Captain Elite

Published: August 8, 2011
The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore

The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore [email protected]

The one contemporary politician who evokes the strongest sentiments from both his detractors and admirers is undoubtedly Imran Khan. The word recently in vogue to describe him is ‘kaaptan’ or captain. The term probably refers to his cricketing days and not to Walt Whitman’s unparalleled ode to Abraham Lincoln titled “O Captain! My Captain!”

Imran Khan to some is a Taliban apologist failing to condemn a suicide attack without an elaborate tirade against drone attacks, war on terror and the West generally. For others, he is the only hope left for redemption, the promised saviour. Khan undeniably has the ability to draw a certain segment of society in and hold them in his thrall. The most fascinating thing about Khan is the minimalism in his views and the increasing lowering of our expectations. For example, Khan has a penchant for justice and independence of judiciary. It is an admirable fixation and unexceptionable in principle. Yet very rarely has Khan found the inclination to explain the specifics of his vision. Similarly, Khan is dead against corruption, but again has hardly ever elaborated on this, apart from his constant exhortation for all politicians to bring their foreign money back home. There is nothing inherently unreasonable in the aforementioned demands. Yet their simplicity is baffling, especially by an ostensibly national leader. Taking strong positions on easy moral questions should not be sufficient. They are better suited to a disgruntled and frustrated citizen. Leaders are supposed to give visions and methodologies to implement them — the mere desire to eradicate corruption without any concrete proposals is either disingenuous or extremely naive.

Imran Khan seems to have found a niche in the urban middle class youth. The argument put forth for Khan’s suitability by his followers is that despite his flaws there is no other alternative. That is a rather unflattering endorsement, being the lesser evil is hardly the stuff that leaders should be made up of. Some even insinuate that since everyone else has had a chance, Imran Khan should also be tried once. The suggestion is comical; the country should not be given on test runs.

Imran Khan has never made a pretence of building a democratic party, that is part of his charisma. In the 14 years since the inception of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the average voter (excluding the very few active party workers) can name only one prominent member, that being the gallant Khan himself. This is at worse a model of dictatorial khilafat and at best no better than the recent unopposed election of Nawaz Sharif held by the PML-N.

A very disturbing element of Khan’s recent political rise is his now almost explicit support by the military establishment. Even more alarming is the increasingly aggressive style being adopted by his followers against anyone who chooses to point out this glaringly obvious unholy nexus. The style can be attributed partially to the influence on Khan by his brother party, the Jamaat-i-Islami. Another contributing factor is the demographic of his fan base. The average Imran Khan supporter is an energetic urbanite with a computer and a Facebook account, unhappy about the state of affairs. Imran Khan and Pervez Musharraf, despite all their animosity, have this boutique following in common. Any election held on Facebook would be a tough contest between the two, a country mile or two ahead of President Zardari and Nawaz Sharif. And they hate or, when sympathetic, pity the common ignorant, illiterate voter who keeps on electing the PPP and PMLs over and over again. One is reminded of the late queen mother, who once famously remarked, “I see no point at all in being poor”. This condescension and holier-than-thou attitude is what tyrannies are made up of. CS Lewis once said, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive”.

While Zardari and Nawaz Sharif are fair game despite their public mandates for the most scathing of insults, the first hint of criticism on Imran Khan has the cyber-world jolted. There is a definite hint of fascism in this. Similar to Khan and with a great convergence in views is the hysterical clownish polemist Zaid Hamid. The fielding of by-election candidates, particularly in Lahore and Rawalpindi, by Khan shows his willingness to play by the agreed rules, i.e. that of fielding time-tested local heavyweights. The fact that his candidates lost is no ground for sympathy, it merely displays that he was outmanoeuvred.

The biggest dent to Khan’s credentials as a national leader is the semi-coherent pandering to the most prevalent prejudice of our society — that of uncritically blaming the West for suicide attacks. Instead of doing the hard part of simultaneously standing up to suicidal barbarians and western imperialism, Khan has chosen the ridiculously easy path of portraying suicidal bombers as our brothers who have been wronged. His denial of the existence of an ideology which sanctions and glorifies these attacks is either shamelessly opportunistic or outright cowardly. As far as I am concerned, his lukewarm condemnation of the Taliban, which at times comes across as tacit endorsement, overrides any and all of his positive traits when it comes to the prospect of him potentially taking over the reins of power. The religious parties have had this stance for years and incidentally been backed by Khan’s current patrons, the Pakistan Army. What makes Khan more insidious is that his stance is couched (although not particularly well) in a liberal facade.

Imran Khan has hardly ever said anything substantial about the mass murder of the Baloch — ranting about corruption, though imperative, does not solve problems of ethnic and national identities. He, it seems, has made his bet, which is to attempt to come to power based on the support of the military establishment and hence no longer feels the need to reach out to the masses (at least not to those without internet access). My main point though is not to call attention to Khan’s follies but rather to the fact that he has no claim of being treated exceptionally in comparison to other political leaders.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (128)

  • pardesi
    Aug 8, 2011 - 9:00PM

    this guy is fake. not fit to be even foot soldier, let alone kaptan.


  • Ali Ammar
    Aug 8, 2011 - 9:11PM

    I have an idea for an ad for goes..”Always wanted to be a journalist? Never been able to publish anything? Nobody ever listens to your opinion? Editors turn you down? Well here is your chance – The Imran Khan Chronicle…Write ANYTHING about him.. for or against… we will publish…and not only will you get read…but comments will be limitless”

    As far as my opinion is concerned, I will following IK anywhere..For all I need to know is that he won’t lie to me and betray my trust. I don’t need anything else from a leader.


  • JK
    Aug 8, 2011 - 9:29PM

    Excellent and well argumentative! I think Imran Khan should consider your points for self-reformation and self-introspection. His holier-than-thou attitude will not make him a good leader. This piece is more insightful than the one written by Salman Rashid few days back.


  • Aug 8, 2011 - 9:37PM

    Oh wow! you are going to get a social network lashing! Unleash the hoards!


  • Aug 8, 2011 - 9:55PM

    You made some very good points.
    Just to elaborate, Khan is NOT a doctor, yet he constituted what the best medical minds in Pakistan couldn’t do. SKMT depicts class, excellence and perfection.
    Khan is NOT an educationist, yet a co-ed institute of LUMS stature, British uni associate is flourishing quite successfully in a rural area.
    His affinity to resources would have done no good WITHOUT a vision.

    Likewise for judiciary, foreign policy, economy ONE NEEDS A VISION, and than you CONSTRUCT institutes by HIRING skilled professionals, consultants, policy advisers.

    Leaders give vision, for methodologies you hire skilled professionals.
    This is how governments/institutes are run in developed states!


  • AR
    Aug 8, 2011 - 10:13PM

    “Khan is dead against corruption, but again has hardly ever elaborated on this”

    Pakistan only has a 49% literacy rate, he wants to explain in the simplest terms possible
    what really ails pakistan to his listeners, how to really tackle it are details that his average follower will not be able to follow . He has already talked about how the top person of the administration needs to be honest and then the rest just follows. Also, he does not have to really win and audeince on how he will tackle corruption, his corruption free “cancer hospital” and “Namal college” are enough to prove that he can rule Pakistan much better than any of the other losers. Also, he has condemned Taliban, you choose to listen to what you want to listen and ignore the rest that he has to say.


  • MBK
    Aug 8, 2011 - 10:35PM

    Great article.

    Imran Khan had an opportunity from the outset to build a true mass political party unhindered by dynasticism, personality cults, or patronage. Instead of cultivating personal power, he could have used his considerable public appeal as a force for political good.

    As of right now, he hasn’t.


  • aley
    Aug 8, 2011 - 10:41PM

    Mr. Saroop Ijaz you will be in hot waters soon…let the sleeping supporter of IK smell the posting of your article :)


  • Sprite Mirinda Team
    Aug 8, 2011 - 10:51PM

    pathetic attempt at imran bashing, which is more of a fashion of left winger english press.


  • M Usama Kabbir
    Aug 8, 2011 - 10:55PM

    What an absolutely brilliant analysis ! I completely agree with the author.


  • Realist.
    Aug 8, 2011 - 11:15PM

    VERY WELL Written Article.
    The Worst thing is that His supporters are not even bothered by Military Establishment’s Support for Imran khan ?
    I mean how much Naive can one get while SAYING YES to military intervention in Politics ?
    Khan has said Nothing against ISI’s role In politics , he Said Nothing about Military Dominance in Foreign Policy & Finance , Insurgency in Balochistan as you pointed out in your article.
    CORRUPTION CORRUPTION CORRUPTION that is All Imran Khan knows & simultaneously ignorant of the Solutions for it.
    He thinks if America leaves this region then taliban will stop attacking us this is HEIGHT of ignorance.
    PTI is party of burger kids & facebook youth.
    The YOUTH Disappeared in Kashmir elections perhaps :P


  • Realist.
    Aug 8, 2011 - 11:16PM

    Now TORUS will come & again throw this line “You want pakistan to be ruled by corrupt people like PML & PPP”.
    a tsunami of change is coming :P :P


  • parvez
    Aug 8, 2011 - 11:20PM

    Yours views appear somewhat harsh and I don’t think you have been fair in the conclusions you have drawn. Example : you put Imran along with Mushaaraf as having a boutique / facebook following, this may be so of Mushaaraf but not of Imran’s TI party. Granted Imran has flaws but tell me who amongst our leader has less.
    Overall disappointing read expected something more balanced.


