Good intentions and hell

Published: November 14, 2011

fasi.zaka@tribune.com.pk

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I wonder if this is applicable in the near future to those who intend to vote for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and end up with Zardari yet again, their bogeyman personified.

It’s interesting to put the Pakistani elections in the context of the US presidential elections of 2000. The issues of the three-way candidacies of George Bush, Al Gore and Ralph Nader were eclipsed by vote counting problems in Florida, but prior to that the real question in everyone’s minds was Ralph Nader’s pointless candidacy potentially costing Al Gore the presidency.

Ralph Nader was more left-wing than Gore and, to some, more authentic. Nader didn’t have the vote bank to truly contest the presidency, but what he did do was divide the left-wing, giving an edge to George Bush.

That is what a vote for Imran Khan might do. Pull in those who may have been PML-N voters, dividing a sector of the electorate and allowing the PPP to coast through. Inadvertently as it may be, a vote for Imran is a vote for Zardari. Lahore proved wrong a great number of naysayers, including myself, who thought Imran Khan couldn’t pull people out into the streets. Imran has done it, proving that Pakistan has a lot of well-intended people.

Now that the PTI is a genuine force — of what magnitude is still debatable — it will be important to ensure that the goodwill amounts to a good outcome. But good outcomes are harder to come by than good intentions.

It seems good people want a good revolution. The irony is that the most progressive leader of late is Nawaz Sharif — sadly voting for him also means voting for his party, which is still conservatively reactionary. But he has been saying some extraordinary things for some time now, about the need for the subjugation of the military to the civilians, about self-reflection, about withstanding the urge to blame everyone else but ourselves for the problems we face and about dealing with India rationally. Of course, these are just words; while he was in power he had a puerile conservative streak that one cannot be certain he has abandoned.

So, if Imran Khan is not the most progressive leader of the lot, then what is the intended revolution going to do exactly? Well, for one, to give the historically unelected establishment a popular mandate.

The establishment has always been interested in military might, strategic depth and foreign affairs. But that’s misleading if one presumes they have no interest in domestic policy. The distinction between Pakistan’s domestic and foreign policy has ceded, they are one and the same. How we deal with Afghanistan, India, the Americans and militants has immediate repercussions on domestic soil, not in some distant land.

It’s Imran’s foreign policy views, and those on domestic militants, that are problematic. Imran Khan benefits from a suspension of disbelief from his ardent potential voters. His incorruptibility is all that they see. They give him the benefit of the doubt by trickling it down to his other policy measures and prescriptions, which are shallow at best and in line with the myopia of the establishment. The fatigued voter and first time voters just want some integrity brought back into the process of governance. In doing so, they are willing to make a trade-off by endorsing everything else Imran espouses, believing his domestic agenda of anti-corruption is all that matters.

The future of this will be another term for the PPP, already crippled by giving too much space to the military and having to take the blame for its follies and an even more entrenched armed forces in civilian affairs.

Zardari spent too much time dealing with a hostile establishment, ensuring his own survival and overplaying his hand by ceding too much, losing the real battle to ensure party values are enforced. In addition, severe problems of governance and corruption create the worst outcome for the party; being an unwitting member of the establishment itself in the next term. They will say beautiful things but be bound to do more of the same.

Maybe Imran Khan is playing the establishment, using its support to turn on it when the time is right, I can only hope that is true. But I doubt that’s the case. It’s now left to his urban voters to play down their seduction to the cult of personality and ensure their good intentions lead to good outcomes by asking for more than just promises of anti-corruption, and ensure the integrity of parliamentary supremacy at the very least.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th,  2011.

Reader Comments (109)

  • SUPERB
    Nov 14, 2011 - 8:36PM

    Do you think we the voters are insane? lets put it other way: voting for N-league is putting the same lot in place again. Who was acting Zardari B-team for 4 years. Do you think we are thick-headed and will stick to Nawaz?Recommend

  • Shoaib
    Nov 14, 2011 - 8:38PM

    Tou sir jee abb kis ke liye kya aap ke liye vote karein ?

    The people are tired of voting for the nawaz sharifs and the zardaris and the same old people with their same old agendas!

    Change is needed. And we see that change in Imran Khan. Period.

    You just criticise and that is what you will do no matter what happens. Recommend

  • Imran
    Nov 14, 2011 - 8:38PM

    too late now IK is a force and coming in power… Zardari and Nawaz are gone now

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  • SUPERB
    Nov 14, 2011 - 8:39PM

    Right now PTI has bigger votebank than PMLN, so voting for N-league is actually preserving the Zardari regime. We are not slaves who will stick to this corrupt mafia. We will come out in big numbers and decide the fate of this country.

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  • Saad
    Nov 14, 2011 - 8:41PM

    As far as I and all progressive people of this nation can see, Imran Khan is the best man for the job. Avoid criticism for the sake of criticism please.Recommend

  • Asad Shairani
    Nov 14, 2011 - 8:43PM

    Well written Fasi. Though I disagree with your hint at Nawaz being a leader to (even) consider.

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  • Saad
    Nov 14, 2011 - 8:43PM

    Also go read “Stupid White Men” by Michael Moore. That’ll help you get your concepts right and then consider things in perspective.

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  • Hassan
    Nov 14, 2011 - 8:49PM

    This is a total crap article!

