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The declining political prospects of Imran Khan

Published Nov 23, 2012 10:51am


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One year ago, I wrote a piece asserting that Imran Khan was peaking too soon.

I argued in part that the PTI’s electability is exaggerated because most of its support lies in cities, which contain only a third of Pakistan’s population. In several decades, when a majority of Pakistanis are living in cities, the story could be different. But not now.

Predictably, I was pilloried by Khan’s feisty followers. “Give us a break,” one of them wrote to me. “Imran Khan shall Insha Allah rise, and no anti-Imran propaganda would work.”

Alas, based on events of the last few weeks, it may be more accurate to say that Khan’s star has already risen — and is now in danger of falling.

One can’t deny his popularity, as evidenced by those monster jalsa turnouts in Lahore and Karachi, and by the polls that find the PTI to be Pakistan’s most popular political party. Khan is a hero to young, urban-based, middle-class, conservative Pakistanis — a rapidly growing demographic much more representative of Pakistan than the small cosmopolitan elite most familiar to Washington.

Khan’s popularity actually extends beyond urban Pakistan — to the Beltway and Big Apple. I’ve met numerous Khan aficionados within the US-based Pakistan Diaspora, including angry yet articulate students who pepper me with probing questions when I make presentations on university campuses. If Khan were to give a public talk in Washington, he’d attract hundreds of Pakistani Americans — and not just because of his celebrity status (incidentally, Pervez Musharraf, far from Mr. Popularity and dismissed by many as a has-been, drew an audience of 400 at a Wilson Center lecture in 2011).

But let’s consider what’s happened of late. Where has Khan gone? He’s been relatively quiet, and especially since his anti-drones peace caravan. He continues to score some media interviews, though mainly in Western outlets. The only major headlines he has generated of late came from his unpleasant encounter with US customs officials during a visit to Canada.

Has Khan decided to lay low for a while because of the death threat he received from the Taliban this summer? I seriously doubt it; Khan isn’t the type to cower in the face of such threats (when I met him several years ago, it was clear that he exudes strength — from his large frame and booming voice to supreme confidence).

More likely, he’s taking some time out to rethink his problematic political strategy and platform.

After all, while he has attracted some big names to the PTI (think Asad Umar and Shah Mahmood Qureshi), the party has suffered some recent defections (think Shireen Mazari). Additionally, anti-Khan commentary has been especially vociferous of late, as exemplified by a devastating takedown on

Some of the criticism he’s receiving is misplaced. Sure, ending corruption in 90 days is outlandishly idealistic. But let’s face it: No politician campaigns on substance; he or she campaigns on sound bytes and rhetoric (I dare anyone to uncover one second of substance from the just-concluded $6 billion US presidential campaign).

It is Khan’s views about militancy — and how to address it — that deserve criticism. The Malala tragedy crystallises the absurdity (and danger) of his seemingly conciliatory position toward the sickeningly brutal TTP. Pakistan’s overwhelming, broad-based public condemnation of the TTP after its attack on the young schoolgirl — a far cry from the responses to the assassinations of Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti or, for that matter, to any sectarian killing — suggests that Khan’s position is sorely at odds with public opinion.

However, it’s the Pakistani political system — the very institution he vows to radically reform — that most threatens his quest for political power. It is a patronage-driven machine that offers practically no electoral victory hopes for political parties not named PPP or PML.

The PPP may be unpopular, but I can’t imagine one of its leaders not becoming the next prime minister. Certainly the PTI will win seats in next year’s election, but not enough to form a government (unless, of course, the security establishment helps propel Khan to power — a prediction heard less often now than earlier this year, at least here in Washington).

This is why it’s wrong to compare Khan to Barack Obama, as some observers have done. Sure, they’re both candidates of hope. But Obama belongs to one of his country’s established political parties; Khan does not. A more appropriate American equivalent to Khan would be Ralph Nader — an incorruptible third-party politician with strident views and young, fervent supporters. Yet he has never come close to winning an election.

Before the PTI trolls release their venom on me, let’s be clear: Khan could well become prime minister one day. Urbanisation threatens the rural-based bastions of the PML-N and PPP, and an opening could eventually emerge for ascendant parties like the PTI.

But that’s a discussion for another day.


The author is the Senior Program Associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. You can reach him 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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Michael Kugelman is deputy director of the Asia Program and senior associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. He can be reached at or on Twitter @michaelkugelman

