It’s not over, PTI supporters

Published: May 21, 2013
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The writer is Head Corporate Communications & CSR at Express Media Group

The writer is Head Corporate Communications & CSR at Express Media Group

As the results of Election 2013 started coming in, and the pendulum swung in the PML- N’s favour, my Facebook newsfeed became infested with despondent statuses from PTI supporters — the gist of most was about how there is no hope for this country, that the choices of most of the citizens were uneducated, apart from those who voted for Imran Khan as he was the only one who could have saved us and how it was time for all of us to relocate to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Something that every status had in common was the ailment which I feel will be the end of us all — self-righteousness. Since Imran Khan is an upright man, as a consequence, so are his supporters?

People have “unfriended” each other over arguments and conversations of a couple of minutes have turned from a friendly debate into personal attacks. When a mutual friend tried to reason, somebody rightly pointed out, “You are apparently trying to be rational. It never works when politics, religion or Justin Beiber are concerned”.

It was unrealistic for PTI supporters to believe at any point that the PTI was going to win the elections. I know a lot of people who have knowingly and willingly voted for the MQM or the PML-N not because they were forced to but because they thought it was the right choice to make for the country. Whether most people who voted for them had sleepless nights afterwards is a discussion for another time.

However, my brave people, after all these years and after all that we’ve put one another through, continue to underestimate themselves and still want to be saved by God and more recently, by Imran Khan.

There is no doubt in my mind that Imran Khan is a good man, a born leader who has motivated this county. He did what he thought should be done as a patriot and as a citizen of Pakistan. But ultimately, it’s the people who made the change happen. And for that, we should be congratulating not just Imran Khan but one another. That is what Imran Khan ultimately wanted to achieve — more power to the people.

If Pakistan needs saving, you and I, we, have equal parts to play. It is very convenient to pass on the responsibility to a single individual as it puts one’s conscience at ease. It gives one somebody to blame if things go wrong and then wallow in collective self-pity, which is also a favourite pastime. For PTI supporters, being complacent is no longer a choice they can afford to make. If the PTI wants a shot at happily-ever-after and not go down the same road as the PPP, PTI supporters will have to be more proactive.

For PTI supporters, coming out and voting was just the first step; it took the PML-N and the MQM decades to have the kind of following that is loyal to the party and not just to the individual. PTI supporters need to decide whether they are in it for the long haul or just because Imran Khan is the more fashionable choice. It will also be interesting to see how the PTI engages its supporters to ensure continuity.

Perhaps, it is time to put more faith in principles rather than individuals. Perhaps, it is also time to be tolerant towards one another’s choices and realise that the person you are voting for is a mere mortal and has and will make mistakes like each one of us. It is time to not be a sheep and become aware of the fact that we are not as powerless as we think we are.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (22)

  • Muhammad
    May 22, 2013 - 1:36AM

    Very well-written! I do hope PTI supporters just don’t start denigrating the author because she asked them to be tolerant of those who disagree with them.
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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 22, 2013 - 2:32AM

    Its over for majority of the PTI supporters. After five years, most of them would be having their own families, jobs, businesses and would be thinking differently. When a young person faces tough realities of life, he comes out of idealistic thinking. Hope future generation is not that stupid.

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  • Mirza
    May 22, 2013 - 2:41AM

    This is one of the more pragmatic Op Ed in ET on the elections. The problem with PTI supporters is their arrogance and disregard for the mandate of the others. I do not like the rightwing TTP supported PML-N’s victory but I do believe in democracy and they have earned the right to rule Pakistan for now. If PTI would have won I would stand for their hard earned democratic rights as well. It is not the idol worshipping but the beliefs that are imp. People come and go but principles do not die with them.
    The problem is many Mush’s supporters and urban elites have joined PTI and they have open disdain toward democracy and majority rule. Some openly say dictatorship is better if we do not win. They cannot have it both ways, contest elections and in case of defeat opt for dictatorship. Honestly speaking the mismanagement that IK and PTI showed when he took the fall tells a lot about their organization or lack thereof!Recommend

  • Saleem
    May 22, 2013 - 3:07AM

    I am a PTIian and I have accepted PML-N’s and MQM’s victory by genuine as well as rigged votes. I am hoping ECP will not be as toothless as it has been in 2013 and law will be enforced at polling stations for a free and fair elections. It will be easy to accept win or defeat knowing its not the rigging but the will of the people. As IK said, let the process of democracy continue with some obvious counting clarifications from ECP. Even though N-league has won the mandate, its IK who has pushed them into talking about change and reforms so we must give credit to IK for that. In the end, we all want best for Pakistan, Naya Pakistan is already here and InshaAllah it will prosper as days go by.

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  • Raza
    May 22, 2013 - 3:51AM

    This party is the ideological child of Khan and therefore I will stay loyal to it till my last breath….even if it is long after Khan himself. People mistake PTI supporters. We didn’t choose to become involved in politics now because it is “fashionable” or because our friends were doing it, it was because for the first time in our lives we were given a reason to believe, a reason to hope and a reason to fight! The fire that Khan has lit in the heart of every Pakistani youngsters is not one to go out anytime soon and shall outlive that of our MQM and PMLN counterparts IA!!!

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  • Saleem
    May 22, 2013 - 6:04AM

    @Muhammad: We are not denigrating anyone, we are simply perplexed as to why others chose for the corrupt again … mind blowing. Again, if you have chosen then I respect your decision but if they have chosen themselves, by polls rigging, then I am entitled to a a protest for the fair right of PTI.

