An incomplete dialogue

Published: October 22, 2011

ayesha.siddiqa@tribune.com.pk

On a friend’s asking I finally decided to invest my money in Imran Khan’s recently released biography. And I am glad I did, not because of his deconstructive rant on the country’s politics but because of something more interesting — something that I’d call Khan’s incomplete or unfinished dialogue on religion and Pakistan. I wonder if Imran himself is aware of the real strength of the book. He may be too focused on politics — which is fraught with problems such as concentrating too much on picking holes in other’s politics rather than give a forward direction. But let’s not waste more time on this.

Refreshingly, Imran’s ideological politics does not follow the Taliban. In fact, after reading the book one is sure he is not a Taliban as many accuse him to be. His sympathy for the Taliban and what he considers as Pashtun tradition, and anger against the US is driven by his suspicion of the damage that American presence has done to the region. Or perhaps, his companions like the Jamaat-e-Islami or even Hamid Gul influenced his conclusions about the war in Afghanistan. In any case, many of the liberal-nationalists have similar views. Over the years, many Pakistanis, like Imran Khan, have become ever more confused on what to make of Taliban and Talibanisation. But his discourse on religion and the state does not seem to have followed the Jamaat or Hamid Gul script. While some may call it naïve, which it is partly, I would call it an unfinished conversation in which the author has struggled to find the liberal forces within religion. For instance, for Imran, the role of the state in Islam is that of a welfare state. Clearly his inspiration is not Wahhabism or Deobandism but comes closer to the Sufi-spiritualism that he seems to have drawn from his mentor: one Mian Bashir from his hometown of Lahore.

Like Benazir Bhutto’s last book, Imran’s has also been written for a foreign audience as an effort to disabuse non-Muslims (and Muslims) of their ill-founded perceptions of Islam as being a religion of violence. His constant citation from the Holy Quran is aimed at highlighting its rationality and inherent call towards peace. This is perhaps closer to the political formula suggested by the Tunisian leader Rachid Ghannouchi that aims at reshaping Islam’s political discourse and making it inclusive of other faiths and communities with the purpose of introducing a political system that brings
coexistence and yet is devoid of the abject hollowness of the capitalist system.

And this is where Imran needs to come forward and engage in a dialogue with himself, other people and his own supporters regarding getting greater clarity on making religion less of an anathema. It’s worth remembering that the Arab experience of religion and their fundamentalism is very different from our own in South Asia. A lot of people just naturally make the mistake of thinking that whatever is applicable in the Arab world can naturally work for Pakistan which is not correct. Ours is a more jingoistic and xenophobic type that aims at violently eliminating the opposite rather than absorbing the ‘other’ through a dialogue and creating greater space. So, it would, for instance, help Imran Khan if he were to read Maulana Masood Azhar’s three volumes on jihad according to the Holy Quran in which the interpretation is set against the ahle-kitab — the people of the book — Christians and Jews.

It’s also a fact that the average worker of most political parties, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, is increasingly unsympathetic towards the plight of the Ahmadis and other minorities that Imran so bravely highlights in his book and in some of his talks. Similarly, he seems not to keep silent in condemning Salmaan Taseer’s murder. The question that Imran Khan really needs to ask himself is, given the current ideological direction of the entire Muslim society in Pakistan, where does he find the possibility of rationalising the rabid discourse? The Ghannouchi formula may not be applicable to Pakistan as our current ideological bearings are rabid and bound to destroy the ‘other’. Not that this is not already happening. We are seeing a rapid erosion of liberal-inclusive spaces. However, there is a great need for rationalising Islamic-political discourse all over to minimise the conflict and allow for the growth of happy societies. Unfortunately, a lot of people including the great cricketer are boxed in a society that cannot imagine and think more openly. In this situation, Imran has to find a way of critiquing his Jamaat companions and using his stature to bring greater rationality. Not to forget, we don’t want to loose another politician in the Taseer way.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2011. 

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Reader Comments (55)

  • Oct 22, 2011 - 10:45PM

    I am pleased to read something written by Ayesha Siddiqa without mentioning or criticising Pak Army…………. for the first time since many years.

    Well done lady.

