By S. Mubashir Noor –
My-way-or-the-highway politics of Khan will lead PTI nowhere
Now I confess I may be on the wrong side of 30 to be fully in thrall to the Kaptaan miracle, however between the din of populist rhetoric and the clanging of batons on protesting skulls, I have yet to distinguish between the man that is Imran Khan and the plan that is Naya Pakistan.
In the few precious moments of lucidity available to the PTI leadership; i.e when they’re not shouting themselves hoarse demanding tabdeeli (which I presume yelled enough times by enough people qualifies for divine intervention), playing mock umpire, or road-tripping across our fair land drumming up support for the cause of insaaf; their parroting of careworn political cliches to depict this Naya Pakistan is remarkably underwhelming.
Stamping out corruption, providing justice to the common man, reforming a broken system etc. etc. Sound familiar, don’t they?
The song remains the same. The minstrels too lazy to rework the lyrics. In times of yore, it would’ve been off with their heads for such incompetence. Not Pakistan. We are a fledgling democracy with both kill-switch and reboot features. Here saints and sinners alike, using similar spin, have taken to wringing awaami goodwill dry in an Ouroboros of rinse/confound/repeat. It is practically a political rite of passage.
The Kaptaan’s whole demeanor seems frozen in time from 22 years ago, when arms aloft in victory, he validated his superior existence awash in the afterglow of bringing home the cricket world cup. Fast-forward to 2014, and through those very rose-tinted lenses, Imran Khan now views every political proclamation of his as unquestionably & irrevocably for the national good.
This begs a few obvious questions.
Assuming the sincerity of Imran Khan and PTI to the tasks at hand, and ignoring snarky ripostes from rivals that all recent machinations are due to a sulky child being denied his long-coveted plaything, does the Kaptaan, in his time at the top, intend to sack the bureaucracy en masse and rule the country with magical elves as minions?
Surely Imran Khan is not naive enough to think looting and plundering the exchequer is a wholesale trickle-down effect, and that the worker bees of parliamentary democracy are pious Al-Hajj ? Surely.
More pertinently, why does an individual so vocal about the power of the people not want to put in the hard yards for a Naya Khyber Pakhtunkhwa before he attempts to conjure the same rabbit nationwide? Common sense, even the Pakistani kind, would dictate that were PTI governance to positively impact the socio-economically pock-marked province, those achievements would translate to significant electoral success throughout Pakistan. After all, who doesn’t like a winner? Which makes this politics of petulance all the more peculiar for a man who knows the feeling.
Instead, Imran Khan presses on with holier-than-thou polemics while surrounded by a motley crew of political ne’er-do-wells and various joyriding technocratic greenhorns. Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari are undoubtedly Iblees personified, having signed in blood a pact of power-sharing musical chairs, from whose evil clutches Super Niazi shall deliver the masses. SubhanAllah. Besides the point is the world-wide precedent that meaningful reforms in multi-party democracies can only happen via legislation inside the Parliament and Senate, not ranting and raving on street corners. A mere technicality to the Kaptaan of course.
I may be deluded, but all signs point to this much ballyhooed Naya Pakistan being an incongruous anagram for Imran’s Pakistan, i.e my way or the highway. Reframing the same conundrums six ways to Sunday is not problem solving, good sirs. Even my gardener can tell you that.
My hope is that at some point the PTI leadership, before the alphabet runs outs, will fall off their high horse, and elaborate to those of us with an IQ over 80 points how their master-plan is anything other than regurgitated slop. Failing which the farce will be confirmed.