For the professionals, a political activism is the new gold mine

Published: February 15, 2012

“The educated class is awake. For the first time, Pakistan has risen,” declared Imran Khan. PHOTO: INP

KARACHI: “The educated class is awake. For the first time, Pakistan has risen,” declared Imran Khan while addressing smartly-dressed professionals at the launch of Insaf Professionals Forum (IPF) (Sindh) on Sunday.

The chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was on a visit to Karachi to launch the IPF which hopes to lure experts of different fields to work with the PTI for the ‘development of the country.’

Businessmen, bankers, corporate executives and others from the attended the event to see what Khan had to offer to them.

“Fifteen years ago when I would invite a businessmen to join me, they would shrug it off,” said the PTI chairman. “But now when corruption is directly they have realised that it is necessary to be politically active.” However, Khan didn’t refrain from blaming the educated class for the current state of the country. “We are responsible for it,” he said. “They could have stood up against the injustice but they remained silent because they were scared.”

After this, Khan moved on to bashing his opponents. He called Nawaz Sharif “A parrot sitting on my shoulder which copies everything I do.” Laughter erupted in the hall when Khan referred to a promotional film shown in the event about PTI. “Now he is distributing laptops to youngsters with Shahbaz Sharif’s face on them,” Khan continued. “But he should know that the youth will join PTI after they get the laptop!”

The president of Engro Corporation, Asad Umer, said that he had no intention of joining the IPF himself but encouraged others to join it because it was a “great initiative.”

Wearing the green t-shirt of the last year’s cricket World Cup, he quoted Plato and said that the educated people can make a difference by joining politics. “Stand up and be counted,” he said, as the crowd cheered for him. Earlier the educated elite always opted for military rule, said Umer. “All of us sitting here have had fabulous life at the expense of a vast majority of the nation,” he said as he glanced towards the room. Now they have a responsibility to speak against the unjust system and indulge in caused-based advocacy. “Appear on television, revolt against the unfair tax system,” he advised. However, Umer said that he was surprised that the PTI did not raise their voice against the tax system.

Businessman Jehangir Tareen, a key member of the PTI, informed the audience that he was heading a group to make policy matters on the country’s issues. “This month, we will present a proposal on how to improve the energy problem of the country,” he said, adding that he was working closely with think-tanks and experts.

The president of the IPF, Faisal Malik, said that the forum was created because the professionals were getting disheartened. “We wanted to unite experts and create a forum to discuss their issues, make them successful members of the political community.” Currently, they have 75 members but Malik hoped to surpass 1,000. The forum will be launched in other cities too.

The people who attended the event seemed to be thrilled. Salman Shad, the director of a pharmaceutical company, said that it was good that they were working with people who made a  difference in the country. A banker, Sayem Ali, said that he joined the forum to get in touch with other professionals and deliberate on economical issues and problems.

Working women also hoped to bring about some change. Ameena Shahrukh, who works at a school for the hearing impaired, said, “Skilled people do need to come forward to save the country.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2012.

Reader Comments (7)

  • Nadir
    Feb 15, 2012 - 3:26AM

    “The educated class is awake. For the first time, Pakistan has risen,” What a slap in the face of political workers, rights activists, peasant workers, and labour unions, who have been protesting, striking, fasted for days in protest against exploitation for decades, all while being exploited by the same people sitting in the IPF. Why dont these guy start paying up their taxes honestly? Imran Khan gos on and on about politicians taking money abroad, but industrialists in our country have rigged the system, gaining exemptions and benefits for decades, while stashing away their wealth overseas, Dubai, London etc.

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  • Ahmad Nazar
    Feb 15, 2012 - 10:09AM

    There is hope now due to credible face like Imran Khan. PTI has many professionals in its folds and many new faces. This is attracting people like us who were sitting idle to take part.

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  • Feb 15, 2012 - 11:10PM

    @Nadir:
    Stop seeing the Glass “Half-Full”. Everything IK says or does; You are BOUND to criticize him. See your comments over the last few months. Same stuff: PTI-bashing.

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  • Sikander
    Feb 16, 2012 - 12:27AM

    @Nadir:
    no country can progress without businessmen and entrepreneurs. taking then on board is necessary and collecting taxes is a simple matter of offering benefits in return and a fair chance of progress and infrastructure development that further leads to business development. businessmen will never be happy paying a dime of tax but they have to be lured/convinced/regulated to do so. Your negativity is baseless.

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  • Sikander
    Feb 16, 2012 - 12:30AM

    @Nadir:
    and did u forget to mention the countless times he has talked about broadening tax net (even in this gathering) or did u choose to ignore it to falsely substantiate your propaganda.

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  • zafar bhatti
    Feb 16, 2012 - 1:30AM

    @Nadir:
    fault of the tax collectors which are directly under the govt and why should tax be paid if it is to go in the pockets of the ruling elites and not a penny to be spent on the tax payers

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  • JAM
    Feb 17, 2012 - 12:06PM

    “Now he is distributing laptops to youngsters with Shahbaz Sharif’s face on them,” Khan continued. “But he should know that the youth will join PTI after they get the laptop!”

    yeah that’s true. our youth is awaken. we are still with you IK

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