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  • kashfi
    Oct 22, 2011 - 10:48PM

    so u did it ayesha

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  • Realist.
    Oct 22, 2011 - 10:48PM

    party time for torus today :P
    LIKES will be in hundreds :P
    BET anyone?

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  • Ali Tanoli,
    Oct 22, 2011 - 10:52PM

    Writer seems more confussed in her writing when she is accepting at a time Imran khan
    is good and then he gotta be better in same contest.Recommend

  • Khalid Munir
    Oct 22, 2011 - 10:56PM

    That is the problem with him. he does not show a way forward. To many questions he does not have the answers, . how he is going to achieve all what he says? The FATA he remembers is the one he visited as a cricket hero. He does not realize that everything has changed. A new social order or a disorder is prevailant there. he is confused on many issues including religion or pakistan being a religious state. He is trying to ride the anti american wave just like MMA did in 2002, but then memories of B52′s carpet bombing were fresh in the minds of the people. So much has changed. People of FATA and KPK saw the Taliban’s way. He may get votes in Punjab for his anti american stance, not in areas which have tasted the taliban rule or had a close brush with them.

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  • Oct 22, 2011 - 11:14PM

    I haven’t read his book but in talk shows, the only solution he presents to every problem is America leaving this region. How will this stop fascism and change the biased opinions of our nation. I’d like to see how much his popularity falls after he expresses his views about Ahmedis and Taseer case.

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  • Parvez
    Oct 22, 2011 - 11:24PM

    I hope Imran Khan takes your pragmatic advice ..
    Your views on the rabid religious sentiment injected into our masses is spot on. Dialogue and debate will not stem the rot, it will have to take its natural course.Recommend

  • Shehrbano Taseer
    Oct 22, 2011 - 11:41PM

    Why is everyone so obsessed with putting his religious beliefs into a box? Who cares?

    I want to know his policies and stands on energy, nuclear + weapon proliferation, education, sanitation, bilateral relations, trade, and esp. THE ECONOMY… No-one asks these questions and he has never touched upon these topics. What is Imran Khan going to deliver to us in that department?

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  • farrukh
    Oct 22, 2011 - 11:53PM

    I suggest writer to go thru book once more :-) i found it niether unfinished nor incomplete.

    In fact it was for us youth of pakistan and clarifies lot of dilemmas we are facing.

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  • Shahid Jamil
    Oct 23, 2011 - 12:09AM

    Clearly his inspiration is not Wahhabism or Deobandism
    but comes closer to the Sufi-spiritualism …

    Clearly the lady has no clue of what she is talking about except for what she seems to have read about Islam in the writings of western neo-conservative intellectuals.

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  • Falcon
    Oct 23, 2011 - 12:15AM

    Ayesha-
    First of all thanks for writing a review. Seeing a positive review for IK is a fresh breeze in the midst of all the IK bashing that goes on. I agree 100% with you that IK has strong spiritual sufi leanings in his attitude and I find it very helpful, a centerist approach rather than extremes of the ideological spectrum. It also goes without saying here that for any leader to rise in this nation, he will not only have to bring institutional reforms and economic reforms, but also the ideological fine-tuning that makes up the very fabric of our thought structure. We are still not that far off the track, so there is certainly a hope!

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  • Malik
    Oct 23, 2011 - 1:09AM

    @Khalid Munir: Well, if you know so much, why don’t you join politics and save Pakistan?

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  • Oct 23, 2011 - 1:10AM

    has imran changed? the book has many unusual statements yet his press statements did not resemble with the contents of the book. one should read the book, it is a good study yet his below the belt criticism on legendary shaeed benazier Bhutto is a bad taste. at this point Imran lost his faith on mian bashir sufi ism and followed his Old swing yet Aysha did not mention it.

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  • Zoaib
    Oct 23, 2011 - 1:17AM

    According to what I understand, Imran’s contention is that the polarization that we see in Pakistan today with respect to different religious views is a fall-out of the War on Terror, which we adopted without thinking of the consequences, just as we had adopted the Afghan War many years ago. Both of these wars have split our society and polarized opinions especially on religion. And it has given a lot of “fodder” to religious parties, some of which exploit people on religious issues.