    Does the author not foresee the future? PTI is not just a punjab/lahore party.. it is going big, especially now with the Grand Karachi Jalsa being planned it will also heavily divide the PPP/MQM vote bank in karachi inshAllah!

    The author also does not see that corruption is the underlying problem for most of Pakistani problems, especially the poor population.. to eliminate price hikes, to provide support to WAPDA, to reject USAID, to stand on our own feet is what corruption has pushed us away from.

    Mr Zardari and his team will never come again, inshAllah.. even today one of their best politicians Shah Mehmood has resigned from the party and soon others will too joining PTI inshallah! Recommend

  • Omair Shakil
    Nov 14, 2011 - 8:53PM

    The writer, like most others like him, once again fails to answer the most important question: WHO DO WE VOTE FOR IF NOT IMRAN KHAN?

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  • Ali Wazir
    Nov 14, 2011 - 8:55PM

    Arm chair analysis. Never ever saw you or your ilk ever criticize the Zaradari/ANP/MQM/Q league government till now in any of your verbose articles, spent your time vilifying PTI as unrealistic, naive nobodies.
    And now you lecture us that a vote for PTI is a vote for Zardari. I dont know whether to laugh or cry.All of a sudden you have woken to the fact that the government has tried its best to sink Pakistan.Well better late the never.
    And enough of this conspiratorial talk about the establishment and the military. Its getting really old really quick. You and your ilk generally support drone strikes, continued war in Afghanistan and tribal areas, continued american presence in Afghanistan, supported mushi in all of his follies. And now when some sanity is prevailing in our military planners you begun this incessant whining about the military bogey man.lol And what exactly in N league performance in the opposition and in the government inspires your vote of confidence??? Recommend

  • umair malik
    Nov 14, 2011 - 8:58PM

    well now these kind of authors are openly writing against PTI and imran khan……………………………these people are trying to prove in one way or other that PTI is not a rite choice………but they should know the soft revolution is already dere in Pakistan……………………and the future of Pakistan belongs to imran khan…….n u people will see…..

    Further,MR. Fasi Zaka u will see inshallah things will soon turn in favour of PTI

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    Nov 14, 2011 - 9:00PM

    @Hassan:

    Eliminate price hikes and reject US aid? Great! What would you do instead?

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  • momi
    Nov 14, 2011 - 9:01PM

    ok, i understand people have different views…but tribune.pk is way too much filled with anti-PTI opinions…

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  • Tahir Naqash
    Nov 14, 2011 - 9:03PM

    Perhaps being progressive to this guy means being corrupt,allowing american intervention in pakistan’s internal matter and weakening pakistan’s defence.does talk anyone except imran talk about tax collection?does any talk against thana system except imran?Recommend

  • S Abdullah
    Nov 14, 2011 - 9:14PM

    Fasih , I guess you havnt listened to Imran’s Interview with Karan thapar (CNN-IBN).It wasnt sufficient ?

    Some time one feels that Imran is treading a “tripple edged” sword of politics.If he is clean then what ,he has no wining candidates.If electables start coming in ,then ,huh,how will he bring revolution with such people.He should be getting 100 percent marks on each issue or else it will be a big “huh”

    On OBL operation ,he was the only political leader in Pakistan who asked for the resignation of both general Kayani and ISI chief Pasha,for bieng sleepy “while the dogs were in to catch the rabbit.”

    Also ,nawaz is going through a different dilemma ,it was army who threw him out of politics.he was put in a dark dungeon.For him ,getting even with army is much more a personal agenda.

    As long as Army is faced with a corruptable and immoral politcail elite.The day they have to deal with a leader who is high on moral grounds backed by pakistani people ,they will atleast be faced with a challenge to change their current ways.

    Hoping that PML-M or PPP will provide that moral courage is trying to douse oneself with “political morphine”.Recommend

  • ahmed
    Nov 14, 2011 - 9:22PM

    Pakistan has a parliamentary system. you can compare us with the USA. Even if IK has a handful number of seats in parliament he can use them to press his ideology

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  • Taimur Asad
    Nov 14, 2011 - 9:23PM

    What good Nawaz shareef, PML (A-Z), Altaf Hussain ANPs and other have delivered so far to the nation other than supporting Zardari? Any sane person can see clearly that Pakistani nation has got no other option but to chose Imran khan.Recommend

  • Anti
    Nov 14, 2011 - 9:25PM

    Allah has shown us signs… that PTI will sweep the next election

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Nov 14, 2011 - 9:30PM

    @Fasi,
    Both election 2000 and 2004 were cheats in american votes and solved by court.

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  • Chaudhary
    Nov 14, 2011 - 9:32PM

    I think writer is some what right also, 70% of population living in villages will vote as per caste system, Biradari system and then voter of PPP is always strong and vote for the party. So what Imran is going to do will divide the vote bank of PML N with PML Q already in support of PPP and will allow the clear run to PPP again. This is very clear and all those still thinks that Imran will win something in Karachi………well that’s a serious question mark. MQM everybody know better about them. So its lahore or major cities of Punjab where voters of PML will divide to vote Imran. Then in my personal view, Imran still lacks a potent team which has the potential of running the country as running a hospital and university does not qualify him to run the country suffering with multifaceted problems. Give it a serious thought. Then all those so much enthusiastic about Imran get themselves registered as voters and plz do vote as most of them will not come out to vote on that particular day……………..