  • Mirza
    Aug 8, 2011 - 11:21PM

    Nicely done! Thanks for the scientific analysis of IK and the facts. IK claims to fight corruption and do away with it when in power. The question is where would his “team” come from to make it corruption free? How can he stop from addition of water in milk, fake baby formula, fake medicines, control Hep C, imporve schools, healthcare, clean water, power generations, hunger, diseases and other social evils that are eating Pakistan like a cancer. It is not just one or two but almost all Pakistanis are involved in the situation that Pakistan is in today.
    Several times the army has taken over the country on this same promise of eradicating corruption. But despite their decades of rule/misrule the corruption graph is only going in one direction. What miracle would IK perform to transform the basic fabric of Pakistan?
    I distinctly remember when Mush came to power my own brother was exicted and told me that this time it is different. I said to him “have all the Pakistanis changed overnight?” Obviously the people were fooled for a while but the basic character of the country did not change. As we say here “that the devil is in the details”. I would love to know how IK would solve the militancy problem in Karachi forget the whole country? All I can say about this one man party is “if you cannot dazzle them with brilliance baffle them with your BS”.


  • Ahad Shafqat
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:06AM

    You’re right. We should just continue to vote for our corrupt leaders. I mean come on, Imran Khan stands against corruption? Wants to save the nation? He’s the leading social worker amongst politicians? What’s that all about? That makes no sense why would I wanna vote for someone who’s genuinely going to try to solve our country’s issues? Why not just go ahead and vote for someone who’s gonna eat up my hard earned money through taxes and bribes? He takes stands on moral things like stopping drone strikes. He organizes dharnas to show his disapproval alongside thousands of people. That’s the most he can do as a citizen for now. That’s not concrete enough though apparently. I guess you would prefer PTI members running around climbing the Supreme Court gate.

    Once again, you’re right, Imran Khan “has no claim of being treated exceptionally in comparison to other political leaders” since he has shown that he is just as corrupt, just as much as a failure when he was in power, he continues to secretly support drone strikes, he doesn’t care about judiciary, he continues to be a tax evader and he has actively been involved in the murder of Karachites just off late. Yeah, he definitely does not have any claim of being treated exceptionally. Sound logic.

    Sir, I really enjoy your articles and I’m sure in your head you think you make sense but I am certain that come elections you’re gonna be voting for PTI if you, unlike most ppl, will bother to register your vote. That’s because no matter how fun, easy and ‘cool’ it is to be Imran bashing online, you know that he literally is our only hope. A party is known, represented and faced by the leader. PTI has many heads of different areas and I see them on TV shows talking a lot of sense but you need to understand that to create awareness the leader, the kaptaan, needs to lead from the front.

    Apart from that, if people have ridiculous reasons for voting for him so be it but you and I both know that he’s got a team of educated professionals who can actually contribute instead of fools who continue to insist on yellow cab schemes or beg for Americans to save them. I would advise that you go to PTI and actually have a meet with some of the individuals spear-heading the PTI movement and write another article on what your analysis was about them. Recommend

  • Zoaib
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:08AM

    Aah…The usual tirade. This is getting very predictable now, I’m afraid. You mention him striking a chord only with the urban middle class. Perhaps the same urban middle class made him the most popular leader in country in the PEW poll? If you don’t remember, then go back and take a look at the survey methodology again: The poll was conducted in both the urban AND rural areas. So, stop trying to under-state the support of PTI on ground. Most neutral analysts agree PTI is now a force to be reckoned with and has the youth vote behind it. And mind you, the youth are 70% of the population. And this time their 45% votes WILL be registered, which before the established parties conveniently managed to manipulate.

    And perhaps you missed (like a lot of facts) the 100-day plan which was unveiled by PTI just weeks ago. You should go and take a long hard look at it before you ask HOW he will tackle corruption.

    Lastly, I’m all for giving a test-run to a person who has shown he can GIVE to the people even before being in any state of power. He’s done more than any of our other politicians have done while enjoying all state resources at their disposal. The people of Pakistan have seen “test-runs” of both Nawaz Sharif and the latest of Zardari (who’s an accidental leader) then why not Imran Khan?


  • Mastuj
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:21AM

    Guess what? Another Imran-bashing article!!


  • ihtisham khan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:26AM

    again…and again…and many times yaar….u r comparing the MOST CORRUPT leaders in the world with imran khan…and thats where i pity ur logic….ur arguments…
    u urself have the right to write an article but if i say i do not agreee with it then i am the cyber army who does not accept anything against imran khan…..ha…what can i say…what can i say..


  • Jibreel
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:27AM

    Brilliant article. Should be a wake-up call to all PTI/IK supporters.


  • Imran Mohammad
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:28AM

    A very disturbing element of Khan’s recent political rise is his now almost explicit support by the military establishment

    Mr Ijaz, Do you have any proof for your claim? If not then, as I I said it before in response to your previous article about Imran Khan and I am saying it again, you are disingenuous. PTI’s Shireen Mazari was the first political leader who demanded firing of COAS, ISI DG after Abbottabad debacle. Please watch Express News program ( Kal Tak of May 2nd ). Few days ago , I read a statement attributed to Imran Khan in a major English daily, in which he categorically stated that he would have asked for General Kiyani’s resignation after the May 2nd fiasco. Please explain(if intellectual integrity means anything to you) why would a party being supported by establishment would act like this .

    While Zardari and Nawaz Sharif are fair game despite their public mandates for the most >>scathing of insults

    And this statement says a lot about you or your motivation/objective behind this excessive criticism of Imran Khan. It does not need any further explanation and I am sure smart readers of this forum can understand.

    @ET, please publish this for the sake of honest debate.


  • Munir Khan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:36AM

    Why does the coming of Imran Khan fill every sane person with dread?

    It is because of his naivety & political/economic illiteracy, and his pandering of the worst elements in our society, the equally illiterate mullah!!

    Note, that the one man band that is the Tehrik i Insaaf party is simply a vehicle for his vanity and almost juvenile understanding of how governments are run.The personality cult that surrounds him and the mindless and slavish devotion to their “Kaptaan” is reminiscent of the Moonies, and other such cults.

    He is a Zia ul Haq clone and will be a disaster- beware and be careful of what you wish for!!


  • Fayez Shah
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:38AM

    The writer mentions that Imran Khan talks a lot about corruption and other issues but never mentions to clarify his stance and how he is going to tackle the issues once he comes to power. The writer clearly lacks in knowledge and does not use the essential instrument for writing. Its called RESEARCH. For starters, go through the party’s website. They have all your answers in details. Its a mini wikipedia, frankly speaking. You just need a pair of eyes and an adult functioning brain.

    The word he used was dictatorial khilafat is an oxymoron. Reference to my point would be the 4 rightly guided caliphs who were the complete opposite of autocracy. Its like saying dictatorial democracy or left wing conservatism. An oxymoron! Yet another paragraph epitomizing ignorance or lack of knowledge, whichever is his weakness.

    Then he goes on to say that Imran Khan never takes other important issues and discuss it in forums. Soon after, he says that his followers are growing in numbers and come from urban middle class. The two things contradict each other. Either he thinks the urbran middle class (probably the most educated and equipped in the country) knows nothing of real issues or that Imran Khan’s growing fame is for reasons unknown to able thinker.

    There are various contradicting statements all over the piece but to understand Pakistani politics and then present a view, one has to know that this country is riddled with all kinds of problems. You pick any department and you are bound to find corruption or evil in some quantity. One has to be very careful in what to speak about and what no to.

    Imran Khan has picked up the most important of issues and those issues which are appealing to the ordinary people otherwise he was never going to get into the masses’ heads.

    You build a work plan and then proceed. Your success is determined by how people react to it.

    Criticism is a good thing but if done without bias and with background knowledge to support your writings when faced with a rebuttal.

    There are many issues I and other like me would like Imran Khan to speak about but now, more than ever, we need to get rid of this same tried and tested system.

    Other than that, use your abilities, which apparently is writing, to write constructive material and help in building this nation even if it be against Imran Khan. Dont be yet another hate speaker! We have many of those!


  • haider.h
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:53AM

    all publicity is good publicity.more power to IK.