    In my view, the only long term solution is to have a uniform education system (which Imran also talks about), which would replace not only English Medium, Urdu Medium schooling but also integrate the Madressah system in Pakistan. Musharraf tried to do this, but he was labelled as a lackey of the West (rightly so). Only a credible leader can achieve this feat. Otherwise, there would always be widespread suspicion about what his real motives are.

    The focus should be on the personality and vision of Allama Iqbal. He is truly a figure that most Pakistanis can agree on and it should have been like that in the first place. After all, he was the ideological founder of Pakistan. Yet we see little mention of his political philosophy anywhere. Just some verses thrown here and there, which few people understand truly. This is especially true for the English Medium School students.

    Another aspect is that by providing Justice at the grassroots and focusing on welfare of the people, there are few chances of “insurgencies” cropping up and less so for extremists to hijack any such movements. A case in point was the Swat issue, where a rights issue was cleverly used by some for their own ends.

    But for all this we need a leader who UNITES Pakistanis, who people trust, who comes about through a strong mandate of the people. Only that kind of leader will have the moral authority to LEAD and GUIDE the national discourse into the direction you talk about.

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  • Anwar jalal
    Oct 23, 2011 - 1:28AM

    what the writer has stated in the concluding para is important The question that Imran Khan really needs to ask himself is, given the current ideological direction of the entire Muslim society in Pakistan, where does he find the possibility of rationalising the rabid discourse? The Ghannouchi formula may not be applicable to Pakistan as our current ideological bearings are rabid and bound to destroy the ‘other’. Not that this is not already happening. We are seeing a rapid erosion of liberal-inclusive spaces. However, there is a great need for rationalising Islamic-political discourse all over to minimise the conflict and allow for the growth of happy societies.

    Recommend

  • Iftekhar
    Oct 23, 2011 - 1:53AM

    @Sheherbano Taseer, well for khan solution of all this is specialized ministers. But would like to hear him on national integrity issue. As I have heard him, he has no clear sense of nationalities issues as he lacks sense of history. Religion is cure for all for him and Jinnah as well. But problem is most of today’s problem and issues of state and politics can be traced back to Jinnah’s style and desire to get Pakistan by kook or crook. His hollow sloganeering of religion defense of Ilamdin is one such example. And when he stood in constitution assembly he not even for once referred to golden principles of Islam to be implemented. so in all that narrative of Pakistan politics religion is very relevant to be honest PPP n Khan can be natural ally but for PPP much tainted now. Except that Khan changes his western dress while on way to home PPP and him has much more clear and transparent ideas about society unlike Sharifs who instead of staying and seeing eye to eye or taking responsibilities of deeds run away. I mean not their Jeddah deal but recent absence on Raymond Davis’ release and now Hillary’s visit. And that Ch: Nisar ‘Mister No’ …. it is all ok to deal with India while his party is in power but why all that crying when india is granted MFN status now? And Fasih is much better than their own Ehteshab ur Rehman.

    And one thing more Taseer sahib will be remembered as hero for telling the truth and standing for it.

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  • Jehanzeb
    Oct 23, 2011 - 2:15AM

    Someone said Imran Khan doesn’t show a way forward clearly. Ayesha Siddiqa says he is partly naive in his discourse on religion and the state, and this is where he must come forward with others to pursue clarity. We complain, and rightly so, that extremists of all kinds have narrow-minded views that exclude others unjustly. And here is Imran Khan, commited to some basic values, while creating openings for society to engage freely, and we’re getting fearful because we can’t see ahead clearly. Freedom means the future is not set and also scary for not being clear, but that is the only way we get to shine our own light on it and create it. It’s a positive sign that we don’t have a leader who tries to be too detailed about everything but humbly keeps to the few simple ideas that he believes to be paramount. And the truth is, his simple ideas compared to the empty chatter of other leaders is sublime wisdom.Recommend

  • Iftekhar
    Oct 23, 2011 - 2:27AM

    it is unfinished as after this USA withdrawal another decade long war will be fought with Islamist mindset of Qadris and Mangal baghs, which Imran is conveniently disregarding under the sweep of Pashtoon revenge tradition. but as some time back another writer has demolished his tradition of revenge’s claim by citing killings of Pashtoons and women n children which is not permitted under that code.

