Imran’s revolutionary road — II

Published: November 6, 2010
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The writer is a barrister and a public policy graduate from Harvard University
mahreen.khan@tribune.com.pk

The writer is a barrister and a public policy graduate from Harvard University mahreen.khan@tribune.com.pk

I first interviewed Imran Khan when I was an undergraduate student. What was published in the Cambridge University newspaper was a doe-eyed, reverential piece, oozing admiration, nay, adoration that I and so many millions of young Pakistanis felt for our national hero, the legendary Imran Khan of the 1990s. Imran could do no wrong back then. It was as if he had been born blessed by the firmament itself — with ‘A list’ good looks, world- cup- winning captaincy on the field, a glamourous profile off the field, a classy Oxbridge education and accent to match, blinding charisma and so much cricketing talent it made you gasp in awe. No other Pakistani, or Asian, had such celebrity or star appeal on the international stage. He was, and always will be, the ‘Great Khan’ for Pakistanis and cricket lovers the world over.

But that adulation and admiration for his cricketing achievement and philanthropic prowess must not preclude an objective analysis of his political ideology and credentials. Even young, modern, English-medium educated Imran fans seem intolerant of any critical examination or analysis of their hero. “Imran Khan is a legend blessed with enormous talent, honesty and patriotism who will save Pakistan” — a PTV style homage is what his supporters wish to see written about their leader, judging from reactions to the first part of this piece on Imran’s political promise. Anyone daring to excavate Khan’s ideological underpinnings, question his past or reveal flaws that portend future scandal is subjected to an emotional ‘Imran cyber-brigade’ attack, replete with ‘Bush-ist’ accusations of being ‘against Imran’ or an agent of ‘the other side’.

Imran’s supporters need to face reality and employ reasoned arguments rather than puerile statements about Khan’s ‘personal life’ being irrelevant. If Imran Khan ever does become prime minister of the Islamic Republic, as his supporters wish, his ‘personal life’ will be front page fodder for the international press. They will excoriate Khan’s untenable situation of having an illegitimate daughter, Tyrian White, whilst advocating ‘Islamic values’, where adultery is a capital offence. Imran Khan’s past will be exhumed in gory, ghastly detail with comment a lot less respectful than that by domestic observers.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf strategists also need to address glaring inadequacies in their party’s policy prescriptions on key issues. The 31-page manifesto does not even once mention, let alone tackle, the menace of ‘suicide bombings’ or ‘extremism’. ‘Terrorism’ is referred to just once, on page 30, almost as an afterthought, that too as a criticism of current government policy. Having interviewed Khan on several occasions, Imran, the politician, has seemed unsteady on how to balance his populist opinions with political reality, especially his opposition to American influence. In politics, every policy is subject to rigorous scrutiny and the vicissitudes of the political landscape. Sincerity, sporting success and philanthropic service cannot compensate for an inchoate, inconsistent and immature political agenda, especially when facing grave multiple challenges of terrorism, corruption and economic meltdown.

Perhaps we have become desperate as a nation, willing to grab on to anyone who offers a glimmer of hope. When so many pages are filled with the brazen corruption, incompetence and hypocrisy of the government and its opponents, our cry for change is understandable. But decisions borne of desperation always end in disillusionment. I do not wish to see the ‘Great Khan’, a national icon, demoted and discredited as yet another political failure. I refuse to join those who adoringly paint him as a messiah, as our political saviour, despite his lack of credentials for revolution. Imran may be more honest than other politicians, just as Obama is far more enlightened than Bush, but unreasonably lofty expectations will be Imran’s demise just as Obama’s over-promise has been his. It is Imran’s personality, more than his political ideology, which attracts media attention and popular support. He has the potential to bring meaningful social reform and to inspire young people, to an extent, but it is criminal to place Imran Khan on the towering pedestal of grand, national salvation — for when he falls from such a height, the legend of the ‘Great Khan’ may tumble too and that would truly be a very painful loss indeed.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (123)

  • Syed
    Nov 6, 2010 - 1:25AM

    Just Superb ..Recommend

  • Nov 6, 2010 - 1:34AM

    I do not want to see my skipper fall from grace either, and even though i hated the first part, I am sitting here thinking and nodding my head. A very nice job of putting things in perspective.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Nov 6, 2010 - 1:49AM

    You say it is his personality and not his political ideology is what attracts popular support. I disagree, I think its his previous record of being honest and putting what he says he will into anything he does….be that money, effort etc.

    You seem to be one of those people that use the fact that he was a cricketer to against him. Just because someone used to play cricket and happened to be amazing…does not mean he can not handle politics.

    Also, as far as desperation is concerned…yes we are desperate. But Imran is also the only one that makes any sense politically. I dont believe any other party in Pakistan has a strong plan to counter terrorism but I dont see anyone else being bashed all the time…only Imran because he speaks out against America’s terrible foreign policy.

    I have heard many many supporters tell me the reason they support the party they do because “wo baqion se to behtar hain yaar”. So lets not just bash the “Imran Khan cyber brigade”Recommend

  • M.S.Shaikh
    Nov 6, 2010 - 2:06AM

    Well said. A mature analysis. Unfortunately, despondency has reached such great heights that anyone even sounding nice is a promising candidate for PM. Recommend

  • Nov 6, 2010 - 2:18AM

    How many seats in the National Assembly can Imran Khan occupy, one! How many other members of his political party are electable or are likely to win seats in the National Assembly? 5,10, 20? The reality is that, Thehreek-e-Insaf has no chance to win an outright majority in Parliament for Imran Khan to become Prime Minister and implement his manifesto. At best, come the next elections, he would have to form some sort of alliance together with other parties. At that point, he will have to make compromises, and the reality of his rule will be quite for from what people hope. Which of course is not a bad thing in itself, however, personality driven politics is not enough. The massive disappointment and disenchantment with President Obama which has seen a massive resurgence of the Republican party goes to show that charisma and perceived perfection of an individual is not enough to change things up. Its as if we are resigned to set our selves up for disappointment.Recommend

  • nasir jamshed
    Nov 6, 2010 - 2:24AM

    The best line in this article is Imran Khan’s personal life being the front page item in international press if he is elected PM of Pakistan. That fact has shaken me to my core; I’m must say I would never be same again. Oh mighty might international press, have some mercy. Recommend

  • Nov 6, 2010 - 2:27AM

    I am not Imran Khans political supporter, but I think a mans personal life is irrelevant to his (or her) wanting to work and improve the lot of others via leadership. Recommend

  • Amna
    Nov 6, 2010 - 2:28AM

    I want to bet that the first comment to this op-ed, as is the first comment to any op-ed, is by Nadir el-Edroos :PRecommend

  • Ali Naqvi
    Nov 6, 2010 - 2:56AM

    In regards to your article, it is true that the PTI manifesto does not mention terrorism. However, it must be mentioned that the Manifesto you are looking at, was made in 1998. However, what is even more important, is the Manifesto of the PPP which was revised in 2008, mentions terrorism, however the PPP has failed to deliver. Look at what happened today in Peshawar? Suicide bombings continue, under the PPP government. The key to the manifesto is the prospects of it’s implementation. This is the third year that the PPP government is in power, yet I have yet to see any thing in the manifesto being achieved, including the battle against terrorism.

    PTI is the youngest party in Pakistan. The trouble with PTI has been that it does not have the financial resources from major feudal lords or major industrailists, unlike the PPP, PML, ANP, among others. Naturally, when a political party does not have the finances, it will have a longer road. However, in regards to Imran Khan, he has chosen to take the road, rather than concede to your opinion of him. If it was someone else, they would have let you win the argument, and maintain the likes of President Zardari as the standard of power.

    However, an emerging party needs new people to step up. In the Barack Obama for President campaign, it was everything but given that Hillary Clinton would win the nomination, but people stood up and made Barack Obama President. If people want Pakistan to develop, they have a choice in political parties.