  • Fatima
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:53AM

    Actually it’s funny how people keep coming up with such articles about Imran Khan and almost every article looks the same. Everyone seems to have the same fears. The fear of changing themselves.
    It’s easy to criticize the youth joining PTI networks on facebook. But I think it’s easier to criticize such writers who are against those leaders who feel the pain of an average Pakistani citizen. A leader who sits with the common man, shares food, and gives them the encouragement to bring about a change in Pakistan. A leader who is loyal and honest to this country unlike ALL other leaders. Before talking about the issues being faced by Pakistan, the most important thing we need in our leader is honesty and loyalty. If that’s missing in Imran Khan, then people like you should come up with criticisms. If that’s not missing, then take a back seat and let PTI first play its role and prove itself.
    You still want other leaders to be treated exceptionally? When they’ve made every effort themselves to be treated like God (Nauzibillah). They have the bullet proof cars, they get all the security, escort of police accompanies them all the time, they don’t know what load-shedding actually is, they don’t know how it feels to spend hours without electricity, they simply don’t know what the life of an average Pakistani is?
    Two main issues destroying Pakistan are corruption and war on terror. Imran Khan keeps talking about its plans to tackle these issues. But you know what the problem is? You expect him to address “each and every issue” (including the mass murder of Baloch that you talk about) which is probably not possible before he comes to power. And when he doesn’t address every issue, you think he isn’t capable enough of becoming the leader. That’s really stupid on your part.
    It’s like someone has cancer, and the doctor talks about curing and treating cancer. But the the patient’s relative wants the doctor to deal with the patient’s skin issues or lets say pimples first.
    It’s unfair to expect Imran Khan to satisfy all your demands when he isn’t even in power, and when your own favorite politicians have brought this country on the verge of breaking down.


  • Fatima
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:54AM

    Actually it’s funny how people keep coming up with such articles about Imran Khan and almost every article looks the same. Everyone seems to have the same fears. The fear of changing themselves.
    It’s easy to criticize the youth joining PTI networks on facebook. But I think it’s easier to criticize such writers who are against those leaders who feel the pain of an average Pakistani citizen. A leader who sits with the common man, shares food, and gives them the encouragement to bring about a change in Pakistan. A leader who is loyal and honest to this country unlike ALL other leaders. Before talking about the issues being faced by Pakistan, the most important thing we need in our leader is honesty and loyalty. If that’s missing in Imran Khan, then people like you should come up with criticisms. If that’s not missing, then take a back seat and let PTI first play its role and prove itself.
    You still want other leaders to be treated exceptionally? When they’ve made every effort themselves to be treated like God (Nauzibillah). They have the bullet proof cars, they get all the security, escort of police accompanies them all the time, they don’t know what load-shedding actually is, they don’t know how it feels to spend hours without electricity, they simply don’t know what the life of an average Pakistani is?
    Two main issues destroying Pakistan are corruption and war on terror. Imran Khan keeps talking about its plans to tackle these issues. But you know what the problem is? You expect him to address “each and every issue” (including the mass murder of Baloch that you talk about) which is probably not possible before he comes to power. And when he doesn’t address every issue, you think he isn’t capable enough of becoming the leader. That’s really stupid on your part.
    It’s like someone has cancer, and the doctor talks about curing and treating cancer. But the the patient’s relative wants the doctor to deal with the patient’s skin issues or lets say pimples first.
    It’s unfair to expect Imran Khan to satisfy all your demands when he isn’t even in power, and when your own favorite politicians have brought this country on the verge of breaking down


  • A.Ali
    Aug 9, 2011 - 1:22AM

    i don’t understand why people are against imran khan, i didn’t read any article about altaf hussain, raja pervez ashraf, yousaf reza gailani bla bla. what is the problem with you guys, how much you have been paid for this comparison ?


  • Kasif Akhtar
    Aug 9, 2011 - 1:23AM

    Imran Khan is a fascist, minimalist, pawn and God knows what else…
    Asif Zardari and Co are visionaries setting up the course for Pakistan that will make it into a regional power if not a major global power. They will do that by buying choice properties all over the world at great locations. By investing money in Europe, Middle East and America for in those countries the rate of return on investment is much better than Pakistan. State Bank will print so much money that every one will have hoards of cash.
    Nawaz Sharif will provide jobs to all the the graduates in Pakistan by giving all of them their own yellow taxi. People on Benazir income support will take those cabs and they will make so much money.
    Moonis Elahi has honed his business skills after the false allegations of NICL scam and will continue to make money for all the people that matter.
    How can you vote for Imran Khan?
    When he played cricket, the the boys in green didn’t get to make bucket loads of money how unfair? Look at he wealth of cricketers ever since?
    He is so dumb, he built a cancer hospital in Pakistan when he should have used that money to build a general hospital. After all hard fact is that people are going to die of cancer anyway so why not use that money to do other better things?
    Lastly, who is going to go to Mianwali to get a degree be it from a foreign university? After all there is more to life than just a good degree.
    Imran Khan sucks and I’m so smart for pointing it out!


  • Star
    Aug 9, 2011 - 1:29AM

    Dear Sir,
    I am definitely a fan. I completely and honestly agree with all your viewpoints, and am an admirer of your articulation and fluency in the use of the English language. Thank you for also pointing out the mad-cap, Senile, Nobody called Zaid Hamid. He and Imran seem to share the same cancerous views along with the Ali Azmat who completes the Isosceles in the circus Pakistani Media.

  • Naveed Baloch
    Aug 9, 2011 - 1:31AM

    Very well argued Mr.Ijaz. The Kaptaan of Dharna was asked by Naseem zehra a couple of days ago about the Baloch Issue and he feebly argued that he can not do anything in this regard and the its the govt responsibility. I ask Mr. “Dharna Champion” that you have mastered in Dharnas against Drone, so why not a Dharna against the “Kill and Dump the Baloch activists” policy of your “Masters”.


  • i dont care what you say, imran khan all the way!
    Aug 9, 2011 - 1:37AM

    at first i didnt believe those who said ET is anti IK, but after reading two articles bashing IK in the SAME day i admit i was wrong! get better writers ET, you are a very good PAKISTANI ENGLISH newspaper but you mess up every time you do this!

    as for the author with the big nose, you say the supporters of IK only use the “there is no alternative” excuse, but are they wrong? i would rather give Pakistan a test run in which there’s a SLIGHT chance of success and progress in the country than giving those corrupt PPP, PML N, MQM parties that will not even bring a slight chance of improving pakistan!


  • Meekal Ahmed
    Aug 9, 2011 - 1:38AM

    I am sure that you were prepared for an outpouring of many comments on both sides of the divide!

    I share your analysis. Pakistan is not the place for an ‘experiment’. We are running out of time.

    I can only speak of his so-called economic agenda . Apart from bringing back “looted” wealth, I believe he said that he would cure the country of corruption in the first 100 days in office. The rest of his economic platform comprises of hatred for western institutions including the IMF and the World Bank.

    Such a stand has all the makings of a disaster because it is fanciful and naive. Not because I think that we cannot get back the looted wealth or that we cannot do without recourse to the IMF to bail us out. Many developing countries have managed to do both.

    But the kaptaan had better know the full implications of what he is talking about, especially in respect of Pakistan’s non-tax-paying freeloaders — the elite. They are not about to give in so easily. They would rather move to Canada than pay their taxes here.

    At the end of the day, let’s face the stark fact that IF the powers that run this country want it, they will make sure he wins, or at least earns a significant place in parliament.

    In the meantime, kaptaan can make all the rediculous statements he wants. That is the privilege of somone not in power.


  • MBK
    Aug 9, 2011 - 1:47AM

    I think some of the PTI supporters here are missing the author’s message. Namely that no amount of idealistic sloganeering will change the fact that Zardari and Nawaz enjoy public mandates. The problem with Pakistani democracy is immeasurably complex. We need to get beyond the simplistic “All our leaders are corrupt” phase which is sometimes all that people hear from Imran, and start thinking about how to get “the common ignorant, illiterate voter who keeps on electing the PPP and PMLs over and over again” to vote for PTI.

    More specifically, PTI needs to think about how to make inroads into constituencies that vote for dynastic pirs, Makhdooms, Sajjada Nashins, landlords etc. Real change can only come then.Recommend

  • Ali Quaid
    Aug 9, 2011 - 2:03AM

    Why only Imran Khan?


  • Nisar
    Aug 9, 2011 - 2:13AM

    Again and again old and same arguments again Imran Khan ,Man invent some new allegations we are tired of reading these baseless arguments


  • Sajida
    Aug 9, 2011 - 2:14AM

    “President Zardari popularity among the Pakistani leaders most plummeted and Imran Khan’s popularity shot up most.
    According to the poll most Pakistanis are dissatisfied with the prevalent situation in the country. Ninety two percent think that the direction to which the country is heading is not correct, 85 percent are of the view that economic condition is bad and 60 percent apprehend it further deteriorating in 12 months. Most people consider inflation, unemployment, increase in crimes, terrorism and political corruption key issues of the country.
    President Zardari’s popularity, which was rated at 20 percent has fallen to 11 percent, said the poll results, while PM Gilani’s popularity has plunged down to 37 percent from 59.
    Muslim League-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif is in a better position, however, his popularity has also dropped down to 63 percent from 71.
    Most popular leader is Imran Khan, whose popularity has surged from mere 16 percent to 68 percent.”


  • shakaib
    Aug 9, 2011 - 2:20AM

    Imran Khan bashing at its peak, which means that Imran Khan is gaining true popularity and older politicians are opening up their money bags to finance such articles. This was expected.