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  • Ali
    Oct 23, 2011 - 2:40AM

    Simply put, Imran has what is probablt the only solution for combatting terrorism and extremism. The solution is education and lots of education. To improve education, we need a less corrupt government + bureacracy (think ghost schools, and the recent intermediate marks scandal). Therefore corruption has to be eliminated or atleast significantly reduced.

    Secondly, education sector needs more funds. You get more funds by improving governments ability to collect taxes. This is something IK has stressed time and again. Fancy speeches on TV or in western press, uttering condemnations wont combat terrorism. Only education can, and its a fight for the longrun, no quick fixes are possible. We need to better educate our children, its as simple as that.

    The US, Taliban and War-on-Terror equation, well IK might appear “in-coherent”, but the essence of his argument is: US leaving and stopping drone attacks, will help in reducing new recruits for the terrorists. Its a known fact, that terrorist groups use US presence in Afghanistan and drone attacks as a major propaganda tool to boost recruitment and fundraising, something the Pak Army + Government has not been able to counter efficiently by their ambiguous statements and policies. IK might not be a new “Jinnah”, but he is significantly better than other options.

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  • Realist.
    Oct 23, 2011 - 3:12AM

    @Shehrbano Taseer:
    BINGO!

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  • Asjad
    Oct 23, 2011 - 3:56AM

    Imran Khan’s actions doesnt speak of what you talk about here unfortunately. He just seems a b copy of the Jamat e Islami…I hope he puts his words into action and his political speeches aswell. This could just be an attempt to engage the liberal section of the society…and those who read:)!

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  • sabawoon
    Oct 23, 2011 - 4:20AM

    Ikhan agenda, broaxen the tax net, abandon afghan transit trade, make overseas money transfers market compatible with hundi, computerise patwari system, increase education budget,, change foreign policy, and implement local government etc.
    Dr ayesha is an intellectual and i acknowledge some of her views. KHAN is the current best. VOTE FOR PTI!!

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  • amin
    Oct 23, 2011 - 4:34AM

    well if you watch one of his videos in youtube during his interview or book launch ceromony i forgot, he said that in pakistan the debate of islam is impossible because one who questions get killed even if someone does something minutely related with religion he gets killed like salman tasseer. this is because people are angry in general about the system and more angry they are the more they become intolerant.

    i wanted to mention this because i want to show you that imran does recognize the problem and also the solution. there is no way his tough stand against such issues will help to sort them, it can however make them worse. It is rather through nation building, improving a system , providing people relief from zardari and nawaz. Only after that he can addres such issues. For the start he needs vote and and he cant afford to lose votes for something that is the by product of the REAL problem.

    i hope you understand that solving the problems of pakistan will slowly end religious fanatisicm like pre 1980s

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  • Truth Seeker
    Oct 23, 2011 - 6:30AM

    @Shehrbano Taseer:
    Nothing, because he knows only about corruption and drone attacks. Rest of the ‘departments’ will continue functioning as usual.

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  • Exposed
    Oct 23, 2011 - 7:02AM

    I like Ayesha more than anyother socalled liberal writers be cause she is not foreign stooge like many foreign funded bashers.

    After seeing many U-Turns and failures of both PPP and PMLs, Imran Khn is the only option we have. He is the leader of the energetic youth and he can force people to pay taxes.

    We have seen both PPP and PML( all a-z) looting Pakistan from their houses to public gatherings and from bank accounts to businesses abroad.

    Its time to unite agaisnt all corrupt and stand for the champion IMRAN KHAN

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  • Mirza
    Oct 23, 2011 - 8:12AM

    @Shehrbano Taseer: Imran Khan is a one man show and he can deliver everything in the world to poor Pakistanis. Just like the rightwing parties used to say “if only Iftikhar C, is restored all the problems would be solved”. In a similar way, Imran would alleviate poverty using the army of angels he is hiding in his closet. All the social problems that you have so eloquently pointed out can be taken care of this messiah and his angels. When Imran Khan comes to power all the Pakistanis would meticulously become true Muslim just like justice Iftikhar C, changed Pakistan. The entire defense budget would be spent not on nuclear weapons or DHA but on public education, healthcare, power generation and other civic needs. God would provide “barkat” to Imran Khan and all problems would be solved including the religious extremism and ethnic cleansing. Thanks and regards,
    Mirza