    In terms of personal life, it seems to be the Pakistani media who is more interested in personal life than the international media. Imran Khan’s past, is old news, and there are more important things to be concerned about. Having said that, yes, PTI has it’s challenges, like any other new party. People expect Miracles and Messiahs, but Imran Khan is not a Messiah nor is PTI the miracle. It has it’s own challenges, but people should not only join PTI to make it accountable, but make it effective. People who disagree have a right to create their own party or support a major party. With all his hard work, and all his service to Pakistan, if Imran Khan can not bring any type of change, then it will be that much harder for the rest of us to bring change. That does not mean we should give up, but we must understand it takes hard work, patience, and the belief in something others deem impossible. It was once impossible to go to the Moon, but we made it possible, because we believed it could happen. Indeed, Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan will come true. But in order for that to happen, we need new leadership. And that new leadership can begin with Imran Khan. Recommend

  • Faraz
    Nov 6, 2010 - 2:57AM

    I think the young English educated crowd that you talk about already knows that he isn’t an angel. Nobody is, not Jinnah, not Saladin, not Lincoln, not Mother Teresa not even our Prophet. Its not a reason to bring him down. You can’t be expecting people to keep electing same criminals just ‘cuz Imran isn’t an angel. Despite of your rant to vilify him, he is still well suited for the job because all old politicians have been tried and tested; not only that they failed, but have been a disaster. Anything less of a disaster, is still a success. So let it be, let him run, let him fail. I rather him try and fail, then to keep my “false” hope alive; infact it never will, as hope never dies; eventually we do, when it does.Recommend

  • faraz
    Nov 6, 2010 - 3:27AM

    Can Imran Khan’s fans explain these statements given by him:

    Taliban are pushtoon nationalists.

    Taliban brought peace in Afghanistan.

    Taliban brought justice in Swat.

    Data Darbar suicide attack is a reaction to drone attacks.

    Alqaeda is a product of CIA.

    Blackwater is behind sectarian killings. (although owned by TTP)

    Swat flogging video is a propaganda by NGOs. (although admitted by Muslim Khan)

    Suicide bombings against the army is justified.

    There was no terrorism before 2004.

    This is not Pakistan’s war.

    Pakistani taliban were created in response to Lal masjid operation.

    Taliban arent against Iran because thier president is anti-US.

    Talibanization is politically motivated, not religiously driven.

    Solution to extremism is not moderate islam, but political settlement.

    Alqaeda is not present in FATA.

    We need revival of village jirga/punchiat system (where settlement is carried out by exchanging girls)Recommend

  • T zaman
    Nov 6, 2010 - 3:48AM

    British and Indian press would certainly reprint all their 1980’s pages again. Recommend

  • Ahsan Mansoor
    Nov 6, 2010 - 3:58AM

    This whole piece seems to be a reaction to the comments posted on the previous article.

    Yes I agree that we Pakistanis do fall prey to ‘with us or against us’ ideology but keeping that aside, not every criticism on your piece has to be taken in the same manner right?

    The problem with your piece is, that you are very much interested in bringing up his personal life, when most of the Pakistanis reject to do that. Fine, thats your right. You also claim that his illegitimate daughter (which he has yet to confess) would be picked up by international media. Which makes me wonder why they havent been doing it till now, surely he has plenty of star value to make it an interesting enough story.

    You point out at shortcomings in his manifesto, yet that was the most unimportant thing in both your pieces as if you just mentioned it for the sake of it. You want to discuss politics, but at the same time you mix it with his personal life, probably to add some substance.

    Being someone who is not a fan of him, or his party, I can point out a lot more short comings which could make him fail, but they surely dont match anything like what you have been writing. Being stubborn, lack of accountability and constitutionalism in his own party while he talks about implementing it in the country, are few of those short comings.

    Nevertheless you have the right to write as it pleases you. And thats gotta be respected. Recommend

  • Ashraf
    Nov 6, 2010 - 4:29AM

    A great knock. much realistic approach.Recommend

  • Abida
    Nov 6, 2010 - 4:32AM

    People has created a false space for him in the politics. in fact he himself has done much harm to his personality by appearing in politics. and this youth is getting excited about him by his former celebrity status. soon youth is going to leave him, cause i cudnt see any youth representative in PTI except only, Imran Khan & Imran Khan & Again Imran Khan.Recommend

  • SSA
    Nov 6, 2010 - 6:33AM

    Wonderfully balanced piece asking the right questions. I too, am a fan of the great Khan but his shortcomings are as real as his achievements in the cricket/social work fields. You hit the nail on its head when you point out how hard it is for Khan to balance his populist opinions with political reality. As much as I believe in the man’s sincerity of purpose, better sense leads me to believe that Khan will never quite see the inherent contradiction in his political ( lack of? ) philosophy. I do wish him all the best but in all honesty I don’t think he’s got the answers to the grave, grave questions being asked of all of us – leader and public. Great piece once again.Recommend

  • zaigham
    Nov 6, 2010 - 8:12AM

    i agree… he is going to be the obama of pakistan…
    YESS!!!! WE CAN but…Recommend

  • Nov 6, 2010 - 8:13AM

    Very good article Mehreen Khan. You are right. Our people are blindly supporting Imran Khan though he is having a good profile; he is a good person, a good analyst. But the job of PM is more challenging and our politicians have been experimenting with their offices. Imran Khan is zealous and emotional(may be in speech only) but the country needs practical steps of policy making, good governance and strategic thinking which I haven’t seen in Imran’s attitude. Moreover Imran Khan is an individual. If people choose him as PM they will vote every person from PTI. His party is not well organized. Imran Khan can’t guarantee that all or majority of PTI activists are people having good profiles and good reputation in their constituency. Whoever becomes next prime minister and whoever makes next government, they will have to face great challenges and the requisites for it are: honesty, sincere and charismatic leadership, strategic management, great policy makers, highly educated legislators( I think atleast Ph.Ds), and people who have roots in masses and who can sustain public’s faith in them.

    Like the page,”I am a responsible and civilized citizen of Pakistan”, “www.facebook.com/IAARACCOP” on facebook, pleaseRecommend

  • Asad Baig
    Nov 6, 2010 - 8:28AM

    Excellent article. I fully agree with the views of the writer.Recommend

  • Nov 6, 2010 - 8:43AM

    Perhaps the reference to Obama in your article best captures what you are trying to say about IK. but you tell me if not him then who? Recommend

  • Farrukh
    Nov 6, 2010 - 9:03AM

    Now this was a more balanced article. Actually, very substantive when u compared him to Obama. Good article and balanced. Recommend

  • Adeel Ahmed
    Nov 6, 2010 - 9:30AM

    I rather see him tried and failed, than not try him at all.
    Miss Mehreen needs to see beyond her bias and accept the fact that Imran Khan is quite obviously the better choice out of all the rest.
    Cum election day, I am sure even Ms. Mehreen will not disagree with me. Or she wont vote. As I cant see educated, hard working, middle class, patriotic citizens voting for anyone else.

    I openly admit, I rather have an incompetent (which Im sure Imran isnt in the first place), inexperienced leader than a corrupt and criminal one.

    Why is this so difficult for Ms. Mehreen to understand?

    As for thinking Imran to be the Knight in Shining Armour and all that… well… Pakisani nation is EXTREMELY sensitive and emotional. Look at us with cricket. One day we brand the whole team as unpatriotic, corrupt bigots, and then yesterday we are sitting in front of the tv praying to God Zulfiqar Haider takes a single to win the match! Thats who we are. We are emotional. And we pin too much hope too quickly. But thats what makes Pakistanis such an emotional, forgiving, generous and patriotic nation. We did the same thing with PPP this time didnt we… “This time when Zardari comes, he will be a changed man, since he has already built so much money, now he will build Pakistan… bla bla.” So if we are willing to give second chances to such glaringly corrupt fools why not try Imran Khan for a change?

    Ms. Mehreen… who will you vote for?
    Can you give us alternatives? A better choice than Imran? Recommend

  • Klues
    Nov 6, 2010 - 9:41AM

    If a leader does something wrong he should seriously repent and come out open. If he is sincere we can forget him. Currently lying, denial is the name of the game.Recommend

  • Arifq
    Nov 6, 2010 - 9:57AM

    Barrister MK Sahiba
    Another hard hitting, well meaning piece with one minor exception, please dont insult Barack HUSSEIN Obama, an African American with a MOSLEM name elected as a popular President. Mr. Obama represents the political activists who start their careers from the bottom and then rise on merit and hard work, not because they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth or were fortunate enough to attend Oxford simply because they belonged to the blue blooded citizenry. Mr. Imran Khan represents the elite class of Pakistan and continues to be a very important part of his personal life, nothing wrong with that but it reeks of hypocrisy in his political position. Mr. Khan doesnt believe in the due process, he is and has always been a One man army, not good when you are trying to be the leader of a country with a federation structure. Recommend

  • Nov 6, 2010 - 10:39AM

    I’m totally agree with you.Recommend

  • Hello
    Nov 6, 2010 - 10:48AM

    So far he is the only one who has given something back to Pakistan the rest have just taken the loot..lets for once start respecting honest people in this land of the PURE…may be our days will change..Recommend