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (268) Closed

M. Saeed Awan Nov 24, 2012 03:04am
poor comments. beyond to understand what he wants to say actually.
Zeeshan Nov 24, 2012 12:32pm
Yes I am suffering from Imranophobia. I am waiting for the time when Imran will address the nation after taking Oath as PM.
Sardar M. Tayyab Haider Khan Nov 24, 2012 07:22am
This is propoganda against PTI. Our media is a friend of Rupeess and Dollars. They write and speak for it only.
muhaimin Nov 24, 2012 08:10am
Imran has a vision, has a plan for the solution of problems of Pakistan.At least he is not a person of status-quo. PTI will win elections provided majority of young middle class, educated people come out from their homes on voting day. People of pakistan need a change from present ruling mafia i,e Federal Govt(PPP), Punjab Govt(ML-N) or PK Govt(ANP).God has gifted Pakistan every ingradient required for recipy of success.Potential is immense but just need a direction. Imran is the only hope to steer this country to road to success.
Deb Nov 24, 2012 03:05pm
The only thing i see happening is a benevolent judiciary guided government. IK sees that too maybe and probably that's why he too has gone into his shell!!
kdspirited Nov 25, 2012 10:43pm
This is not the first or the last time people of Pakistan are being underestimated by foreigners who think they know us so well. We are a nation that despite all the preasures and odds believes in our country. I will travel a thousand miles and go from door to door if I have to so people can be convinced to vote and vote for IK. Sitting in your living room hoping that things would get better magically is not the answer get out there and realize you have the biggest opportunity in the world in these coming elections to once and for all change the inevitablity of your fate. Show the world that we as a nation stand for honesty and truth and someone who can dig us out of this mess. IK god speed
Fawad k Nov 24, 2012 04:39pm
There is a significant chunk of population who prefers the states quo. They prefer lawlessness and chaos so that they can continue to make money. Trust me folks. There is only one way and that is IK. I do not know if it will work or not but I know that any other option will fail as it has for the last three decades.
Rashid Nov 24, 2012 06:21am
This is like a doctor criticizing a poet saying that heart has nothing to do with emotions but the brain has. Give me a break.
Shoaib Nov 24, 2012 12:51pm
I would have believed the write, but one thing pointed out his lack of knowledge: "More likely, he
Najma Rafique Ansari Nov 24, 2012 12:58pm
Dudes this article is written by an American. I can smell a conspiracy theory. They wanna check out the prospects of Imran.
Zeeshan Nov 24, 2012 06:20am
Khan has so many short comings and is not the right option to lead our nation. I suggest to vote for Mr.Asif Ali Zardari or Mr.Mya Nawaz Shareef in the coming elections to save our country. plz plz plz.
raika45 Nov 24, 2012 01:02pm
For your information Zafar sahib,I only comment on what i read in the press.Story of Imran's comment was there and I commented on it.Rightly or wrongly depends I assume from the press reports.I suggest you click on to the times of India today and read the column.Imran's party refutes the hanging of Sarabjit in retaliation.Pleace read it. Might put your arrogant comment against me in perspective.MY parents brought me up with the understanding that if you do not like some one or do not agree to their views,do not retaliate by saying some thing crude .By the way I am NOT an Indian.
ozair Nov 26, 2012 06:36am
Well Agha I can understand where you are coming from but its not as simple as you put it. If we are to talk about whats in the national interest of Pakistan then perhaps its not all that bad having similar views of the two towards Taliban and America after all America itself is talking to Taliban though not candidly but they certainly are talking. Whats in one country's interest may not necessarily be in the interest of another and vice versa. As one of the commenters very truly said that the Strong, "Independent" and a Nuclear armed Pakistan is not in America's interest. So should Pakistan give up all that to align itself with the interests of America or should it aspire to have and protect its own national interests?
Fawad k Nov 24, 2012 04:29pm
What a silly article. Ralph Nader never got past 5 % and Imran in the leading guy in polls. Sorry to say that you have a very limited feel for the pulse of this nation.
Ahmed Nov 24, 2012 04:27pm
Condemning the Malala attack is easy. Condemning the Taliban who proudly claimed responsibility for the attack requires courage in Pakistan today. And Imran Khan was careful not to condemn the Taliban.
Yawar Nov 24, 2012 04:00pm
If Imran Khan is to become the next prime minister of Pakistan, and I hope he does, I urge PTI members to regognize your opponents' tactics and not get emotional in public forums and be willing to accept critisizm without lashing out.
Shazia Arain Nov 24, 2012 04:00pm
If Ik is losing any political prospect then it means, our country is losing prospects of any prosperity ....
abbastoronto Nov 23, 2012 04:36pm
Imran Khan was misguided in naming his Party with the word "Insaf". The root of insaf is "nisf" or half, a throwback on "Equity" principle practiced in the Pastoral times when the Tribe must divide the assets equally among the flock in order to survive, a sort of rationing in hard times. As man practiced Agriculture, the working principle became Love, a necessary and sufficient condition for survival and growth of an agrarian society. When the trading era set in, the axis moved to "Justice" giving each his due. Athens and Mecca were both trading centres, and both Socrates and Mohammed (AS) stressed Justice. Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (AS) were the Chief Economists of their respective eras - pastoral, agrarian, trade. Moses was a shepherd, Jesus an artisan in the Fertile Crescent, and Mohammed (AS) a businessman trader. There are Moses' Laws of Equity, the Love of Jesus, and Justice of Mohammed (AS). I presume Imran means justice (not equity) when he named his party "Insaf", a common misconception in Pakistan. But that only shows the depth of his ignorance of history. Equity was also used by the Soviet Socialists as their Principle of operation, and we all know what that ended up with.
observer Nov 23, 2012 02:46pm
I disagree. Pakistan is passing through tough times but it is not any tougher than past or foreseeable present. If people like to elect Imran Khan, look at his message. The sense of urgency is wrong. There is as much wrong with PPP and PML-N as with the entire nation. However, PTI that appears cleaner than the national average will soon descend to the same level as PPP and PML-N. What Imran Khan is claiming are his own ideas. The world does not run on that. So, let there be no confusion about any miracle potential. It is the same nation. How can Imran Khan correct a whole nation of 190 million by becoming its PM? Sham.
Cyrus Howell Nov 23, 2012 04:54pm
Ahmed Saeed Nov 23, 2012 12:53pm
Absolutely true.
shanawer hussain Nov 23, 2012 11:53am
Good article. I say `it is disintegration before integration`, about the whole PTI situation.
saleem Nov 23, 2012 04:26pm
just as u said Imran Khan isnt very popular in the rural areas of pakistan so thats why he is keeping smaller raller in smal town to get the people from the rural areas in pakistan also behind him. He visited my town (5000 people) a few weeks ago and he is probably not getting a lot of media attention there but i can ensure you where ever he comes he gets a lot of people on his side before this i was the only one FOR imran khan now almost evryone speaks in favour of him in my town.
Ahmed Nov 29, 2012 04:53am
I dont know much about politics... in fact I dont want to know... but somehow I have believe that he will change the trend in Pakistan, Ameen.
guest Nov 23, 2012 04:20pm
Why Imran Khan did not marry again? He could be having a happy family life forgetting this all :-) Btw I just hate his former wife ! How can a man who could not find his soul mate within Pakistan do anything for Pakistan? Loved his cricket always. Don 't have respect for men who cannot even choose the right women in their lives sorry. Ofcourse, i cannot vote for him - i live on the other side of the border! In short, Khan is a total disappointment !
Julie C Nov 23, 2012 04:16pm
The only way to judge Imran's popularity is to wait for the elections and the only way to judge him as a leader is for the people to give him the mandate in the elections to lead Pakistan. If we are serious (and we better be) in ridding the nation of corruption and saving Pakistan for future generations, then right now Imran is the only way out.
Ahmed Saeed Nov 23, 2012 12:56pm
Pakistan is passing through worst times. The people here now well understand that its a do or die situation. If they decided to carry on with the same old faces of PPP and PML then God help them. The choice is now to save Pakistan or its too late then. God save Pakistan.
Ishtiaq_JK Nov 23, 2012 11:41am
Phew...for a moment...I thought this article had some substance! Does this make me a 'troll' even though I am not from Paksitan.
Javed Nov 23, 2012 04:11pm
The first politician / leader to take a bold aggressive stand against the militants & extremists who have killed 40,000 innocent Pakistanis will have overwhelming support of the people of Pakistan. Unfortunately, Imran Khan doesn't appear to be that person or leader.
Rizwan Nov 23, 2012 11:27am
Your urban / rural analysis is single biggest challenge for PTI to crack. Right strategy and direction could swing the voters as the people in rural parts are not well attuned to media these days. Also the GT road surrounding population should be considered urban considering their mindset.
Amanat Ali Nov 27, 2012 12:51pm
God save Pakistan from PPP.They have done nothing during the last five years except corruption. They have plunged the country in the darkness. The economy has been destroyed and the national debt has increased manifold. They have not solved even a single problem of the country and the common man. The prices of even essential commodities have sky rocketed. Under these circumstance people do not want to see their ugly faces what to speak to vote for them in future. There is not even a single senible person in the entore party.
Aht Nov 25, 2012 01:25pm
Any how his imagination is good and we like his simplicity. Decision will come after Election and till, no body can decide his future election campaign..
Zazi Nov 26, 2012 02:34am
Your kind of mind-set and mental quality is what has brought Pakistan to its present sorry state and sad condition. You want more of the same?
Indusonian Nov 26, 2012 01:21am
Vote for PTI to build a new Pakistan.