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  • MarkH
    Nov 14, 2011 - 9:39PM

    It’s just too bad that after your first few sentences the PTI supporters will skip right to the comments section and start calling you wrong because the only right answer is Imran Khan. Probably not because it’s true but because after the rally they’ve been right for once then played it out to be so big that the very idea of admitting they’re wrong or something about Imran Khan himself should also be involved in the press for “change” makes them look silly. The one negative thing about people who support Imran Khan is that they have so few things to hold onto that the moment one thing changes from 100% the right answer to even just 99% the right answer is they lose most of their stability in their views and won’t know what to do. But, the one thing they’re sure of is that saying they’re wrong in any way is not an option after all the build up. They know there would be a field day of cheap shots and laughter after they’ve abused everyone with slightly different views when their view alters slightly. Recommend

  • Nov 14, 2011 - 9:46PM

    I am totally agree with you, but this Awam couldn’t understand this.Recommend

  • Lobster
    Nov 14, 2011 - 9:52PM

    Lahore proved wrong a great number of naysayers, including myself, who thought Imran Khan couldn’t pull people out into the streets
    So let me try another tactic to keep the “status quo”.

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  • Amna
    Nov 14, 2011 - 10:14PM

    well it vill not be an overnight magic that Imran khan got it’s boots strong in the parliament, definitely it will take time, so to argue that by voting Imran khan ,pppp vill got the stronger hold , doesn’t stop PTI supporter for casting vote in favor of him.

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  • Sahar
    Nov 14, 2011 - 10:19PM

    Expecting IK to come up with a magic stick and suddenly vanish all the problems of Pakistan is such a fabricated dream….We indeed want a change but every one is not Kamal Ata Turk….All the major issues will still persist even he wins.
    And Come on PPP always wins with 30 cent majority as 70 cent votes against em get divided b/w lot of other parties ! So some how i go with the Fasi !

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  • No
    Nov 14, 2011 - 10:20PM

    NFK, Fasi zaka & Geroge consider Imran as rightist…. They will be criticizing unless they are proven either wrong or right !! Recommend

  • Mobin
    Nov 14, 2011 - 10:25PM

    Let’s not get tied into the number games too much right now. Even an opposition divided between Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan can get more things done than to pin our hopes on a Nawaz Sharif government that holds no promise for change. The fact that Imran Khan is active in PML-N heartlands doesn’t mean he will not eat away Zardari’s vote bank. It will be a hung parliament, but that’s better than trusting our country entirely to Zardari and/or Sharif. And better yet, who known, in two years time Imran Khan gets to have mini Manar-e-Pakistan’s in Multan, Karachi etc.

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  • Hassan
    Nov 14, 2011 - 10:27PM

    Total Crap! Who says Imran Khan is not progressive? Why do you even make such assumptions? If Nawaz would have learned anything in his years in exile, he surely woudl have displayed some more maturity and political acumen in the last 3.5 years while dealing with Zardari.

    Sadly, even educated mature people like Fasi Zaka are casting doubts on Imran Khan and not just that, they are moving towards the same old routine of Nawaz or the like. I am sure he will see some sense after the next two rallies in Ghotki and karachi and further policy statements form Imran Khan.

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  • NA
    Nov 14, 2011 - 10:32PM

    Dear Mr. Fasi Zaka,

    Do you think that people in Pakistan are that foolish and blind that they can't see all the problems in the country and who is responsible for them, PPP and PMLN. Why in gods name would people vote for them again. And second thing is that corruption is causing the decline of railways, PIA, steel mills, justice system, Intermediate school results drama, inflation, and many more things. It is the principal issue.

    NA

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  • SH Kavi
    Nov 14, 2011 - 10:35PM

    I disagree with you strongly on one point i.e giving the example of USA election of 2000. You think Imran would be a spoiler like Ralph Nader in next election. I don’t think so. I don’t have a crystal ball to predict the result of the elections, but I can say with some confidence that Imran would be strong contender for premeiership and PTI would sweep Khyber PH and Punjab, considering his popularity , credibility and honesty on one hand and disdain for other politicians on the other.

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  • NA
    Nov 14, 2011 - 10:36PM

    I really can’t see the shop keepers and the rickshaw drivers voting for Zardari-Bhutto Party again. If they do even after all that’s occurred then the country is going to go straight down the drain. In fact it’s already gone down the drain. Things can’t get any worse.

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  • haroon
    Nov 14, 2011 - 10:37PM

    Mr. Zaka: Your article should be titled: Vote for PML-N to Save Pakistan. But tell me, do you really think there is a huge difference between PPP and PML-N?Recommend

  • Faraz
    Nov 14, 2011 - 10:40PM

    It’s now left to his urban voters to
    play down their seduction to the cult
    of personality and ensure their good
    intentions lead to good outcomes by
    asking for more than just promises of
    anti-corruption, and ensure the
    integrity of parliamentary supremacy
    at the very least.