  • Adi
    Nov 6, 2010 - 11:55AM

    Great knock yet again Mehreen…its unfortunate many yound people of pakistan support Imran Khan without thinking that he spends time with Pink Floyd and other showbiz personalities based in UK and when is in pakistani air space he has nothing but bad words for western culture…they just fail to understand they wont be seeing the same Anti America crusader once he is in power (let the god forbid he ever is). The reality is much differnt for a country living on IMF money Recommend

  • Adi
    Nov 6, 2010 - 11:57AM

    @ Hello…i think no one has given more to pakistan than Edhi sb…lets make him the Head of PTI and i dont think he has any illegimate daughter :pRecommend

  • Usama Zafar
    Nov 6, 2010 - 12:08PM

    @ Hello

    That’s what you don’t get……Being honest doesn’t mean you are good in politics as well!!!Recommend

  • Amna
    Nov 6, 2010 - 12:36PM

    @Nooruddin Jalal: if you are referring to the Sita white drama by this statement, just so you know he has come on TV and spoke about that issue. People need to get over it now.Recommend

  • Amna
    Nov 6, 2010 - 12:38PM

    @usama Zafar: He has done more for the social uplift of people in Pakistan without being in the government….this makes me believe he will be better then any other candidate in Pakistan….its not just his honesty…its the things he has to show for it.Recommend

  • parvez
    Nov 6, 2010 - 12:58PM

    Aren’t you being a little selfish. You don’t want Imran to become the PM as you think he may fail and thereby shatter the image you hold of him.
    Imran has the right credentials for leadership, he needs to work on his personal weak points and policy of flip flopping on issues.
    I don’t think you have much to worry about anyway as realistically he does not stand a chance in today’s political environmentRecommend

  • No BS
    Nov 6, 2010 - 1:14PM

    hello, seems like u had a change of heart regarding ‘GREAT’ Khan. I liked it better in part 1Recommend

  • Mohammad yousuf
    Nov 6, 2010 - 1:26PM

    Allah bless the writer for writing the truth Allah made him (IK) able to do so much for Pakistan in an individuals capacity while the responsibles are busy in looting the country and becoming the enemies to those who are pointing out to their theft.

    I wish and pray ALLAH to grant us people like IK, sincere, dedicated, sacrificing nature, helping and serving the needy people for the sake of ALLAH.Recommend

  • Naveed
    Nov 6, 2010 - 1:43PM

    If you, for once, and only for once, tell us who is the better alternative if not Imran Khan before you attempt your “revolutionary road III”, then I’m willing to catch a flight to your hometown, do your dirty dishes and mop your floor for about a month for free!Recommend

  • Natasha
    Nov 6, 2010 - 1:51PM

    Adultery does not compare to mass murders, repeated target killings, assassinations and inherent corruption. At least he offers to be Scot free of those charges and at this present dismal rate, that is vital!

    There is no other current figure we can ascertain who is absolved of these traits which have become synonymous with our political structure and continue to poison it ever more.

    At least we can be sure with Imran that those values will be omitted and perhaps eradicated which is the only solution to this ever worsening disease which that has plagued our political structure..

    My question to you is WHO else is there to count on that presently offers better hope for this country?Recommend

  • Uzma Khan
    Nov 6, 2010 - 1:59PM

    This is only a response to Zehrah’s article by tribune. There are a few shortcomings in Imran Khan’s political approach as truly said, fewer people from his party are known to the public. BUT take every short coming you can and he is still the most honest and trust worthy politician we’ve got. he is far far better than in other politician.
    Tribune! Please let Zehrah answer for her piece.Recommend

  • BBA
    Nov 6, 2010 - 2:34PM

    Long story short, Imran is the best man for the Job at the moment…

    No bhuttos or any other one in PPP.. not the sharifs either… the chaudharys No No… Jamat-e-Islami lacks it altogether… Anp not capable enough…

    n after imran khan I think the likes of mustafa kamaal can deliver so MQM may do better aswell…

    SO for now since the best option is Imran…Id say Go for it skipper!Recommend

  • Farrukh Habib
    Nov 6, 2010 - 2:56PM

    this column is showing fears But imran khan is the person who has no fears of failure because of his personal life.this thing made him legend from all of us.If he thought of failure shoukat khanum cancer hospital was not built and oprational till now.As like writer of this column who want to frighten THE GREAT IMRAN KHAN to become prime minister of Pakistan, at the time of shoukat khaanum establishing stage a panel of famous doctors said this hospital will not built and run with the charity of people But Imran khan was committed to his plan and did miracle of shoukat khanumand its runing anD serving the nation.So no press or any kind of propaganda can stop revolution in the shape of imran khan in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Narejo
    Nov 6, 2010 - 3:38PM

    The Shaukat Khanam cancer hospital initiative was commendable achievment of Imran. So too was leading Pakistan to victory in the World Cup. But Imran is not a good strategist, and his politics of anger, recrimination and blame can be catastrophic for the nation should he come to power. It is this deficiency, the lack of liberal reasoning, and not his alleged excesses of lifestyle that make him a bad fit for Pakistan. I wish Mr. Khan just concentrated on using his brand to expanding his charitable initiavtives instead of squandering his time and resources on politics, for which he or his party does not have a vision at all. Recommend

  • Ehsan Haq
    Nov 6, 2010 - 4:21PM

    Superb. Just awesome.
    Personal life does count a lot in Pakistani politics, and even elsewhere for that matter. His illegitimate daughter Tyrine Khan (from Sita White) is a life-time shadow. Its also a fact that Sita, before her death, nominated him and Jamaema as girl’s guardians, and they remain so till she reaches 18. Even today, whenever he visits UK in the pretext of visiting his 2 sons, he stays at her mother-in-law mansion. His 2 sons are under the care of their non-muslim mother. Can he escape these facts? These are in no way tolerable in our society.The facts of present will become the past tomorrow. Mud slugging is order of the day in our politics, and IK is no exception. He should come out of denial, accept openly the already knows facts, repent and rest his fate to the public. Recommend

  • Zulfikar Ahmad
    Nov 6, 2010 - 5:05PM

    Let us be frank that finally Mehreen surrendered (may be she is under pressure from PTI) by equating Imran Khan with Barak Obama — she just forgot her previous clumn, in which she ahd advised Imran to start some charity work (which is 100% correct) as ploitics is not his cupa tea….A lot of Imran story is about backtracking on a lot of things he said earlier, which is why this doesn’t inspire people. He is a guy who is dancing to the tunes of the military establishment.Recommend

  • Masud
    Nov 6, 2010 - 5:53PM

    You do mention some good points, however, the comments about him getting support because of his personality rather than political views are fairly flawed. For a good leader, you have to have both. Do you think think Gordon Brown was a bad political leader in the UK? No, but he had no personality. They made fun of that and that eventually made Labour lose the election. You mention that their manifesto doesn’t mention terrorism. I agree, it is an old manifest. They need to rewrite it, but what I really like about his political philosophy is his core objectives. Justice (Insaaf) and Education (Taleem). Do you think people will be willing to go do bombings in a nation which has justice (so they have no reason to complain or hate) and education (so they know what they really are doing). Think again, we need that change. And if we need to support a leader who can bring that change for us, we need to compromise ourselves. Stop thinking of a perfect leader who will come to us from heavens, think of a practical leader. That’s what we all need to do.Recommend

  • khan
    Nov 6, 2010 - 6:34PM

    she is still biased,, she trying to answer 2 her previous articleRecommend

  • Riaz
    Nov 6, 2010 - 6:48PM

    I think this article is right on target. Imran Khan is no different then Nehru, Indira, ZAB, Mujib, BB, and Obama. These individuals may be trained in the west but they have no clue on reality, it is bookish leftist baloney that state has to feed everyone and that model didn’t work anywhere and neither it should have.
    Obama has failed because he has a degree but no experience and he wasted two years on the same kind of process talking about issues that no one cares about i.e. healthcare and not talking about issues that matter i.e. jobs and economy. People on the left somehow feel that hard earned money by businessman or a tax payer should be taken away because the person who owns a business or property must be rich.
    ZAB was a classic example of that who was a contradictory individual and no one knows why he killed the education system and industrial base of Pakistan ? Didn’t he not know the consequences? I hate to believe that he did it because he wanted the children of the rich to succeed and poor to have an inferior system so they never get out of poverty as it happened while claiming to be friend of the same illiterate folks who vote for PPP even today.
    Imran has done good things and we should appreciate those. However, his ideas are not practical and he lacks organization. However, I fail to see connection between his personal life and political life. Imran is a quick learner he should really associate himself with people who are strong in organization i.e. ISI who helped organize an urban party and financial experts.
    We have hope in Imran because at least he would not be a incompetent, a thief and a looter as has been dispensation in many civil setups including today. Which Pakistan has good personal life? Nawaz, BB, ZAB? anyone?Recommend

