building and consolidating his party he has helped an ordinary Pakistani become more aware of how political parties do not necessarily need to be family based, he has made an ordinary Pakistani a responsible voter and thus a responsible citizen, he has introduced to the people the concept of funding political parties whose agendas match theirs, he helped bring in oversees Pakistani into the pool of voters and lastly he has put in a lot of effort in trying to ensure free and transparent upcoming elections. All this does amount to 'country-building' As far as the issue of bringing the same old faces into his party is concerned then my friend, we have to keep in mind that this is the kind of lot we have in Pakistan (unfortunately). He is the guy who when led the Pak team in 1992 gave us the highest glory. The same team which after losing him as a captain could not perform at their best. So if the top leadership of PTI is not corrupt I think we can hope for a change despite having familiar faces around. Plus given IK is a bold and outspoken person, I truly believe that if at some point he gets into significant differences with these familiar faces he won't have a problem to let go of them.
ZAHID Aug 02, 2012 03:02pm
Agha Ata Aug 02, 2012 01:41pm
I loved Imran Khan, but I am not going to give my vote to him. Reason ... unless he makes it clear why he is letting JI join him knowing fully well that JI never had the same concept of Pakistan as Jinnah had. JI is for a theocracy in Pakistan then for a democracy. Isn't that crystal clear to everybody? What kind of welfare state can Imran Khan make with JI? It will not be like the one they have in Norway. it would be like the one they had in Afghanistan under Taliban 's rule. Sorry. My vote and the votes of my entire family and friends are not for Imran khan & JI party.
Capt C M Khan Aug 01, 2012 02:22pm
You will see the next elections and the ones after NO CHANGE. Same crooks or their descendents will be running the country. Only CHANGE will be change of Faces but bo change of Policies or the condition of 80% poor Pakistanis. Pakistan needs a good ADMINISTRATOR to get the country in line with present era. How many medals are we going to win in Olympics..NONE..Sad but true.
Syed Aug 01, 2012 12:26pm
Well they have already taken the position of president and vice chairman! when are they planning to stop ??
umair_ Aug 01, 2012 12:26pm
Agreed. However, he deserves a chance due to benefit of doubt.
Kanwal Aug 01, 2012 01:39pm
I am an ex-MQM supporter who almost inclined towards IK and PTI but was put off by the induction of this LOTA and feudal/corporte feudal class in the party. This does nt look nice and I think he does nt deserve anything like benefit of doubt, etc etc. If after so many years of strongly opposing these same people, he is capable of giving them a PTI baptism, i am not completely sure if he actually is capable of giving us anything fruitful. We already have the rogues of PPP/PML/MQM/ANP to deal with and God knows our hands are full. I dont want this to swell by one more party. And i dont want to see an increase of tens of thousands in the ranks of our disenchanted youth.
Ali Aug 01, 2012 11:50am
Very well written. I share your concerns 200%. As a matter of fact I discussed the same issues with a close friend a few months ago. I am forwarding your article to him.
khayyam Aug 01, 2012 11:15am
Saad, You raise good point, however give Kaptaan benefit of the doubt. Wait till see what people he gives tickets to. His party elections also will weed out many of these corrupt. Just remember he has to work with talent from Pakistan; which last time I checked was the second most corrupt country in the world. I BELIEVE IN MY LEADER and Insha-Allah you will be proven wrong; which I am sure you won't mind :-)
Javed Khan Aug 01, 2012 11:12am
Imran perhaps rightly said 'you don't understand', the reason being that a few seasoned politicians in the party will prove to the people that it's a credible party that people like Hashmi and Shah Mahmood can join. On the other hand many more seasoned politicians with good standing who in the past had no choice other than to stick to PPP or PML-N may also think joining PTI. The present political scenario can't be compared with the era of ZA Bhutto, then was some thing a very new voice 'Roti, Kapra aur Makkan' which instantaneously attracted millions accross the country. At present the people have seen enough of these empty slogans of PPP & PML-N, frustrated & fed up with them. The country just can't take another 5 years term of Zardari as there will be nothing left if God forbid it happens. Every body wants a new face and in Imran they see a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel. My only request to Imran Khan would be to come up with a comrehensive plan to build the country in the shortest possible period say 3 years after elected to Power, addressing all aspects of life of the common people (not the elite). Javed Khan, Jeddah, KSA
Mohsin Aug 01, 2012 11:02am
I think IK knows politics way better than you so chill out., we need a mix of experience and young blood to do the trick
Muzammil Aug 01, 2012 10:54am
Truly said, one could not have said any better than you did Saad!