Cyrus Howell Nov 23, 2012 05:19pm
You can support Imran Khan living in another country? How can that be?
ady Nov 23, 2012 01:10pm
Writing so much on IK means he got something special which attracts writers; doesn't matter against or in favor. Why people don't bother to write on Shareefs or Zardari ...maybe they are not worth or did nothing worthy! There is no need to mind criticism but it should be fair so that something good can be learned out of it!
Wellwishers Nov 23, 2012 04:28pm
Pakistani deserved the leaders like Imran khan because we have a history, we always worship the personality , we never look at the ground realities. IK popularity is a media boom. IK is playing with peoples' emotions , by making big promises which will never be achieved. Most of the corrupt politician of Musharaf, and Nawaz regimes have already joined PTI. They were devils then and angels now that they are part of PTI. What hypocrisy?
Aamir Nov 23, 2012 01:10pm
IK is a hero and I've been his fan all my life. I totally agree with the writer. When it comes to tackling millitancy, IK does not show any substance. His response is one of an apologist or he would conveniently put the blame on war on terror. IK believes its not our war, WRONG. Both Salman Taseer and his killer werent Americans. Its the ideology that we have to fight. IK wont talk to Zardari or Sharif since they are supposedly BAD people. Mind you they both get votes from people of Pakistan. YET he insists we should talk to Taliban who IK thinks are upset because Govt sided with sanity. So, IK shows soft corner for the butchers who blow up our schools and kill our young girls but wont talk to the leaders who are voted to power by the people of the same country Khan praises so much. I wait for the day Khan asks supreme court to hang Qadri, since he takes all his fights to SC. He'll have my vote, no questions asked.
curiousforever Nov 27, 2012 02:38am
Wow..I am pleasantly surprised to see that there are people on this blog who are actually politically savvy..whether their opinions are valid or not is another thing altogether but at least they have an opinion ! I just believe if people can educate other people within their parameters, in their own individual way and spread awareness about what's going on and what needs to be done and what kind of change they want to bring in the system then every one of us can be Imran Khan or any other political leader for that matter...if we really believe in him and trust him with his policies.We all have talked a lot ...time for some action now...don't you think?
sam Nov 23, 2012 12:18pm
I was one of those die hard supporter of IK, living in Germany and even got my friends together to work on a plan whereby we encourage/ transport Pakistanis here to the embassy, in case their vote is eligible by the time elections are held. But not any more, forget this country where 50% of the population sees shias as non-Muslims. A society so ignorant deserves no support.
Anam Nov 26, 2012 11:48pm
I never said Pakistan should have no government - where did you get that from? All i said was as an individual i dont support anyone. The present ones are useless, and Imran Khan is confused - i shall be looking forward for the election day, and see the drama unfold.
raika45 Nov 23, 2012 12:11pm
Imran Khan showed his "maturity" in politics when he demanded the death of an Indian national held in custody in your country in retaliation for Keshab's hanging in India.These are called knee jerk politicians .One that engage their mouth before the brain works things out.
Nauman Nov 23, 2012 02:29pm
i my self am a PTI supporter ... but i do not accept your pre judgement towards the columnist ... He is a researcher and has his views based on it ... we should be humble to listen to views even if they are in contradiction to Ours as Nation and if probable put an argument with politeness... Let us be educated enough to have simple manners of listening and communicating ... and if some one is not convinced ... then let the time do justice to situation with friendliness still part of debate and we should accept it on either side .... best of luck Pakistan!
Asad Nov 23, 2012 01:26pm
Remind you, IK was one of the first few to condemn Malala incident and even offered to pay for all the treatment.
Sameer Ahmad Nov 29, 2012 01:12pm
Well I do not belong to any party, byt I guess that the writer lacks info regarding the actual ground realities in Pakistan politics, he has just followed the rhetoric and seems to toe the line of Media channels in Pakistan, PTI has been hijacked by x,y z etc, he has left, she has left, the old stalwarts, IRI surveys say this and that,Imran is confused on this policy and that etc and so forth.We have heard these discussions a dozen times on channels, as well as detailed explanations by Imran and his team. Pl try some thing else. Sameer - London
Razi Nov 25, 2012 03:35pm
Michael just wrote to wrote something. I invite him to Pakistan to see for himself the changing canvass. My driver, maid, gardener and waiter who were emotionally attached to Bhutto and for ever voted for Bhutto and not going PTI.. reason bread and peace. Similarly thousands are moving from PPP to PTI. Michael should come to Pakistan to write his own rebuttal.
asfi Nov 23, 2012 03:30pm
Qasim Nov 23, 2012 11:32am
How much have you been paid by Zardari and Sharif?
Genii Nov 23, 2012 03:20pm
Nothing has changed for Pakistani society ( the people who give votes), same story will be repeated again.... Same government will be come to power again... And same story will be repeated...
Silajit Nov 23, 2012 03:15pm
The loss of Shireen Mazari may be indicative of loss of support from the establishment and that could hurt him. On the other hand, the loss of someone who sees ALL Pakistani problems through an Indian conspiracy viewpoint can only be beneficial to Pakistan.
Ahmed Nov 23, 2012 11:25am
Pakistans political system is very different to that of US. Ralph Nader really?? I think Khan has built a machine that will be capable of getting into power somewhere in the future. Not for now maybe. Oh and FYI Nader never peaked in any poll and survey. Plus Pakistan has a history of unimaginable election outcomes whereas US only has two parties switching power back and forth.
umairsabir Nov 23, 2012 11:24am
This PTI Troll couldn't agree more with your views.
KiJ Nov 23, 2012 11:23am
nice try... but PPP is no Democratic Party and PMLN is no GOP, so your analogy of IK with Ralph Nader is fundamentally flawed... you would need to dig deeper to understand the IK phenomena and put it in the right context... and plz do an analysis of the crowd that attended IK and Mushy's speeches/lectures... also it would be prudent to investigate media onslaught on IK/PTI. Better luck next time.
saqib Nov 23, 2012 11:48am
well who have seen the future, i believe he will come if not this time for sure next time, as these two parties can never perform, this was PPP last chance and coming one will be PMLn last chance. hoping they never come up in the next term.
Rayyan Nov 23, 2012 11:16am
All your readings are statistical and pragramtic, I appreciate them. But, there is a phenomenon termed as spiritual materialism and Mr. Khan is a fantastic example of that. Have patience, the glory is still to come....Things have to go through the floor before a drastic change!.
indian Nov 23, 2012 11:14am
Great analysis. This indeed is also true for many Indian leaders. This supports the hypothesis that ultimately people get what leaders they deserve. No one can lead them who is better than them. Also this highlights the faliure of democracy ( Both in USA, Pakistan and may be in India in coming elections). Democracy needs a serious breath of fresh air and reforms, else it can loose to other systems. Lets up not let democracy get degenerated in to mobocracy.
Imran A. Nov 23, 2012 03:54pm
IK is a pro-taliban mindset. Taliban apologists just don't know how interact with the world through wisdom, except through knee jerk statements.
Uqaab Nov 23, 2012 12:43pm
It's been refuted Raika.
zain Nov 27, 2012 10:11am
IK is playing dubious & dangerous game.
curiousforever Nov 26, 2012 02:36am
One dimensional? What makes you say that Tahir ? I think this piece is informative and airs the concerns of a lot of us Pakistanis regarding PTI's current situation / position goes. And Aht's condescending remarks are quite amusing frankly. Enlighten the readers/bloggers if you have something meaningful and deeper to say..don't pass comments and remarks just for the heck of it !
Muhammad Nov 25, 2012 05:35am
I agree that PTI has to have a strategy to win against PPP and PML, who are dug-in in the rural areas. But it is not necessary to have the kind of political experience that Nawaz and Zardari have. No experience is better than bad experience. Pakistan has very serious problems (corruption, violence, extremism, etc.). It is not the conventional knowlege of politics that will solve the problems - it needs a different and extreme approach to get Pakistan out of this mess. Imran may have that idea.
Shakeel N Dec 01, 2012 03:49pm
IK is the only HOPE for Pakistan to get out of this mess created by those (PMLN, PPP) who are still demanding votes form people to get them elected and make more mess in the country.
Pete Nov 25, 2012 01:02pm
Why is he the ONLY hope, especially if he's not perfect?
arshedrafiq Nov 23, 2012 12:59pm
No one can lead them who is better than them Enjoyed the sentence.
Anup Nov 27, 2012 05:56am
I can talk about 1987 world cup or any other world cup Pakistan played in..but the fact remains that Pakistan has only won one one-day world cup till date and that has been under Imran Khan
Mynusrat02 Nov 23, 2012 01:28pm
The people of Pakistan are still not educated enough to understand the true meaning of democracy. The reason Pakistan has not accelerated it self in democracy is because we see 3 familiar faces all the time (Nawaz Sharif In the face of PML-N, Bhutti family in the face of PPP and the third is ofcourse Army). lAll the three parties have the same policies since their establishment. True democracy is that every time party go to contest elections they bring new representative so that the same person can bring new ideas. We need IK to win the election because ppl can see new policies, which might not work but atleast they will be different. Secondly democracy is not a family monogram. The Bhutto & Nawaz family has made democracy their family business,,,
Raju Nov 23, 2012 03:07pm
A V Good Reply, ewll done Kij.
muhammad Nov 27, 2012 02:34pm
Anup you forgot T20 world cup which Pakistan has won under the captaincy of Younis Khan
khan_supporter Nov 23, 2012 11:52am
Ifzal Nov 23, 2012 11:39am
Time for Pakistani's to take their own destiny in their own hands and silence such lame critics come column inch hunters. Give Imran Khan a try - it cant get any worse!
