The common man can make Imran Khan win

What PTI still needs to do is rally itself more around popular and leftist goals and do more for the common man.

Taimur Arbab July 14, 2012
Will Imran Khan and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) ‘sweep’ the next general elections?

Well, Imran might not be able to sweep them but he will definitely register significant gains. There are two reasons for that.

First is the addition of around 38 million new voters in the electoral rolls, the majority of which are constituted by the country’s youth.


As explained by Imran Khan in a recent talk show, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were able to garner 18 million votes in the 2008 elections. Thus, it’s a substantial amount of new voters that we are talking about who have never voted for a political party before.

If the election commission (EC) is headed by the likes of Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, polls are bound to be transparent and it will be near impossible to artificially engineer electoral victories.

Massive rigging could not be done in 2008, while a military dictator was in power, nor will it happen this time around. The Supreme Court, media and the politically conscious citizenry of the country will make sure that it does not happen.

I belong to the rural areas and I have seen ballots being cast on voting day. It is the reports of misplaced ballots and absentee vote casting (ballot stuffing) that constitute one of the chronic problems of polling. If the EC can monitor these two features effectively on the day of polling, complaints are bound to dwindle.

The second factor is the PTI’s massive clout of social networking. The party’s official Facebook page presently has around 317,030 ‘likes’. Imran’s own page has in excess of 430,000 fans. Even if we discount this tally, taking into consideration factors of voter age and willingness, these are huge numbers. No other political party commands such an extensive network of social media organisation.

Some of these committed PTI members will indeed turn up to vote on Election Day, something that did not happen for Imran Khan in the 1990s.

However, what PTI still needs to do is rally itself more around popular and leftist goals. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is remembered by the common man even today because he did so much for him.

The labourers, domestic servants, tenants and the vendors of the country seek inspiration of a socialist nature that radically upsets the status quo. Will Imran be able to provide that?

One will have to wait and see.

Read more by Taimur here.
Taimur Arbab A former sub-editor at The Express Tribune, college teacher of Sociology and English Language and a graduate student at Aga Khan Institute for Educational Development, who leans toward the left side of the political spectrum and looks for ideas for his short stories and poems in the everyday happenings of life.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Concerned | 11 years ago | Reply @hassan: I highly doubt the PTI will become like the Muslim Brotherhood - perhaps it will be similar to the mildly Islamist AKP party of Turkey. Do appreciate that we, the wonderful internet warriors of Pakistan are a tiny, tiny minority in a country that is quite illiterate - in the game of votes, it is the masses that matter, not the tiny elite.
Raja Islam | 11 years ago | Reply The only way that Imran Khan can come into power is through the back door. he is totally disconnected from the masses and knows nothing of what their needs are. There is a huge dichotomy here, a westernized playboy who is supported by the urban westernized youth aligns himself with the Jamaat i Islami and the Taliban and talks about upliftment of the masses. The facebook and twitter fans are not the ones who will go out and vote; it is the masses in the rural areas who will decide who comes into power.
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