  • zain
    Aug 9, 2011 - 2:26AM

    Dear author have you ever even listened to Imran khan’s speech in which he has STRONGLY EMPHASIZED over the fair rights of BALOCHS – what is it that BALOCHS want? at the moment their peaceful voice for their basic rights has been now turned into an outrageous separatist movement having the Killing of Balochs as the scapegoat reason, but in a country WHERE YOUR ZOO HAS A LARGER BUDGET THAN MINORITY – WHAT more can you ask for? If you are trying to snub his call against corruption and the feudalism politics in Pakistan then you AGREE TO HAVE A LARGER BUDGET FOR ANIMALS THAN MINORITY HUMANS, so if the elite politicians take away the larger lot of your budget WHAT IS LEFT FOR BALOCH,PATHAN,SINDHI,PUSHTON? I simply can not believe that you guys ACTUALLY condemn someone who wants to bring in JUSTICE/EQUALITY/ACCOUNTABILITY in the region in short just disgusted over your words that YOU JUST DONT WANT PEACE/JUSTICE/EQUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN PAKISTAN, then why waste your time here? Go somewhere you’re heard mate


  • Pakistan Khan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 2:32AM

    Imran Khan is the leader of school going burger kids :p


  • Cynical
    Aug 9, 2011 - 2:32AM

    Be carefull what you are asking for, you might get it.


  • xyz
    Aug 9, 2011 - 2:40AM

    I totally agree that there seem to be a lot of angry youth supporting IK, but no matter how decent you want the lot to be, the fact is that given the state of affairs of the rule so far, the anger is to an extent understandable. I probably also belong to that Facebook brigade or whatever the heck you call it, and I totally catch up with your argument ( which by the way is an argument as opposed to the piece written by Mr. Salman Rashid). I have these same questions but I personally believe that sooner or later he will present the detailed solutions to the masses, if not it would cause him a setback!


  • zain
    Aug 9, 2011 - 2:55AM




  • Aug 9, 2011 - 2:56AM

    I guess the writer needs someone like angels who can think and do accord to u,,,,, my dear hes a human,,,, he can do so many mistakes,,,,,,,, but wotever you think as flaws of Imran khan,,,,,, I think these compromises are all just for saving this country,,,,, this society,,,, and us,,,,,,,,,, dear one thing is sure to all of us that he will never do anything against the soveirgnity and dignity of pakistan,,,,,,,,,,, like zardari and nawaz,,,,,,,,, so change ur mind and be realistic,,,, u are talking about pakistan not england or america….. where u can get leaders of ur choice


    Aug 9, 2011 - 3:16AM

    nice way to get your writing in the newspaper, bash Imran Khan, people will read ur article whether to object you or just try to pose comical logics.
    Imran need no certificate from you. His credential are self explanatory. Simply compare his achievements without being in power to those who have been in power 4 times. That should be enough to justify his selection by masses.


  • Jawad Ali
    Aug 9, 2011 - 4:23AM

    Today I learned that Imran’s fans dont like it when you criticize him, and that this is the moral equivalent of sending six million Jews to the gas chambers.


  • Osama
    Aug 9, 2011 - 4:27AM

    Well express Tribune: 3 “Articles” against Imran Khan and PTI in few Hours….i’m happy to see that Liberal Fascists and Brown sahibs are feeling the Heat ! never forget one thing: We are Legion ! We do not forget, We do not forgive !Recommend

  • Again
    Aug 9, 2011 - 4:29AM

    Imran Khan is the chairman of a party, he can only provide a vision and inform us about his party’s agenda, giving methodologies on how to implement it, is the role of the technocrats in the party. Have you ever seen Nawaz Sharif, Asif Zardari or any chairman of other parties giving methodologies on how to implement their agendas?

    You imply that you have clear evidence that Imran Khan is used by the establishment. If your argument is based on mere speculation and not clear evidence than i am sorry people of Pakistan can not base their judgment on rumors and speculations.

    Imran Khan has always condemned Talibans in clear words but he criticize the strategy adopted to resolve the conflict. You tell me, has the terrorism increased or decreased during all these years when the govt has adopted the same failed and tested strategy? If a person criticize and oppose the strategy adopted in resolving the conflict, he is automatically labeled as terrorist sympathizer. Whats the difference between you guys and jamat e islami, a party you despise? Both are involved in labeling people who oppose their views.

    My conclusion is thus similar to yours. I don’t see any difference between you and Syed Munawar Hassan, both of you label people who do not hold the views as you do, in your case its terrorist sympathizer and in his case its American agent.


  • Salman Ghumman
    Aug 9, 2011 - 4:48AM

    @ Munir Khan
    allow me to put this qualification to “sanity” to sword here. See this is where the problem lies: this chutzpah in proclaiming “sanity” puts you in the same vein as the mullah , both starring each other from opposing extremes. The mullah passes a decree and so do you.

    Can you not judge the man for a split second and gage the human cost of it all … the man is in the business if saving lives .. precious lives … all in a state where life is beginning to have no meaning. He sees death and destruction in the Tribal belt, a place where he traces out his ancestral roots. And he sees that the more he saves …. the more they kill.

    The man transformed when he acknowledged the presence of folk wisdom in the common man of this land. This is wisdom you will never see. This is baba bhulley shahs wisdom , this is a sufi’s call for humanity and moderation, this is wisdom carried forward thru generations, absent in the rhetoric of text books. Thus he believes in the common man, and sits and eats with them.

    His struggle is over a decade old, without a parallel and with no compromises, yet they call him a pawn. Sigh!

    Cynicism had a sorry kind of wisdom in it once, too bad it has lost that too today.


  • Kashif Jan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 4:50AM

    Poorly researched and incorrect assertions to get some cheap publicity. Keep trying and actually do some background research before writing factually incorrect statements. PTI has repeatedly condemned the brutality in Balochistan and has campaigned for provincial autonomy.


  • wsd
    Aug 9, 2011 - 4:58AM

    Have never seen such ill informed, ill logical article. If he is against corruption and wants an independent accountability commission with a person of integrity as its chief what else you want to know about Imran’s anti corruption methodology?

    Having read such “intellectuals” multiple times ,who , perhaps have never cast a vote by themselves and have nothing new to offer I have realized how much popular Imran is……

    “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

    Arthur Schopenhauer.

    PTI is now getting to third stage!!!!!!!!!11


  • My Name is Khan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 5:39AM

    It’s simple:

    He is a terrorist sympathizer
    He has no real policies
    He’s trying to be Pakistan’s Barack Obama but doesn’t have the charisma or the intelligence
    He’s cozying up with the Armed Forces which means he won’t really accomplish anything


  • faraz
    Aug 9, 2011 - 5:59AM

    According to Irman, the suicide bombers are relatives of people who were killed in drone strikes, so why don’t the relatives of 35,000 victims of suicide blasts carry out suicide attacks?


  • rashid khan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 6:05AM

    Another Mr. Know all. Your cynicism gives the impression that you are looking forward to another term under Zardari (which is very likely).
    You find the fact that some consider Imran the best among the present lot amusing but fail to name any other leader.
    You want a Mr. Perfect and will only be satisfied after Imran explains his vision using verbosity and expounded some cock’n’bull. The plain and simple truth that national wealth has been looted and hoarded abroad and its remains unexplained simply does not suffice. Nor the fact, it has been done by individuals who have not paid taxes and are repeatedly elected to legislate and uphold the law.
    You cry hypocrisy and naivety when someone promises to eradicate corruption without any concrete proposals. Aren’t you placing the thief and intending do gooder on the same platform. Or does the drive against corruption make many of us uneasy?
    I’m no fan of Imran but I realise that he has a huge task ahead of him and there will be a lot of disappointment when he fails to deliver but do you have a better proposal. At least he will, after a determined effort, get to the tip of the iceberg and nip the evil in the bud; it will get things moving in the right direction. It’s the small outcomes that lead to bigger goals.
    Do you honestly have inside information about the military supporting Imran Khan? What the harm if that’s the case? Weren’t Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and even MQM all nursed under military rule at some stage of their development? Does some become non kosher if the military favours him. The way you phrase it, the military is staffed with non patriots or is it a mercenaries who are found of getting themselves killed for a pittance


  • Hafiz Hussain
    Aug 9, 2011 - 7:06AM

    It’s ironic that the writer has titled his piece “Captain Elite” but banters much about how Imran Khan’s support base is drawn from purely “middle class youth”. Let me tell you, I am middle class, but all from the older generation to the younger one within my circle here in Punjab and in Karachi, are supporting Imran. The allegation about establishment backing is unwarranted and based in hearsay and conspiracy mongering from Imran Khan’s political opponents, so it is natural to assume that the writer is making an argument on behalf of those specific political personalities, which violates the basic tenet of journalistic ethos, whatever your opinions may be. Imran Khan has repeatedly condemned the Baluch operation, in many of his interviews publicly, and his party members have also established contacts with Baluch nationalist leaders and have presided over seminars to hear them out, unlike any other political party in Pakistan.
    To blame the youth for supporting a leader they see as non-corrupt and who they perceive as having a vision for Pakistan’s progress is uncalled for. Looking at the state of the current politics, were those with the “mandate” resort to unlawful tactics such as fake degrees to get to power, and flout the law sans any accountability when in power, their resentment at the current political setup and it’s lack of accountability is absolutely judtified as well as the need of the hour. The status quo, including te military leadership has failed Pakistan and now we are looking for an alternative that will deliver, and Imran Khan has indeed done the impossible at many points in his life.
    The fact that you mention the “establishment backing” conspiracy theory takes your article to a low. You do not have any objective proof of it, neither do the happenings on the ground fit in with this theory. The manner in which PTI is building it’s momentum is purely on the basis of public popularity. It saddens me that when his opponents hire two former generals in the hope of getting close to the establishment (as has been reported recently) that barely gets any critique from scribes like the writer. You do have a definite proof there while in Imran Khan’s case it will always be seen as a smear tactic.
    Your article wreaks of arrogance and a general contempt for a person without regard to his achievements in establishing the first political party without any black money or military backing, over a time period of 15 long years.