azhar Nov 26, 2012 10:01am
michael is quite write at some instant
Ali abbas Nov 27, 2012 03:11am
In country of 180 million few thousands won't make much difference.
Azhar Nov 26, 2012 12:14am
What is your concern? Your likes and dislikes are not the criteria for the leader ship of a country. Only a small mind thinks this way. You live on the other side of the border anyway. Try to have a happy life there.
kiani Nov 26, 2012 09:06pm
the analysis is based on realities . we dont say that imran khan is not a good man. but the reality is that is confused on his own policy. continuously changind policy is an importat factor of his failure.
Faraz Nov 23, 2012 11:31am
Why people bother about IK, PTI and its claims when they are not worth bothering?
Rashid Nov 23, 2012 12:33pm
Michael I am not sure you can compare Ralph Nader to IK. IK lacks the intellectual honesty a trade mark of Ralph Nader. Besides this I am not sure IK can talk on social and political issues as convincingly as Ralph Nader,
Shahzad Kazi Nov 26, 2012 09:01pm
Michael, you are right. The problem here is that Imran is not a politician and lacks popular support. Having some young urban supporters does not translate into votes and assembly seats. Aligning with the right wing fundamentalists also does not help. In order to rule Pakistan, a political party needs to get the majority seats in the rural area and Imran is not the person who can do this. Whenever elections are held, PPP will still emerge as the single largest political party in Pakistan.
asfi Nov 23, 2012 11:31am
Imran Khan has done his job. I wish you write again after elections are over. I bet you will cut a sorry figure. Come to Pakistan during elections and see what happens then. Don't rely on Pakistani riksha media, its already sold out.
shanawer hussain Nov 23, 2012 03:45pm
Dear, barber of my area also say that he is a new face, he should be given a chance to be PM.
Naeem Nov 23, 2012 03:45pm
Sam, losing hope like this does not qualify to be a supporter of IK. Please stick to your original plans and leave the results to someone else. Please don't take it negatively!
Nauman Nov 23, 2012 02:36pm
well said and i agree to your assesment ... But there is one situation which is kind of extra ordinary in Pakistan .... its his security and secular path which is putting all fundamental rules for existence of a country in jeopardy. This kind of extreme sensitive situation calls for extra ordinary steps which can be : to get beyond your self and take a step which gets more clearer with situation. I think so :)
AHA Nov 25, 2012 02:05pm
He supports the supporters of Taliban.
ahmed Nov 25, 2012 02:08pm
Very well said...
ahmed Nov 25, 2012 02:09pm
AHA Nov 25, 2012 02:11pm
Honest, maybe; Cuckoo , definitely
Agha Ata Nov 23, 2012 02:21pm
Khan and the army seem to have a similar view toward Taliban and America. Would that give a new angle to look at the situation?
Janjuah Nov 23, 2012 12:49pm
If Imran looses the general election.. It would be his victory as a personality considering the mind-set which prevailes and the people of Pakistan may loose the last chance to see the change. And If Imran wins then it would be a great victory of both Imran and the people of Pakistan. So Imran as a personality, will under all circumstances, be the winner as he has always been in his life... choice is ours... do we want to win or loose....????????????????????????
zafar Nov 23, 2012 12:49pm
^ an Indian troll right there. Your last sentence fits you more than any one else on the planet.
Adil Jadoon Nov 23, 2012 04:26pm
Just by saying he is not popular will not make him such. It is not in the interest of the western powers to have a powerful, independent, nuclear Pakistan and that is why we see so much negativity about Pakistan in the western media.
Ye Z Nov 25, 2012 08:43am
Couldn't have been said better!
ROHIT PANDEY Nov 25, 2012 03:34am
Kemal Ataturk had the wisdom to promote secularism in Turkey. i understand that after reading Dawn that Imran Khan goes easy on the Taliban..not exactly the way to promote secularism that Pakistan needs. Perhaps that would address your reservations about Dawn?
afrem Nov 25, 2012 12:39am
Most of our politicians play on the people's mind with emotional speeches. Because the masses of Pakistan are illiterate including myself and get carried away emotionally. The best eras of Pakistan was during the leadership of (or most call it dictatorship) Gen. Ayub Khan and Gen. Musharraf. They made rational decisions for the interest of Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad!! We need rational thinkers to lead Pakistan rather than emotional clowns!!!!
amanat Nov 23, 2012 01:46pm
IMRAN kHAN ia undoubtedly an honest person and his plans are ambitious but unfortunately he has only a few leaders in his party who wll win their seats in the assemblies such as Shah Mahmood Qureshi due to their influence in their constituencies. Mostly people who are aspiring for seats in the assemblies are new and have no influence in their areas. People do not even know them. How can they win in the elections. Gone are the days when people used to cast their votes in the name of leaders of their parties. Now the voters are very clever and will vote very carefully.There are very remote chances of Imran Khan to get majority seats particularly in rural areas of Sind and Baluchistan. He will hardly get 20 seats in the National Assembly. Moreover,. there is a rift in his party and different groups have been formed in the party before elections which is also in the knowledge of Imran Khan. This will also affect the party adversely and some people may also quit the party.
Tahir Nov 25, 2012 02:00pm
One dimensional article oblivious to the ground realities of Pakistan.
Pete Nov 25, 2012 01:01pm
I guess the Russians left Afghanistan not because of military action? What about the Nazi party of Germany. These slogans are half truths. You cannot also stop a military power exclusively with politics. Military AND political power as well as other forces can stop any regime if there is enough of it.
LOL Nov 26, 2012 02:17am
Show the reseach? When was he in Pakistan last? If ever?
ZZX-1 Nov 26, 2012 02:20am
What Malala issue? It is a foreign plot. When will Pakistanis figure out the obvious.
sami Nov 25, 2012 02:41am
Imran khan is the only hope. One mistake we all are making is to judge him against the perfect scale, we should not. He is not perfect. The right thing to do is to judge him against the current politicians like Zardaris, Sharrifs , all the feudal who are sitting in assemblies and cabinet. Trust me Imran will appear as an angel.
Rafiq Ahmed Nov 25, 2012 02:40am
The fact that he is honest means that he will not be very successful in Pakistan as a politician.
John B. Nov 26, 2012 03:02am
That "sweet girl" happens to be a foreign proxy, her father their paid agent. You Pakistanis are indeed a simple, trusting, and emotional people...easy to be used and exploited by hard thinking unemotional foreign/western minds.
clayton Nov 25, 2012 12:15am
did u ask other parties as well ?what they answer none
Fawad Khan Nov 25, 2012 03:27am
Dear Mike. We appreciate your interest in our nation and it is always nice to hear a neutral voice but I am not sure if you have an idea of the depth of despair that this nation is going into. I hear media questioning IK's integrity and capabilities but no one comes with an alternative. Pakistan is the only country I know that somehow survives everyday with no law enforcement, governance or rules but I am not sure how long can that go. This country needs a complete overhaul from bottom up and the only person who even talks about that is IK.
Danish_UK Nov 26, 2012 03:18am
How interesting. Why is Dawn repeatedly bringing out articles against those who are for Pakistan? Ummmh...!
Raoob Nov 26, 2012 03:21am
Interesting advice from an Indian...
Raoob Nov 26, 2012 03:23am
Like you?
Dev Anand Nov 26, 2012 07:00am
I know you are Sikh and don't consider yourself an Indian. Never forget your roots. An Indian is an Indian even after 7 generation. Don't think by living in west you are no longer Indian.
abbastoronto Nov 23, 2012 05:15pm
The correct Urdu/Arabic/Persian word for justice is "Adl". The Justice Party in Turkey is named Adalet Partisi.
raw is war Nov 25, 2012 12:39pm
Imran Khan is becoming unpopular without even holding a post?
raza Nov 24, 2012 07:29pm
All the things regarding to great Khan are right but I wonder where he is going to get money to fight these huge vultures like Zardari and Sharifs. He needs a lot of money with all the blessings he has. Is there anybody who can answer this?
hina Nov 24, 2012 09:33am
So you think Pakistan should have no government?
wes Nov 24, 2012 10:25pm
he was like ralph nader couple of years ago but not anymore...
imzi Dec 01, 2012 05:48am
180 million are not voters... its population
Shoaib Wahab Nov 23, 2012 11:22pm
Doing right is a hell lot difficult than doing wrong, because wrong to all is wrong, but right is an individual discretion and I am afraid Khan is right...
Shoaib Wahab Nov 23, 2012 11:13pm
Well, its your personal decision my friend and you have all the right to have an opinion, but I guess considering whats been up in the country these days we all would have to think with in a broader perspective...
Ahmed Nov 26, 2012 04:41am
That's how Tsunami goes... up, down and then up... He has a different vision, what he is doing no one else can do and doesn't have courage for. Even in a movie or drama it doesn't look exciting that someone clinch in no time and smoothly. However, at the end he win, InshaAllah.
Kamran Nov 23, 2012 07:25pm
Imran Khan has followers since 1992 but not voters as he has not even won a bye election in 2012,its a baloon filled with air from IKs old followers,IK should look and learn from parties that have won elections in Pakistan with voters not facebook supporters and US or UK money donators, the battle is fought in the ground and thats where IK is fragile looking for support from Talibans and ISI.
Saadat Razzak Nov 24, 2012 09:48am