Amir Saeed Aug 01, 2012 01:27pm
Spot on! Words out of my heart! It would be such a shame to see Imran fail.
Mohsin Tarar Aug 01, 2012 10:43am
Very well....Hope khan Sahib reads it...
Indusonian Aug 02, 2012 03:09pm
Bottom line is that PTI is the only solution for Pakistan under vision of IK because he has proven record of successful public service, honest and sincere leadership skills for the interest of Pakistan.
Cyrus Howell Aug 01, 2012 11:35am
" PTI’s focus has not shifted from ‘building a party’ to ‘building the country’ " Very hard hitting, incisive and astute observation from outside the aquarium. However, every elected and incumbent official needs to be defeated and tossed out the front door of government. The political novices could not do worse at turning most of the problems around. Young people just need to believe they are the ones involved in changing things. They want to go home and and be able to tell their families, "We are making a difference".
Rana Aug 01, 2012 10:29am
He is going for party election and let members to select their leaders, I don't think he can do better than this to bring natural leadership. ZA did not have such opposition in 1971elections which was in power and do not let any chance to ridicule him. Its totally different scenario right now.
Shahid Qazi Aug 01, 2012 10:20am
Nice & True...very well explained but it won't do anything for Tsunami Khan because before resigning from PTI I had said almost all this to him but he simply said "Shahid you don't understand" and I told him before handing him my resignation, "Time will tell who didn't understand"...
TURAB KHAN KHATTAK Aug 02, 2012 10:04am
Bharat Aug 12, 2012 11:56am
Hassan - I can not agree. Whilst there is a good Pakistani living - that is the last hope of Pakinstan. Vote for him now - But do not vote for him again if he does not perform
Dr.M.M.Khan Aug 01, 2012 11:38am
Your article as usual is thought provoking. Imrans PTI party has had to go through 4 stages : 1) Birth or conception.After a long soul searching and making some mistakes Imran decided to embark on his jouurney alone--a lonely journey! PTI 2)Growth It took him nerarly 15 years of wandering to nurture and grow his party but will it grow? Yes it did but will it bear fruit . The green shoots were there. Then came the Litmus test at Lahore. The party was ripe. 3) Could the Party sustain it's momentum? Not entirely on Imran's shoulders alone and the inexperienced team. It needed fertilizer which was not entirely pure but useable like the former foriegn ministers.4) Could the party win ? -- Yes but by only by falling into the laps of religious parties where Imran has lacked maturity of judgement. and dissappointed his secular minded followers. Now as we see other political parties see him as a threat and having talks together to keep him sidelined which amounts to confining him forever to opposition which means nothing but political suicide in Pakistan. One can achieve nothing. Imran's party cannot win a landslide victory alone. It's not cricket. He will have to indulge in compromise but is it nature.? After going all the way alone he is at the edge of abyss. I wish him luck because i support him but am worried. Can any one g ive sound advice. Being in opposition is not option. Imran is not born to a Moses for ever!
Mohammed Arshad Aug 01, 2012 01:18pm
Nice article but I expected something different from the author considering his qualifications and background.Imran is more out of touch with Pakistan and it's people then the present PPP coalition government.He said in one of his public address that he will finish the corruption in Pakistan in 7 days!Maybe he was referring to something else and just got his notes mixed up.Imran is not a politician and for this reason alone he is gathering the "old,used and discredited individuals"who in the past has not contributed anything to the cause or prosperity of Pakistan and it's people.I am sure like many in Pakistan there are very able people present in Pakistan and abroad who can make Pakistan a prosperous Islamic state,worthy of it's position on the world stage.
ysk Aug 01, 2012 11:25am
Good Article. It was easier for him to say the right things when he had no say in the political scene. Now that he has an actual shot at power, he is playing the same tricks we have to come to see from others..... The old days of going to Scotland Yard to take down MQM, the call for Tsunami on Drones and Power outages have quickly vanished..
Sameer Aug 01, 2012 01:11pm
Brilliant analysis. You have pinpointed the precise issue in its entirety.
Adeel Aug 01, 2012 12:23pm
Ok so we shouldn't vote for PTI ?
None But Truth Aug 01, 2012 12:23pm
But these electables and so called intellectuals had aleady took over the key position. Look at positions of Shah Mehmood, Hashmi, and Shafqat etc.
faiza g.r. bhatt Aug 01, 2012 12:16pm
for those criticizing PTI on matters like these, are you telling us that PPP, ANP, MQM, JUI F and PML N have less corrupt people than PTI or have brought total peace to Karachi and tribal areas or have brought prosperity to the people of Pakistan? so worst case scenario, PTI is still batter than the rest. of course, i and many people like me support PTI for reasons far better than this worst case scenario.
raika45 Aug 01, 2012 01:21pm
It will be interesting to see a politically "clean" man against the veterans of Pakistani political way of life who having the feudal land owners and such with them.It is going to be mainly the middle class together with the western style educated that will back Khan.Unfortunately, they do not form the majority.How they manage to convince the others,especially the poor remains to be seen.