  • naeem khan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 7:09AM

    All I am going to say is that Imran Khan is not corrutp and Pakistan needs some one like him.You could bash him as much as you want but the fact still remains that he is not corrupt and done things for the people of Pakistan.Zardari,BB and MNS has done nothing for the people except looting the country.


  • Realist.
    Aug 9, 2011 - 8:20AM

    Keep riding on high horses IK supporters AKA torus.
    In elections your bubble of change will burst & it will hurt your feelings really bad.

    Like someone said
    It’s simple:
    He is a terrorist sympathizer
    He has no real policies
    He’s trying to be Pakistan’s Barack Obama but doesn’t have the charisma or the intelligence
    He’s cozying up with the Armed Forces which means he won’t really accomplish anything.


  • Shaan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 8:50AM

    Its shame that now Express tribune don’t approve to criticize the low-standard n biased articles it publishes


  • Aug 9, 2011 - 9:45AM

    Sigh. Stop all the “he stands against x and that’s why I act like a giddy schoolgirl when I hear his name in comparison to current leaders and that’s also why he’s different!” crap. Nobody denies he speaks against it and that in theory, speaking against it is a good quality. There’s nobody knocking that basic concept. When people speak of that they are saying what pretty much everyone complains about it and wants changed. That’s a description of any common person and it’s not a bad description to fit. I repeat, the description of a common person. Anyone here, outside your window… under your bed? Not a visionary leader with special ability. A common person isn’t a bad thing to be. But you can’t sit there and list the traits of a common person off as your reasons behind there being something uncommon and special about Imran Khan.

    The people who criticize him are looking for the leader traits people speak of in such a hollow manner. And what happens when they do that? The supporters have nothing but insults. Really. Absolutely nothing but insults. I still have yet to see someone, especially Imran Khan himself, answer the questions pertaining to being a real leadership candidate. That is the closest to merely believing what you want to believe as it gets. Not a valid argument.

    He’s currently in the process of telling people what they want to hear. Of course he stands up, it’s no secret that many people already see things the way he does. They aren’t new ideas/concepts. There’s nothing to fear. When it comes to something actually risky, he loses his backbone. Example: Terrorist views.

    He doesn’t have it in him to bring up a topic where he stands against true opposition and have to take them on defending his beliefs and the beliefs of his supporters. Name a single group or organization that Imran Khan has stood against where he realistically had to worry about a confrontation.

    The US and the PPP would not harm him. He knows that he’s safe trying to provoke them as it won’t work because it would harm their own image. Not to mention at least in the case of the US they fully support peaceful protest regardless of who it is aimed at just as long as it really is peaceful and not someone trying to ride a technicality into provoking riots.

    The ones he chooses are the predictable ones that acknowledge he’s doing it, shrug and say “Nothing new. But, harmless.” and go back to doing things that matter.


  • Eying Propaganda
    Aug 9, 2011 - 10:07AM

    Mr. Saroop Ijaz … i have followed a few of your articles earlier, however i can bet that this is the one with most views and comments … so your objective of seeking attention is fulfilled … now sleep well !


  • Honest
    Aug 9, 2011 - 10:17AM

    Guess what another lost journalist seeking for attention, goo dtry bu nohing will work, the ground realities have changed and no one can stop the tsunami, certainly not half baked journalists like you….!


  • Faiz
    Aug 9, 2011 - 10:22AM

    If you are a supporter of PML (N) or PPP, then you are not at all a human being. You are just an educated ignorant.


  • Khan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 10:35AM

    Mr Saroop, it is my sincere request that you should come up with an article comparing Imran Khan with Asif Zardari, Sharif Brothers, Altaf Hussain and Maulana Sahab. Lets play a fair game, please do justice to journalism.

    PS: Don’t bother if you can’t come up with something, that is what I want you to realize.


  • M.Akthar
    Aug 9, 2011 - 10:38AM

    As the author predicted, the article touched the nerve of all the literate middle class & they have come out flushing & slushing. These chaps have one thing in common, at some point of time they were all fans of zaid hamid or general mush.
    Who’ll the GHQ back-mush or khan will be the question in the upcoming elections! My guess is Mushy!


  • Usman
    Aug 9, 2011 - 10:49AM

    Country should not be given on test run to IK??? how about selling it off to PPP and PMLN on profit??
    IK as lesser-evil??? I’d say IK as no-evil
    It alarms you that people get aggressive when you criticize IK.. why dont you review the quality of your criticism instead of putting this on people??
    You give up that he;ll win elections on FB.. sometimes back you were not even willing to give him that, but now since you have seen and there can be no denying on his popularity on cyber space, you deny that there will be no one voting for him on election day.. wait till you see that day than you ll obviously believe.. This only proves that your observation is only limited to what is happening on internet?? I suggest you go out and meet real people and there you ll find the same passion.. and it’s not really because of IKs brilliant politics, it’s largely because of the pathetic politics by PPP and PMLN
    i know you dont like the fact that he hardly ever said anything about mass murder of Balouch, but does this mean we should vote and support the very people who perpetrated this act because IK wasn’t visible to you in his condemnation??
    You see for an intellectual like you, its very hard to swallow, that the most creative solutions are generally the most easiest ones as well.. they are too obvious to be taken seriously… I know you want specific solutions like that given by Altaf Hussain recently when he advised everyone to buy one month ration (I am sure you ll appreciate the specific solution given by him), but you see thats the most absurd argument.. you can only plan to an extent my friend, after that you need a leap of faith Mr. analyst

  • RS
    Aug 9, 2011 - 10:55AM

    Imran khan to Pakistan is what Baba Ramdev was to India! ;)


  • Subhash, India
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:02AM

    I am an Indian but deeply interested in the well being of our western neighbor. The Pakistan society is free to elect whomsoever they want but it should be through free & fair elections only. For IK supporters, I would pose 2 questions/statements for you to ponder over & reflect upon dear kaptaan’s beliefs :-
    1. Pls list names of a few men oh impeachable integrity in IK’s party.
    2. In 1980’s when IK was still playing & was friends with Zeenat Aman, he made a statement about her ” We Khans have been coming down to interior India for ages to rape Indian women & plunder” or words to similar effect.


  • Arifq
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:02AM

    Bravo! Hats off to you sir for saying it so eloquently.


  • Nasrat
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:10AM

    I am from Balochistan I ask the “Captaan sahab” what is his policy for Balochistan? As the province is now in a total mess and going out of control. As yet I have heard not a single word from the the “Captaan”He seems to be stuck with the word “corruption” only. It is very very easy to blame your opponent to be corrupt on public meetings, you say it and go but have you ever proved it in any court of law(now the independent judiciary)? Only being rhetoric is not going to work. To run the country you must be aware of whole country from Jewany in the extreme west till the Malakand and Sakardo to the East.Please dont rely only on Face Book, All young teen aged boys/girls sitting there fighting eachother; as an hobby.


  • Irshad Khan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:14AM

    Playing cricket or its captaincy and running administration of a country are two very different matters. IK has no vision to run the country and bring it back to the right track, which is also not apparent from any of his talks or speaches. He only blames and threats others upto the limit of abusiveness; which way of talk is enjoyed by yougsters due to prevailing circumstances. He has no team to run his party, what to say about running a government structure, which difficulty is already being faced by present ruling party which has a very large base and organisation. Further, IK has no patience to work as a team member of a big group of politicians/experts/highly educated persons/bureucrates etc. who are totally different then youngsters of a cricket team. We can not make further experiments to create a total chaos in the country.


  • Vortex
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:16AM

    I can understand the bending of truth and misleading statements . . . you are a lawyer after all. However, the poor research displayed in many of the arguments you present is plainly shoddy.
    Mr Saroop Ijaz, for the sake of your clients, raise your professionalism. You are entitled to your opinion but if you are a lawyer and are going public with what I assume is a personal opinion, you are doing yourself no favours.


  • MAD
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:19AM

    A pathetic one sided article. ET should look into the credentials of its journalists. Ofcourse the fact that its a lawyer does mean that hes probably spun the real story around and around till it becomes what he wants it to be.

    @Subhash, India

    ofcourse you dont like him. After what he did to yoru cricket team time and time again why would you.


  • Addi
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:19AM

    This is the exact example of “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win “…………………………..


  • Bilal
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:22AM

    I see a lot of DO NOTs and not a single DO!