  • Azhar
    Nov 6, 2010 - 7:32PM

    I dont know what u meant when u are saying that If he becomes the PM of pakistan,the western media will bring up his personal life..Believe me as a Pakistani i would prefer reading to somethng relating to personal life of my PM than reading everyday about corruption by PM and President of Pakistan…When Bibi became the prime minister,i myself read the story of a newspaper in UK with pics from her student lie potraying her a Party Girl..So wht then??everythng faded in a week..Author has to realize that its not the personal past life that matters ,its ur deeds done for the public that matters..Any cancer pt who gets free treatment and get well doesnt care if his saviour had been a ladies guy in his past…what he care is that he has saved him..Similarly if one day(Inshallah) he comes to power ,public wont judge him of his personal life but what he does for the country.Recommend

  • Dr Seemin
    Nov 6, 2010 - 7:39PM

    I would request everyone to forget about the past,personal history of our great national hero! he never said he was a saint or an angel ! please try to focus on his recent achievements,what he has been trying to do for the mankind! the only reason for him to launch his political career was the deep passion and desire to bring our country back to the right path.and I think he has the vision, the courage and the spirit to do so,he is our only hope!Recommend

  • M A Zia
    Nov 6, 2010 - 7:49PM

    What ever these confused writers say in their analysis just sitting in drawing rooms is not even worthy to comment on!
    My question is what is the alternate choice they do have….”Nawaz Sharif”( remain in Power since 80’s and ruled over Pakistan twicely and his party is ruling over more than 60% of Pakistani population), PPP (Zardari and Co) is ruling over the country 4th time and we all are the ultimate beneficiries… We need a reformer who dare to bring the foundamental changes in prevailing socio economic system of Pakistan and who could make sure the supremacy of the rule of Law in the country, who should set himself accountable to the public (Not in a way PPP and N Leauge claim) and the one who believes in Transperency so that we (as a Nation) could move ahead and survive as a Nation in the world! So we have no ultimate choice other than Imran Khan at present!Recommend

  • Mazhar khan
    Nov 6, 2010 - 8:15PM

    Imran khan is the best choice for this time because all other politicians are tested and proven incompatible with this crisis situation and they have not ability to with stand this task of nation building.only Imran khan have vision and passion for the Pakistan all others are coming for plundering and making money in politics.
    Comment passing is easy thing now a days from that conditions it is hard to make and run a political party in this condition that all hypo crates are leaders.
    I will express my opinion about that illegitimate daughter.I f any girl persuade for sex than it is hard to tolerate for a young dashing person and this is just little mistake.No one is angel in this world all made mistakes.If the Islamic values practiced than our national assembly members remain 0. no one qualify according to Islamic values.
    Pakistan Tahreek e Insaf is new party not competed yet needs more improvements time to time but progress is wonderful.Recommend

  • Ahmer
    Nov 6, 2010 - 8:31PM

    If u says that imran khan is incompetent for politics?so who is compatible? jamshed dasti?zardari?nawaz sharif?you mean altaf hussain is competent to speach over phone and to dictate his follower??

    If suppose Imran khan do something wrong in his young age then what,now he is perfect who can change Pakistani nation’s situation, InshAllahRecommend

  • Talha
    Nov 6, 2010 - 8:49PM

    This is the second time i’ve read a follow up article on this website where the author reacts to people’s comments on their first one. If your article is published on this forum, you have been considered a legitimate commentator by the editors on this forum so there is no need for an apologetic approach to your writing. The issue under discussion was Imran Khan’s inadequate understanding of our social & political problems. If somebody does not understand that( which is mostly from from people who try to defend IK) then they are simply not worth responding to.Recommend

  • Amna
    Nov 6, 2010 - 9:10PM

    You say Imran doesnt condemn terrorists…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_Q0iLVOY2s&feature=fvwRecommend

  • Lets Face It
    Nov 6, 2010 - 10:06PM

    One way to look at it:
    Really want to see “little people” bring some thing else apart from a false accusation which never been proved in any court. Accusation remains only accusation for the life but yes “little people” do satisfy themselves with it.

    Lets face it, time is changing and he will soon be in power for the best of this country.

    Yes he don’t fall in the grande definition of “typical Pakistani politicain” but we don’t need him to become one, This country had enough with “typical Pakistani politicains”, lets try some else. Recommend

  • kamran aslam
    Nov 7, 2010 - 12:28AM

    excellent piece!!
    Imran khan could have done alot more, only if he knew is limitations, sincere, good looks are just not good enoughRecommend

  • Nov 7, 2010 - 12:59AM

    You say Being PM is a challenging role. Do you think Gillani can do it and IK can’t? Crap.
    Regarding his daughter he has never denied it isn’t it enough to tell how honest he is?
    In your article you forget that we will still prefer honest leader than a cunning politician as our PM.Recommend

  • Fawad Nasir
    Nov 7, 2010 - 3:52AM

    Imran Khan has never took any serious steps in 17 years of his political career to do what he says. The political life of Imran Khan is more about living in spot light rather than isolating oneself as life of other cricketers happened. He is much of an excuse or a tool to provide way to corruption and than corruption. Recommend

  • Hamid Khawaja
    Nov 7, 2010 - 7:25AM

    Why is there this great desire to pull out scandals from his personal life? Does Mehreen think the whole lot of politicians are “scandal free”? Why is there this obsession about one man’s past? Let us leave that behind and look at what he has done or is capable of doing. Judge him in that. Recommend

  • Yasmin Malik
    Nov 7, 2010 - 12:42PM

    Imran Khan is a great sportsman and outshines many others with his charity related work, but the fact remains that he is a poor politician and certainly not the answer to this country’s political crisis. I think Ms Khan is right to point out that his personal character (which incorporates many u-turns be it on religion or marital integrity) will be a poor foundation for the strength and depth of character needed to run this country. Ms Khan, well argued – and please continue to share your point of view with the rest of us.Recommend

  • tahir
    Nov 7, 2010 - 1:04PM

    As I mentioned about the first peace “This lady has serious problem with Imran’s inclination towards Islam”.To her Imran is acceptable because he wants clean shaved Pakistanis to sit with pakistanis with beard.But in fact Imran wants pakistanis to be pakistanis whether they have beard or not.

    A leader is never afraid of any super power or failure.Leader takes the challenge and completes it.This is where it starts and this is where it ends for any leader.Recommend

  • amar
    Nov 7, 2010 - 4:59PM

    Who cares about Imran’s personal life?? The most strictest religious Pakistanis live in
    KhyberPakhtoonwala and they like Imran Khan a lot. Karachi and Lahoris just need to see an honest ruler. You are so out of your mind. Anyone is better than Zardari, IK is obviously a million times better.Recommend

  • Footnotes
    Nov 7, 2010 - 6:37PM

    Dear Writer, there are many who you can PICK on – With BIG english words why dont you write what he has done rather then NOT done.

    Pick on someone who is deserving –

    Remember if you point a finger at other – the other four fingers are pointing back at you.
    Yes I am from LSE.

    ciaoRecommend

  • Footnotes
    Nov 7, 2010 - 6:40PM

    Imran Khan cures cancer patients all over pakistan – it will be good you respect him.Recommend

  • Jawad Falak
    Nov 7, 2010 - 7:13PM

    I see! We should disregard all the good work Imran has done pre Flood and Post flood all because something written in a newspaper or mouthed off by his political rivals who by the way are the most immoral people this side of the prime meridian(A case was presented in the election commission on the infamous Sita white scandal by the Mqm& Dr Sher Aghan Niazi and guess what Imran won[http://web.archive.org/web/20080125103524/http://www.app.com.pk/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15979&Itemid=2] Contrast that to our current govt who hide and cower beneath the NRO ).
    Hats off to the express tribune whose political alignment can be seen by reading 50 reasons why Pakistan needs Musharraf or some bile like that.
    Imran is the only choice because of his integrity and steadfastnessRecommend

  • Hassan Sadiq
    Nov 7, 2010 - 7:20PM

    You would think that the 2nd time around the Ms Khan would have managed to get an objective analysis into her article but has failed miserably. Lets take this article one issue at a time, Imran’s fans are never under any illusion about the enormity of the task that Imran has decided to undertake. Adulation and admiration for Imran also hasnt left us impaired in terms of critically analysing his flaws and follies, but what you have passed off as a critical analysis of Imran lefts a lot to be desired in terms of both content and objectivity.