Qasim Aug 01, 2012 12:12pm
Let us all try and not be the typical cliched people who just criticize for the sake of criticism. what have we done to improve the things around us instead of sitting in our rooms and criticizing those who at least are making an honest effort to do something. Right or wrong, only time will tell! At least he went to Scotland Yard. Did you? at least he was on the road protesting against drones and loadshedding. were you?
ysk Aug 01, 2012 12:01pm
Good Article. It was easier for him to say the right things when he had no say in the political scene. Now that he has an actual shot at power, he is playing the same tricks we have to come to see from others.....
Gerry D'Cunha Aug 01, 2012 02:14pm
In the mid-60s people tried ZAB 'roti,kapra;makan (did't worked until today) repeat Benazir & Zadari In the mid-80/90 people tried Nawaz Shareef for his Islamic values (did not work) In the mid 2013 now its time for Imran to try his Tsunami. Lets see the result?
Syed Aug 01, 2012 12:29pm
"I BELIEVE IN MY LEADER" Thats precisely the problem in Pakistan politics, no body is willing to stand up to their leaders for their mistakes, half of them are afraid or are apple polishers, the other half are saying I believe! and this is not just restricted to PTI .
Salman Aug 01, 2012 01:49pm
A very thought provoking article. You have stated what most of us fear. However, I am not ready, just yet, to give up on Kapitaan. Politics is the art of possibilities and some time you do need to show some flexibility. When you look at the total pool of all the politicians in Pakistan, these folks e.g. Hashmi, Shah Mahmood, etc. do seem to be lesser of the evil lot. Among the rotten bunch these are, if not untainted at least less tainted. Actually I am hoping, praying, dreaming perhaps, that the overwhelming clean culture of PTI will cleanse these guys of any garbage in their baggage and force them to stay on straight and narrow. And as pointed out by some one on this board no angels are going to come down and sort out Pakistan. Kapitaan does need to keep in mind that the hope he has kindled in the hearts of the masses is not because he has been successful in politics but because he has chosen a clean path to achieve the goal. The path is as important, if not more, than the actual goal. May Allah (SWT) guide him and deliver us from the nightmare we are living in. Ameen.
Pakistan Aug 01, 2012 01:49pm
well imran khan is not going to bring change by importing politicians from sweden or denmark. He has to select what is available to him and thats the whole point. That is our bad luck that in Pakistan big wigs and rich guys are mostly corrupt and only rich guys wish to enter politics. It is not Imran khan's fault... We as a society have created this atmosphere that it is important to have money and the "source" is not that important. Lets face it and pay the price!!
Bakka Aug 01, 2012 11:19am
Sadly my bitter experience of life in Pakistan has shown that, majority of Pakistanis are part of corruption. True that, whilst a very small part of our community may well be genuinely honest however honestly alone can not govern us affectively; one needs to understand the mechanism of corruption in order to deal with it. Mr Khan can not bring Angels from outside and therefore in the interim period he may well be forced to allow politicians with a questionable background, It is crucial that that we as a Nation recognise the need for a change from the status quo.
Karachi Wala Aug 01, 2012 01:42pm
Mr. Qazi, I salute you. I wish Imran had litsened to you and other sincere supporters.
My vote for Khan Aug 01, 2012 01:40pm
Very well-written. But I think Imran Khan know the real face of society and he is fully aware of the politics of rural areas, where elections are not contested on the issues. Elections in villages are completely based on personalities, Dharbandi, Bratheri and different groups. This is the reason PPP and PML-N are winning elections for the last many years. I think Imran Khan has done right to accept electibles. He should give ticket to these electibles in rural areas while new youth be given chance in the urban areas. We can not compare our politics with Europe as their literacy rate is much higher than us. We will take years only after educating our next generations.
Salman Tariq Aug 01, 2012 01:16pm
Saad, your arguments resonate with a lot of highly educated people in this country. Unfortunately, we constitute perhaps 1-2% of the country's population. Like it or not, I'm scared, very very scared, that Zardari / Nawaz will win another 5 year term. As optimistic as I want to be in the national appeal of Imran Khan's 'original' message, I doubt that it alone will get him into the chair that matters. I would much rather have a tainted PTI in power than a 'pure' PTI with 25 seats. I'm sure you agree that Pakistan will not survive another term by Zardari / Nawaz. Last I checked, bananas are 250 rupees a dozen. By the time the next Zardari term is over, we will have news channels reporting mass suicides and cannibalism (God Forbid). This is not a doomsday scenario, it's the writing on the wall. It might hurt my purist soul to say this, but 'I WANT IMRAN AT ALL COST'. Call me a celebrity worshipper if you will, but I just don't see any other option.
