By Saeed Qureshi
Imran Khan, the founder and the Chairman of the political party, “Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is quiet for quite some time. He must be pondering about his future course by closeting him in his private room. A political or public leader cannot sit idle or remain away or isolated for long, from the public eye and the countrymen. His eerie silence and diminished activity pose a big question mark.
His celebrated, illustrious colleagues who hastily joined the PTI with great exuberance are also maintaining a stony silence. Recently we haven’t heard any policy enunciation or dissemination of the PTI manifesto that must have been prepared with lot of toil, intellectual input and by burning midnight oil.
These are crucial times for the political stalwarts to kick around in the length and breadth of Pakistan with all the sound and fury one can marshal or summon. It is high time for Imran Khan to stage public meetings in quick succession to convey his party’s manifesto and messages of hope and new salubrious beginning in Pakistan.
He is one among the whole lot who enjoys a clean slate, a reservoir of goodwill and a high moral ground that he is perched on. Alas, he has wasted much precious time in motivating people and winning support of the people of Pakistan.
In one of my previous article on Imran Khan, I had sketched his profile and personality in the following paragraphs,”
“Imran Khan the Chief of PTI could have flashed, like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, as a glowing star on the political horizon of Pakistan. But all these years in the politics, he has remained a non-starter. Once in a while, he appears on the stage, frets and fumes, displays his tantrums and then recedes into the oblivion to reappear all of a sudden at a time of his own choice.
He runs his political bandwagon by fits and starts. He is sincere and possesses unbounded passion and limitless energy to make a difference but his fury and passion is invariably short-lived. He suffers from a chronic malady of inconsistency and conceptual bipolarity. He swerves from extreme to extreme on both sides of his agenda. He thunders like the charged clouds but then drifts away after a strong but brief shower of hyperbolic statements and high sounding propositions.”
Now these impressions were jotted down some two years ago and I vouch that these are still valid and pertinent in regard to the mercurial and mysterious character of Imran Khan. In all the bye-elections candidates from either PPP or PMNL have taken the lead. All that PTI has been doing is to boycott the elections perhaps under the lurking fear that PTI candidates cannot win.
If that is the defeatist attitude of the PTI leaders to walk away from facing the electoral competitions, then only a miracle can help PTI in capturing reasonable number of seats in the forthcoming provincial or federal elections.
The youth of Pakistan could have been a formidable force for the PTI to reach nook and corner of Pakistan and to awaken the people and to galvanize them against the forces of status quo, the rapacious privileged classes and the insidious system of governance. The young lot of the country were all geared and ready to work for the PTI to bolster it as the only party that was clean and could bring about the revolutionary reforms and give Pakistan an honest and clean leadership.
Imran Khan’s overblown metaphor of Tsunami has lost its vigor and steam. It has been hibernating and slumbering with no commotion to cleanse the Augean stables of evils bedeviling Pakistan. Imran Khan has been vacillating in making far-reaching and timely intelligent decisions that could bear out his political acumen and sagacity. The example of this flippant tendency is manifest in supporting Qadri’s movement and then distancing from it.
His political alliances for instance with narrow- based parties as JI and bluntly opposing PMNL speaks for his immaturity and myopic vision as the leader of a political party that should forge alliances with progressive and deep-rooted parties. In all fairness his natural alliance could be primarily with PMNL and even other factions of Muslim League. MQM could be another party that has a revolutionary agenda and comes closer to the PTI for a monumental transformation in favor of the common man and in support of the downtrodden sections of society.
Since his forte is Punjab and some parts of NWFP bordering with Punjab, he could have adjustment of electoral candidates with PMNL. That strategy could have ensured some seats for the PTI also. But in the prevailing political brinkmanship, his biggest foe is Nawaz Sharif and no one else. Thus he is in the habit of betting on wrong horses and fails to read the direction of the political wind.
Imran Khan seems to be disenchanted with politics for some inexplicable reasons that he knows best only. But factually this is the time to hold frequent press conferences, have whirlwind tours of Pakistan and generate a wave of apathy for the inimical forces that have been wreaking Pakistan from day one.
He need to spit fire, show the skills of oration and rhetorical outbursts to fire up and electrify the people to pave way for a kind of peaceful French Revolution against the blood sucking elitism aristocracy, feudalism, bonapartism and other exploitative outfits.
He is rendering himself irrelevant in the political arena of Pakistan by sitting on the sidelines and watching nonchalantly and with folded hands the fight of others. I suspect that he is going through an indecisive phase of introspection that clearly means wastage of time and missing the bus of political urgency.
He should be aware that other parties are well established. He is relatively a new-comer and has to put in extra efforts and mount vigorous struggle for PTI to be counted and reckoned with as a strong political force and true representative of the suffering people of Pakistan.