    So what are you exactly suggesting??? That we give our votes to PML-N again? For God’s sake man….. Either give me a better alternative or just stop writing this drivel. 2 years ago, you were saying the same thing about PML-N’s power, that there’s no way Imran Khan can break their vote bank in Punjab. Now that he’s done it, you’re saying he can’t do it in Sindh? Let’s wait and see what happens this year now that PTI has announced they’ll be concentrating all their powers this year on Sindh. Inshaallah, by this time next year, PPP’s vote bank will also have been broken. This right-wing left-wing thing, you actually believe young voters give a damn which camp they belong to? I’m sure 90% of Pakistani voters don’t have the slightest of idea as to which policy constitutes as left- or right-wing. All a new voter cares about is his future, and if Imran Khan looks like a genuine ray of light, then so be it. There’s one thing that I am ABSOLUTELY sure about, as long as the older generation is alive (the one who has spent all it’s life living either under PPP or PML or military dictatorships), the change that we young ones crave for is not gonna arrive. So we’ll just have to wait until nature takes its toll.Recommend

  • Aamer Khan
    Nov 14, 2011 - 10:43PM

    first he was saying Imran can’t bring the common man out onto streets. Well that theory fell flat on its face. And now he wants to dictate who the citizens of Pakistan should vote for. What a waste of my time. This is not your cup of tea. PEACE!Recommend

  • Parvez
    Nov 14, 2011 - 10:47PM

    Some smart guy said ‘ Elections are not won, they are lost ‘. In the eyes of the people Zardari and Nawaz have already lost. This now has to be turned into a reality by Imran and the PTI.

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  • From Toronto with Love
    Nov 14, 2011 - 10:52PM

    Please be more creative with your analysis or lack of it and stop boring us with the old rhetoric—–Yawn Yawn.

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  • Realist. (ORIGINAL)
    Nov 14, 2011 - 10:55PM

    @SUPERB:
    hahahahaha I like your sarcasm :D
    PTI has Larger Votebank than PMLN ? :pRecommend

  • Realist. (ORIGINAL)
    Nov 14, 2011 - 10:58PM

    @SUPERB:
    incompetent Like Mian Azhar ? Like Ijaz Khan Jazi ? Like Rasheed Bhatti ?
    Like Chaudhry Ejaz Qadri ?
    Good!
    Vote against all the corrupt people!Recommend

  • Realist. (ORIGINAL)
    Nov 14, 2011 - 11:03PM

    People expecting CHANGE Better Look at Obama!
    What change he promised the people & what happened in midterm elections of USA.

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  • Jaffer Mateen
    Nov 14, 2011 - 11:07PM

    hi, the longest journey begins with a single step… It doesn’t matter if Imran Khan wins or not, he is bringing a change in the pakistani politics and the fact that ppl are supporting him indicates that they cotton to the idea of having a parliament in place which has integrity. There is a chinese proverb,” Fish rots from the head”. If the leader holds or atleast propogates high values, people will start adhereing to those ideas sooner or later. Expecting things to get better overnight is naive.. fortunes of nations are build over decades… So, my fellow readers despair not and play your role. Promote justice, equality, tolerance and support those who uphold those values.

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  • Nov 14, 2011 - 11:16PM

    I dont know to laugh or to grunt on the fact that we liberals hate IK so much that we will go to any extent to alleviate IK’s popular. Even side with someone as incompetent as Nawaz Sharif.Recommend

  • Realist. (ORIGINAL)
    Nov 14, 2011 - 11:23PM

    SPOT ON Fasi!

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  • Arifq
    Nov 14, 2011 - 11:29PM

    Common perception is that Imran Khan is the surprise factor, but I agree with Fasi, Nawaz Sharif has been the real surprise factor with his unconventional statements. Personally, I have very little faith in Nawaz Sharif because of his past policies and current implicit support to radicals in Punjab. Khan sahib hasn’t offered an alternative either, on the contrary his policies have been stridently pro establishment. Having said this, we are in a state of utter and complete disappointment when it comes to traditional political parties and that favors Imran Khan.

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  • Jack
    Nov 14, 2011 - 11:55PM

    @S Abdullah:
    I appreciate your good intentions – and everyone on this forum wants a good leader for Pakistan – even Indians like myself. But I understand where the author is coming from – if PTI is not able to take Karachi, it will remain a Punjabi phenomenon and the votes grabbed by PTI will be lost by PML-N. This will put PPP in a strong position for the next election as well. Further, PTI has closed the doors for an alliance with the other established political parties, and may not want to make a deal post-elections in case no one has an absolute majority. If they do, a lot of their sheen will disappear. If you want Imran Khan to win, you need to ensure that he wins big in provinces outside Punjab, and manages a majority on his own. Else – the situation described by the writer has a strong chance of coming true. All the best, Pakistan!

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  • "I only want to be PM"
    Nov 15, 2011 - 12:01AM

    @NA:
    With the reason as few people will vote for imran khan.

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  • Fasi
    Nov 15, 2011 - 12:05AM

    You guys think do I really care about comments? I don’t even read them.Recommend

  • wahab
    Nov 15, 2011 - 12:13AM

    boring stuff… unlike!!!!

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  • Raja Islam
    Nov 15, 2011 - 12:58AM

    @ahmed:
    What is that ideology? Does anyone know?

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  • Raja Islam
    Nov 15, 2011 - 1:00AM

    @Hassan:
    Imran is not at all progressive. He aligns himself with the jamaat-i-Islami. How many times has Imran condemned the Taliban?