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  • Whatever
    Oct 23, 2011 - 8:42AM

    @Shehrbano Taseer:
    talking about policies, stands on energy, nuclear + weapon proliferation, education, sanitation, bilateral relations, trade, and esp. THE ECONOMY… Why don’t you visit http://www.insaf.pk/docs/PTImanifesto.pdf

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  • Siddh
    Oct 23, 2011 - 9:09AM

    I am not a big fan of Imran the politician but guys let me defend him here on one point only… We ask of Imran on show us the ‘way’ exactly how he will take this nation out of this current turmoil. But have we asked the same question from Nawaz, Shujaat, Altaf and Zardari??? What roadmap do they have for us? Are we gonna go beyond the politics of the parliament and the Holy Book? So yes, may be for once I am thinking of giving Imran a chance to see what he can do…. before I decide to vote for him again or let him perish!!!

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  • Sarkish
    Oct 23, 2011 - 9:13AM

    @Shehrbano Taseer:
    I agree completely. However, decoding and understanding his ideological stance is also important. Unfortunately the liberals, nationalistic or otherwise are too freaked out by his religious leanings and closeness to JI, They won’t accept him as a legitimate option untill those suspicions are relieved. Ayesha is one of the most objective analysts we have in this country; someone who doesn’t mind revisiting her positions if there is evidence to do so. Hopefully, an analysis like this one will help ease the hostility against IK among the liberals somewhat, and help them look past the Taliban Khan type labels. Whether IK knows it or not, he needs intellectual support from the left and it is in liberals’ best interest to reach out and start a constructive dialogue with PTI. Being combative may push him further to the right which will be a loss to our political set up. Other than PPP, this is the first time we have another party in Pakistan which seems to have followers in most of Pakistan, regardless of their ethnic,social or religious standing. PTI has the potential to be a true centrist party. Whether one agrees with PTI’s agenda in its entirety or not, this fact alone cannot be a bad thing for Pakistani politics and society. I believe it is in this context that the misconceptions about PTI and IK’s ideology become critical.
    May I also suggest that you should do a hard hitting interview with IK to cover the issues that you brought up ? I’m sure Pakistanis everywhere will appreciate it immensely.

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  • ayesha
    Oct 23, 2011 - 10:31AM

    I am a fan of Ayesha Siddiqua besides being a namesake. I generally agree with the direction of this article but disagree with the following:
    “It’s worth remembering that the Arab experience of religion and their fundamentalism is very different from our own in South Asia. Ours is a more jingoistic and xenophobic type that aims at violently eliminating the opposite rather than absorbing the ‘other’ through a dialogue and creating greater space.”

    I think the use of word Soh Asia should have been replaced by Pakistani. This is because Indian and Bangladesh Muslims are not “jingoistic and xenophobic type that aims at violently eliminating the opposite”.

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  • Rafi
    Oct 23, 2011 - 11:34AM

    It is evident that you have perceived the truth about Imran Khan, or should I say, certain aspects of him.
    Just as one gets this feeling from reading your words, one gets this sense about Imran, that he is on the path of good.
    He is setting the platform for others to join and serve with skill and good intention.

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  • yousaf
    Oct 23, 2011 - 12:33PM

    Do not worry Ayesha we are not going to loose another “politician”,by the name Imran Khan,because luckily this is one thing that he is not.

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  • Umer
    Oct 23, 2011 - 1:36PM

    @Shehrbano: don’t care about religion? Really even after losing a father to the confusion of the religious discourse?

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  • Momina Khawar
    Oct 23, 2011 - 2:03PM

    Wow, this is a strange but a positive one from Ayesha Siddiqui! I’m glad she read the book and understood Imran Khan’s religious ideology. It’ll be a good step for other Imran-bashers as well to study the man and his philosophy, rather than having their arguments based on bits and pieces. Looking forward to Express Tribune publishing more balanced articles on Imran Khan.