Adnan Aug 01, 2012 12:50pm
Any political party who want to win the elections will require both the national imagination as well as the electables. I am glad PTI is getting these people which will enable them to also win seats in the constituency politics. What Imran stands for are corruption, misgovernance, low tax base, asset declaration etc. Always remember that these issues only resonate with a very few voters of the urban class. The rest of Pakistan remains not bothered by these issues therefore it is equally important to also have relatively clean electables in your party to allow you to win seats. People who came to the 30th October jalsa or 25th December Jalsa are significant but can not make you win the elections. Consider it a compromise in the direction of achieving the goal rather than compromising on the goal itself.
Attttiff Aug 01, 2012 05:14pm
The captain had some other corrupt players during his cricketing days, He sure got them on track.
Mehar Gul Aug 01, 2012 05:32pm
I have few suggestions for PTI and want to share with its those members who are (1)sincerely committed for real change and (2) also have effective say in the party matters -
Rafia Aug 01, 2012 05:46pm
this resonates my own perception. very well compiled.
Latif Khan Aug 01, 2012 05:54pm
As a voter I have to choose between PTI, PPP, PMLN, etc. I don't have an option to choose "Democrats" or "Republicans". If had that option I would have ditched PTI and chosen them.
Jawwad Aug 01, 2012 06:16pm
I rather have Imran Khan waste public billions on trips than Zardari and Nawaz.
amir Aug 01, 2012 06:33pm
How do you expect an honest man to win an election where we have a 180 million zardaris as the vote bank?
@opportunist86 Aug 01, 2012 06:44pm
This silent majority, you are talking about, is us, who lives in urban areas. People from rural areas, where a big partion of votes are cast, may not even know imran Khan. Some of the existing candidates actually buy the votes from these areas. Therefore Khan needs them.
Kaka Khan Aug 01, 2012 06:51pm
I am voting for Zardari after finding out the real face of Imran. thank you for this great article. I was going to make this mistake you saved me.
asfi Aug 01, 2012 06:57pm
Imran be given a chance. He has not been to field yet. I know in KPK there are people of very doubtful repute his party members. He has said many times that the corrupt would be shown the door.
Hassan Parvez Aug 01, 2012 07:04pm
What ever you want to say about Imran and PTI, the fact remains that there is no other political leader in Pakistan who can be trusted. All leaders of Nawaz league, Q. league, Peoples party, JUI are corrupt to the core. Imran is the last hope for Pakistan.
kishwar Aug 01, 2012 07:58pm
I agree with Saad100%
Aik-Paki Aug 01, 2012 08:06pm
I think the blogger is typical elite representation of Pakistani people. Getting a law degree fro Harvard does not qulaify anybody to doubt the intentions of a new political party like PTI. A comaprison with the other choices people of paistan will be considering during next voting season will be a balanced approach. It will also educate our people.
JPositive Aug 01, 2012 08:13pm
I am not sure that he knows politics better than many of us here!!
Atif Yousuf Aug 01, 2012 10:15pm
Typical Dawn Imran Khan bashing article ( the editorial clearly knows that this gets the most numbers of hits and emotional replies) As a nation I am always amazed at how even our brightest and best ( such as this author ) offer such negative and jaded views. Your observation about IK allowing "bigwigs" with questionable loyatlies in the party is nothing new. This has been been a sore point with many of his ardent supporters for some time now. However I ask you this. How do you judge loyalty ? If you imagine yourself in his position what would you say .. I think you have a history of being a "lotta" and I will make an executive decision of not letting you join the party... Answer is no. What you can do is to make sure that all members declare their financial assets publicly and you conduct fair intraparty elections. You can set the rules and make sure that people abide by them .Sometimes, Saad it takes the right environment and the right political party to inspire people and bring out the best in them
Shah Aug 01, 2012 10:17pm
Wait till the internal elections. If we, the PTI members, elect these big wigs for the senior party positions only then they could reach the top positions in PTI.