Mr Michael, it is not khan people are looking towards, its change. Khan just represents that change in every way. The root problem of the poverty ridden citizens of Pakistan is that they have no future if things continue the same. The country has no future. Just answer this one simple question for me please: if who wins the elections, pakistan has the most chances to prosper? Please objectively evaluate the performance of the two ruling parties and let us have the answer. PLEASE! What does a modern state provide for its citizen? Is it not safety and security of life, is it not law and order, is it not equal oppertunity and human rights, is it not healthcare and education. Imran, in his personal capacity has provided healthcare in the form of shaukat khanam, and education in the form of namal college. That too free of cost for the poor. People ask his priorities. Are his priorities not very evident from his work so far. In a poverty ridden country, where more people loose their lives because of lack of proper healthcare, and where only ten percent of the population can afford any meaningful education, the basic problem is where will the next meal come from. The poverty demographics of pakistan and the US are very different. No one can be compared to anyone. Comapring imran to obama, is wrong, and so is comparing imran to ralph. I m sure ralph was not contesting the elections when his country was on the verge of collapse. I m sure ralph never held political rallies where three hundred thousand people attended. I m sure ralphs party did not have 10 million memebers, I m sure ralph did not win the country a world cup. I m sure ralph did not build the first ever state of the art cancer hospital in the region. I m sure ralph was not as big an international figure as imran is. Why make such useless comparisons then. Imran is imran, obama is obama, and ralph, i dont know who he is.
Krish Chennai Nov 23, 2012 05:05pm
Imran is the rank outsider who is going to upset the apple-cart. It may also quite happen, that he won't be able to ( allowed to ) complete his full term of office, as those who get him elected may expect the moon; but by that time, he may have done a whale of a lot of good. The writer of this article has an error of judgement, in comparing him to an also-ran like Ralph Nader in the US, which Imran most certainly is not.
Shoaib Wahab Nov 23, 2012 11:08pm
Sorry Guys I mistakenly checked the rate down thumb in the above comment I meant to like it... Truly said
abdussamad Nov 23, 2012 01:36pm
"The PPP may be unpopular, but I can
Shumaila Khan Nov 23, 2012 04:48pm
I dont know ralph can walk the talk or not. Never heard of him before this article. Imran sure can try to walk the talk. Skmch is one of the few examples.
Aramis Nov 26, 2012 03:07am
Yes...the Great Khan.
Jacob Nov 26, 2012 03:10am
Tre you go again. Pakistani are intellectually limited. No wonder they don't understand what is going on, and want more of the same exploitation and loss.
skeptic Nov 23, 2012 08:45pm
and neither a flash in the pan.
S.S.A Nov 26, 2012 05:10am
Dear Dr. Sahib....all I want to tell you is for God's sake get rid of your deep rooted prejudices!!!! Sunnis or Shias..they are all Muslims and is only a handful of the extremist scholars of both sects that play with the emotions of their followers..and unfortunately they succeed! Alas..only if learned people like you, am assuming you are a medical doctor or have a doctoral degree, could forget about petty prejudices..and think about the greater good for the entire nation. There are always black sheep in every religion and for the acts of a few you can not pass judgment for an overwhelming majority. It is like the west blaming Islam and Muslims for the ungodly terrorist acts of a handful in many parts of the world.
Riaz Nov 24, 2012 08:07pm
As things stand, he is the only honest and above board leader in Pakistan. If he and his party does not win, it will be Pakistan and its people who will be the biggest losers. If the masses in Pakistan are hell bent on continuing the habit of committing political suicide, it is their choice. They will bear the consequences.
Ye Z Nov 24, 2012 07:53am
"The truth may be bitter, but it must be told"; that I believe is Imran Khan's philosophy and of course, many people don't have the stomach for it.
Bhadi oxov Nov 25, 2012 08:02am
He supports Taliban
S.S.A Nov 26, 2012 05:16am
Dear Raika...the biggest problem these days is we start making criticisms WITHOUT first finding out the truth! Did Imran Khan tell you what you have said? It is this kind of irresponsible comments that, rather than bringing us together, try to deepen the differences. We all must simply work to get our two nations together and bring the people together, rather than divide them..and create more hatred...
This-Is-AK Nov 24, 2012 07:44pm
He is fundraising in UK, USA and Canada. There are international chapters and overseas Pakistanis supporting him with funds abroad. All the information is stated online. Each penny will be sent to the PTI Election fund. Please check for his fundraising tour timeline.
Azhar Nov 26, 2012 05:38am
Very heart breaking but very much focused on reality that still exists in Pakistani electoral system.
ozair Nov 24, 2012 06:43pm
For the same reasons Americans couldnt ever elect Ralph Nader to the presidency. They couldnt find him subservient and corruptible. Sadly, this is how American political system works.
Anti-Feudal Nov 24, 2012 06:42pm
I think you are confused about PTI ideology. First of all PTI is not owned by Imran khan but its a movement initiated by him for his country & countrymen and now supported and followed by people who are fade up of this so called "democracy" and its "luxuries". Its not about the name and fame, its about to save and pull out Pakistan from this pathetic misery inflicted by ruling elites for past 40 years. Not only Food, shelter & security along with quality education & health is part of PTI vision.
Joe Nov 24, 2012 06:34pm
If he can get religious factions to just compete at cricket instead of killing each other, I say 'more power to him.' If that were part of his political platform, he would have strong credibility for foresight and leadership. What other government official could compete with him?
ozair Nov 24, 2012 06:33pm
The only help he could get from the Army or the Judiciary for that matter is for them to make sure the country will have fair elections.
Fawad Nov 23, 2012 04:34pm
Comparing Ralph Nader to IK?? What a ridiculous article.
Dr Khan Nov 23, 2012 04:34pm
And IK is a big supporter of those who consider shia non-muslim. I myself was a big supporter of Imran Khan. We used to call him Anna Hazare of Pakistan But he disappointed us by his support for taliban. IK is an addition to already large bunch of power hungry politicians and establishment.
ozair Nov 24, 2012 06:28pm
The only help Army can provide him is to hold fair elections. I hope if its not the Army may be the Judiciary must see to it that this country will have fair elections.
ozair Nov 24, 2012 06:21pm
Well said and very true.
Irfan Butt Nov 23, 2012 09:49pm
In addition to my earlier, I also like to mention that the writer has already decided that if Imran Khan wins, he will blame the Pakistani Military Establishment for rigging the elections in his favor. What a rude attitude towards the intelligence of Pakistani people.
ozair Nov 24, 2012 06:03pm
America is talking to Taliban, they even have their representation established in Qatar. We are just the pawns in a big game played by big players, unless we start playing at their level we are just gonna be tossed around rather insignificantly.
Muhammad Nov 25, 2012 05:24am
I have heard this narrow comment from folks in countryside. IK was a cricketer for a while, but he has been a politician for a longer time. He is very popular as a politician. I think it would be silly to say that a cricketer cannot be a good politician. Ronald Regan was an actor but he was one of the most successful presidents of USA. There are many other examples. Public policy is not taught at school.
Ajilala Nov 25, 2012 02:40pm
Sami I endorse it.
Aamer Anwar Nov 25, 2012 04:43am
There may be ups and down in the popularity graph of PTI. But do remember, after the caretakers are in office, a show or two like at Lahore may turn popular wave in his favor again. I think he is taking his time, remember in limited overs batsmen do singles to launch an offensive in the dying time, just close to election. Soon Zardari's and Sharif's would be in tatters.
caramelizedonion Nov 25, 2012 04:41am
Because PTI is not in power, its standing is very fragile and almost wholly dependent on its public perception. Therefore PTI followers feel threatened when the public perception is attacked which is entirely understandable. If PTI was in power, you wouldn't see the same reaction. Try to understand your fellow countrymen's feelings towards their own Pakistan. They see PTI as the only hope and rightly so.
asjad Nov 25, 2012 10:35am
Fund raising....:)
Khanzada Nov 24, 2012 07:17am
Well written and logical although difficult to digest for Imran Khan's fervent supporters. I like Imran and his party's stance, but the writer has hit the nail on the head on Imran's misplaced stance on fighting militancy which is at odds with the public opinion. Unfortunately, there is little room for dissension and disagreement within political parties in Pakistan where larger than life leaders run the party like a dictatorship and anybody who diagrees is squashed!
usman Nov 24, 2012 08:28am
Zeeshan sahb, are u suffering from any desease?
atif Nov 24, 2012 05:40am
respect your opinion, it enriches our mind on how different brains think. Keep trying.
Neer Nayan Nov 26, 2012 06:00pm
This is high time that this self-proclaimed 'insaafi' human being undergoes a conscience-cleansing introspection under the guidance of a an able adept, who can help him to the true goal of his very existence. Achievements of the 'self' are in no way related to the worldly ones.
Imran Ahmed (@IAgnikul) Nov 23, 2012 07:46pm
How is Asad Umer a big political name?Javed Hashmi maybe but I had to look up the ex CEO of Engro. Shireen Mazari was always more liability than asset to any political party.
abc Nov 23, 2012 10:23pm
Most innocent Pakistanis are killed by US drones, and he is rightfully against drone attacks.
Khan Afzal Nov 23, 2012 09:40pm
If Imran Khan was not elected this time, this will be very unfortunate for the whole nation and the country which is on the verge of collapse. Black sheeps have to be rejected during the coming election and wise decision has to be `made If we really want to rescue the country and it's people from chaos and turmoil.
Adil Jadoon Nov 23, 2012 04:33pm
You wish but that won't happen. We will keep working and get there!
Asim Nov 23, 2012 10:07pm
Imran is lucky he is doing is politics in Pakistan.In a western country he had to answer some serious questions. For example on average he travels to London once a month in business class with access to priority lounge at Heathrow and VIP lounge in Islamabad. Average PIA business class return ticket price is $1800. Times 12 equals $21600 per annum.In pakistani currency approx 2.1 million rupees per annum , he spending only on his travel to London. Also within Pakistan he has been flying on Mr Tareen's company aeroplane. There are allegations on Mr Tareen that he is mis using the company jet. To PTI supporters please stop comparing IK with Iranian president by posting his pictures on facebook showing his so called simple life style.
mansha natt Nov 26, 2012 02:49pm