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  • An EHM
    Oct 23, 2011 - 2:06PM

    @Shehrbano Taseer

    Have you even heard him? He talked about these issues many times but he cannot in detail because the talk shows or public gatherings are not meant for this purpose. If you want detail, which you should as a journalist, then visit PTI website and you will get everything you want. I am surprised that being a journalist, who should behave in a more informed way, ask this question like the common supporters of political opposites.

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  • Huzaifa Osmani
    Oct 23, 2011 - 2:49PM

    @Khalid Munir: “everything has changed”. And who was responsible for that “change”. The Pakistani Army!!!

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  • kilo tiger
    Oct 23, 2011 - 4:40PM

    Imran spoiled his image very early in his political career by showing in the company of people like hamid gul and qazi hussain ahmed he was once seen even praying behind the qazi!!he will have to ‘do more’ to clear his image and keep such notorous and regressive characters at bay

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  • zalim singh
    Oct 23, 2011 - 5:10PM

    great article mam.

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  • mariam
    Oct 23, 2011 - 6:21PM

    So another anti imran khan article….For all those who are afraid of imran khan’s increasing popularity I must assure you just because he is the only patriotic leader after jinnah doesnt mean he will be given any chance of getting Pakistan out of the mess..As its mentioned in the Quran that “jaisi kaum hoti hay wessi hi hukmuraan un per musallat hotey hein ” and since our nation is getting worse and worse and people like the ones who wrote the article increasing and the actual supporters of Imran khan just talking and not actually going out to vote for him during elections and who prefer to sleep on their beds during elections …I do see worse people winning next election and not imran khan…So just relax ayesha …Just CELEBRATE he is not coming Good luck with the leaders u are having :)Recommend

  • Freeman
    Oct 23, 2011 - 6:43PM

    @Khalid Munir: I do not agree with you asImran Khan so many times discussed on the TV programs what could be the way forward. You need to check his tv interviews as well as PTI Official site. He is the only Party who told his clear program to this nation. Others are following him i.e PML (N). You should not comment here until you really have full knowledge about Imran and PTI future.

    Imran khan has been addressing to youth for the last 10 years now PML(N) and PPP also started same thing.

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  • abuwajeeh hashmi
    Oct 23, 2011 - 6:53PM

    very strange , the repected lady has not criticised military in her article

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  • Freeman
    Oct 23, 2011 - 7:09PM

    @Mirza: When someone honestly work for cause and do hardwork I beleive that work can be achived successfully. I beleive Imran Khan is the only person who can deliver better for Pakistan and People of Pakistan to take Pakistan on the right path.

    I have watched on tv his so many interviewed. He has explained his future programs on different issues how they will deal the problems and put the Pakistan on right track.

    Mostly people who are commenting here against IMRAN are not really seeing his full capacity.

    We need a person who is really hard working, Sincere and honest and have a good Plan for Pakistan to take it in future to make it best country in the world. Who have good qualities and concerns for PaKISTAN. Imran Khan has those qualities and he can deliver.

    1- Why we keop this country in Status quo?

    2- Why we beleive those old Political Mafia that they will deliver as the never done that before despite they have got the chance couple of times before to form the govt?

    We really need a change that inshallah Imran will bring that change in Pakistan and future generation of Pakistan will have better life.

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  • nasir
    Oct 23, 2011 - 8:11PM

    @Shehrbano Taseer:

    he has spoken about those all issues wich u mentioned. i don’t know how did u miss that. may b u already made your mind about imran so u dont want to listen. he talks about economy in every interview.

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    Oct 23, 2011 - 9:29PM

    @Exposed:

    “Force people to pay their taxes”?

    You must live in La La Land.

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  • Realist.
    Oct 23, 2011 - 11:45PM

    Specialized Ministers means TECHNOCRACY.
    NOT democracy!

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  • Pakistani in US
    Oct 24, 2011 - 7:29AM

    This article was re-tweeted by NFP who is one of the biggest critics of khan’s political naivety and ideological inclinations. It’s a nod of approval from one of the leaders of liberal voices, so it means liberal may revisit their position of they see things improving in how IK runs his political career.

