Imran Khan is right, he is bringing a revolution. Unfortunately, it won’t be the kind of revolution we need. The revolution that would help us, at this point, is the same that could have saved us at any point in our past. A revolution that sees an end to the feudalism that has kept entire swaths of our population trapped in medieval servitude, or even a revolution that sees a decrease in the growing extremism that will devour our society. Instead, his revolution will be more like the exact opposite of those. It will be a revolution that sees greater legitimacy being granted to extremists and greater influence being given to feudal lords. For some amongst us, this isn’t the revolution they need but it is the revolution they want. For them and only them, Imran Khan is a blessing.
Before these claims are rubbished as unsubstantiated polemic, let’s at least consider the evidence. The feudalism favouritism has been written about extensively already. Shah Mehmood Qureshi, being so celebrated by the PTI means, those who serve under him as his subjects can hope for no relief in their toil. The problem that is still being ignored is the growing extremism. In the last few days, we have seen PTI leadership actively involved in entirely questionable activities that not only pay lip service to extremism but actively encourage it. The presence of PTI Vice-President Ijaz Chaudhry at the recent Difa-e-Pakistan rally in Lahore is not just a case of Imran Khan’s party “… presenting our view at DPC rallies” as the Tiger claims. If that was needed they could have simply made a press statement before or after the rally, miles away from it. If you spoke at the rally, then you endorse what was being said there. Sometimes things are just that simple. The PTI is not some idealistic MBA joining a tobacco firm to ‘change the system from the inside’. To make such claims is to treat the public like idiotic simpletons and that is just insulting. By participating in a rally in which a JuD leader calls a woman a “whore”, is a frightening endorsement of misogyny. To participate in a rally where a large portion of the audience belongs to a banned sectarian outfit notorious for killing and persecuting Shias is horrific appreciation of their agenda. To allow a leader like Ijaz Chaudhry to that rally, a man who has previously also attended major gatherings by the SSP, means that the PTI is basically in agreement with the SSP’s beliefs and message. The PTI defenders will claim that this is all an attempt to engage extremists to bring the same kind of change to their thinking that Imran Khan promises to bring to governance. Given that there has been no effort made in this regard at all, does not bode well for the promises of decreased corruption that are being made.
So when Imran Khan talks about a revolution, let’s remember, it is not the revolution you think. Which is why he doesn’t want you to think at all.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2012.
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Awesome to see the mask from Imran's face falling and the media realizing that he will be the last nail in the coffin.
@Khalid: I did the same expecting satire, oh well may be next one.
Veena Malik for President!
The only positive I take from such analysis is that people of Pakistan should not take PTI as some Justice League of America and should not expect too much out of Imran Khan. Any criticism beyond that is not fair. The democratic system does not take leadership as a deterministic problem rather as an iterative problem where the optimal leadership evolves after a number of stages (or elections if you will) given the premise that election is free and fair. PTI by far is a better party than others. And if somebody is not supporting PTI, generally he does not support any other party either. Bashing PTI is only serving one purpose: alienating the educated class from casting their vote.
Come on guys, one more artciles on Imran Khan. Why every blogger in Pakistan is just focussing on Imran Khan?
People must not keep their hopes high and catch every single word what Imran Khan says will be implementable but when he comes into power and does even 5% of what he says is an achievement itself. Atleast, something in the right direction.
Today, progress in Pakistan is going in negative direction. If people are trying keep their hopes high atleast don't let them down. I know Imran Khan is not perfect and nobody is perfect in this world.
So please chill guys.
At the outset, I want to clarify that I am a PTI member since its inception in 1996. Having said that, I must state to all those who support PTI that the only value that this party is perceived to bring is an escape from the declining values and practices in our society. This includes blind and ignorant support to the parties regardless of ideology. It is rather obligatory for supporters to show their disapproval of something that they believe party did not stand for. More applicable for a party that is still fledgling and is claiming to represent the moral high ground. We cannot afford to be expedient just when we need to be holding firm to our message. Making these appearances in DPC jalsas and playing cozy to forces of bigotry and regression is to be condemned in unequivocal terms. It does not mean that you are going against the party but only maintain democratic pressure inside the party to stay the course. These Frankenstein are already a menace! Engaging does not mean attending their jingoistic and hateful public gatherings. 2 thumbs down for this to PTI and Imran Khan and message should be loud and clear. Peace!
thanks for putting things in perspective Sami. we need tolerant writers like you to take to urdu media ; the masses' choice of public discourse. you write with objectivity.
keep writing. let haters be hating.
