Elections in Parkistan are around the corner and as is the norm, all major political parties are hectically trying to muster support of the public for their win. Here in the West, an election day is like any other day and people either poll their vote after or before work, or just by opting for a postal ballot. Before the elections, you hardly hear of any such big public rallies or loud speaker’s announcement as is, otherwise, the case in Pakistan. The elections of 2013 will come and pass by like any other election of the past with candidates delivering high pitched, pompous and verbose speeches of hallow promises. Leaders appear in public on raised stages or platforms with belligerent voices and fiery speeches with self-praise and castigating their political opponents. However, like I said earlier, this is the norm; this is the way; this is the fashion politics and elections go in Pakistan. A constant replacement of old wines in new bottles is always the result of the so called democratic process in the country.
Some quarters think Imran Khan is the alternative. They presume that the public have already tested the major political parties and their leadership have miserably failed to deliver. Corruption, injustice, suicide bombings, unemployment, nepotism, favouritism and a lot many other issues have played havoc with the lives of the common masses. People are dying of hunger, children are forced to work, shortage of electricity and gas is a daily norm, while killing and torture in broad daylight are the new rules of law. Naturally, people must be looking for some alternatives to get them rid of the rampant corruption, lawlessness, illiteracy, and above all, give them an environment to live in peace! They think that as Imran Khan was able to grab the world cup in 1992 and was a big success to built the giant Shaukat Khanum memorial Hospital, he would rid the country of all the problems straight off the bat. If the people of Pakistan, out of deep frustration, vote for Imran Khan and he snatches the reigns of power, would he be really able to deliver? That is the big question and it is, indeed, difficult to answer especially for those who have attached their hopes with Mr Khan.
Mr Khan may be the alternative to only win the elections- and that too seems only a distant reality- but what is his plan to bring change? In order to bring about a change, one must direct people towards a solution systematically by offering ways and means. A “real alternative” would be someone who can show the nation a new vision and direction; someone who can inspire people through his charismatic leadership by mustering huge support and by winning their hearts and souls. Such a leader would need terrific support from the people who would be willing to sacrifice to any extent to bring about change. In order to test the water or to gauge its depth, bitterness and sweetness, Imran Khan might be just an alternative but not a real one.
1. PTI lacks vision
Looking at the manifesto of Pakistan Tehrik Insaaf, we find that there is nothing new or directional. It talks about the issues and problems anyone else talks about. It does not tell us how shall we steer the ship in face of the formidable storm; a ship which is stuck in the vast and deep blue sea. What is the vision? How shall we get there? What is the ground work? What are the roles and responsibilities? We do not find any solid answers to these questions in the so called progressive manifesto
2. Correct yourself before correcting others
The manifesto talks in high pitches about family, Islamic values and democratic process. Family plays pivotal role in maintaining the social fabric. True! Very true, indeed! But look at the party office holders at the helm. Most of them are people who have an open revolt against the very basic concept of maintaining a family. Before anything else, a husband and wife are the two foundations of any family structures. Mr Khan, himself (unluckily) was not able to maintain the “fabric” in his own house. The manifesto also pretends to champion the cause of Islam by making the country an Islamic republic. Do Mr Khan and the clique around him fulfil the very basic requirements of being called Islamic Leaders. A leader of the Muslims is called Khaleefah or Ameer-ul-Moomineen and his kingdom is called Khilaafah. Does Imran Khan really fit to be given that title? He, even does not qualify to become the member of the Shoora according the article 62 (d) and 62 (e) of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973.
3. Recycling the Old Stuff
Javed Hashmi, Mehmood Qurishi and those others who were deserted or kicked out by their previous parties are posing to be the Ibrahim Lincolns and Winston Churchills of the nation. These are the same old gifts in new luxury presentation boxes, or as the saying goes, “old wine in new bottles”.
4. Lack of Ideological definition
Nations change on the basis of ideologies. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) revolutionised the society by giving people an ideology. He defined his aims. He defined his goals. He demarcated a line. He inspired the people. Any revolution, by definition, is making things upside down and downside up! In simple words, it means a complete change. The French revolution, the Communist revolution, the American independence, all completely changed things. Behind all of them were two things-beside others- ideology and charismatic leadership. Khan and colleagues, unfortunately, do not possess both.
Some of those who support Mr Khan might be seeing a gleam of light at the end of the tunnel. They may be sincere in their intentions. They are the drowning sailors who shall even raise their hands to a pirate boat let alone a rescue one. It is not to doubt the intentions of Mr Khan. He must realize, though, that the task he is struggling for is far greater than a world cup or building a hospital. It needs far greater vision, leadership and sacrifice. It needs ideology, direction and charisma. It needs a group of committed people other than the bragging and self-applauding Javed Hashmi. It needs team mates other than the forsaken and deserted Mehmood Qurishi. It needs cool comrades other than the bellicose Haroon Rashid.