Farooq Aug 01, 2012 10:41pm
Few names here and few name their will not make a big difference. But when a vice president of a party leaves and joins the rival, it defiantly disrupts the hierarchy of that party and gives a damaging signal to their workers. By accepting some big names from the parties who are in power, PTI may be trying to send signals to opponent’s voters that political landscape is changing. It may be unpleasant for some within the party but that is how you play politics. Some argue that these people might highjack the party. I say "if they are that influential why can’t they be able to do the same in their own parties".
teekay Aug 02, 2012 12:57am
Will Imran Khan succeed as the Prime Minister of Pakistan? There's only one solution to finidng out the answer to this question. GIVE HIM THE CHANCE. Do you think the Americans knew Bush would be a complete mess before they elected him? But they did elect Obama, and he did a better job. Similarly Pakistan elected PPP and look. (I do realise a lot of it was rigged). If you never try, you'll never know. Yes this try could turn out to be a disaster but you surely can't question Imran Khan's dignity. You can surely question PTI's competence. :)
Sehr Aug 02, 2012 01:45am
This is unbelievable!... I want my zakat money back please! MR imran khan!! I don't care what PML or anyone else is saying. all I know is IM admitted he used our money to invest somewhere, for which he or anyone else appointed by him, didn't have my permission. so guys please! there is no two ways in this. I don't follow anyone blindly. btw I 100% believe PML is doing politics with these... politians! shocked!!!
Sehr Aug 02, 2012 01:50am
and majority of the people don't even know what a tsunami is!! can you believe it! and that's his punch line!
DrNr Aug 02, 2012 02:09am
You all need to remember that UNFORTUNATELY we have the worst type of democracy , i.e parliamentary type , where one good leader need 172 people like him to form the government, in every seat you need an electable person, it's not 1970s anymore when Bhutto won the majority, (only in west Pakistan.) . If only we have presidential form of government with proportional representation it would have been different and IK won't need to deal with people like you mentioned.
Mehwish Aug 02, 2012 02:15am
Very shallow views. Mr. Author, you should know that's it's always the leadership which brings a change. A whole crowd of people does not bring a change. People like Nelson Mandela, lee kuan yu, mahatar were all single individuals who brought about a change. Whoever is joining PTI, is doing so on PTI's agenda and manifesto. Those who follow the agenda will stay. Those who do not will be forced to leave PTI. Also, the old politicians who have joined PTI are the cleanest politicians in our politics. People like shah mahmood and Javed Hashmi are honest people who are not financially corrupt. PTI is also holding party elections soon. So all this debate of old vs new will be resolved once and for all
kdspirited Aug 02, 2012 02:22am
You cannot bring change to this country simply by relying on our people to all of a sudden wake up from a deep sleep and change the way they vote period. As demonstrated recently in Multan infact you can count on our countrymen to disappoint us. Thr truth is my friend in this country you cannot win an election by bringing all new candidates to the party.In order to bring a change in this country you need to win the elections. Otherwise the gilanis and the sharifs and the zardaris (not bhuttos) will rule this country into the ground. Imran Khan is pragmatic and a realist he knows that he doesnt have a shot in hell of winning and bringing his vision to the forefront without "munjhe hue khiladi" These are the same people who used to complain about Imran not having any popular politicians in his party and therefore didnt have any chances to succeed. Pick a side you cant have it both ways
khan Aug 02, 2012 02:35am
How would all the corrupt people of Pakistan (85% of population by some estimates) will allow somebody honest to function and take away their haram money. Our own corrupt people will fail him if elected.
khan Aug 02, 2012 02:39am
Do you think any body could get us out of this mess in just three years that we have created in 60 years? This is very wishful thinking.
khan Aug 02, 2012 02:55am
Whatever we do, we will again elect PPP, PML and the same old known corrupt people. than for the next five years, as usual we would be talking about Imran khan to come and rescue us. Wake up Pakistan as we don't have a lot of time left.
Hamza baloch Aug 02, 2012 05:09am
Building party is also necessry, when you are not in govt, you have to try to make a strong party to implement your decision and system during your govt. ABout old facts, why we forget the PTI plan of party election? IN party election if people deciede about those old faces than I think we should not critice imran khan, and before the election those "old faces" are party member just like Asad Umer and others, so before the party election, blaming IK for that is also wrong, as electoral will be decided by PTI members, not IK.
Sumit Aug 02, 2012 05:13am
Excellent analysis of PTI and IK! For an outsider like me it reminds me of the great hopes we had when Obama came to power in 2008 but see the mess the US economy is in currently! I'm sure if Obama spoke Hindi/Urdu he would say- "aapko nahi pata, yeh sab Bush kee galtee hai!" by the way- for a guy who went to Harvard and was a VP at Merrill-Lynch, a spell check would save him a few blushes!(he used "electible" instead of electable at least 5 times.)