    It is surprising to read that an emancipated and liberal women like yourself has the same set of values as Mullah Omar, Sita White would be an issue for the Taliban not for the 170 million who are sick of 63 years of misrule and corruption. They have had enough of inteliigent and politically savvy leaders such as the Bhuttos and the Sharifs, if piety was the criteria for a leader then Zia Ul Haq would have been the ideal leader and we should be searching for someone like Zia Ul Haq. Pakistan needs a leader who is honest and sincere and can stand up to the temptations of pelf, power and position, who isnt intimidated by western powers and can call a spade a spade. Your concern with regard to the western Newspapers is flimsy at best, Clinton is known as one of the best Presidents (despite monica lewinsky), then we have Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni the french dont seem to be concerned either so i dont think western newspapers are as big an issue as you would like for us to believe.

    Finally you went and actually read the manifesto Thank You!!!!!! Now to addressing the issue of terrorism by Imran Khan, again you have tried to misguide the readers about the manifesto. The order of issues is by no means in issue of importance so to say that Terrorism was addressed in the last is the highest form of prejudice. The manifesto is an older document which is being revisited and a Journalist of your calibre and access surely could have contacted the PTI to ask for a newer version or a policy paper on Terrorism which im sure they would have sent across to you. If you want i can send it across to you. His opposition to American Influence in the region is based on issues and is not arbitrary in nature, when Imran says lets talk to the Taliban everone says he is Pro-Taliban and when the US says the same it seems like a visionary idea. So contrary to what you might think Imran has very concrete policies on each issue mentioned in the manifesto.

    Dont feel sorry for Imran he is a proud Pakistani like the rest of us who believe in him and wish for a better future, Imran can never fail us he hasnt failed us in the past and Inshallah he will guide us to success in the future. We are in the most desperate of times yet we havent lost hope or perspective on why we support Imran. He is the best option for Pakistan this isnt an emotional decision its a very calculated one, kindly dont belittle his supporters and label them as star struck groupies we are very patriotic and very aware of the issues facing us a nation.Recommend

  • Think therefore
    Nov 7, 2010 - 7:43PM

    The last time I commented on Imran Khan the moderators chose not to print my comment. This time I going to sum up my last comment briefly.

    Imran is a “good” option for Pakistan. But it seems democractically impossible for him to win enough seats to be the leader of the house in the Parliament. Period. Any comments?

    Secondly, Imran has a long history of making pompous remarks and statements which he cannot back up with actions. Remember his “me. my. mine” speech at the end of the world cup which Pakistan won only because other teams didnt perform as well and luck paved the way for Pakistan to “pop” up in the final. He was so vociferous against brown sahibs and the culture they propogate for a long time in the 90’s…. and then he went on to produce some of his own… courtesy Jemima

    The guy is flamboyant, he points out to issues… some very pertinent ones… talks a lot of sense… is a good orator…. but in the politics the most he can amount to is becoming Pakistan’s next Nawabzada Nasruallah Khan.

    The word on the street is that he can lead us to regain our lost pride but he spends more energy scolding and admonishing the masses rather than campaigning to gain a real mandate in the the masses.

    The poor guy may also have made it if he still had the Goldsmith support… but that carpet was moved from under his feet a long time back…. and now as much as I long to see someone as eloquent and logical as Imran sitting at the top executive slot in Pakistan… I know also that it is fruitless to keep fooling myself that this would ever become a reality.

    I hope this passes through the moderators this time!! Tx.Recommend

  • amar
    Nov 7, 2010 - 8:10PM

    think Before
    Imran Khan has done more for Pakistan than all the poiticians togeter. He helped Pakistan won the world cup for the first time, players were not corrupt when he was the captain of the team, he opened a world class cancer hospital in Pakistan which is completely free for the poor, and just opened a world class university Namal. What have Altaf, Nawaz, Musharraf, Ziaulhaq and Bhuttos have given to Pakistan??? Whatever happened in his personal life is his personal life, its about time that we move ahead in the world and focus on what’s good for the future of this nation. Recommend

  • Riaz
    Nov 7, 2010 - 8:13PM

    Here is another argument in favor of Imran, a successful Pakistani in every way. I am posting an abbreviated quote from the website http://www.omarahmad.com about the floods and our leadership ‘s perception in the World.
    “Pakistan has suffered from desperately poor moral leadership, but punishing the helpless and homeless millions of the 2010 floods is the worst possible way to express our rejection of the Pakistani elite and their duplicity and corruption. The poor, hungry, and homeless are not an ISI conspiracy to bilk you of your cash. They are a test of your humanity. Do not follow in the footsteps of the Pakistani elite by failing them. That would be immoral and inhumane. This is a time to ask only one question. And that question is: “How can I help?”
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/08/19/whydoesnttheworldcareaboutpakistanis?page=full
    For those looking for the Google Crisis Response Page:

    http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/pakistan_floods.htmlRecommend

  • Riaz
    Nov 7, 2010 - 8:25PM

    Imran has proven to be more effective in flood relief then all other Pakistani parties combined ? So how could we say that he is a lesser able politician then all the rest. Granted he is one man show so was Manmohan Singh who has single handedly transformed India from a beggar to a super power status…how could we forget china one man show and let me say that I am most impressed by Brazil which was in the same kind of situation as Pakistan but in last ten years it has become a more potent global power then both China and India without being the technology giant.
    I would also like to ask the most powerful institution in Pakistan, the armed forces of Pakistan. Why they have looked helpless and are lock step in agreement with beggars in power to go around with a bowl in hand. On one hand we tell the world we are nuclear power on the other we go around looking for handouts. Isn’t Army ashamed when we looked so helpless and poor.
    when they are consuming 80% of the budget why can’t resettle their own people and stop the shameless bowl carrier going around the world with their heads held high because they have no conscience.Recommend

  • G.Khan
    Nov 7, 2010 - 9:07PM

    @ Mahreen : Author.

    1) The standards ( do or don’t) you set for Imran Khan , have you elected your present leadership on the same standards? and If Not then why not?

    2)On Imran’s 31 pages manifesto you could not find the word “terrorism”? Have you managed to find such word on PPP’s manifesto of PML(N) or PML(Q)’s? If yes, then are they practicing according to what they wrote in that manifesto? And if yes, Mahreen why in PPP’s 3 years tenure terrorism increased four fold? Do you want me to give you the drone attacks figures of the month October 2010 alone? What explains that Mahreen?

    3)Do they do what is written in the constitution, Mahreen? I am referring to your present elected Govt.? For example what it says about the sovereignty of Pakistan? why are not they doing it? If your elected leadership is not doing even what is written in the constitution of Pakistan , why you want to trial Imran Khan for what he has not written in his manifesto?

    4)Why Imran’s personal life became so important to you that you even without confirmation can blame him for an illegitimate child whereas illegitimate Billions of dollars of looted wealth of Pakistani treasury over the years by politicians.

    5)Why proven corruption of other politicians is not visible to you but unproven allegations of Imran are so visible?

    6)Why is that Mahreen that you can tolerate a proven criminal, money launderer , Treasury looter, killer of thousands of children (in poverty/diseases) due to their looted wealth by this criminal and his cronies who have their cases of corruption pending in Supreme Court?

    7)Is not that we as nation , collectively are more corrupt and can not tolerate an Honest man like Imran khan?

    8) Do you think Prime Minister Gilani more Honest than Imran or President More Honest than Imran khan? If not, then why they are acceptable to you? Do they have better leadership skills? Have they done any bigger project in charity than Imran Khan?

    I think your last argument is based upon fear. After you have tried everything , the resolve is to use scared tactics that if he became PM then more dirty criticism will damage his image. I completely disagree with you. I think Imran is a name of Courage and struggle, a hard fighting machine for its goals. No one can scare him. Actually who write such statements are scared of him themselves.Recommend

  • Hassan Sadiq
    Nov 7, 2010 - 10:05PM

    @ Think Therefore..Imran has never made pompous remarks he is very down to earth you seem to remember his post WC speech i hope you also remember his before match interview where he praised his team of “cornered tigers” selective memory is never a good idea when coming across as an impartial commentator.

    Did you even understand his comments about brown sahibs, we as a nation do bend over backwards to westerners which is very evident if you look around Pakistan. He didnt say westerners are evil and thus should be shunned, for gods sake im amazed at the level of pettiness exhibited by people!!!!!

