Muhammad Saqib Tanveer
The word change or revolution has become so much appealing to the masses that every politician tries to package his content in the wrapper of change. Even President Barack Obama used it as a slogan to run his campaign which ultimately led him to the White House. I wonder if he goes again for that slogan. I really believe if our consumable goods carry the tag-line of change, it will become so much easy for them to sell their products. The appeal of the word change to Pakistani masses is due to the inefficiency and inability of all the political parties of Pakistan, as they all have been tried and tested in one way or the other after 18th February elections. Almost every participating party has stayed in government and that has led to people’s disbelief in these parties. That is the line where Imran Khan is bowling as he knows about the dynamics of masses.It remains to be seen whether he will be able to conjure up the required amount of seats in the National Assembly and deliver but we can talk about his future performance and chances from what he has already delivered to the nation in his speeches.
Recently I gave a presentation on the chances of Imran Khan to my class fellows and what I came across was an explosion of negative comments towards me from my fellows as I labeled his chances as bleak. Some, who usually used to call me sane and intelligent, even went to the extent of calling me non-serious. I was expecting that from them and the same I expect from his other supporters. I am not an Imran-Khan basher, it’s just I see things from a realist angle.Many call Imran Khan as old wine in a new bottle and after the people he is allowing to join his party, it is very much clear that same old people will be our representatives. Imran Khan wants to cleanse or even ‘dry-clean’ his candidates under his headship, before giving them party ticket, but do the candidates want to get cleansed? Will these new-inductees be able to don the attire of a noble leader after enjoying the title of feudal in their own village? How would he dry-clean Mian Azhar, who has already been tried and tested?
Assuming if Imran Khan takes the hot seat this term, though it is very difficult, there are some things that need to be answered. Whatever Imran Khan said in Lahore are things that are mostly the words of whole of Pakistan but somehow they does not align with the policies of hidden hands in Pakistani set-up i.e. establishment. Every government has to keep the desires of establishment and string-pullers’ desires in view and that is where the question marks on his ability arise. He can fulfil the promises he made to people in Lahore if he is the only decision maker in the system. But governments are not solely run by the elected people. There are always people who effect and manipulate the decisions of people. Ask Barack Obama how he was forced to increase the troops in Afghanistan by his own military establishment.
PTI wants to topple the system and bring a change but change does not come from within the system. It always comes from staying outside. You cannot bring a change by climbing up the stairs and reaching the top and then abruptly dismantling the whole system because you are the one who have climbed up through this system and its downfall will lead to your own. To stay in power you have to empower the foundations of that ladder rather than dismounting the ladder.
Before Imran Khan comes to power, he may have to answer these questions. History is witness that whenever the hopes of masses are shattered, anarchy takes over and leads to a real revolution which does not need ballot. Imran Khan is one of the best philanthropists and the best leader in cricket, we ever had, and that gives him an edge over all and perhaps that is well-deserved but as a leader and a statesman, there is a big question mark that needs to be removed prior to his taking of the helm. It is up to him, whether he becomes a Mahathir Mohammad or a Barack Obama.