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  • Raja Islam
    Nov 15, 2011 - 1:03AM

    @SH Kavi:
    Disagree. First of all we know nothing about Imran’s honesty as he has not even declared his assets nor has he told the public what his sources of income are. For someone who has been unemployed for a long time, he seems to be living pretty well.

    PTI would be a spoiler for PML(N) as they are not in a position to win too many seats. None in Sindh and Balauchistan, Maybe one or two in KP and a few from urban Punjab.

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  • Raja Islam
    Nov 15, 2011 - 1:05AM

    Good analysis. PTI is clearly going to be the spoiler for Nawaz Sharif. Whether PML(N) is the right choice or not, they will still get a better showing than PTI.

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  • faraz
    Nov 15, 2011 - 1:13AM

    You want Nawaz next time, and you think a vote for Imran is a vote for Zardari. And you also admit that PML N, which is in political alliance with banned organizations, isn’t a beacon of progressiveness. But you are not ready to take Imran’s promise to reign in the military establishment at face value. Poor argument Fasi!

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  • Asim
    Nov 15, 2011 - 1:37AM

    On his trip to Karachi, IK should pay a visit to the real Bhutto family (Ghinwa, Fatima, Zulfiqar Jr)… It will surely turn into a nightmare for Zardari and PPP… All the best IK :)

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  • SUPERB
    Nov 15, 2011 - 1:49AM

    Mr Fasi, these articles are too little, too late. We are no more naive to be distracted by such analogies. We will go for change and the symbol of change is Imran Khan

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  • Malik
    Nov 15, 2011 - 1:56AM

    Imran Khan should join hands with PMLN in order to fight zardari

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  • F Khan
    Nov 15, 2011 - 2:27AM

    I think a PMLN-PTI alliance could have been the best for the country for now.Lets take like this that if I vote for PTI and end up having a second term of PPP coalition again.I would never forgive myself. IK need to be realistic.He can not win election with a majority to form government with all his recent popularity and swing.The people around him are not advising him well.Get out Zardari first and than we can see who should be the next PM.

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  • Mirza
    Nov 15, 2011 - 2:39AM

    In the next elections people would vote for the same local pir, landlord, or professional political family that they have been voting for all these years. Imran Khan is not going to contest for each NA seat and most of the population would elect the same old religious or political families. Elections are not a revolutionary process and the results of the certain seats have been the same in the past. With the education and only after several elections there would be a gradual change in this trend and attitude of electorate. The friends and allies of Taliban and JI are neither progressive nor revolutionary. How does IK differ from JI, they also have “good moral character” and support Taliban.

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  • Hassan
    Nov 15, 2011 - 2:42AM

    @Makeel
    TAX COLLECTION NOT CORRUPTION COLLECTION! that is how rejecting USAID will help us! declaring assets by the politicians, bringing their milions (maybe even billions) of dollars and rupees and riyals back to PAKISTAN and then making them pay their TAXES! that is how!

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  • Hamood
    Nov 15, 2011 - 3:18AM

    @Sahar, your statement “And Come on PPP always wins with 30 cent majority as 70 cent votes against em get divided b/w lot of other parties ! So some how i go with the Fasi !” is incorrect. PPP was heavily defeated by Nawaz League twice in the 1990s. And this time because of its sheer unprecendented incompetence and corruption, it will be thrown out of the office for many many years by PTI.

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  • Zareen
    Nov 15, 2011 - 3:55AM

    Imran deserves a chance – no matter what!! Had enough of these sharifs and zardaris! Please stop giving this very old logic who want the status quo to continue – no matter what! If you see it as a risk – let it be – if we don’t this risk NOW – we may be even bigger trouble!! Please, for once, be hopeful and start seeing the positive side also.

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  • usman
    Nov 15, 2011 - 4:17AM

    Fasi u dont care about the comments………

    do u think we care about you or your opinion or your so called analysis that is highly biased………………. atleast have the courtesy of saying that i do not support pti becasue of my vested interests and i would rather would for PML N or musharraf

    pti is going to swepp the next elections quite comfortably….. even if pti grabs the whole punjab they will get a majority in national assembly……….

    but pti will get punjab, KPK and urban centers from sindh, gilgit batistan & balochistan.

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  • Omair
    Nov 15, 2011 - 4:40AM

    to your comments regarding IKs domestic militant solution please can you tell me, isnt it a liberal point of view of giving “right to live”, to safe guard human rights, to avoid collateral damage, to not sentence without fair trial. i believe IKs policy on stop the bombing and drones, negotiation and smoking militants out is the most liberal point of view ive heard. just because the current policy comes from the west doesnt make it liberal, in fact it seems more imperial. tell me would US ever bomb any of their cities just because they suspect terrorist are present. they would try to smoke them out, making sure as minimum life loss of their citizens. tell me if army suspects that there are militants right next to your house, would you prefer them bombing the place?

    as far as foreign policy is concerned it is based on self respect and sovereignity. i guess we have been too used to it being trampled. have nothing left.

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  • Majid
    Nov 15, 2011 - 4:58AM

    After looking at all above comments, I must say, knowledge does not come from lums, nust, gik, oxford or harvard. It all comes from mother’s cradle. So called educated middle class is unable to see the obvious but only one rant IK.

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  • arslan
    Nov 15, 2011 - 7:02AM

    even if zardari wins again nobody will accept him and will surely throw him out . right ?