AreKay Aug 02, 2012 05:31am
Bravo Saad! Finally, someone speaks up. The preamble sums up the response you expect. Everyone (PTI, PML, PPP) would jump up and comment based on personal agendas! Pakistanis should understand that loyalties should never primarily lie with individuals. We should support IK because of what he can do. The moment we feel he is becoming incapable of bringing good, we should tell him, and if he doesn't get his act together, move on!
aku Aug 02, 2012 05:50am
An accurate and factual synopsis of the situation. Well done! I still hope for him to do well. He may not have a great team today, as one of my friends said we are one of the most corrupt nations in the world to choose from, you can never expect that all his team members would be angels anyway. But if the party can promote the right culture of justice, discipline and honesty, it will drive his party and ultimately the nation to the right goal.
Villager Aug 02, 2012 06:47am
" PTI’s focus has not shifted from ‘building a party’ to ‘building the country’ " A party has to be in government to build the country..till then it focuses on building the party itself. Lets give him a chance and only then would this statement be viable.
anees Aug 02, 2012 07:57am
OK. Each and every word is to the point. BUT I am standing in a polling booth with a ballot paper in my hand. I have to choose and stamp ONLY ONE. Shall I go for PPP, PML-N, ANP, JUI, or PTI? Please tell me quickly. I only have a few seconds to stamp.
Ali Sadozai Aug 02, 2012 07:59am
you have hit it right on the nail Syed. Bravo.
mahmood Aug 02, 2012 08:06am
I normally write some thing opposite of the article has to offer, but this was so well written that I must give a thumbs up to the author and he had truly spoken the words of my mind!
Amna Aug 02, 2012 08:10am
In sha Allah Imran will bring change !
PakJam Aug 02, 2012 08:19am
it is not wishful thinking... Much worst and much more bigger countries have been able to turn tables so why can't Pakistan? Yes we Khan!!!!
Hashim Aug 02, 2012 08:47am
I still believe that with this Big wigs, it ll be a better administeration than Zardari and Nawaz. Imran Khan despite of his short comings is still better. Lets vote for him this time and lets see his performance in the field. We do not have any other alternative. Musharraf was also effective, if you compare his administeration to Zardari or Nawaz.
Mohammed Shaf Aug 02, 2012 06:03pm
Let the Captain take in charge, He has always delivered and never failed... What are you thinking about.
Abid Aug 02, 2012 07:07pm
If IK fails, then we will again have a governance for next five years, some what similar to what we have now. If that is fair with people, then be it. In my opinion, IK has nothing to gain/lose (like other politicians) wether his party sweeps through or loses next elections. Personally, I would give him a chance in the face of tested alternatives like PPP and PML(N).
sms Aug 02, 2012 08:21pm
great post saad
Rasheedullah Syed Aug 02, 2012 09:03pm
Saad, good thought provoking article. You are not alone thinking on the this issue. We all are on this with you. We all are concerned on the conduction of PTI. Saad Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate Abdul Qadir Gilani winning elections shows the steep fall in the party’s vote bank in one of its traditional strongholds. How long this system is going to continue, after father, then son and then grand children? This is a system of mafia not democracy. The people of Pakistan never get chance to represent their own leader and we all know why. The will of the people is different yet these corrupts/elites end of winning the election. Mr. Imran Khan (May Allah protect him from all evil) is not a perfect man. He has a vision and I am 100% sure he will lead Pakistan to better future. If he have to take any steps for the betterment of the Nation, then I am with him. You have compared old polices of ZAB to today's Pakistan which I thought was unfair from your point of view. How can you compare old Pakistan to New dynamic Pakistan. Corruption and Lawlessness is to the peak in Pakistan. Today, all political parties are planning on vote bank. Example MQM, today they may not be in power but tomorrow they will be in power because they are increasing their vote bank day by day going into Punjab and Northern areas of Pakistan. Why is President Zardari so confident that he is going to win elections next year despite myriad problems in Pakistan caused by PPP? If you can answer that question then you can understand the approach of Imran Khan's view of execution by adding electables. Have patience and you will see the promise of Imran Khan fulfilling. Yes, Tsunami is here in Pakistan, it is the will of Pakistan people. This tsunami is not just Imran Khan's this is Tsunami of the People of Pakistan who are at present facing gravest of challenges in the history of Pakistan against the elites and corrupts.
guest Aug 02, 2012 11:32pm
Just like Obama yes we can and look at where that landed the americans!! Do we really wanna go from the frying pan into the fire just cause you believe we khan!! Please name those countries you talk of and lastly change cannot come unless the majority of people opt for it no matter how honest the leadership is. Lets learn something from history and not help it in repeating itself
guest Aug 02, 2012 11:33pm
Dear Dr, We play the hand we are dealt. Make do with what is there!
guest Aug 02, 2012 11:35pm
isnt that exactly what IK does criticize for the sake of criticism?!
guest Aug 02, 2012 11:37pm
if elections happen which have yet to happen since the party was formed in '96
guest Aug 02, 2012 11:38pm
How do you know that mohsin. So far in politics he hasnt achieved anything!! if you're going to throw the jalsa at me please read about tehrik e istiqlal and then come back and write something useful.