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  • Rah Guzr
    Oct 24, 2011 - 8:10AM

    Pakistan has tried many over and over. Mullahs, Military, Democratic Govts, Dictators etc and most of them have delivered nothing and have failed badly in many Departments.
    Why not give a Chance to Imran Khan and test his capabilities instead of dragging people from the 80s and 90s into Power over and over. He might be Naive but atleast he is honest and this is what Pakistan needs at the moment. Imran has clearly shown his regard over heavy Corruption and is willing to fight it the first thing when he is in Power. he is right when he says we dont need all the AID that comes to kill our own people. We create a Talib/Mujahid everyday in FATA by doing so and by allowing the Drone attacks.

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  • Ali
    Oct 24, 2011 - 8:23AM

    I believe IK is riding on Anti Americanism and Anti Politicians wave for the time being and will look into other issues once he is in the position for it. His aim, right now, seems to get in power and for that he believes he needs no policy but bring out masses on the street through dharans and other measures. This will not only show his power but will also portray him as the best choice for care taker Government in case our Generals decided to take their chance.

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  • Mirza
    Oct 24, 2011 - 9:36AM

    @Freeman:
    I hear you loud and clear. All I am saying is that we have to be realistic and should take personal responsibility. The attitude that someone would descend from heavens and change our plight is a fiction. Honesty hard work and responsibility is the key beside true education. I have no doubt about the qualities of Imran Khan and some others but banking upon one man to change our plight cannot be further from the truth.
    Thanks and regards,
    Mirza

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  • Oct 25, 2011 - 1:58AM

    You didnot mention his time and again mention of Iqbal as his religious mentor?
    Why do the local liberals shun Iqbal? without reading and interpreting, I cannot understand.

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  • babar
    Oct 25, 2011 - 7:58AM

    i dont know why we picking on imran khans views towards talibans and fata and how hes confused about some religious beliefs one thing we should know that pakistani society is a very complex one its not easy to give soloution straight away give the man a chance and see what he brings to table rather then been skeptical of him after reading just one artical and second thing look at his vision hes gonna work for you youth gona get you a better future and his greatest strength is his integrity and honesty which you wouldnt find in any of other main stream leaders who have just corroupted the whole society and nation and assembled personal fortune with factories and foreign assests but where as imran khan he provoided you with only cancer hospital in south asia and institute like namal university . and 1 more thing me been living here in west and know how these countries have developed and thats imran khans biggest plus point he lived here studied at oxford he knows how to get this economy nation up and running and he cant do that alone you youth have to help him bring the change otherwise you lot gona repent rest of you lives cause the rest of can only give you yellow cabs no other vision and i wont say he is perfect but he is best amongst all of them …

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  • Vinod
    Oct 25, 2011 - 5:22PM

    **Hi all Pakistani brothers and sisters. Frankly, I don’t know much about Pakistani politics. But I have a feeling it would do the average pakistani to think in terms of the economic development of the country – industrialisation, education, sanitation, infrastructure, power and so on.

    Once a country and all its people become rich, or at least well-off, they will have plenty of work to do and things to enjoy, and religion will be put back where it belongs – in the heart, mind, sould and the very being of the individual. Religion, I believe is something very personal – a connection between the individual and the Source, of which he is a part. It really surprises me to see people actually going to war with each other over religion. No founder of ANY religion would ever advocate war!

    Once religion becomes a national issue, it loses its very purpose. And I am talking about all religions of the world. May good sense prevail all over the world. And this is not possible so long as people of the world choose to be indifferent or accept the politician’s word for what they should do regarding religion. Every human in the world must resolve that religion is their personal matter and they will never fight, nor allow anyone to fight, in the name of religion.

    Amen!! **Recommend

  • Infidal
    Oct 27, 2011 - 12:14AM

    Interesting read

    However you do not realize how infidel see pakistan and how pakistani behave with non-muslims

    Recommend

  • Shehzad Hameed
    Oct 29, 2011 - 11:47AM

    Imran Khan’s honesty is enough for me to vote for him; a quality which is least talked about in Pakistan’s political discourse. Religion is someone’s individual matter and should not be given importance at the state level. Recommend

  • Nov 6, 2011 - 1:39AM

    Dear editors

    Please ignore my comment – I inadvertenly included it here while reading this post, when in fact it was meant for Dr Siddiqa’s more recent post! Apologies.

    Recommend

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