    He doesnt scold the masses what have you been watching, he asks people to stand up and fight for their rights, people like Imran dont come to power based on your good wishes and prayers my friend stand up and be counted do something for your country before its too late.Recommend

  • Waqas Ahmed
    Nov 8, 2010 - 1:15AM

    Ok then you should would wait and see for the day to arrive how he fares once our messiah takes the office.Recommend

  • AA
    Nov 8, 2010 - 1:51AM

    Perhaps you are writing about the wrong person…

    First let me correct you, the educated young followers of Imran dont idolize as a messiah, they see him as a leader with vision and the ability to bring that change.Recommend

  • Nas
    Nov 8, 2010 - 4:40AM

    Your whole argument that Imran should not be supported is based on the premises that he will be damned in the western media (So you are trying to imply that Pakistanis should vote by checking one’s status with the international press). And for the sake for your argument if Pakistanis can live with the every day embarrasement and ridicule of our president then we dont even to have to worry about Imran’s scandals.Why is that if one person tries to defy the norm of corruption and nepotism, the press turns against him, poke holes in his irrelevant personal life in an effort to bring him down, instead of supporting him. Yes, this cyber brigade is not willing to accept the status quo of corrupt leaders, dictatos, landlords that your generation amicably accepted, we shall rather pick a leader that epitomizes personal achievements, philanthropic feats and patriotic visions albeit an imperfect personality( even if we throw his old life into consideration)Recommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed
    Nov 8, 2010 - 12:37PM

    Nice Article.

    Mr. Khan should have stuck to charity work & had added education. I still think he should turn his attention to charity if he wants to do any good for Pakistan.

    Mr. Ehdi is very nice & a pious man, should that be enough to elect him President or PM. He himself is not interested as he knows his own strengths & weakness, like wise Mr. Khan should stick to welfare rather than politics because he is way over his head.Recommend

  • Ali
    Nov 8, 2010 - 2:40PM

    @Hasan Sadiq – you seem to be the President of the Imran “cyber-brigade” – not a single one of your points is honestly wirtten.
    @Waqas – we are already seeing the results of the democracy messiahs who promised an end to inflation and poverty and terrorism. Imran will have the same fate.

    The article is superb – Imran is an amazing icon but good charity work and leading a successful sports team are not indicative of being able to bring the country out of the doom and gloom.

    And as for whether he is more honest than the current crop of politicians – well that isnt difficult to be is it? Most drug mafia bosses would be less corrupt and more humane than this looters.Recommend

  • Mahnoor
    Nov 8, 2010 - 2:43PM

    “But decisions borne of desperation always end in disillusionment.”

    For me – this line sums it all up. If we were not desperate we would not even be discussing this – Imran is sincere and has some great potential as a charity organiser but not as a leader.

    Great piece!Recommend

  • Nadia
    Nov 8, 2010 - 2:47PM

    I am a big Imran fan – I just adore Khan Sb. However, he does sound very unsure of what to actually do about terrorism.

    Excellent article – encapsulated what we feel – he will be such a big disappointment because we have such unrealistic expectations of him – he cant deliver them. Its not even his fault – why burden someone that way? Perhaps his ego doesnt allow him to believe that he is incapable.Recommend

  • Chris
    Nov 8, 2010 - 2:51PM

    An excellent analysis.

    Obama had a lot more political and intellectual merit than Imran does and even he has been unable to tackle the econimic woes of the US.

    Imran should do what he does best – his wonderful social work and it would be great to see him have a role in Pakistani cricket management.Recommend

  • Shahed
    Nov 8, 2010 - 2:55PM

    Look the fact is that Imran does have a very big ego – thats why he is not content with doing social work even if he can make a huge difference to so many millions by doing so.

    The writer is accurate – Imran best contribution would be towards social projects and galvanising young people.

    Imran will never be elected PM – his party has failed in 15 years to get widespread support. Even if my some miracle he is elected – he will be totally exposed as a populist.Recommend

  • Hassan Sadiq
    Nov 8, 2010 - 4:51PM

    @ Ali somebody has to defend Pakistan’s heros when Pakistanis like yourselves are hell bent on bringing him down. I bet you couldnt even understand any of my points or else you would have had something more than the “every single one of your points is not honestly written”

    My request to people like you is to please educate yourselves on the issues facing this country stop sitting on the fence and throwing stones at those who want to something about solving our problems.Recommend

  • Hassan Sadiq
    Nov 8, 2010 - 4:57PM

    @ Chris, Imran is not running for the US presidency incase no one mentioned it to you. Obama’s ability to deal with the US economic problems in not related to what Pakistan is facing so please the comparision is not even applicable. Maybe if the US stopped the senseless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that money could be used to revitalise the US economy. Imran has a proven track record of leadership, honesty and sincerity and that to me is enough for a chance to try and change the fortunes of this country. Recommend

  • Hassan Sadiq
    Nov 8, 2010 - 4:59PM

    @ Mahnoor…what is a leader can we have your views about it?

    @ Nadia…If you go to the PTI website there are numerous articles by Imran and his team on how the menace of terroism can be countered…youll have to work a little if you are sincere about bringong about any change.Recommend

  • Haris
    Nov 8, 2010 - 6:25PM

    Brilliantly written – I was banking on Imran to bring a revolution but this article has made me realise that expecting him to save us is setting us up for failure.

    We should not expect one man to change a whole system indeed – “it is criminal to place Imran Khan on the towering pedestal of grand, national salvation — for when he falls from such a height, the legend of the ‘Great Khan’ may tumble too and that would truly be a very painful loss indeed.” Very well said!Recommend

  • John D
    Nov 8, 2010 - 6:27PM

    Why are Pakistanis looking to a former cricketer to change their whole system?

    That says it all really – sports stars dont run countries – let him get on with charity work and dont place him in a position that he cannot fulfill. Your politicians may well be corrupt but dont make ill considered choices.Recommend

  • Ayesha
    Nov 8, 2010 - 6:33PM

    Wonderful – what a superb piece – loved it.Recommend

  • Anwar
    Nov 8, 2010 - 6:52PM

    Fabulous piece – hadnt even thought of it that way. We are burdening him with the impossible and he has too big of an ego not to realise that.

    I remember when Nawaz offered him 30 seats and he refused because he thought he would win more – turns out he lost his deposit in 1997.Recommend

  • Zoaib Ahmed Khan
    Nov 8, 2010 - 10:31PM

    Your point seems to be that he has no team, no political acumen and therefore has very little chance of succeeding once he comes to power (if he does). Though I disagree with you on the two points mentioned, but let’s for sake of argument agree he has those problems. You’re then pointing to a “fear” of failure. But Mehreen, isn’t that true for everything in life? You always have a fear of not succeeding when you set out to do something. But if you don’t try your hand at something, how are you going to know if you’ll fail in the first place? The fear of failure is what keeps many of us underachieving and not reaching our full potential in life.

    When we have tried and tested many individuals as leaders of this country, why aren’t we willing to let him have a go? If he doesn’t succeed then so be it. But if he does, it could change Pakistan forever. We should give him a chance. After all, isn’t this what democracy is all about?Recommend

  • Nov 8, 2010 - 11:41PM

    the writer seems like against “change”. In animal kingdom, Human being is the only gifted with “change”, which is important for progress..
    i think it shouldn’t matter if there has been some loopholes in imran past.. we all make mistake oneway or another and if we learn from our mistakes and not repeat and take a lesson for future then thats what should matter… now imran seems dedicated to serve this country so those who just stick to his past need to think rationaly…
    why dont you look at his qualification he got from the west which shows his talent and ability before accusing imran’s view over america presence in the region. i think he better understand the role of america without a shadow of a doubt in world ht politics. but if he oppose US presence is in the sense of the terrible circumstances created in the region because of US..
    Recommend

  • fahad
    Nov 9, 2010 - 12:25AM

    im happy Imran Khan is getting publicity of some kind. Doesnt matter wat he did in the past, people make mistakes and repent and thats wat life is about.making mistakes and rectifying and learning from them.
    Who knows wat Bush or for that matter clinton did wen they were in high school, its wat policies u have wen ur in govt tht count. As far as terrorism is concerened the manifesto is absolutely right cuz thats nt our real issue.our real issue is tagging US war on terror, education, poverty and injustice which is y terrorism is there in first place. Recommend

  • Sanya
    Nov 9, 2010 - 12:39AM

    Great stuff – every point is well made.

    I wish Imran would actually offer to rectify the Pak cricket scene – set up domestic structures and reorganise the PCB etc.Recommend

  • Saira Mughal
    Nov 9, 2010 - 12:41AM

    Imran Khan is a non entity in politics – plenty of well meaning people crash and burn. A better comparison would be with Ralph Nader rather than Obama.

