The last time we showed some signs of life as a nation was during the lawyers’ movement for reinstatement of CJP. Once again, the time seems to be ripe for a strong push to topple the status quo (girti deewar ko aik dhakka aur do). There is no shortage of pied pipers begging to lead us to the Promised Land. But, save a few, all are tried, tested and failed (ye bazu meray azmaye huayn hain). So, who do we put on the helm?
Imran Khan is the number one contender for the post of the change agent. Imran’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, has certainly made waves (I wouldn’t go with Tsunami yet) in the country politics in the recent past. But making waves is one thing and riding the wave to the shore is another. Imran Khan is not your run-of-the-mill politician; his illustrious career as a cricketer has endowed him with fundamental leadership qualities.
Can he be the Rainmaker?
While there is skepticism among the masses about Imran Khan’s ability to change the course of Pakistan to a better future, people are willing to give him a chance. There is no dearth of fantastic agendas and enticing slogans, of which, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s agenda is one. It all sounds great but so are the programs of all other parties. All of them claim to rid Pakistan of its ailments but we know better than to believe in this song and dance. Is there anything that makes Imran and PTI different?
Clean Image: Ask people to describe the character of Pakistani politicians and you are sure to learn many words and terms that will be too hot to handle. This is not the case with Imran. People may disagree with his approach, policies and arguments but one thing most people agree on is that his image is quite palatable as compared to the current lot of his peers.
Young blood: One of the most obvious things about PTI is its supporter base, which is dominated by youth. Although in some quarters this particular aspect is viewed as a weakness for PTI, it may very well prove to be an asset for Imran’s party. Notwithstanding the upcoming elections, support from the youth of Pakistan can be instrumental for the long term survival and success of PTI. When these first time voters become more mature and experienced in the next five years, they will pay dividends.
Learning the ropes: Imran seems to be learning about the ground realities and is trying to strike a balance between idealism and pragmatism. Regardless of how much support he garners from urban masses and the youth, it is an undeniable fact that to win elections, he will need to get help from the seasoned political figures. While this may be less than ideal but without the inclusion of known heavy weights such as Shah Makhdoom Qureshi, Javed Hashmi and others, it would be very difficult to win seats. These guys are the cheques to cash the vote banks; without votes you don’t win seats and without seats you can’t change the future. Imran has learned this fact and is reaching out to hopefully the better ones of the lot. This also may help transform his party from a one-man show to a multi focal point team. Succession is an extremely important consideration for any leader and Imran must have it on his mind.
Imran wants to root out corruption, trim the fat of the government and bureaucracy, change the economic landscape of the country, restore its sovereignty, improve the overall condition of the masses and a lot more. He is quite possibly one of the best choices we have compared to the leeches that are sucking us dry.
Do you think Imran stands a chance? Do you think he can really change our future for better?
(Image courtesy of pakistanblogzine)