If you are talking about World Cup 1992 then you must talk about world Cup 1987 held in Pakistan n India
abc Nov 23, 2012 10:21pm
yes. he is the only one to lead Pakistan to become a modern and ideal Islamic welfare state, which will be devoid of all the unislamic vices and cultures.
APC Nov 24, 2012 12:42am
If don't know what is called knee jerk reaction, then that is what just put up here.
APC Nov 24, 2012 12:44am
You said it. Just analyse his actions over the period and show the difference between him and other politicians.
AMIR Nov 24, 2012 12:52am
He is right...I have been an ardent supporter of IK, untill he came up with an absurd excuse that our support for the war in Afghanistan,is to to be the cause for the vicious attack on that sweet girl Malala...HE is a Taliban sympathizer or he is afraid of them!! in either case he has lost our respect and matter what he promises ,,,he does not have a courage or wisdom to deliver an iota of it...
ROHIT PANDEY Nov 23, 2012 09:29pm
They are academics who take an outsiders' view of Pakistan,actually!
Jack Nov 24, 2012 01:12am
Are you telling Pakistan does not even the discipline to choose its own leader?? Such baseless statements do not help the country.
APC Nov 24, 2012 12:33am
Imran Khan is spineless and therefore useless in guiding Pakistan out of this mess. He never reacted in time and tried put everything on Drone attack. He always watch his back and very reluctant to condemn the Taliban. His voice narrows when it come Taliban.
Javed Nov 24, 2012 08:01am
The diaspora supports Imran Khan by giving him money. He collected a million dollars, if not more, during his PTI fund raising tour of Canada & USA last month.
sajjad Nov 24, 2012 12:34am
Imran is leader of future.The majority of PK citizens is not politically aware.Imran still does not have the organization and the infrsatructure to bring him to power wtihout army.Although he is a change for better in politics.
Avais Nov 25, 2012 12:27pm
Common.. overseas pakistanis are throwing funds at him.. myself being PTI Representative in UAE, be assured, Overseas Pakistanis wont let him down in terms of resources for PTI.
abc Nov 23, 2012 10:16pm
yes. A powerful, independent, nuclear Pakistan, which is heading and destined to become a ideal Islamic welfare state is an envy for eveeryone. Pakistan has always been an ideological leader for every other country, and especially for its naboughers and enemies.
Ahmed Nov 24, 2012 01:49am
Uselss commentary on linguistic history of a word. Practically has nothing to do with the party objectives as stated by its leadership.
Adil Jadoon Nov 23, 2012 04:31pm
I don't think 50% of Pakistanis see Shias as non-muslims. It is anyway a personal choice and has nothing to do with the running of a state. All Pakistanis should be equal before the law and treated as such.
haris Nov 23, 2012 01:48pm
btw which Indian-Masalah Newspaper you often read?
Silajit Nov 24, 2012 02:22am
The loss of Shireen Mazari may be indicative of a loss of support from the establishment. That's bad in Pakistani politics. On the other hand, the loss of someone who sees ALL Pakistani problems as an Indian conspiracy can only be beneficial to Pakistan.
asjad Nov 25, 2012 10:37am
He does not support Taliban he suggests the strategy to get rid of Talibans which is never going to be possible through the use of force....Military action has never succeeded anywhere in the world...history testifies to this fact.
wasim Nov 24, 2012 02:26am
Author just wrote from his own imagination - no substance , no evidence analysis .
Cuneyt Nov 24, 2012 02:29am
I have been reading dawn for a long time, mainly because this newspaper was there before pakistan existed. I am Turkish btw, I am really suprised by every news dawn puts online about imran khan. All news are against Imran in some ways, and opinion pieces are really badly written. Why would dawn be against a promising politician so blatantly? Just give him a chance, Pakistan is ruled very bad, and even i can see that from far away.
Troll Supervisor Nov 25, 2012 07:47am
Trolling r45?
farid Nov 24, 2012 06:57am
God is a cricket fan but you are not.
Navaid Nov 24, 2012 03:33am
I think the MQM will have a Prime Minister first before Imran Khan even comes close. Let's face it, the MQM is a lot more popular, more organized, and it has a powerful international lobbying team. I like Imran Khan, but I think MQM is rising fast.
farid Nov 24, 2012 06:55am
I don't know how much the author knows Pakistan. It is easy to make comments sitting in Washington. If Imran is not a choice then who will be the alternative? A biased article .
Mohammed Abbasi Nov 23, 2012 01:31pm
I have met Imran Khan in the UK a couple of times and like him as an individual - I don't see him as an apologist for the terrorists destroying Pakistan from BUT it seems that he will not be able to convert his online youthful support to support from the villages up and down Pakistan controlled by the PML/PPP biraderi system.
nasir Nov 24, 2012 01:44pm
I just want to poll something who will vote for imran khan like this if u arent going to vote for imran khan vote this down let the battle begin :P
zahid Nov 24, 2012 12:09am
the writer is very much rite.i ALSO beleive them some thing was propelling his career at the start of the year and they have now pulllllled back the support.
Adeel Nov 24, 2012 06:46am
Still early to make broad statements. Once dates for the elections are announced then I for one see PTI re energising and becoming more potent. Silly this culture of over analysis and criticism, if the people think PTI he is not a viable option then they can vote for others. Seems being a pundit is the easiest available job because everyone seems to be doing it.
Anam Nov 24, 2012 06:09am
Well said! This is something i have been trying to explain to my cousins, and hell breaks lose. The problem is not why they support Imran Khan, but the real problem is that they strongly believe that whatever he does or says makes sense. He is confused, long way to learn about Politics. And before someone bashes me here, i dont support ANYONE in Pakistan, i'm a person who associates herself with only Pakistan n Pakistani flag, no one is worth it.
Shanawer hussain Nov 26, 2012 07:10am
Good remarks
Zohaib Nov 24, 2012 07:03am
I do not why IK and hi followers passed judgement against everyone. According to them everyone except him and his followers are biased, corrupt, uneducated, and any thing bad you can imposed . why people point out the fingers why not look at themselves ???
Mohsin Khan Nov 24, 2012 07:04am
The first leader to visit Malala, the first leader to hold a press conference against TTP, Yet Dawn continues to spread lies.
anti imran Nov 24, 2012 12:37am
dear dawn, i strongly protest we publishing nothing about zardari,s corruption and being president and publishing an american writer views about the most popular and honest leader among us. we really need unity at these hard times, not an american putting these offground imaginary thoughts in a n article and put up in dawn for us to read and make our blood boil . help us unite not disintegrate. IK shall come NO matter HOW. WE make sure for Dawn to be prosperous inshallah.
Amadeus Nov 23, 2012 11:44pm
I have no problem with IK as a person or a Leader, the weakest link in the chain is Khan a Politician, he appears to see the issues in simple Black & White, this may create a good sound bite but it is not good politics, real Politik is many shades of gray which IK fails to grasp
Azeem Iqbal Nov 24, 2012 10:48am
Salaam, Representing PTI & ISF Social Media Team I would like to thank you for sharing your views regarding Khan and his politics. I appreciate your point of view and you have the right for criticism and question policies of Khan as in a humane society discussion and dialogue is the only key towards real democracy, progress and prosperity and not merely using helicopter gunships and mass killing of innocent people. Time is the best judge, jury and executioner in terms of Khan's claims now. At least for all other political parties this has happened as those who are truthful understand the face of a culprit and change now. So, lets wait and see whether what your point of view is comes out to be true or what we the Insaf tigers pray and are hopeful for. Again, as a representative I am not going to release any venom on you and I believe never has any official PTI or ISF "troll" can or will do that as we respect all critics because we are officially becoming the first real democratic party of Pakistan.
Muhammad Nov 25, 2012 05:13am
The writer is taking one sided-view at a time. He is promising the other side at another time. It is like "Shikwa" and "Jawab Shikwa" of Allama Iqbal. There are some truths in the article, but this is Pakistani politics.
T.M. reddy Nov 24, 2012 11:31am
Imran Khan has no progressive ideology to put in place for his party of famous Cricketing man. Just his name as Cricket legend will not serve the purpose of food, shelter, security etc; he should use his name for the real cause not name sake. Follower should realize the name, fame, religion will not work always, it needs - real purpose, ground rules of the party to function....
Fahad Abid Nov 23, 2012 10:34pm
I dont want to agree but cant disagree either with your article such is the situation but the matter of fact is anything can happen anytime in pakistan and pakistan is a miracle country ,a country which can protect terrorism by closing mobile phones and still life goes normal , so expect anything from pakistan and my prediction for next elections is that zardari and his coalition will win the majority of seats and form govt while in punjab it would be pml n and in KP it would be pti but here is the best part i believe zardari coming into power will be blessing in disguise as then it will lead to mid term elections and probably in that elections IMRAN KHAN will surely come out as a winner and be the next prime minister ,mark my words this prediction will come true ,so definately around 2015 u will see imran as your prime minister eventually
haris Nov 23, 2012 01:50pm
So please let us know who would you think 'worth bothering' ? Nov 24, 2012 10:36am
PTI will surprise when the elections will come. People have already tested the two big parties. They want a change.
Ashraf Bugti Nov 23, 2012 08:25pm
Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri of Minhajul Quran are the leaders who will come together and I pray that all people in villages and cities votes for Imran PTI and get out the corrupt PPP/and other all parties.. It is important as otherwise Pakistan will be collapsed state.
ghazi Nov 23, 2012 07:44pm