    Imran has some good ideas but no way of making them implementable. Rejecting US influence is populist but not practical unless you want a Khomeini style revolution.Recommend

  • Adeel
    Nov 9, 2010 - 12:46AM

    The best article I have read for a while on Pk politics. I like ET’s choice of writers – great variety and a high standard of writing. Brilliant.Recommend

  • Shehzad B
    Nov 9, 2010 - 12:54AM

    Love you for being so honest and fresh in your perspective.

    Imran Khan is a great hero – he should concentrate on education and health – he will do more in the next ten years than he can ever do as a politician. Recommend

  • Yawar
    Nov 9, 2010 - 1:00AM

    Glad you wrote this follow up – it has really put to rest the emotional comments of the “imran cyber brigade”.

    We need to be sensible – Imran has no political achievements – And he has failed to win grass roots following. What does he stand for? Justice and education? Ummm – yeah – not even those in the other parties argue against that! But how will he achieve that? If it wasnt for his charisma he would be a “political has been” by now.Recommend

  • Nov 9, 2010 - 8:57AM

    Nice comments everybody. Like the page “I am a responsible and civilized citizen of Pakistan”. Link is, ” http://www.facebook.com/IAARACCOPRecommend

  • che
    Nov 9, 2010 - 12:36PM

    that adulation and admiration for his cricketing achievement and philanthropic prowess must not preclude an objective analysis of his political ideology … well said and this is the problem with the proponents of Imran Khan…..

    i personally feel that what people say is his two greatest achievement- winning the world cup and the Cancer Hospital- was not his individual efforts. by glorifying only Imran Khan only for winning the 1992 world cup, we are doing injustice the to the other team members and its documented that who played the most vital role to keep the Pak team in the competition. About the cancer hospital, many philanthropic people have contributed, even the poor people have contributed in the establishment of the hospital, so again its not an individual effort.

    @ Ali Naqvi: totally irrelevant comment. when a dictator with full military authority didn’t control the menace of terrorism in 10 years how can you expect it from a weak democratic government in 2 and half years. about the manifesto why PTI hasn’t revised its manifesto, given that the greatest problem the country is facing is terrorism.?

    secondly, you have said that the PTI has not got financial resources like other parties…. Now an interesting thing.Many people ask that on one hand he is asking donations for the hospital but on the other, from where did he get money to spend on the election campaigns in the past and recently in the bye-elections? isn’t there contradictions in what he is doing?Recommend

  • Hassan Sadiq
    Nov 9, 2010 - 2:38PM

    @ John D….i could give you a list of people who were successful politicans after excelling in their chosen sport so please if you dont have the capacity to challenge yourself dont believe that others have the same handicap. Ronald Reagan was a B Grade movie actor and he became the President of the United States, bring on another argument this one doesnt fly!!!!!!Recommend

  • Hassan Sadiq
    Nov 9, 2010 - 2:45PM

    @ Yawar….You cant put out a fire by wishing it to go away, Imran and his supporters arent going away not by any stretch of the imagination. People are so regimented in thought processes that they cant bear to think out of the box. What have the political achievements of military dictators and Super Star Politicians gotten us? we are a country on the brink of destruction, so please if you allow us, we would like someone who has leadership abilities, honesty and sincerity towards this nation. As for how he will achieve his stated goal, kindly go through his manifesto it should answer a lot of your question. Stop criticising start educationg yourself on the issue brother.Recommend

  • Hassan Sadiq
    Nov 9, 2010 - 3:58PM

    @ Che….so if someone else becomes the PM they will do everything on their own and wont have a team? If the team was so brilliant what has Pakistan Cricket achieved since 1992….and before Imran became Captain? How many Cancer hospitals have been built in Pakistan? So nice try in terms of discrediting his two biggest achievements but it didnt work.

    The greatest problem facing the nation is lack of honest and transparent governance, terrorism is a result of the vaccum created by the lack of governance, the manifesto has all the topics for good governance mentioned. For terrorism of you want their are policy papers and articles giving a roadmap to addressing terrorism.

    PTI gets donations for their political activites details of which are readily available in the accounts published by PTI, a lot of PTI members donate their own resources for the party work. The donations for the hospital and PTI have nothing to do with each other so no contradictions exist, both streams of donations are audited seprately and their results published on their websites, i hope that clears your misconception.Recommend

  • Hassan Sadiq
    Nov 9, 2010 - 4:09PM

    @ Anon….we dont get it because we dont know how to give up, whats your excuse?

    Personal lives are very important and can tell a lot about the individual, but when we ignore all positives of one man’s personal life and focus on just his relationships with the opposite sex then to me the objections dont remain objective and impartial.

    You mentioned a lot of great leaders did you actually read about them, if you did you would know the kinds of troubles and opposition they had to face to reach their goals, so let history decide where Imran Khan will be placed, lets not worry about assigning him a position amongst the world great leaders and statesmen. Lets just focus on what he has to say and see if it makes sense to us, talk about issues facing this country, talk about solutions if you think you have a solution then step forward and share it. Being a comedian isnt really going to help Pakistan.

    Imran doesnt want a coalition and that is why he hasnt comprised so it is up to those who actually feel for Pakistan to come forward and help him in getting a majority in place, we focus on what he cant do but ignore what he can do when all of us stand behind him. No leader can fiught until the people give him the strength to fight, the issue of Taliban has been brought up time and time again and he has refuted it time and time again so please go and educate yourself first on what he is saying and why he is saying it. Have you even registered your vote?Recommend

  • Fuzail AHMAD
    Nov 9, 2010 - 9:32PM

    I am surprised that educated people like Mehreen Khan is also attacking personally on Imran khan which is not fair religiously as well as morally.Being a human imran khan is not perfect but now he is the true voice of pakistan, Imran khan is the only hope for pakistan and he done alot for pakistan rather than nawaz sharif and ppp corrupt politicans.Without imran khan pakistani political scenario is dark.

    Its totally biased article.Recommend

  • lida
    Nov 10, 2010 - 12:37AM

    The man( Imran Khan) is doing through his actions what he can do for Pakistan. Hospitals, Schools and Bringing judiciary to power!!
    No document or Politically savvy agenda is required in Pakistan. Pakistan is drowning a need a someone to save us and he is the only one and he has Recommend

  • Star
    Nov 10, 2010 - 5:23AM

    The part about Tyrian White and the alleged daughter of Imran was completely unncecessay and in poor taste but the article was very interesting and please keep writing. Recommend

  • Mazhar khan
    Nov 10, 2010 - 2:29PM

    I agree with 100% with Imran khan on all kis stances.
    America is anti Islamic they never want that a true Islamic state in any part of the world.They know the History what a true Islam and muslim is?The life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)and khulafa Rashdeen.They want to see corrupt muslim countries and any one make they will certainly attack on that country.Taliban were not 100% true Muslims but far better than Pakistani and Saudi Muslims.Is this Islam that in Pakistan and Saudi prevailing.They killed thousands of Muslims in Iraq ,Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    This is our responsibilty to see the hidden truth and not on dictation terms.Obama’s recent visit to India clear demarcation that they are against Pakistan.
    There are many other things but people will not think so thats enough.Recommend

  • Mazhar khan
    Nov 10, 2010 - 2:31PM

    I agree with 100% with Imran khan on all his stances.
    America is anti Islamic they never want that a true Islamic state in any part of the world.They know the History what a true Islam and muslim is?The life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)and khulafa Rashdeen.They want to see corrupt muslim countries and any one make they will certainly attack on that country.Taliban were not 100% true Muslims but far better than Pakistani and Saudi Muslims.Is this Islam that in Pakistan and Saudi prevailing.They killed thousands of Muslims in Iraq ,Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    This is our responsibilty to see the hidden truth and not on dictation terms.Obama’s recent visit to India clear demarcation that they are against Pakistan.
    There are many other things but people will not think so that’s enough.Recommend

  • No BS
    Nov 10, 2010 - 2:50PM

    IK is championing the cause of ‘accountability’ so why not start with himself. If he succeds then he will stand head and shoulders above all elseRecommend

  • Mani
    Nov 10, 2010 - 4:41PM

    Loved the article – great to see someone brave enough to write it as it is.Recommend

  • Faris
    Nov 10, 2010 - 4:43PM

    Dont see why Imran fans are in denial about his past and his daughter in particular. The point is well made – that fact is totally contradictory to his stand on family values and islamic law. Just whingeing about it being unfair to bring it up will not wash in the world press and its also just as hypocritical as the other politicians who hide their (financial) corruption.Recommend

  • Tehmina
    Nov 10, 2010 - 4:53PM

    Really well written – Imran is over promising and has very little to actually deliver.

