Calls to free Qadri are not reflective of PTI: Can we please stop the bashing?

Imran Khan is not some autocratic supreme leader who magically controls the thoughts and actions of all PTI members.

Mani Khawaja June 21, 2013
It has long been apparent that any articles in regards to the PTI or Imran Khan seem to attract a disproportionate amount of interest and that is why it is always a popular topic for writers to take up.

So it’s quite common to come across both pro and anti-PTI articles. But when I read the blog titled “Naya Pakistan, where Salman Taseer’s murderer is a hero”, I felt I had to respond because I personally found it to be highly partisan and inflammatory.

Don’t get me wrong, I too condemn the statement by MNA Mujahid Ali Khan calling for the release of Mumtaz Qadri who was convicted of a horrendous crime of murdering someone speaking up for minority rights under the misguided notion of blasphemy- but to hold a party responsible for one man’s personal opinion is laughable and absurd.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. This is a democratic country, or at least on paper it is, and so is PTI a democratic party.

Imran Khan is not some autocratic supreme leader who magically controls the thoughts and actions of all those who are under his party’s umbrella. Unless the MNA Mujahid Ali Khan had spoken on the party’s behalf, he is free to voice his opinion, as long as it is under the confines of the law. That is the freedom that a democratic country should afford all its citizens. It was Voltaire who once said,
“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

PTI immediately distanced itself from the personal views of the MNA, but Ms Mansoor insists that it was official PTI policy that Qadri be released, perhaps forgetting that Imran Khan was one of the first to condemn Mumtaz Qadri’s attack on Salman Taseer.

Even the title of the blog is provocative, not taking into account the fact that a sizable portion of Pakistan’s population agreed with the sentiments of the MNA (as misguided and abhorrent as we might find them) and that Mumtaz Qadri was showered with roses and garlands and paraded like a hero much before the arrival of the PTI in KPK and the advent of the Naya Pakistan.

Ludicrously enough, the blog attempted to use this incident as a segue way into more PTI bashing and using broad strokes to paint the party as one with an extremist ideology, admonishing the people of KPK for being the birthing place for the party.

Pakistan is the only country in the world where instead of being anti-war, so called liberals are vocal proponents of military actions, consequences be damned.

The war in Afghanistan against the Taliban has cost the US billions of dollars, and resulted in the loss of countless lives, both military and civilians. We should also bear in mind the psychological damage inflicted upon the affected people and how it will adversely impact the children and the next generation for decades to come. Even the United States has come to the realisation that this is a war that cannot be won on the battlefield. That is why there are reports on formal negotiations with the Taliban.

Yet Imran Khan is blasted for being pro-Taliban and anti-freedom when all he wants to avoid is further bloodshed and a pointless cycle of violence that will bear no fruit.

Yes, Naya Pakistan is here, or at least predominantly in KPK it is. People are now more participative and vested in politics and how our country is being governed. They are more interested in ethics and the rule of law. They are also more interested in holding their politicians accountable for carrying out their responsibilities that have been entrusted upon them.

Naya Pakistan is here where for the first time in the history of the country, education has been made the prime focus and recipient of funds in the province’s budget. Educated children are vital for the success of our nation and if there is going to be any hope of advancement from the mess that we currently find ourselves in.

The PTI government is going to computerise the land records. FIRs can be lodged through emails and phones, bringing about a change to the thaana culture. Substantial funds have also been allocated on environment protection, power, electricity and welfare projects, development of thousands of villages and for the protection of minority rights.

If you ask me, the people of KPK seem to be in good hands indeed.

Read more by Mani here or follow him on Twitter @BallerinaAngry
Mani Khawaja A journalist and musician. He tweets @manikhawaja88 (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Dr Shabir Ahmed | 10 years ago | Reply See how abnormal people are supporting that killer.can u imagine how world laughs and jokes upon us.
Dr Shabir Ahmed | 10 years ago | Reply Can you imagine in what dangerous country we are living Where murderer like Mumtaz qadri i hero of some people.who murders Governor Salman taseer.Imran khan becomes a blind in hunger of Support
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