If PTI is with JI, the Kaptaan will not get my vote

How will PTI explain religious intolerance and extremism to its followers? Will the youth stick by Khan even then?

Hamza Azhar March 28, 2013
The biggest problem in Pakistan is not corruption; it is the growth of an intolerant and violent mindset. My expectations from my leader might not be much, but I do expect him to identify the biggest problem faced by Pakistan.

Unfortunately Imran Khan is not my leader, yet.

The recent electoral alliance between PTI and JI has raised many questions in the eyes of masses as to what the ideology of PTI really is. Granted it is a new party, but it needs to be extremely clear about where they stand on religious extremism.

By forming an alliance with JI, the PTI will lose many of its liberal voters (however small those numbers are) - is it worth it?

What is the vote bank of JI and the other religious parties?

In 2008, the MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal) won six seats or 2.2 of the popular vote. This was when most of the major religious parties contested the elections together.

The power of JI is not in the ballot, it is in the madrassas where a great number of students are indoctrinated with their ideology. It is in the student wings like those in the ‘Jamiat’ who are known to create problems for every university they are enrolled with; and it is in the mosques where fatwas against almost everyone can be given.

If the question is not of political power, is it because the ideology of PTI and JI is the same or even similar?

If so then the people who came to the Lahore jalsa on March 23, 2013 are in for some disappointment.

Firstly, there would never be any music in any political rally if the JI comes to power. Forget segregation in jalsas, there will be no women at all, and even if there are, the dress code will be much different to say the least.

Will leaders like Fauzia Kasuri be acceptable to the JI?

What about Imran Khan’s stance on rape?

Does he agree with the JI and believe that a rape victim should be thrown in jail if she fails to produce four male witnesses? Is this the message the PTI wants to send to all the women and the youth of Pakistan?

Today, rape victims and their families are afraid to even report cases because of fear of legal punishment apart from harassment. This gives more confidence to the rapists and thus creates an endless cycle of misogyny and aggression against women. Aside from this, the JI has opposed many women empowerment bills in the assembly.

How difficult will it be for the PTI to pass pro-women legislation if they are allied with a party that holds such radical beliefs?

Will the ever so energetic youth of PTI, which cannot hear a word against their leader, still stand by Imran Khan when the JI will talk against women's empowerment and promote religious intolerance?

I am disappointed by the PTI and Imran Khan because I was just starting to look at them as a symbol of change, but this alliance has taught me that Imran Khan's popularity should not be mistaken to be the solution of Pakistan's problems.

I am not sure about most things but I am sure that if Naya Pakistan includes such extremism, I for one will not be a party to it.
WRITTEN BY:
Hamza Azhar Is currently a first year student at City University London. He is optimistic about the future of Pakistan and wants to come back as soon as he graduates.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

COMMENTS (109)

Maria Sheikh | 8 years ago | Reply Pakistan's definition of 'liberalism' is really skewered... a If such articles and comments are reflective of ground reality... THIS menagerie of thoughts is the most important problem. We are unable to escape borrowed definitions and categories of thinking.
SRahman | 8 years ago | Reply Those who know the history would tell you that JI (Jamaat-e-Islami) is a party which has promoted intolerance in the name of religion and destroyed our society communally. Before that most of religious parties were limited to sects, with limited numbers of followers and limited madrassas. Whereas, JI targeted the conventional colleges and universities and polluted the future intelligencia and establishment of Pakistan. Very successfully it used religion as a commodity for political manipulation and vested interests. Those who have gone to Pakistani colleges in 60s to 80s had witnessed the intolerance and fascism of JI on the name of Islam. Just like other pseudo-religious parties, JI exploited the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan by fooling America and Saudia. The “Jihad” business was so profitable that many other groups also started to benefit from the situation. Their dirty games have been exposed many times but some people still get fooled from their Islamic rhetoric. They may not be directly involved in terrorist activities but most of them have the same extremist ideology. No one will able to stop intolerance, bigotry and injustice to marginalized Pakistanis if he or she is partnering with a party which has extremist ideology like JI. Good Luck to Imran Khan and his supporters for partnering with JI.
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