@Sadia: "Imran Khan has used the term ‘liberal fascists’ on numerous occasions."
Well, he was not known for his academic achievements at the Uni. To expect his lemmings to open a dictionary, would it not be asking for too much?
Might I add, non of you have read the Manifesto of the PTI. Although it was difficult to read, they haven't even been able to come up to the expectation of the second paragraph on the first page. This is interesting, the third paragraph phrases that;
"The PTI is determined to provide a credible new leadership that can restore Pakistan's political and economic sovereignty through building a new bond of trust between the government and the people. Only through the active participation of the people can we collectively mobilize our human and material resources to forge ahead on the road to a confident and self-reliant nation."
But on the contrary I would like and suggest that PTI should be given a fair chance like all the others predecessors, even though they wouldn't be able to but still PTI should rule Pakistan. Its would hurt worst that now, what's another 5 years.
@Hassan: You are right bro.. but don't worry we will make sure that whole Pakistan is free of these extremist ideology and unnecessary religious intolerance..
We will flood social media and internet with right message and people will connect with us bcoz we speak truth..
Just keep posting and commenting good things on internet and fight will continue..
@Sadia: Pls enlighten yourself :-- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCZdDlpvpyM
I watched the Interview of IK with Burkha Dutt... He called Liberals as "scum" and many more thing..
You guys(PTI) are living in denial. He is going the wrong way. Liberals are intellectual treasures of society. Even if you don't like them but at least you listen to them and give them respect.
I was very upset after this and now I am no more "blind IK supporter".
Oh please, not another PTI bashing, no head or tail article. If you have some solutions, then please share. Otherwise, neither do you have any idea of the problems yourself nor you know what you are actually writing.
"or even a revolution that sees a decrease in the growing extremism that will devour our society."
I think that this fact is well established that extremism is not growing its liberalism that is growing...Pakistan is primarily an extremist society and that fact was established after the Salman Taseer Murder. The divide became clear and it showed that majority of the population is either extremist or supporters of extremism...God Help us
@haroon ali: come on lover... please bring some other reason to support Harry potter.
BTW well said writer
@Nadir: Wrong! Imran Khan has used the term 'liberal fascists' on numerous occasions. Btw. all those fond of this term would be well advised to look up the meaning of the word 'fascist' in a dictionary.
If the words were power, Pakistan would have been a powerhouse.
and well said KHan...
. Well written Sami! But I disagree with this point "To make such claims is to treat the public like idiotic simpletons and that is just insulting".
Unfortuenately, our people ARE 'idiotic simpletons'. They never hold anyone accountable nor take up any responsibilities, and its their idiocy that explains the mess we are in!
He is the first politician talking about 'HONESTY' and 'JUSTICE' since Mr Jinnah. That alone is a plus in a country not used to those two words.
Jumping to conclusions without presenting a factual account on Ejaz Chaudry.
On the revolution: Imran's party has the least number of feudal representatives from my constituency in Balochistan. True MQM probably has no landlord on their party, but they have a militant wing!
PTI cannot be Mr.Perfect, election is about choosing the lesser evil. PTI is certainly a far lesser evil. Imran's popularity is not because of any religious slogans but because of his commitment to tackle the issues of education, energy, employment and accountability.
Thank God i saw it coming, and that's why I was the only one amongst my firends group who did not follow the PTI frenzy.
And, IK willl goto Quetta to talk to the Baloch!
Tell me how many Baloch live in Quetta.