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  • Khan
    Nov 15, 2011 - 9:23AM

    Very Well said, especially the last para. If we’re going to vote for Imran Khan who very proudly wears the label of “Incorruptible Leader of Pakistan”, we MUST demand more from him than just No Corruption policies. Corruption in the government isn’t the only thing that plagues this country, nor is it the most serious at the time. We need serious implementable economic policies, foreign policy, and domestic security policies that help minimize the threat from extremists.

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  • Nov 15, 2011 - 9:58AM

    This does not make any sense to me.

    Why do you think that it is just Sharif who’d be losing a significant following to IK? Wouldn’t PPP be losing part of its votebank to Khan as well?

    A voter doesn’t vote for “Opposition” or “Government”. He votes for whatever candidate he thinks is best. While Nader and Gore were relatively like-minded liberals, IK and Sharif are worlds apart, each offering something very different to the voters. If anything, PTI has increased the odds of PPP losing in the coming elections.

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  • Adeel Ahmed
    Nov 15, 2011 - 10:02AM

    Many have miscalculated, I can tell you that there is no hope for PPP and PTI will dent PPP most in KPK and Punjab.

    Its Psyche, that PPP voters will vote PTI instead PML as their old rivalry.

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  • Azam Khan
    Nov 15, 2011 - 10:03AM

    This is outdated, boring and sounds like a broken record. Shah Mehmood Qureishi is expected to join PTI on 27 November and if he can persuade the Murtaza Bhutto family to join the PTI platform (he is reportedly trying to just that) Imran & PTI will also make significant gains in Sind. Recommend

  • The Reader
    Nov 15, 2011 - 10:39AM

    @MarkH

    Totally ridiculous and sentimental piece. Respect difference of opinion, will you please? why can’t readers voice their say? Why is it such a big deal to see people not agreeing with you or others? It’s is their prerogative to choose and support whoever they want to. Next time please come up with something rational. And while you’re at it, you have to lump it that Imran Khan enjoys an overwhelming support on Internet and now streets!Recommend

  • thornberry
    Nov 15, 2011 - 10:53AM

    i believe an average voter has the rite to choose..but keepin in mind the fact that our rural population still can overturn the whole votin scenario cuz our feudal system still will vote for the old system..sooo even if we the relatively well off wanna sink our teeth in the bringin the change scne we gotta influence n educate n convince… the people for the better option……. n why aint imran goin to the major vote bank of the voters…..???? beats me wat does he want???Recommend

  • san
    Nov 15, 2011 - 11:14AM

    @Fasi
    You are always worried about foriegn policy which is not our core issue right now. All matters right now is our domestic policy. People basic problem is get food, shelter and good education for their kids. This is the core issue and Imran is best of all who could help to create such opportunities to public and bring economic revolution. Thats the reason i’m gona vote him..:)

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  • Rakesh
    Nov 15, 2011 - 11:15AM

    Let me argue to view Imran’s ascent, not purely in terms of end-game.

    Imran’s voters represent a segment of population that is fed-up with the status-quo and they are willing to exercise their democratic right to disband it. This is a rare exercise in our political system and should be encouraged, in the absolute dearth of options we have.

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  • KiJ
    Nov 15, 2011 - 12:32PM

    IK is no Ralph Nader… Wait and see how the tide is turned on PML-N and PPP by the Pakistani people…

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  • Nayab Hayat
    Nov 15, 2011 - 12:42PM

    @all
    can i have any sort of link where IK shows FBR documents of his tax details? His wealth tax return and his assets details.. So far after making allegation on NS for 5k tax and then back tracking on it.. I have only seen him coming up with stories of Gifts and plot from dada ji and historical value of 300 canals..where in Tax you use present value..as declared by revenue megistrate of the area….If any PTI blind follower has any sort of authentic document details to IK assets plz put up a link

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  • Nadeem
    Nov 15, 2011 - 12:49PM

    @SUPERB:
    How has it been determined? Vote bank is something which can only be determined in an election. Rallies? well PML N and PPP have heldbigger rallies succeded by defeat in elections. Be relaistic.

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  • Kafka
    Nov 15, 2011 - 12:55PM

    I totally agree with Fasi. Imran will break away urban votes from PMLN while the rural vote bank of PPP will remain intact. The so called revolutionaries will get rubbed from the wrong side.Recommend

  • SnT
    Nov 15, 2011 - 1:55PM

    Man, i feel sorry for these PTI supporters…..so many disappointments in store for them both in the elections (if they happen) and in Imran’s performance (If he comes to power).

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  • Shayan
    Nov 15, 2011 - 2:07PM

    Apparently IKs rally in Lahore has given many PML-N supporters quite the hemorrhoid. I believe IK with even one seat in the national assembly will be more effective as an opposition than the PML-N ever has been.

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  • Nayab Hayat
    Nov 15, 2011 - 3:14PM

    @shayan..meri jan he had 1 seat in his 15 year political history…

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  • Ahmed Ilays
    Nov 15, 2011 - 3:42PM

    Dear Mr. Fasi Zaka,

    Previously you use to bash IK like anything, at least now you recognize him as political force.Recommend

  • Lobster
    Nov 15, 2011 - 3:50PM

    @SnT:
    The same statements were made for Lahore, and now the world knows who was in sorry state after it happened. Some are still in this state of denial!