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  • Saleem
    May 22, 2013 - 6:06AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: Why shouldn’t one go for idealistic setting when presented? I am not sure what’s your point? You seem to have made up your mind that this is it, it can’t be better than this hence get on with it? That’s pretty bizarre IMO.

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  • Pakistani Ostrich
    May 22, 2013 - 6:37AM

    PTIians need not worry, it’s not over for PTI. IK still has one thing going for him in the next election, He hasn’t been tried!

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  • Zubaida Abobaker
    May 22, 2013 - 8:11AM

    It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.
    That’s what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.

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  • Asghar
    May 22, 2013 - 8:46AM

    @Raza: I agree 100%. Every PTI supporter, not all I agree but still most, became involved because they were given a reason to believe. That is because as the writer pointed out IK is a “good man”. Sadly we can not say that about any leader of the other parties whether people supporting them wish to see it or not. They have their own vested interests, are corrupt and really don’t care an ounce about Pakistan or the people of this country. IK may not be a “mature” politician as many of his adversaries keep on pointing out (which is something I don’t agree to completely) but what good is a mature politician who is corrupt?
    If the actions of the other parties prove my statement wrong in the next 5 years, I would gladly vote for them too.

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  • Iram
    May 22, 2013 - 10:07AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: More than fifty percent voters voted for PMLN by saying that this is last time we are voting for this party if failed to deliver we will not vote again. Try to deliver not Metro, Lap top but education and health.

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  • Ammar Shafique
    May 22, 2013 - 11:05AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: I wont say much, just wait for the next elections and save this :)
    From PTI member.

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  • May 22, 2013 - 1:30PM

    I think every party must be tested i congratulate kyber(kpk)pepole real brave peopls they test every party MMA ANP NOW PTI other provinces must do same in order to get real democracy we pakistanies will suffer if we dont listen to people like asghar khan IMRAN KHAN.GIVE HIM A CHANCE TO PROVE A REAL HERO OF THIS TIME.LONG LIVE IMRAN KHANRecommend

  • Olaeveryone
    May 22, 2013 - 6:50PM

    Major takeaway from this article: “If Pakistan needs saving, you and I, we, have equal parts to play. It is very convenient to pass on the responsibility to a single individual as it puts one’s conscience at ease. It gives one somebody to blame if things go wrong and then wallow in collective self-pity, which is also a favourite pastime.”

    This is by far never discussed in our society, our responsibilities as Pakistanis. We need to change ourselves for the better and it starts with out mentality. All of us cannot continue to rely on politicians to turn our country around. We have to chip in, whether it be helping a person on the street, refraining from rioting or destruction of others’ properties, to honestly paying your share of taxes. We have to start doing things that reflects how we would like to be seen. Hypocrisy must go and so should the judgmental behavior. Let people do what they want, just make sure you are contributing value to your society and country as a whole.

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  • Khan
    May 22, 2013 - 7:56PM

    @Mirza:

    The problem with PTI supporters is their arrogance and disregard for the mandate of the others.

    Their supporters did not come from mars but are from the same society .. most of them might have been previously supporting other parties too .. I.K has problem with those consituencies where there is a proof of rigging .. He has said time and again that he respect the mandate in rest of 100 seats won by NS & Co

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  • Khan
    May 22, 2013 - 7:58PM

    @Mirza:

    They cannot have it both ways, contest elections and in case of defeat opt for dictatorship

    Please elaborate how is Nawaz Sharif & Zardari or the Bhuttos not dictators? You sure should know better after living in the US for such a long time.

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  • Khadim Karrar
    May 22, 2013 - 8:26PM

    Yes, it is not over yet as in the next elections PTI is likely to sweep elections in Karachi.

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  • Khair Khaw
    May 22, 2013 - 8:30PM

    @Khan:
    The sheer quantity of Mirza’s comments is adversely affecting the quality of his comments.

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  • MUHAMMAD MUNIR
    May 22, 2013 - 9:44PM

    I appreciate the mature analysis of PTI…..well written.

    The positive aspect of the elections is that the youth in Pakistan has realized the way forward is as IK has mandated. The problem is that we expect too much from the political figures…..the problems, though self created a lot of them in the country has grown into a monster and it is not easy for a person or groups to tackle it. The whole nation has to fight against it now.

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  • Saad Nazim
    May 22, 2013 - 10:38PM

    Well if to protest against rigging and corruption of political parties and ECP is considered an immature act and intolerance and to ask the youth of Pakistan to accept such a mandate !
    I’m sorry but we are not slaves of societal norms of past like our forefathers. We are here to create Naya Pakistan not the one ruled by military and corrupt leaders.

    Excuse me the oldies of this land are the very reason where we are today, I’m sorry but we the youth are not as heartless as you, we will give our children what they deserve!

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  • Rex Minor
    May 22, 2013 - 10:41PM

    The lady author thinks with logic, passion but lots of emotions. The latter gives her a foggy view of the events and the current situation. Peoples party or muslim leagues, history tells us that with cooperation of the colonial designed military, they all managed among them to shrink the original 1947 Pakistan. Imran PTI and Nawaz leagu are making the last efforts with support of the military to rescue KPK, which is about ready to extricate itself from Pakistan.

    Rex Minor

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  • May 24, 2013 - 5:16PM

    You hit the mark here! This is exactly what all PTI supporters need to understand. This compulsion to blame and badmouth supporters of other parties needs to end. This trail so courageously ignited by Imran Khan must not turn cold. This determination and struggle for a larger cause needs to continue whether or not Imran Khan is ever elected and that is what all PTI supporters needs to comprehend

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