Javed Aug 03, 2012 12:05am
A great article and all comments well justified.My question."How can you build a country without a party in democraic system?'So let Mr.Imran build a party.Party built,how do you win the election?So let Mr.Imran select winning candidates.Charactor of winning cadidates?Honest or least corrupt when selection limited.Mr.Imran doing that.From the battery of present politicians,S.Mahmood Qurashi,Javed Hashmi etc seem least corrupt,if not honest.If Mr,Imran is sincere,as he seems to be,he can always throw out the rotten eggs,and if he doesn't,lynch him.But under present circumstances,we have tried all other options to our dismal.We cannot take any more chances with all those proven corrupt elements.The only option with us is to try Mr.Imran Khan.May ALLAH make him win and pray he comes upto our expectations,otherwise,we have no salvation.
Hope Aug 03, 2012 01:30am
Often said that Z.A.Bhutto came to power just with a slogan Roti,Kapra and Makan with new faces.At that time,political system had been subdued by martial law for ten years and no worth while politicians had existed.People wanted a change and that slogan cliked and people voted for PPP.Still Bhutto brought in all vaderas from rural areas and student leaders in urban areas,such as Mumtaz Bhutto,Khar etc and system got estalished firmly to present.Mr.Imran cannot break it over night.Even dictators could not do so.At least Mr,Imran is gathering least corrupt of them in rural area where majority seats are. Young generation will take care of urban area.After all we have gone through,do we still require Bilawal,a child as chairman of a party,or Humza Sharif,trying to extend his inheritant kingdom or many such spoilt toddlers to run our country.Please fix your priorities and go for the change and give a chance to Imran Khan as presently he is the only hope.We will sort him out if he fails.
ashraf Aug 03, 2012 01:31am
WOW.....Great Article by Saad........thanks......I think its time for Imran Khan,..I think Imran Khan is a Honest leader and most Pakistani people do support Imran khan inside Pakistan and abroad also..I will see Imran Khan in net visit to USA, Inshallah... Thanks again brother Saad. Ash Mirza (USA)
Hope Aug 03, 2012 01:42am
Mr.Salman,I entirely agree with you.We have reached such a stage that we are willing to accept Imran Khan with all his draw backs,if any.Out of 100, even if he has 50% draw backs,it.s a blessing for us.On the other side,we see nothing but over cast.Beleive me,I never thought of him as a celebrity.Just a silver lining on dark clouds.
Syeda Jafri Aug 03, 2012 02:33am
Brilliant analysis!
NASAH (USA) Aug 03, 2012 03:32am
Why Imran is so afraid of election -- fight an election even a bye-election show the people your strength -- give them a taste of your pudding not talk. Enough talk show some results.
NASAH (USA) Aug 03, 2012 03:54am
And for heavens sake please don't use the terror word 'TSUNAMI' -- which means chaos, death, destruction -- it doesn't mean "change" -- Pakistan does need CHANGE -- but not the kind of 'change' that brings devastation, death, destitution, disease, homelessness for millions due to floods and earthquakes -- Pakistan already has enough of both -- it does not need a 'tsunami'.
Dr Javaid Khan Aug 03, 2012 04:00am
Have confidence in Imran Khan leadership.Inshallah youth of this country will bring a change.There is no reason to be pessimistic about PTI.Party already has more than 50 lac members,more that the total vote cast for PML N in the last election.It would be a fool who would vote for current rulers looking at their performance during the past 5 years.Involvement of seasoned politicians like Javed Hashmi and Shah Mehmood Qureshi was vital because they have enormous experience of contesting election and running election campaign.I mran alone can not go to all constituency during the election campaign.Let the neutral caretaker comes and you will see signs of Tsumani all over the country inshallah.