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  • rizwan
    Nov 15, 2011 - 4:14PM

    very ordinary article

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  • Rameez
    Nov 15, 2011 - 5:19PM

    @fasi i wish writers like you actually read the comments so we could have a logical discussion to decide who is wrong and who is right as far as ur logic goes we should vote for pml(n) a party who has been supporting ppp govt instead of a party who opposes ppp and all those who have been supporting it(pmln) in the past .I consider my self a liberal as am writting this comment i am listening to a news about a pmln mpa beating up a clerk so you would reather have me voting for people like those instead of IK? I am sorry i can’t do that .
    2) As to your point about it might get ppp back in power well i’ll admit theres a slight chance of that happening but you win wars by betting big taking calculating risks you can never win by playing it safe and this is war .War against corruption,nepotism, in justice and getting our selves rid of people who have deceived us time and again. To me IK is the best choice coz at least he sticks to his guns and is honest. Can you say that about any other leader?

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  • anwar
    Nov 15, 2011 - 5:21PM

    Teenage beauty queen ‘stoned to death’: Report

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  • Nadeem
    Nov 15, 2011 - 5:31PM

    @Tahir Naqash:
    Thana system is not on our priority. infact its the lowest on it.

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  • uH
    Nov 15, 2011 - 5:57PM

    Excellent article. It is at least based on logic and common sense rather than on whim and impulse, which seems to be the order of the day in the national press.

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  • Eymaad
    Nov 15, 2011 - 6:48PM

    Excellent writeup fasi.. 100% agree with you

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  • drjikhan
    Nov 15, 2011 - 7:06PM

    @SUPERB: Right now? i think you are too much an idealist. people of the rural areas still see imran khan as a cricketer. i think he needs a little more hardwork, rather alot of harwork, before the time of ”right now” comes. if thats not done, i’m afraid he might not be able to become a force to reckon with in the next elections.
    P.S. I agree with imran khan on all matters except FATA and Waziristan problem. because he has become a self-proclaimed expert on waziristan after eating a few ”dunbaas” and ”goats” that might have been cooked to serve him when he went there more than a decade ago. waziristan has changed alot since then. believe me. I belong to that place.

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  • Daniyal
    Nov 15, 2011 - 7:49PM

    So, Mr. Fassi Zaka of all that criticism to PTI and change from the current government, what basically youve suggested is that the electoral system should be abolished and these 2 parties or just Nawaz Sharif should be allowed to rule Pakistan?

    Bohot pyarri baatein kerte hain, solution nikala karrien ap bi. :)

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  • umair
    Nov 15, 2011 - 9:05PM

    Very good point! Voting for Imran Khan equates voting for Mr. zardari, this is true. There is no doubt Imran Khan is under the strong influence of Establishment.

    Whole country is crying over PPP but Imran is focusing Nawaz, WHY? Because NAWAZ has anti- establishment stands.

    PML N has performed well in PUNJAB, and those who exploit Natural Disasters like Dengue for politics. My message for them: If you can face natural disaster together how could you become a leader. And if you LAB can serve nation for Rs.90 per test then you have no right to comment over Dengue!Recommend

  • Abbas from the US
    Nov 15, 2011 - 9:26PM

    I remmember the 2000 elections, when we had a divided family in terms of political expression. I voted for Bush prompted by an assertion by ICNA (the Islamic Circle of North America) that Bush would be good for those that identified with religion (I can remmember being a non practicing Muslim at that point). My wife has stayed as a democrat all her voting immigrant life in the US. My son who was in his mid twenties at that point found Ralph Nader endearing and representative of the democratic values, that the actual Democrats as a party occaisionally sell out to the US establishment.

    It appears that Imran may be on the point of taking the votes away from Nawaz Sharif’s political allies and for all practical purposes a vote for Imran will be ultimately Sharif’s loss. A friend of mine who editorlizes a Pakistani viewpoint on the blogosphere in the US thinks Imran will not be duped by Nawaz Sharif as was the case in 2008.

    The May 12 episode has left a schism that cannot find closure in the Pakistani national consciousness. I remmember speaking to Imran in 2008 while he was on a visit to the US and he seemed to be irreconciliable to the idea of MQM as a representative political force.
    Off course politics makes strange bedfellows, and I wouln’t be surprised if these two saw polical accomodation with each other, but that would also mean that Imran would be compromising as a first step in pragmatism or making a pact with the devil as others would see it. But without the MQM Imran in any coalition would seriously be undermined by lack of support from Karachi.

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  • PK
    Nov 15, 2011 - 10:22PM

    @umair:
    wel said and to the point.

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  • Ahmed Ali
    Nov 15, 2011 - 10:38PM

    Seems like u r on the payroll of PML-N telling us to vote for the corrupt ruling mafia party which was a FRIENDLY OPPOSITION WAITING FOR THEIR TURN until 30th Oct.

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  • MH
    Nov 15, 2011 - 11:57PM

    The writer is right. As much as i support IK i cannot help but think along the same lines that Nazwaz loss is Zardari’s gain. So the million dollar question is that can we stand another PPP Govt?

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  • Abubakar
    Nov 16, 2011 - 12:30AM

    I second your point of view Mr. Fasi. Its a fact and no one can deny that. If our nation got emotional on the name of ‘Change’, which is apparently coming from Mian Azhar, Shahid Akram Bindar, Jaazi khan, Faiz Tumman etc, then we will do the worst to this country and will throw it back a number of years.

