The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s youth convention on Saturday was somewhat a reminiscent of its large-scale rally last December - Salman Ahmed made the crowd get on its feet by singing Jazba Junoon, while slogans of ‘Kaun Bachaye ga Pakistan, Imran Khan, Imran Khan’ echoed at Carlton Hotel.
“You all have to make a new Pakistan. Naya Pakistan is not a slogan - it’s a belief,” said party chief Imran Khan, adding that he wanted to form an Islamic state as envisioned by their forefathers. “Once we come into power, there won’t be any bloodshed or attacks, like the one on Bashir Bilour just now.”
Imran was speaking at Aaj ka naujawan aur naya Pakistan (Today’s youngsters and a new Pakistan), an event organised by the PTI student body, Insaf Students Federation (ISF).
The party chief announced that they would eliminate the VIP culture when in power and that the country’s corrupt leaders should be thrown in jail.
Addressing the excited young members of ISF - some listening to his speech attentively while other busy taking his pictures - Imran shared examples of his favourite leaders. “Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) never did anything for himself. Even the West considers him as one of the greatest leaders.
Then there was Jinnah who kept his illness a secret so that he could create a separate homeland.” Mentioning Nelson Mandela, Imran said that despite spending 27 years in jail, Mandela did not change his stance about equal rights.
Encouraging youngsters to become leaders, he said that everything is possible in Pakistan as it has endless resources and talented youth.
“Leaders think above themselves - not like ours who are transferring the country’s wealth into foreign accounts. These are not leaders.”
With Khan we stand
Scientist Atta-ur-Rehman said that the most important basis of a progressive nation was to have good and honest leaders. “These leaders can change the face of the country,” he said, adding that four points - good governance, innovation and entrepreneurs, science and technology and literacy - were needed to change the face of the country.
Speaking about the Higher Education Commision, he said that enemies within the state want to destroy it by appointing their own director, but the Supreme Court has saved it again.
The convention managed to bring about a huge crowd of youngsters, Kausar Shah Khan, who listened to Imran Khan 16 years ago and was thrilled to be there.”The best part is that he is giving a chance to youngsters as we are the ones who can change the country.”
He said that apart from making a cancer hospital, this man [Imran Khan] rose above the controversies against him, which is why she would vote for him.
A university student Zaheer Usman said that he postponed his vacations to see Imran. “I am a huge fan - and the way he has engaged us in politics is great.”
Parents with their children also showed up in support of the leader.
Zakia Minhaj, who said she’s been a PPP supporter all her life, opined that this was the time to give chances to new leaders.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2012.