    Hope and adoration can only get you so far – as Obama (intellectually superior and more politically astute than Imran) has discovered.Recommend

  • andrew
    Nov 10, 2010 - 5:04PM

    I am from SA – very interesting piece – the Tyrian White angle is open information in the UK press. I am surprised Pakistanis still are shocked by it.

    Imran was a great cricketer – perhaps he should leave politics as it seems he hasnt achieved much in the past decade.Recommend

  • Realist
    Nov 10, 2010 - 5:07PM

    To all of you who are against Imran Khan

    OK, I agree with you all. Imran Khan is the embodiment of a failed and corrupt politician who cannot and will not succeed.

    Any alternatives? Or are we waiting for Jesus Christ to return and save the day?Recommend

  • Ahmed Z
    Nov 10, 2010 - 6:07PM

    @Realist – we are not “against” Imran Khan – we do have the right to question him and his positions.

    Secondly you are the ones who treat him like a messiah – not us. There are young professional people who are coming up in the ranks across parties – i am not going to name names because then it just becomes about personalities.

    Okay so apart from Imran Khan why dont you name me even one person in PTI who has been groomed to lead the party? Or is Imran immortal? Fact is that PTI is a cult and you guys are just zombies.Recommend

  • Shoaib
    Nov 10, 2010 - 6:08PM

    Persuasive piece – am an Imran fan but totally agree he is not the answer.Recommend

  • Omer S
    Nov 10, 2010 - 6:14PM

    Am sick of Imran Khan’s pompous statements. He is a total hypocrite and becomes a Muslim when he wants and a westerner as soon as he lands in London.

    Our problems get worse because we repeat the same mistakes – expecting one man to save this country. Accept the fact – unless it is a khomeini or Mao type leader nothing will change. Imran will be personally honest perhaps but he will still have to bargain with the same old politicians who hold land and industry hostage.

    Stop dreaming!Recommend

  • Javed
    Nov 10, 2010 - 8:38PM

    Until last year, the PML-N was considered a party in waiting to rule the country after the next elections. But a series of missteps in key national issues has eroded the party’s position in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab that are its traditional strongholds. In Sindh and Balochistan, the party did not win seats in the 2008 elections and their support has further eroded. Nawaz Sharif as a symbol of the federation has lost credibility. When PTI comes to question people feel that Imran Khan lacks the necessary political acumen to be able to run an ethnically diverse country with deep-rooted vested interests exerting pressure from all sides. Imran’s close associates feel that honesty is an important characteristic for any future leader to stabilise the country. In case of PML-Q it has lost all its credibility and very commonly considered as the B-team of a dictator. So the only party that can be truly said the party of federation and have represenation across the Pakistan is Pakistan Peoples Party. It is everlasting and those who think that PPP is losing its image are really day dreaming.Recommend

  • Hassan
    Nov 10, 2010 - 11:55PM

    @ Ahmed Z…so who are these brilliant upcoming personalities that are are being groomed to lead this country into the abyss!!!!!!!

    The problem with non-zombies like you are that you give the impression that isses matter in politics, but in reality all you can see are personalities. People who are a reflection of you who dont care where Pakistan goes but rather their own interests that can be furthered in a dummy parliament.

    As for your right to question Imran go ahead, for that you would need to know what he stands for before you can quetion him, go to the PTI website see what they stand for and then raise a question. While yo are there you can go through the office bearers in all 4 provinces with names and contact details.

    @ Omer S…where can we beg, borrow or steal a mao or a khomenei….are we the ones dreaming!!!!!!!Recommend

  • sadia
    Nov 11, 2010 - 2:18AM

    Mehreen… just one thing as a response to your article… would you ever consider not taking an initiative only because there is a risk that you might fail? This is so strange.. you wouldn’t support him only because you are afraid that he would fail?

    and about the personal life issue… whatever he has done is with his life and not the lives of his countrymen as opposed to our beloved politicians. I think their characters are much more questionable and this is what we all should be worried about.Recommend

  • Atas
    Nov 11, 2010 - 3:36AM

    Can you please, for once, name a better choice if not Imran? No further questions. I rest my case.Recommend

  • Syed Karar Haider
    Nov 11, 2010 - 2:53PM

    excellent analysis Ms. Khan.

    But what I see these Imran fans’, they are behaving like small kids

    “tofee leni hai”
    “coke pini hai”
    “chocolate khani hai”

    please stop it. Ask your leader to go for general elections (just like last time he ran away), become a member of parliamentRecommend

  • Hassan Sadiq
    Nov 11, 2010 - 11:46PM

    @ Syed Karar Haider Uncle…its unfair to say that us small kids

    nay sirf toffe leni hai,
    coke peni hai
    chocolate khani hai

    in addition to these goodies we also want the following

    a peaceful, prosperous Pakistan
    a progressive Pakistan
    a Pakistan which is a reflection of what us hardworking small kids want, a future for our children to say that we gave our kids a better Pakistan than the one got.

    Is it really asking for too much? Opportunity my dear friend is always attracted to people with a dream we will go for elections Inshallah.Recommend

  • Syed Karar Haider
    Nov 12, 2010 - 9:31AM

    Dear Hassan,

    very nice, actually what i feel your choice is wrong. What i see in Imran Khan is

    1 – He is too aggressive
    2 – He is involved in blame game
    3 – He is not having the team
    4 – He is inclined to religeous forces
    5 – His past & his personal life is not presentable
    6 – He boycotted the last election
    7 – He did’nt join in all parties conference in national assembly which was held against terrorism and preffered to remain talking on TV channels. He should visit a proper forum. He was invited despite the fact he was not a member parliament. Actually he is afraid of terrorists and cannot expose himself against them.

    Dear, he is simply a hot item for TV channels.Recommend

  • Hassan
    Nov 12, 2010 - 12:48PM

    @ Syed Karar Sahab,

    you feel my choice is wrong and ill repect your views what is your choice you have told us!!!!

    1- He is too aggressive – true…. and we love that about him we hate timid subservient leaders.
    2- He is involved in blame game – False….Calling a spade a spade isnt a blame game its being honest and forthright
    3- he is not having a team – False he does have a team,office bearers, experts on all facets of Pakistan’s issues. All information available on website attaching link for your reference.

    http://www.insaf.pk/AboutUs/Leadership/tabid/141/Default.aspx

    http://www.insaf.pk/Media/InsafBlog/tabid/168/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/4837/Speakers-in-PTI-Does-Imran-Khan-have-a-team.aspx

    4- He is inclined to religious forces – False…. imran is guided by the vision of Quaid e Azam and Iqbal he has said this time and time again. His work with JI in APDM was based on a common purpose of removing a dictator and restoring the judciary.

    5- His past & personal life are not presentable – False….He isnt being considered for a rishta is he? you should worry less about what people think if you knew how little they did!!!!!

    6- He boycotted the last election – True and did so on principle of not fighting an election under emergency rule of the commando. All parties were boycotting but once the PP and PML N cut a deal they decided to contest so i applaud him for his principled stance.

    7- He didnt attend the All parties conference on terrorism – True….that briefing was in the national assembly where Imran could not have spoken as per the rules of the assembly he would have been sitting in the visitors gallery, in addition PTI offered to send another representative which as declined by the goverment. As for what took place in the session is known to all the deal with US over the Drone Attacks was not discussed or revealed, the permission to let the US use our airbases was also not dicussed and no consensus or policy was developed post that session.

    Imran has time and again spoken against terrorism and has denounced violence as ameans of resolving issues. His point of view is crystal clear, as for being scared i think its a jopke he doesnt move around in bullet proof vehicles or have hundreds of gun totting guards around him.

    Karar saab he is indeed too hot to handle!!!!!!Recommend

  • Rustam Ali(Gold medalist)
    Nov 13, 2010 - 4:06PM

    the people of pakistan are divede into two parts. one is libral and other religous groups. many people including me donot support the religous groups. I agree with many of you that govt. unable to deliver but at the same time I think if govt. fall than what is our alternative. this is the question which force me to support govt. Because we donnot want any pro taliban leader to take over govt. our nation faces many suicide attacks and terroristic activities and now we need a better pakistan, and we need a greater pakistan. for this purpose we need peace and this can be achived only by crushing those forces who kill our innocent people. we have no alternative to save our country accept stop those forces and their supporters. I like Imran as cricketer but his policy and his view against those people who destablize Pakistan hurts me. I only say to Imran that first he must talk with those people who lost their lowers, what is their view and than follow their advices. I think that you get my point. otherwise please donnot play the emotions of people. Recommend

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