I'm willing to wager that Michael has not ever met Imran face to face. If so, he would definitely have not described him as having a 'large frame'. Yes, he is supremely confident, in a humble, honest and candid way. Certainly, Americans are worried about his popularity as are all other individuals or parties who would prefer a servile, greedy and corruptible person in power with whom they can 'negotiate.' He is, without doubt, the best hope for Pakistan and this is not just coming from Urban, middle-class conservatism. His support is strongest in the rural pockets of Pakistan.
Ali Nov 24, 2012 10:50am
I also became doubtful of Mr. Khans popularity until I met a taxi driver in Dubai. He was from North Waziristan and way he idolised Mr. Khan was same as my mates from Grammer School do. He said in his area everyone will vote for PTI. I do not want to generalise but the support majority in cities part might be wrong as we can not really find out ground realities sitting in a foreign country till we meet people from villages and rural population. Mr Kugelman we can just wait and watch, this time our elections might be more unpredictable than our cricket team.
sali Nov 23, 2012 07:39pm
Imran has killed his chances by showing sympathy for Taliban and not strongly condeming them. He will suffer from Malala fall out.
nasir khan Nov 23, 2012 02:12pm
nice article,it all makes sense, well written by a man who has brain and can think straight for a nation which is full of emotions. our common man has been tortured so much that they are expecting some miracle which doesnt happen these days. still the better option will be Imran Khan ,I wonder how Imran will deal with Army/Mullah/agencies/population explosion/unemployement/illetracy/militancy/america/corruption/sectarianism/hypocrisy and the false belief that we are the best among muslims.
muhammad Nov 27, 2012 02:44pm
where in cities only and what about rural areas which constitute two third of our population where tribal traditions are still hold strong
muhammad Nov 27, 2012 02:30pm
Are you replying to zain or venting your anger, whatsoever, please note down that PPP will again win the general elections because there is no other federal party who can keep this country united
Asad Faizi Nov 23, 2012 06:50pm
These seem like wishful thoughts - where is the analysis? I would be impressed if you had presented the arguments, but you just presented the conclusions - without any reasonable explanation. Asad Faizi
Ikram Nov 23, 2012 06:50pm
Count the likes for pro Imran comments. You'll calculate his popularity
Zohaib Nov 23, 2012 06:44pm
Yes i think it's right.
sdf Nov 23, 2012 06:37pm
Well I don't think thats true about IK. He doesn't at all support those who consider shia as non muslim. Don't be too judgmental that quickly. Take your time to assess him. I am sure he's a better option, much better than Zardari or Nawaz Sharif
Qadar Khan Nov 23, 2012 06:27pm
I polled my vote last time way back in 1988 in PPP favour, and in regret I never went to a polling station ever since. This time I am going to cast my vote in favour of IK, no matter what. My wife and two sons are also very keen to join me in voting. I am doing this to save my coming generations from the exploitation that I have gone through. I hope and pray that IK and his party will meet our expectations.
Shahid Masud (@HotMasud) Nov 23, 2012 06:24pm
You are so right
Shahid Masud (@HotMasud) Nov 23, 2012 06:19pm
I don't understand why Dawn always have to delete my comments
Azhar Nov 26, 2012 12:35am
And you are who? Why should people even listen to you.
Umair Nov 23, 2012 02:56pm
Change doesnt come in one day my friend .... patience and focus both are key to success. Your intention was correct alas u couldnt sustain it because deep in your heart you dont feel anything for Pakistan. Enjoy your life in Germany. God Bless u
skeptic Nov 23, 2012 08:40pm
i think the writer has done a pretty good assessment. though i am a fan of khan sb as a few in public life in our country have done as well as him (and that too on various counts). his leadership charisma is certainly visible to observe but his political party needs time to mature and to get to another level of political execution to defeat the quagmire of current environment of anarchy,myopic beliefs,corruption and down right nepotism.the order is too tall too fight against and his team are frankly at this point not prepared enough to undertake such a huge challenge. even if he happens to come into power(which unfortunately seems unlikely) he would need nothing less than 5 years before with some consistent efforts he might making some positive deep impact. we need to understand and appreciate as a nation that there are no quick fixes in the world and nations need time to rebuilt,so a long way to go and i hope for our country's sake that it's upward.
Salman Tariq Nov 23, 2012 07:06pm
It's a logical article, but I don't agree with the part about Imran not condemning the Malala incident. He condemned it in the strongest words. And about your prediction on elections, I hope - for Pakistan's sake - that you are wrong... I hope Imran beats all odds (read Nawaz media spending spree) to become Pakistan's PM..
Amir Rashid Nov 24, 2012 11:35am
Dawn is doing a "great service" to the nation by its extensive efforts to kill a rising hope for the people of Pakistan. Publishing the views of western people completely irrelevant to the society of Pakistan is a very cheap way of presenting itself as a modern and liberal paper. Instead of helping reform based political movements, it is doing its best to place all possible barricades on their way. People of Pakistan be determined and make sure that such forces don't succeed.
haris Nov 23, 2012 01:55pm
OK. I like your idea but could you suggest such Reforms. Not all but may be few important ones at least.
Non-pakistani Nov 24, 2012 11:14am
Its extremely unfortunate If this is happening, urban people need to engage themselves in Pakistani political revolution, effort must be made to involve rural counterparts in the revolution soon otherwise Pakistan will get domed. Imran or PTI are not the only stakeholder of this nation, common Pakistani need to contribute their bit to insure remake of Pakistan.
Ghufran Naeem Nov 24, 2012 04:15pm
Imran khan and all PTI fans,if you want to dream please do it.but you are in love with a cricketer as i am in love.but when it comes to politics. He can never be the Prime minister in next 5 times.
Sohrab Nov 23, 2012 01:45pm
People deserve and get the leaders they resonate with....rightly or wrongly. That is the beauty of democracy. My problem is not with IK alone but with the IK trolls as well. This is a young generation grown up in the post Zia era who have no idea how the right wing sway of the country in that decade, has brought this country down to its knees in the comity of nations. These are young kids understandably angry with the present state of affairs, are brainwashed in middle class morality by a right wing media. Many hate the US and the world ideas in general and filling this political vacuum for them is going to be this hero in shining armor. In this they are ignoring the stark right wing leaning of this hero who may ultimately take all of them down. I would hate to see Pakistan slide any further away from the world order. I wish the younger generation stops hero worship and vote for the best candidates who have thier interest at heart. Democracy is by the people, of the people and for the people. Again democracy is about the people of Pakistan and not about family dynasties or for that matter demagogues.
haris Nov 23, 2012 01:47pm
The dis-appointment from the behavior of society let you change your mind so quickly. Wow! You should first analysis yourself why were you supporting PTI and IK? The grudge you have against the Pakistani society is meanwhile targeting WRONG entities . You should avoid it.
Azhar Nov 26, 2012 12:06am
No relevance to the article. You are merely trying to impress people with your irrelevant commentary.
AHA Nov 24, 2012 01:17pm
I agree, absolutely.
Tariq Nov 24, 2012 07:29am
Writer seems to have no idea about what is going on in PTI still wanted to blog it.
ozair Nov 24, 2012 06:16am
Yes, two parties only! Close second to having a Dictatorship.
Waqas Shaikh Nov 23, 2012 04:19pm
An American writing about Pakistani politician and making prediction may be right. They are the one behind the scene who decide the future leader of Pakistan.
Peace Nov 26, 2012 08:24am
Personally I think, the writer is right. Mr. Khan's party would show it's existence in next election, by winning few seats. But, to talk about a clean sweep will be exaggeration keeping in view the existing sociopolitical system of Pakistan. Good luck for 2018 election, though...
muhammad Nov 26, 2012 11:37am
umer Nov 26, 2012 06:13am
a biased article......khan has a policy....y u dont ask this from pml n ....wats their policy about drones would they stop the drones.......
Adil Jadoon Nov 23, 2012 04:41pm
Ralph Nader's situation is very different from IK. He will never near the popularity of IK and PTI is slowly becoming a well oiled machine with resources to rival its competitors, something Nader never had. Also IK does not have any legitimate rivals, just a bunch of corrupt and feudal despots.
Qadar Khan Nov 24, 2012 01:53pm
A good reply to this biased article!
FawadRehan Nov 26, 2012 05:35am
A very good analysis, wonder why TIP fail to realize the reason for his declining popularity. In my humble opinion, When Imran launched his party, the call for Insaf and revolution and also his western education and his likeable image as a cricketer who did it his way, put him directly on the left of the political spectrum, an icon of change in Pakitsan, something which Pakistani politics badly needed, especially more so after there is a clear void of left-politics in Pakistan after the recent PPP tenure, in which they tried everything to please the establishment. Imran had a very good chance to fill the void with the help of his educated urban youth support, he rather chose to follow the path which has been tried and tested by lots of Pakistani political parties before, which is to be a part of Military-mullah alliance.
zeeshan Nov 24, 2012 01:51pm
people in rural areas have access to internet, otherwise the comment count would have been different and that is the whole point this articles revolves around....
ozair Nov 24, 2012 06:05am
What a travesty though that Americans couldnt ever elect Ralph Nader with all the attributes columnist wrote about to the presidency and quite unique in the last thirty years of American Presidential history with the exception of perhaps JFK and Jimmy Carter. Quite telling about the American political system.
Yusuf Nov 24, 2012 04:56am
'Khan's position is sorely at odds with public opinion'; agreed! In mid July I wrote Shafqat Mahmood asking him the PTI position on a blasphemy case in Bahawalpur. I am still waiting for his response. Sitting on the fence is a dangerous course ....
Fawad Khalid Nov 24, 2012 04:11pm