@Superpak: Who is Imran Khan to judge who is a facist or not? Imran Khan nor PTI have labelled their critics as liberal scum and in no way are doing everything to unite ALL pakistanis
Another pseudo intellectual with a so called liberal agenda........ BTW if the DFP is indeed composed of banned organization why are they allowed to hold big rallies by the govt.????? The author represents a class who has never voted, will never vote, have always criticized the system on one pretext or other but never suggested concrete steps for improvement of this system. May I ask this esteemed armchair critic, if it is not Imran then please tell me whom should I vote for in next general elections??????
If only thing you have is a hammer, everything appears to be a nail. Come on sami, its part of evolution. Let it be like this, after all its democracy.
First off buddy lay off batman for a while. Get your own puns and quotes. Secondly you wrote exactly what I expect of a closed minded pakistani, nothing against you it is the national personality. You think since a rep from pti was there that imran and pti endorses them and thus automatically extremists. Then those tens of thousands of pakistanis in the audience were also extreme right. Let me ask you this who are you to judge who are extremists and who are not. It is a pathetic trait of pakistanis to judge others when they themselves would not tolerate it. Spare me your rants all imran is doing uniting ALL pakistanis something that with the divisive forces of this so called "vibrant" media is extremely tough.
@Salman Zafar "Dude" if the extremists have their way in Pakistan this is the last time in your life you will ever be voting.
Actually PTI will bring change by inserting moles inside the system. Shah Mehmood will bring land reforms, Ijaz Chaudry will end sectarian violence, Jehangir Tareen will demolish the sugar mafia, and Khursheed Qasuri will enforce uniform education system
Mejority rules and its a mejority demand.
First he's blamed for having 'political acumen', now he is blamed for legitimising 'feudal politics'. Those who want to complain will always complain no matter what he does.
These are the reasons why the only party that can bring an actual revolution; the revolution that Pakistan needs is the MQM.
Kept on reading the article expecting for the witty sarcasm just around the corner. Unfortunately it never came. I know it's hard to look at things from a different angle and put them in words which bring a smile to everyone's face and gets your view across. But that's why we read you, if not for that you are just another writer painting another dark picture of things to come. Your have always been able to paint a dark picture but always light it up by a couple of fireworks, which was greatly missed in this article. Hope you see the lighter and brighter side of things soon.
You don't understand - good intentions are guarantee of good results. Imran has good intentions (in general terms at least).
You don't understand - Corruption is only problem in Pakistan. Once he is there as PM/President or both, whole culture and administrative setup will change and people will become virtuous i.e. Pak as in Pakistan.
You don't understand - he is Trojan horse. Not for silent majority, who are progressive, but for fundus. His is a masterful strategy, which rivals Zardari of bait and switch. He will not server those constituencies which got him elected, instead he will have progressive policies or limiting the land ownership to 58 acres, will abolish hoodod and blasphemy laws and prosecute the generals, takeover or sell of all the commercial enterprises of Army.
You just don't get it. You need to be super smart like PTI supporters, which is a PITy.
I somehow agree with Sami.. projecting positive image is very important for someone who is yet to prove himself. Who is to say that Kaptaan's real interest lies on the other side and he is just wearing a mask to fool the liberals into voting him to power? To clear a big mess, use a bigger broom. Don't jump into the mess.
This notion of voting for Imran Khan just because you can't think of anybody else you like, is excruciatingly preposterous.
Democracy isn't just about a vote. It's about moulding a politician so he can better serve your needs by both praising and condemning. Start demanding more out of Imran Khan, and don't take his qualities as excuses to ignore all his vices. His overt support of extremist elements needs to be addressed. No need to settle for a package deal where can't enjoy the benefits without having to tolerate the nonsense that comes along with it.
Don't follow Imran Khan. Lead him..
That's the spirit. We need blind followers in PTI who do not care for or need any facts.
So much for a change.
Imran gives interview to Indian journalists that he would not alow terrorism against India to happen from Pakistani soil. Then he sends a VP to represent him on a forum which has Hafiz Saeed who openly proclaims jihad against India. Saying different things in different forums undermines the credibility of PTI.
Facts have been expressed vividly.
@Umer: There are a far too many parallels between the rise of Nazism and PTI to be neglected. Both exploit a deep sense of humility and hurt and bigotry to galvanize around Führer, err I mean Kaptaan. Lets just hope PTI doesn't incorporate Roman salute for its impressionable followers anytime soon.