Dr Javaid Khan Aug 03, 2012 04:31am
I beg to disagree with you Saad. Youth of Pakistan including my two sons are all geared up to bring a change in the country. I have never seen such enthusiasm and interest in the politics by Pakistan youth as I see today. Thanks to Imran Khan for bringing hope to the youth of Pakistan. Enough is enough we will not let the current rulers to come in power again. Inclusion of SMQ and JH was vital in order to be successful in the forthcoming election. Both have very valuable experience of running an election campaign. Imran Khan cannot go at all constituencies of the country for his election campaign. We need these people to address people in the rural areas. Inshallah the moment neutral government takes over you will see the signs of tsunami in every town and city of the country.
Wazim Aug 03, 2012 05:38am
Well written Saad, totally understand what you said but we all have to be realistic as well. You are talking about an ideal world where Imran can get 500 odd doctors, lawyers, enginners, businessmen etc to stand election and rule the country. Imran has been criticising those people but not ALL of them are bad, the KEY point is that the corrupt have been able to steal and rule due to the support from their leadersip who are themselves totally corrupt and manipulators. Do you honestly believe Imran will let these people run the show? Secondly, let's even assume that people Imran is taking are all bad which still makes 30% of the party whereas other parties have almost 70% of corrupt people including leadership so it's already a no brainer?
Farhan Khan Aug 03, 2012 05:46am
Although I also dont condone the decision of bringing the "Lottas" in, but hey...not anyone of us but he (Imran Khan) is the guy who made this party, he nurtured it, got people to recognize it. And I am sure he had to make thousands of decisions (big or small) to do it, and look he is successful today, I guess we should trust him and his decision making skills. All we need to worry about is doing our part i.e. Vote for PTI on the election day, and leave the decision making to the future "Captain" of this lost ship (Pakistan). Insha Allah...PTI will succeed and we will say with pride to our young ones that we were part of this revolution.
amir ayub khan Aug 03, 2012 06:24am
Pakistan is a country where alone party can not come on a ruling seat therefore every majority election victor has to make govt with allied / other parties and this is impossible that imran khan could bring change in Pakistan i don't think so he has capacity of it as well as not possible that he will clean sweep. all solutions that he given is just like a bubbles in air practical practice is very hard . i would must say if (which is not come true) we could get a true leadership then we will get back on track with in 10 to 15 years and till then i will be reach on 50 or die but hope my next generation will see the prosperity and cheers.
NASAH (USA) Aug 04, 2012 02:15am
A questionable 'question' war between PTI and PMNL(N) -- with Eleven questions from Imran Twelve from Nawaz -- will surely lead to a win for PPP with no questions asked.
Atta Mohyuddin Aug 04, 2012 04:57am
I like Imran to come in power inshallah with help of Allah and masses of Pakistan to remove all the corruption from the society of the country. We need to change the mind set of the people by educating which is cruical after you get rid of hese PPP,PML(N),(Q), ANP and JUI and MQM the opportunists of the century.
Atta Mohyuddin Aug 04, 2012 05:00am
We should vote for PTI as it is the only hope for future justice of the country and we need to remove corruption, and change mind set of people by bringing new party and new vision not the same old feudals, jagirdars and videras of PPP, PML(N,Q),ANP and MQM.
Baber Khan Aug 04, 2012 09:21pm
Cool! Hardly any choice! PTI, then?
Beekay Aug 04, 2012 09:28pm
People like you helped bring in PPP or the so called secular rulers like Musharraf. PTI will be much better without your votes!
Mariana Aug 08, 2012 11:40am
Dear saad.. I absolutely agree with you.yo have beautifully anaysed the situation and terrifically put it alltogeher.great.Yes I love Imran khan.Iam a die hard fan.But,if he is giving clarifications about where did the money go for building buildings or elsewhere what makes him different then others.We are still with him but there still remains our hope hanging in the air.I doubt him.What If he belongs to the same goes to him for sure...but can we vouch on him for a better Pakistan with all that confidence?
truth Aug 08, 2012 05:45am
I never read such figure or search for it BUT i am sure that must be more than 85%.
kabeer Aug 10, 2012 01:44am
well in pakistani politics you have to do this to bring change in the system because all the public is not educated so plz do not critisized every single move give him achane
Pakistani Aug 12, 2012 12:16pm
Even if Tsunami Khan reads it, it would be of very little or virtually no use as he is autocratic in his decision making since cricket days.... He has inducted the cabinet of runaway dictator Musharraf in the form of Awais Leghari, Khurshid Kasuri, Sikander Hayat Bosan, Zaffar Iqbal Warraich, Jehangir Tareen and the list goes on .. to include Sheikh Rasheed. All these political turncoats are tried, tested and failed many times!!!
razalex Aug 13, 2012 09:04pm
Reblogged this on razalex and commented: Good read
Ahmed Aug 16, 2012 05:48am
He should be given a chance after all he is a representative of change in Pakistan.