Imran Khan has been famous for his U-Turns also, people joining or leaving does not effect the party stance but what does is surely the stance changed or neglected by the party leader or lets say only Khan does it. Once talking to a ticket candidate of PTI , he was of the view that only one person damaging party is Imran Khan himself, he being someone who has no political vision or sense to run the country . Building castles in the air and renting it out to youth to live false hopes.
faysal Nov 24, 2012 01:57pm
Sorry budy , you don't have a clue what you talking about. Lived whole life on land and telling people how to survive in water. These people do PHD's and sit on tables with coffees in hand and try to take analyze third word countries. Sorry Man that time is gone when people use to read and believe everyone and anyone!!!!
Roster Nov 24, 2012 02:00pm
Pakistan does not need a politician to run it, but an honest leader with steely nerves and lion's heart.
ozair Nov 24, 2012 05:53am
I am glad someone said it the way it actually is. This is the bigger picture and every thing around it from Taliban in and across the border from Malala (although my heart goes out to her and her family) to even the president of Pakistan and the sectarian divide are all methodically created to keep us from looking at the bigger scheme of things.
Dr Khan Nov 23, 2012 04:39pm
Day dreaming. Living in fool,s paradise.
Visibily Invisible Nov 24, 2012 04:49pm
you are right about one thing "the days are gone when people use to read" in Pakistan. As Stephan Colbert said we believe in guts not facts
Fawad k Nov 24, 2012 04:33pm
I am not sure how good or bad is IK but honestly there is absolutely no hope without him. If it is PPP and PML taking turns then God bless us.
Ye Z Nov 24, 2012 07:42am
Which planet do you live on?
Goldberg Nov 24, 2012 03:50pm
sure. zardari will deliver on the 'roti kapra makaan' promise. only that he will deliver it to the swiss
Raju Nov 23, 2012 03:05pm
Please see my reply above to Ahmed Saeed Thanks. Raju
Shakeel N Nov 24, 2012 07:34am
I think it is matter of perception. Sitting miles away and without meeting general public can't give true picture. Though popularity of PTI and Imran Khan has gone down a bit, but still it is much popular in the region and can get significant number of seats in the upcoming elections.
Javed Nov 24, 2012 12:36pm
PTI is the only hope for the nation which has been systematically smashed and disintegrated by all beneficiaries of this evil system of politics and governance. They are fearful of losing their control and influence they have been enjoying in their respective domains of power at all levels whether it be politics, business or any other area of life. They all have united to create doubts about PTI ability to rule to country and bring about change freeing the people of the miseries. In the media, these people are constantly spreading various types of doubts about credibility of PTI and its leader. For example, doubts about Imran's ability to stand as leader on the basis of his being new to politics, his being corrupt, his being in-experienced etc, doubts about PTI's popularity on the basis of BIG NAMES leaving the party and limited to urban areas etc. Agents of these pro-status quo class act as analysts, media persons etc. are trying their best to make the party and its leaders controversial in an effort to avoid their worst nightmare i.e. PTI winning the election and Imran becomes Prime Minister. Just a point to highlight. If PTI or Imran are not active in public or media does not mean its popularity has gone down. They are in organization phase. They are going to hit at the right time at the right place. Just wait and see.
Ch. Allah Daad Nov 24, 2012 03:19pm
You don't need to bring examples from US politics, few people here know Ralph Nader. In Pakistani politics, the comparison with Mr. Asghar Khan is more suitable.
Dilawer Nov 26, 2012 07:56am
Please do not equate Imran Khan with Ralph Nader. We do not want American system where there are more than 2 parties but common folks are made to think that there are only two parties. I think you need to read the political history of Pakistan and visit the place first before becoming the armchair expert.
usman Nov 23, 2012 04:59pm
You have right to express your views.But what i think the next election should be on performance not on excuses.If the people of Pakistan remember (not the sixty five years) just five years of their national history the result would be different.The current rulers both federal and provencial are grooming their children and thinking of their family assets not the (deperived of every thing)poor public.
Abol Hasan Nov 23, 2012 05:17pm
Michael you are wrong, You have failed to understand the broad sentiment on Malala Issue and the depth of the Khan's support. His young followers have been energised yet once again on fulfilment of his promise to conduct Party elections and get out of the family politics.
Cyrus Howell Nov 23, 2012 05:16pm
Ralph Nader was a liberal and a flash in the pan environmentalist in Pennsylvania state government. Imran Khan is not that liberal.
Aj Nov 25, 2012 09:33am
You may be right in your first stanza but should we be loving Zardari, Sharif or Altaf "BHAI". I think he will be best amongst them
Anup Nov 26, 2012 12:16pm
Well, probably the weakest team before 1992 World Cup was Pakistan but we know what happened in the end...he has that aura about him that gives me a feeling that somehow he will be successful in what he has set out to do
Suhail Nov 23, 2012 05:10pm
Dr. Khan, You are off target, as usual. Show me one statement of his where he has supported talibans. On the other hand, he has always condemned killing of Shia Muslims and minorities in strongest terms. I can refer many statements to this effect. The problem is I will never be able to bring you to the truth.
Cyrus Howell Nov 23, 2012 05:58pm
I can recall when any Chinese person wanted to move to another city he or she had to have a police permit. I understand from DAWN that there are farm laborers who basically are locked in on farms by their landlords and cannot go to a city. Part of America's success is that there is freedom to relocate anywhere in the country. Mao Ze-dong and Henry Ford were farm boys who left the farm. They did relatively well in Life.
Shaduram Nov 23, 2012 05:54pm
Well articulated Sir!
Parvez Nov 23, 2012 08:15pm
Imran Khan has a good chance of winning, not because he's honest or fairly intelligent or presentable but simply because the rest have been tried, tested and have failed miserably, many times over and the people are saturated with frustration.
observer Nov 23, 2012 02:47pm
Rahid, I can assure you the 25 people who gave your comment a thumb down would not know anything about Ralph Nader. They just gave thumbs down because IK supporters cannot stand any criticism.
Agha Ata Nov 23, 2012 05:13pm
What a ridiculous comment!
Shakeel N Dec 01, 2012 03:53pm
"There is a difference between politician and a leader. Politician think about next election and leader always think about next generation." -- A comment by Irfan Jilani for Imran Khan.
Usman Ahmad Nov 24, 2012 11:46am
I live in USA and I know we all are going to vote for Imran Khan.All of the other politicians are corrupt ,looters and money hoarders.They don't care about the poor peoples.All they care about their bank balances abroad.Do not take my words.Just ckeck their assets overseas and truth will come out. Look around where our neighbors are heading and where we are today.How did we get here today.Very simple.Corrupt leaders.Still divided and fighting over languages.And you know why this is happening?. This rift has been created by this corrupt politicians. Divide and rule. Poor is getting poorer and rich is richer.Same corrupt politicians are keep coming back with new slogans and new faces. In this hopeless environment,Imran Khan is the only politicians who can put our broken country back on track.He can unite the country.At least he is honest, trust worthy and educated.Not like the other corrupt politicians who boldly claim that corruption is their right. Pakistan gave us everything.And now it is our turn to do something for our beloved country.I think any body who loves Pakistan will do the same thing.Vote for a change.Imran Khan. Pakistan Zindabad
Cyrus Howell Nov 23, 2012 05:14pm
If Imran Khan gets a turn at bat it will be in five more years. It seems rather obvious. Naturally people wonder if they can wait that long, or if democracy in Pakistan will last that long. You have an Imperial Pakistan. Democracy and Military Dictators have come and gone. Imperial Pakistan is trying unsuccessfully to rule it's rebellious provinces.
Ehtesham Qamar USA Nov 23, 2012 07:11pm
There we go again. You want to be talk of the town or just popular, write something against Imran Khan. I like the concept to fail someone while he has never been in power. So his ideas suck. I got that part. Question is what are the ideas of others who have been in power again and again and again. Lets put it this way. So far he is the best choice in this mad house. After witnessing so many disasters, we have nothing to lose if IK fails to deliver. It will be the same madness, Right? What are you afraid of then. At least you tried something different.
Nasir Nov 23, 2012 05:10pm
Though I am an Indian and have no right to say anything about Pakistani politics and the leaders they elect as their prime minister or president, but I strongly feel that Imran Khan is the right person to take up the role and bring Pakistan from its current chaos. I have seen many of his interviews and speeches on you tube, its really good to see that Pakistan still has such good leaders who can speak their mind unlike how Zardari and Nawaz Sharieff do under American pressure, there by I hope to see Imran taking the charge of his country next year Inshallah. All the best Mr.Khan (Y)...
aisha Nov 24, 2012 11:47am
Has this guy ever even gone outside the comfort of his own home
shan Nov 24, 2012 03:00am
Hi Micheal, Try to read/understand Sir Iqbal's philosophy first as only that will help you to work on Imran... Success/declines the way you understand is not the case with Imran.
Syed J. Ahmed Nov 23, 2012 05:07pm
Only time will tell.... IK has alot of work to do before the elections and it's not too late to change his rhetoric about taliban. His political stance has too many contradictions to unite all Pakistani's to rally behind him.
ghazala Nov 23, 2012 05:09pm
selecting the same people again is worst than committing suicide,its do or die situation,vote for a change,vote foe PTI or die
Naila Nov 23, 2012 08:20pm
Why expect a supportive comment from an American for Imran who places interests of Pakistan first?
Tariq Bashir Nov 23, 2012 02:09pm
IF Washington knew everything - Americans wouldn't be killed in Libya.