A very precise and pragmatic Op Ed. Thanks Sami. It is important to make our people think and not just follow the mob. This herd mentality has ruined Pakistan all these years. People have to be realistic in their expectations and be aware of the new born again revolutionaries. We should demand a clear policy in detail to deal with all our social evils including terrorism and extermism. One does not bring revolution or even a change by joining the banned rightwing extremsist groups.
Enough of such criticism on PTI. Some are targeting its education policy and some says its an extremist party and some rumors even claim Imran as an agent of Zionist agenda... Let's talk some sense now... The issue with pseudo journalism is its ego-centered focus on identifying the problems rather than recommending the solutions. We all are aware of the problems, lets have some constructive criticism rather than firing buzz words... Pragmatic politics means that you have to carry every section of the society otherwise it would create a mess in the society and that's exactly what's going go... You can't let these mullah to suffer in the dooms age rather than institutionalize the setup which none of the govt. pay any serious thought after the Zia Jihadist movement to these Madarsahs... If he is trying to build the policy for these religious Madarsahs, you have a problem, if not, still you have the same problem... Alienating any fraction of society is not the solution, its just fueling the fire... Ye masla wo masla, if you are in a problem with PTI then write the solutions and its feasibility report... Get the hold on the subject and then produce some solution... (Note: To all those bashers, I am not an avid PTI supporter)
I feel that you have over-dramatized the issue just like I would have expected Molana Diesel to have done. IK has already been grilled on the issue in Indian Media and he had mentioned that in his view the only way to address the challenge of these groups is to integrate them back into society politically and socially. If you really want a revolution of bloodshed against all extremist groups, please go for it but I assure you it will be a very messy route to take. PTI seems to be vague only because they are taking the least confrontational route. Lastly, for a detailed discussion on SSP and why it is difficult to take them head on with the resources state has, you will be well advised to read Anatol Lieven's analysis of Southern Punjab politics and extremism.
If you continue writing such insane articles, you will soon make enough money, to deposit in Swiss Banks. I am sure Zardari, Gilani, Babar Awan, Kaira, Nawaz Shareef, Altaf Hussain, Asfandyar Wali, Asma Jehangir, Hoodbhoy, Nayyar, and the other secular like, minded must be your favorites. Keep praising them, at the cost of sane values, and Pakistan, and you too, will soon have enough in foreign banks. Oh I forgot there is Kamaran Shafi, Ayaz Amir, and other like minded secular mind set, who may be your fans, who could perhaps continue inflicting misery on Muslims, of Pakistan, yet people like you would continue supporting them. Allah Subhana save us from such a scenario.
Thank you Sami for backing up your concerns with facts and logic. Greatly appreciate that.
@blah, @haroon ali
You certainly are entitled to continue supporting Imran. It is your right. It would have been helpful if you had indicated your thought process for WHY you are rejecting what the author has mentioned. DO you disagree with the facts? Do you disagree with the logic? Or do you think that the facts and logic are fine but you do not believe that the issues highlighted by the author are not the ones that are a priority for you?
Ok. Whatever dude. I will still vote for imran. Not convinced enough to give my vote to anyone else.
You may do otherwise. Good luck for u.
Sami, you are going to get dirty if you have to clean a big mess. As long as your intention is to continue to clean and not to perpetuate it to your advantage. It takes great effort to create and it is easy to demean and destroy. Just think for a moment, how would you go about trying to turn Pakistan into a creative and positive nation? At least give credit to PTI for trying to do the right thing.
But what about teh burger bacha fantasies of a "tandarust" Pakistan with PTI in power.
And, here cometh the PTI trolls.
You make a very valid point.
here we go again, long live the bashers!
I think you should continue voting for Zardari. Imran Khan is too straight forward for you.
Thanky you for the post, great article Imran khan has habit of simplifying matters generally and believe he have no idea about anything
why so serious? ;)
You forgot the Shezan ban by PTI headed LHC Bar. PTI is increasingly looking like Nazi party before it came into power.