    Nawaz Shahbaz are the most mature, sensible and experienced politicians who have learnt from all the games of international community and the internal agencies. They seem determined to bring a check and balance on army and bring a real change through policies.

    Zardari, Gilaani, Altaaf, Imran and Chaudaries are all one and same and their agenda is to target the most popular and patriotic democratic force of this country.

    Zara Soocho!!!

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  • fahad
    Nov 16, 2011 - 12:55AM

    Well I don’t even give a hoot about the reasons for voting for Imran Khan………here are the potential other candidates that I can vote for a) Nawaz Sharif b) Zardari c) Asfandyar Wali d) Altaf Hussain………so who do I chose if I am not voting for Imran Khan? that’s a tough one……

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  • Afridi
    Nov 16, 2011 - 6:23AM

    Fussy my dear, I have to admire your role and the performance of your duty in the best possible way. What you wrote is what you do (90%) and what you think (10%). You are concerned and worried but you wish that the promise of change some how magically materializes. We need people like you who will keep doing their jobs no matter how good things get. Worst than Imran Khan’s policies and euphoric idiology are people like you and I who have a very rough idea of the actual problems and no idea about the solutions. Your article is much more suited for Obama and Imran comparison where both are agents of change and Obama has proved to be status quo only in black. If Minar-e-Pakistan changed your sense of people’s strength, Karachi, Islamabad, Quetta, Peshawar and Tribal Areas will drop your jaw. Keep doing what you are doing and let the people and the youth in particular prove you wrong. All the best. Recommend

  • Prometheus
    Nov 16, 2011 - 3:30PM

    Imran Khan is as much progressive as Rick Perry or even less so. Do not in your “perfect image” of Imran Khan negate the principles of rationality.

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  • fasiha
    Nov 16, 2011 - 5:15PM

    Imran Khan is working for Zardari… He also dont know wht his moto is… he just blameing…. he use offencive language for the atta ulla haq qasmi.. a very respcted known writter… ALLAH BLESS OUR COUNTRY..
    Fasi you always write Right! Recommend

  • Nov 16, 2011 - 5:18PM

    **

    Fasi… I Agree with You… The Vote
    For Imran Khan is basicaly the Vote
    For Zardari..

    **

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  • Amanzeb Khan
    Nov 16, 2011 - 5:22PM

    It is a wrong impression some people are creating that Imran is right winged or siding with extremists. His stand against the war on terror is logical and a good alternative. Otherwise, he is against the radicalisation of society, he believes in tolerance. He is against militancy of any kind. He says that he says no to any kind of terror. He is even against the “jihad” waged by militant groups on India. He even has population control in his manifesto. So calling him a Mullah without a beard or Taliban Khan can not be further from the truth.

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  • Imran
    Nov 16, 2011 - 5:31PM

    @fasi
    So are you saying that we should be stuck with Nawaz and Zardari forever, because voting for anyone else would devide votes for either of these nincompoots. How progressive are you Mr Fasi!

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  • Ali Raza
    Nov 16, 2011 - 9:58PM

    I totally agree with you.

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  • sanjithmenon
    Nov 17, 2011 - 7:35AM

    the problem with pakistanis is that they lack patience? they feel that since a faith based state is a reality, everything will fall in place. it doesnt, it takes a lot of pain and effort to develop a democracy. its organic in nature, you cannot pull out the democracy every five years and check whether the roots have grown or not.

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  • Agha Nabeel
    Nov 19, 2011 - 2:08AM

    the writer is just making a point that by casting a vote to Imran, we would actually be strengthening Zardari and the people who think that PMLN is a Bteam of PPPP, i want to ask a question from them that PMLN is the party who arranged a rally in Lahore against corruption, loadshedding and inflation. PMLN is the party who brought the issue of rental power plants into Supreme Court. So how can you say this???

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  • Muhammad
    Nov 22, 2011 - 6:30PM

    Now here’s the thing dear anti and pro PTI people.
    Worst case scenario is that the PPP gets another term because of exactly what Fasi has described. That is very, very possible and maybe the exact motive of the establishment. i.e break the back of Nawaz group at the cost of anything, even another PPP term which works in the favor of the establishment.
    Best Case Scenario: All these arm chair analysts (hey, who says arm chair analysts dont make sense sometimes) are proven wrong and Imran is right with regards to the fact that they actually do sweep the elections. Will he be able to bring change if he is elected. Any realistically thinking person would agree with me when I say OFCOURSE!

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  • Taha
    Nov 24, 2011 - 8:15PM

    @Fasi: ‘You guys think do I really care about comments? I don’t even read them.’

    if you dont , then you shouldnt be bothered writing an article. or just keep it to yourself !
    sharifs zardari everyone has been tested, no one yet has given any good to this country. when these few politicians who already have done enough harm to the country, why not give imran khan a chance and then see what does he do. there is no other option left.

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  • Ramish
    Nov 24, 2011 - 10:17PM

    Woaah! The level of tolerance everyone’s got! Recommend

  • Atif
    Dec 31, 2011 - 8:02AM

    ” It is the job of a critic to leave no turn unstoned” – George Bernard Shaw

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