    What do you suggest …. should we go and vote for Nawaz Sharif again? Your from Lahore …. I guess that is all you want!


  • sheikh Zakir Elahi
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:37AM

    A new phenomenon is currently taking over Pakistan and is spreading like wildfire – the “Imran Phenomenon.” Although the marvelous phenomenon finds its roots in mainly the urban and youth populations, more and more people are turning to Imran Khan for solutions to the problems they see in their nation. People are suffering, and they are suffering badly. The people are in need of a change in government, and at this point will go to any lengths to attain that change, whether it be through a bloody revolution of an election, though we can only hope for the latter. As G. K Chesterton once said, “You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.”
    Change is imminent in Pakistan. The Pakistan Tehreek-E-Insaaf Party is organizing at every level and every day, more and more well-known, clean politicians and electable candidates are joining the Party; the Party is well on its way in getting ready for the elections. Moreover, the recent decision by the Supreme Court regarding the bogus voter list along with the expanded access to media has changed the dynamics of the Pakistani Elections. Thirty percent of the voters in the upcoming elections consist of new, young voters of whom many are die-hard supporters of Tehreek-E-Insaaf; this is a ‘do-or-die’ situation for the Pakistani people and it seems like they will not just sit by and watch as the traditional parties and candidates are kept in power.
    None of the parties in the parliament were able to provide any hope or solutions to the problems faced by common people in the past years. The PPP, under the leadership of Zardari, who currently has a 12 % approval rating has managed to lose approval even within his own party, making it difficult for him to gain any votes from his own ‘supporters’; there will be no sympathy vote this time. Furthermore, the PML (N), which provided indirect support to the corrupt PPP government for its own purpose has lost popularity from its power hub, Punjab.
    People in Punjab are suffering greatly and the “Great Manager”, Shebaz Sharrif is a total failure. The MQM, as well, has proven that power is to them as water is to fish – they simply cannot live without it. Karachi is on fire and I think there is only so much people can take. Bravery and patriotism becomes an irrelevant aspect of life when your family has gone days without food. The ANP knows too well that it got its power for the first and the last time and is doing its best to cash out as much as it possibly can in the sole term it knows how: corruption/lawlessness /support of drone attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. I also do not think that Maulana Diesel can fool people one more time. Instead of depending on the power of the people in their own nation, parties in the current parliament are seeking the blessing of the power corridors in Washington; a tactic that is sure to backfire.
    Over all, the common people believe that it is time to give ‘Mr. Clean’ a try. Imran has a current approval rating of sixty-eight percent, making him Pakistan’s most popular and accepted leader. What makes Imran the most acclaimed and favored politician in Pakistan is his strict and uncompromising stand against the rampant corruption in the nation that is affecting the common man. Moreover, his unyielding support for the movement of justice is what has earned him widespread respect in the country. People not only recognize, but appreciate his stand that the rule of law should be enforced on everyone and everyone should be accountable – including politicians. His principled stance against the traditional and corrupt politicians has led him to emerge as the common people’s choice. It is his vision of a progressive, developed, and independent Pakistan and is his genuine message of hope that resonates with common man that makes him the most popular man in Pakistan.
    Imran is also gaining popularity due to his esteemed accomplishments. For one, he is a great administrator and has proved that he can deliver results. Winning the World Cup for Pakistan, creating and running a free Cancer hospital for the impoverished, developing a world class University in an under-developed area and selfless help for the flood victims are only a few of Imran’s achievements. People look up to him as a statesman capable of steering the nation out of this current situation to a brighter tomorrow. He is seen as the sole leader with a spotless past who has been able to deliver in the past and has a great vision for Pakistan and that is the main reason that he will surprise everyone in next election. Get ready for next prime minister, Imran Khan.
    Sheikh Zakir Elahi
    Advisor to Chairman PTI Imran Khan
    Political and Planning affairs
    Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf


  • sara
    Aug 9, 2011 - 11:39AM

    can ET add a thumbs down icon for comments as well?


  • Junaid
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:24PM

    What r u talking about? U hav got one straight guy ”Kaptaan” and U can’t even appreciate him. If that’s the case then there is no hop for Pak as the only other alternatives r two gooons i.e. Zardaris and Sharifs.


  • Amazed
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:31PM

    Don’t you all find it curious that anyone and everyone who has bashed Saroop for this article has “390” and “170” recommendation, while praising the article gets “16”?


  • Babar Khan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:33PM

    It is ridiculous how we surgically dissect each and every one of Imran’s stances and policies while the other political parties have none.

    They have time and time again proven that their position on topics are merely lip service. They loot, and plunder, and murder and this is not superfluous exaggeration but a fact. But somehow, THAT is more palatable to us as opposed to an honest man who might not be a seasoned politician but at least has his heart in the right place.

    Your lament as to his political prowess is the very reason I support him: BECAUSE. HE. IS. NOT. A. POLITICIAN. That is good enough in my books.

    I would suggest you wake up and take a look around you. This is what your “experienced” politicians have done to your country. They have raped it unchecked because they know they have people like you to distract the public with floozy ‘intellectualism’.


  • EpiphanyGuy
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:46PM

    Hi friends,
    Just the other day I had a long telepathic communication with IK, I asked him all these questions that our beloved writer here, and many before him, have repetitiously asked. Basically, how is kaptaan going to fix this country, it’s a total absolute mess, through what miracle will things fix themselves. Well here’s what he said. Have you guys seen mall road? Yes, he will sit there and pray for the following:
    1) Oh my Lord, please make a miracle happen so when I have to pick the heads of PIA, Steel Mill, Railways, and other bleeding public institutions, grant my hand the liberty to move past the CV of a metric pass. Also grant me the liberty to choose some hones, sincere executives (like the sort all our private institutions where MCB can raise a $1bn dollars in a day, and Banks, Media, and Telephone companies have multiplied 10 folds) maybe government sector too can find someone to fix things ‘miraculously’
    2) Oh my Lord, grant this nation a miracle where students get 23A’s, teachers consistently produce world distinctions, to somehow come up with a syllabus, credible education board, and make the impossible of actually spending the funds on education on education happen.
    3) Glory be to Allah, please send down to us a Hulk or a mix-bred of a rocket scientist and Muhammad Ali who is both smart enough to see the blatant tax evasion and strong-willed enough to be able to collect it. All praise to Allah, somehow miraculously make this hi-tech breed to not accept bribes
    And so the epiphanies and the prayers go on. Its funny, how people keep asking what’s he going to do that will fix things. For starters, he can stop being Gilani and Zardari (which includes not appointing personal lackeys, stop political patronage, and not plundering national exchequer). You do realize that the questions you ask are often downright lame, how do you fix corruption or crime or theft? That needs no miracle no rocket science. Simple things can work given you allow them to work.
    Tribune attracts the most interesting writers, I must say.


  • Ali Afridi
    Aug 9, 2011 - 12:53PM

    Well written article, just keep writing and reading articles and do nothing practically in spite of sitting in front of ur screen and reading and writing for Tribune all the time.

    Hats off to all Pakis.


  • Aug 9, 2011 - 12:58PM

    Taliban apologist? Depends which version of Taliban you mean? Pentagon’s Taliban (Fake) aka TTP or Taliban in Afghanistan who made illegal to grow drugs.

    Anwar Awlaki a famous Al Qaeda member dined in Pentagon. Senator Liberman accepted it in recent video stalking


  • Aug 9, 2011 - 1:11PM

    I am sorry the writer is very naive the country is not functioning in the midst of our current leaders Imran has the right recipe join him in bringing about the change
    Imran needs to get to the m asses using sms! learning from Obama’s campaign to connect to the downtrodden masses he needs to give his email account and cell no. on his party site as well
    communication is the key to imran success


  • SnT
    Aug 9, 2011 - 1:33PM

    Imran Khan is a flop, always has been, always will be. Next time, dear columnist, put your considerable skills to better use and write about real politics, not riff raff like Imran.


  • Amer
    Aug 9, 2011 - 1:49PM

    Well the article points out few things IK and his party supporters should make note of it and start working to fix those, shooting the messenger attitude is not going to help IK and his party.

    There is often said that why people are getting against IK and his stance, well the answer is simple, people of Paksitan have been suffering from Zardari from last 3 and half years, and this was not easy time for them, power-cuts with no solution what so ever (despite the fact that Pakistan have 20,000 MW installed capacity and have 17,000 Hydro power gen Potential (During Winter) in GB), the dying businesses and rising unemployment, the law and order situation, hence you name it, everything is in such a mess that no one want this Zardari Govt back in power…and no one want to see anything helping Zardari getting back in power.. IK’s stance is going to make the impossible not only a possibility but a fact.. by cutting down the anti-PPP vote and giving opportunity to PPP+PMLQ to get back in power… mean another though 5 years… this is why may not vote for PTI despite agreeing with IK and his Policies.


  • Saqib Ali
    Aug 9, 2011 - 2:28PM

    A 10 year old could have written a more balanced article.

    One does not even really want to respond to such ludicrous article! Many have already responded to almost every ridicoulous “point” made in the article and shown that the author is nothing but biased and sadly even a liar.


  • Aug 9, 2011 - 2:44PM

    Opponents of Imran Khan have got to decide now. Who is he supposed to be in cahoots with, the Army or the TTP? It is ridiculous to suggest that he is an agent of both, or in face either.


  • Saqib Ali
    Aug 9, 2011 - 2:46PM

    You mean when he was the only leader who was against the SWAT operation and the entire political spectrum and the general public opinion was in favour of military operation? You call that saying what the people want to hear?

    And Pakistan will always continue to suffer as long as people like you , who seem be sensible enough, do not have the courage to vote for the man who you say has the right policies. Thats indeed very sad.

    People are increasingly supporting Imran Khan because he has always had the correct stance. It might be that Zardari and Nawaz have utterly disappointed the people and thats why they are looking towards Imran Khan, but does that invalidate the honesty, integrity and commitment of Imran Khan and his party? The people are finally waking up and realizing who is a blacksheep and who is a genuine leader who can bring this country out of the current mess. If Imran was corrupt or had a negative reputation then people would not support him. So if we can agree that his is clean , has the right policies then lets vote for him! Even if he does not win, we should vote for what we believe is the right choice, not vote to keep someone out or keep someone in.


  • Majid
    Aug 9, 2011 - 3:13PM

    It is not surprising that most of the PTI or rather Imran Khan’s supporters are using ad hominem attacks instead of debating the points raised by the author. Most commentators, again are steering clear of Imran Khan’s absence of condemnation of the suicide attacks. Why does not he categorically denounce such attacks which have done so much harm to the country and its citizens? All of his good qualities are negated by his tacit support to the extremist fringe of the society.


  • Me
    Aug 9, 2011 - 3:28PM

    Some of the views of Pakistanis are poor. I think the ones against Imran Khan just love being used and abused! They like being treated like sheep!

    Don’t you all understand you have no other good alternative – each other party has milked you all BUT you still like them? In UK we would never vote for such poor politicians!

    I don’t think many of you want your country to get better instead you all would love to get a VISA to UK or USA! Sort your country out and stay there!!!


  • Saira Zulfiqar
    Aug 9, 2011 - 3:38PM

    @Ali Ammar:

    Dude I loved your post and style.


  • Shoaib
    Aug 9, 2011 - 4:28PM

    Imran is leading a movement, he gave vision to the nation, that strong justice systems, and getting out this war, is the only way out of current quagmire. He gave hope and credible honest leadership to the nation, something we as nations seriously lacked. If you need specific’s, you need to visit and do some more research. One recent example is first 100 days road map, many other long term plans will be also be made public very soon. So keep checking site, and don’t forget to check out web sites and plans of other parties. You will see the diffrence very soon, if you really want to see.


  • Shoaib
    Aug 9, 2011 - 4:29PM

    Imran is leading a movement, he gave high level vision to the nation, that strong justice systems, and getting out this war, is only way out of current quagmire. He gave hope and credible honest leadership to the nation, something we as nations seriously lacked. If you need specific’s, you need to visit and do some more research. One recent example is first 100 days road map, many other long term plans will be also be made public very soon. So keep checking


  • FZ
    Aug 9, 2011 - 4:50PM

    He led us to a cricket WC, built the best hospital this country has ever seen, built a university in Mianwali – the only person he should be compared with is Edhi. Who cares if the army is supporting him? Didnt ZAB owe his rise to the army too?

  • Israr
    Aug 9, 2011 - 5:09PM

    Forget the toru/ghairat brigade, forget the imbecile, ignorant, overly passionate khan followers..  What i’d really like  to know is who are “tightdhoti”, “realist” and “mirza”???  I have seen them comment on EVERY SINGLE article that has the name imran khan in it. they go at lengths to find faults in everything there is to do with imran khan and pti. I means someone would care THIS MUCH about a party that has never been power, and which according to all their expert analyses is irrelevant and never going to get anywhere??? These three seem to be the most brilliant minds in Pakistan, why are we letting it go to waste on something as irrelevant as imran khan? Shouldnt we appeal to them to run for public office so we can vote for them, and they lead us out of this darkness? 


  • Fahad Khan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 6:12PM

    Don’t you think you are completely biased in your opinion???


  • Ozymandias
    Aug 9, 2011 - 6:29PM

    The greatest thing IK has going for him is that he’s not like our current rulers. And for most of us, that’s enough. All this Imran bashing is actually making me sympathetic towards the guy.Recommend

  • Pro Bono Publico
    Aug 9, 2011 - 6:43PM

    Pity those who have Saroop Ijaz as their lawyer.


  • Aug 9, 2011 - 7:08PM

    Imran Khan is a confused man. One day you see him in Peshawar condemning drone strikes the next day he is talking about extracting swing from Indian pitches. He is not focussed at all. What the country needs is a serious leader who has politics as full time profession and does not turn up on TV channels talking about cricket with women dressed immodestly.Recommend

  • ahmed
    Aug 9, 2011 - 7:27PM

    Imran khan is the only hope for Pakistan


  • Jahan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 7:41PM

    Make me feel really good when forces of Status Quo are feeling severe pain in their bellies. I am going to attend 13th August Sit In in Islamabad Inshallah.


  • hamza khan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 7:44PM

    @Naveed Baloch:

    do you have any proof of your absurd assertion that the army is doing a kill and dump of baloch? HRCP has recently stated that tribal elders in balochistan are behind this. theres not a shred of proof of what you are stating. so lay off the insane polemics. Recommend

  • Junaid Khan
    Aug 9, 2011 - 8:09PM

    I started yawning till 2nd para and at 3rd I am ZZzzzzZZZZzzzzzzzz


    Aug 9, 2011 - 9:03PM

    “The average Imran Khan supporter is an energetic urbanite with a computer and a Facebook account, unhappy about the state of affairs”.
    The author needs to update his knowledge. When Imran Khan gave sit-in at Peshawar against Drowns, there were many people participated from extremely remote areas of the country. Are they using Facebook?? I am dead sure, they are not. So this argument has no base at all..


  • Crimson Blue
    Aug 9, 2011 - 9:51PM

    What Hitler was to post WW1 Germany, Imran is to young Pakistanis.


  • Agha Imran
    Aug 10, 2011 - 12:55AM

    Very predictable and another useless tirade against Imran Khan. I’m not a fan of Imran but i challenge the author to write about what Pakistan needs rather than trying to dis credit Imran Khan.


  • Sharjeel Malik
    Aug 10, 2011 - 2:11AM

    Imran khan connects with the masses. His popularity is increasing day by day not only in Pakistan but all over the world. I think the writer of the article is talking out of his depth, his piece demonstrates total elitism and my advice to him is that he shouldn’t give up his day job.


  • Asher
    Aug 10, 2011 - 2:45AM

    Another day, another armchair critic. This is faux journalism at its best:

    Pick a hot topic (i.e. Imran Khan)
    Write ill researched mindless banter about it.

    This is the best thing about our country, none of us are doing anything to help improve it therefore we painstakingly find time to criticize the people who are spending their time and energy trying to do so (while remaining useless artifacts ourselves).

    Please leave journalism to the professionals and spend your efforts elsewhere (lawyers are by nature biased and one-sided therefore please leave this profession to those who aren’t).


  • Waqar S. Rana
    Aug 10, 2011 - 2:47AM

    @ The Honorable members of the The Nazi Party :

    Such typical Fuhrer supporters, I’m sorry I meant Imran Khan supporters, no counter arguments, let’s just make immature personal attacks towards the writer and take out our pitch-forks. (please stop acting like the supporters of The Third Reich and be tolerant of each other’s views)

    I agree with Mr.Ijaz 100% and would like to add that I have never heard IK talk about international affairs, his vision of Pakistan’s foreign relations or economics. He always starts his sentences with .” Dekhein. mein aapko batata hoon…” and then just leaves us hanging. Identifying the problem isn’t the issue, pointing out a sane, constitutionally correct and practical solution is the problem. He says he has a 100 day plan but will not share it, why?

    Surely, Imran Khan is very charismatic but so was Barack Obama and look where his inexperience took his already troubled country. Governments are not run by charisma alone, charity hospitals are. If we wanted theatrics we already have Khaadim-e-aala in Punjab.

    We are going through quite possibly the most difficult crisis our nation has faced. What happens in Pakistan echoes across the globe. In this day and age we can’t live isolated from the International community I want to know that I’m supporting a man who can stand up for me and woo them and not be viewed as another Ahmedinejad, I want to be able to present my Pakistani passport proudly, anywhere I go. And, he still hasn’t explained his flip-flopping during Musharraf’s regime first he likes him then when he is not made PM he decides he doesn’t like him, He says dictatorship is never the solution yet he has recently asked the Army to step in, naturally I’m going to have trust issues.

    If he is running a democratic party and he is not a one man show, than why is it that when I turn on the TV at 9 he’s on, then at 10 he’s on another show and then the same story at 11, can he not find a few good people in this huge population to share his burden or is it that he doesn’t trust anyone enough to represent him ? Also, why did he not accept Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Javed Hashmi in his party, are they not amongst the endangered species of honest and morally correct politicians of Pakistan ?

    Guys, we want to believe, we want a leader who can brings us out of the dark, but please convince us with good or forget good but simple logical arguments, give us facts, quote him and not others, give us something…anything !!! We are desperate but we don’t need the best of the worst lot, we can’t afford it. Address our reservations, educate us don’t attack us and risk alienation. You need our votes and our support.

    “The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it.”

    Adolf Hitler –
    (whose favorite author was Arthur Schopenhauer and an influence behind the creation of the Nazi party)

  • Aug 10, 2011 - 3:59AM

    No, You are right. We should give vote to Maulana, ANP , MQM , PML & PPP because they are the greatest parties !
    Let us suffer for ever….
    Why give vote to IK who has already done a lot for the country !


  • Farrukh Jawed
    Aug 10, 2011 - 8:34AM

    @Saroop Ijaz (Writer)

    You need to (re)take your eyesight exam!


  • Ali Wazir
    Aug 10, 2011 - 8:41AM

    I will admit I did not read the article, just because I knew you sold out when you started defending Zardari, Gillani, Moonis and his cronies for their crimes against the Supreme Court, so that the “delicate institutional balance in Pakistan is maintained” lol What a Joke, this is even funnier than when NFP wrote that article defending poor ol Zardari… Well at least everyone now knows you are full of it…


  • Yasmin Malik
    Aug 10, 2011 - 10:19AM

    Mr Ijaz – another very well written and argued article! As a practising lawyer you have achieved precisely that which is needed for a good debate – inside or outside of the courtroom. Bravo!


  • wah wah
    Aug 10, 2011 - 2:26PM

    “the first hint of criticism on Imran Khan has the cyber-world jolted. There is a definite hint of fascism in this”

    just reading the comments justifies the author’s comments…

    i dont care what you say, imran khan all the way!


  • Mubashir Amin
    Aug 10, 2011 - 3:01PM

    This seems like a Government sponsored bid to demonize and belittle Imran. He is the only person who delivered. If your memory doesn’t fail you, please try and remember The World Cup. SKMT. Namal University. This is a man who knows not what failure is… like it or not “Here he comes”… stop this yellow journalism and prove that Zardari and Nawaz and Co. are better than Imran Khan or Just stay put and watch the change come through… After all its your country too!


  • Amber
    Aug 11, 2011 - 12:05AM

    I dont get it! What proof is there that PTI is being backed by the establishment. All I’ve heard is mere rumours, spread by PMLN and repeated by media anchors and writers such as this one.
    What are these “sources”, is what I’d like to know.

    For those who believe that the dehaati will never vote for PTI are mistaken. You just have to see the ZAB campaign of the 70’s. Situation is much worse now. I dont know why people think that these dehaati’s are blockheads. The everyday politics affects their life much more than those in the cities.

    The sms campign started by PTI is being joined by people mostly in rural areas.

    What we need is free and fair elections! And the youth to register their vote.Recommend

  • Taimoor
    Aug 11, 2011 - 12:38AM

    Why don’t you step outside your little law office and see how your fellow countrymen are scratching a living. Pakistan is dead in the water unless some radical change occurs. Also for once PLEASE!! why don’t you Imran bashers give us a good alternative instead of just attacking the guy. What is your alt. Zardari, Shariff, mark my words one more time these guys get elected and that will be the death of Pakistan.


  • encrypted
    Aug 11, 2011 - 2:25AM

    Basically, the opponents of Imran Khan want him to cure Pakistan of all its problems (without coming into power) and only then will he be considered a sincere politician. Shaukat Khanum is not JUST a hospital. It’s annual expenses are more than 3 billion rupees. Did any of you find any corruption in this project in the last 10 years? Does the hospital run efficiently? Yes. It’s turned into an institution where Imran Khan is not even required. Imran Khan has given credibility to such a massive institution (If 3 billion rupees collected from charity means something) that the hospital doesn’t even need Imran Khan’s presence anymore. And what did the PML-N and PPP do? Our debt has increased from 30 billion dollars to 60 billion within 3 years. Why is the writer mum about this fact? Why isn’t he speaking out against the sasti roti scam which failed miserably and the icing on the cake; in a country which has no gas to drive vehicles, the PML-N launches the peeeli taxi scam once again, even though it had failed initially. Go read the 100 day plan if you need any strategies to save Pakistan because clearly, the Benazir Income Support Program and the Peeli Taxi Scheme has revolutionized Pakistan into a super power. Grow up!


  • Fahad Shaikh
    Aug 11, 2011 - 8:36AM

    hahaha … what a silly replies from all these chaps above me and what a Imran bashing campaign….

    I dont know why do you guys put ALL (yes ALL) burden on just one Imran Khan (KAPTAAN). Is he running the affairs of this country. Then!!!!

    You guys go like!!
    1. Why he does not say anything for Karachi
    2. Why he does not do Dharnas for Balouch
    3. Why he does not criticize PPP much
    4. Why he does not say anything against Railway / PSM/ PIA/ Hajj Scam / etc etc and the list goes on & on.

    Well for people like you, we have nothing but this link



  • Khurram Shahzad
    Aug 11, 2011 - 9:38AM

    The Author only wanted to showoff his vocabulary. He could have used simple words, but i don’t know what he wants to prove.


    Aug 11, 2011 - 2:55PM

    I have read your article it lacks both substance and research:

    Your comment: Leaders are supposed to give visions and methodologies to implement them

    Answer: A man who made a cancer hospital in which more than 75% patients are treated free of cost, A man who has made the first private sector university in a rural area where 95% students are on scholarships, A man who made us win the world cup. CAn all of these achievements be made by someone who lacks vision. I doubt it.

    As for methodologies I would urge you to visit the Tehreek -Insaf website and read the articles which are published on a daily basis on how the affaris of the govt should be run along with detailed methodologies. And also they obtain regular feedback from professionals all over the world, have made think tanks etc. You are most welcome to visit any of the meetings that are taking place in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi

    Your comment: A very disturbing element of Khan’s recent political rise is his now almost explicit support by the military establishment

    Answer: How have you established this? Can the military and the establishment influence polls conducted by PEW and YouGOv as well?

    Your comment:The biggest dent to Khan’s credentials as a national leader is the semi-coherent pandering to the most prevalent prejudice of our society — that of uncritically blaming the West for suicide attacks

    Answer: Have suicide attacks increased/decreased since the war in Afghanistan or not?

    BTW I am your average urbanite who uses FAcebook and Twitter, but also visit my village on a regular basis in KPK and obtain feedback from the ordinary rural KISAAN who are all in favour of khan.

    Next time write something that you can support. Such as incompetence of the current GOvt and of your alternative PMLN.



  • Hadi
    Aug 11, 2011 - 3:28PM

    This writer saying to himself “Hey I did it, finally, I found one topic which will make any of my horrible articles get published..From now on I will only talk about Imran Khan”


  • Qaiser Ijaz
    Aug 12, 2011 - 5:54AM

    Another sick man with good words. Wasted my 20 minutes.


  • Raja Ahmed Shuja
    Aug 12, 2011 - 6:03AM

    Imran Khan, a national hero, captain of the team that brought the cricket world cup home. Founder of Sk, which is not just a hospital but an institution within itself, a model organization.
    A responsible citizen, with no criminal records whatsoever. A national representative, who has been representing his country since the past three decades in various forms including sports, promotion of SK, inviting potential donors, sharing political ideology, etc.
    An educationalist who has been successful in building a university in Mianwali.
    All his accomplishments were based on honesty which allowed him to collect substantial amount of funds for his projects. Thus, gaining the title of ‘trustworthy’ nationally and internationally which is a rare case for Pakistanis.
    He’s neither a corrupt landlord nor a corrupt businessman.
    Imran Khan to me is a philosopher. A thinker, planner who is in pusuit of a better future for the people of Pakistan. He might not be able to specify his methodology today but he knows the art of implementation. He has achieved his goal at a micro level and is capable enough to go macro, and bring a greater change. Now let’s hope that the change turns out to be a positive and fruitful one. Support PTI.


  • Omair Shakil
    Aug 12, 2011 - 11:17PM

    As they say: If they are talking about you, you have clearly arrived.
    Regardless of whether it is by choice or by default, bur Imran Khan is the only hope this country has left and having seen the likes of our incumbent government, it can’t get any worse.

  • Dr Arslan
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:20PM

    link text

    A must read Reply to Captain Elite..All falsey created perceptions about IK are discussed in this reply with clips within the article to augment the arguments..Its a MUST READ for all.


  • Awans
    Aug 17, 2011 - 7:43PM

    A complete waste of time!!


  • Saba Khan
    Aug 18, 2011 - 1:47PM

    dude, we can’t get any worst than Zardari, Nawaz, Altaf… I’m going to try IK. at least he is hardworking, honest, visionary and most importantly learn from his mistakes.


  • Atif Alvi
    Aug 20, 2011 - 12:58AM

    It’s hilarious and sad at once that someone would still consider being ruled by the PPP and/or PML rather than giving chance to someone as demonstrably honest and passionate as Imran.


  • xOYA
    Aug 20, 2011 - 1:16PM

    This Country Badly Needs Mr Musharaf .


More in Pakistan