Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Should We Say Imran Khan is Donald Trump of Pakistan!


August 17, 2016

By Saeed Qureshi


After his previous flopped campaigns to oust and dislodge the PMNL government in 2013 and 2014, Imran Khan has announced to stage renewed multi- pronged agitation to knock down Nawaz Sharif particularly and his government generally. Tahirul Qadri and Sheikh Rashid have also announced to join the fray against Nawaz Sharif on the issue of Panama leaks wherein the names of Nawaz Sharif’s children are mentioned for maintaining offshore accounts by sending money from Pakistan.

Imran Khan has also announced to stage sit ins, long marches and hold public rallies. He has given September 3 as the deadline for government’s response. Thereafter he would go for countrywide agitation and protests.  Already Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Party and Sheikh Rashid ‘s Awami Muslim League have submitted their petitions to the speaker of the national assembly for disqualification of Nawaz Sharif.

Simultaneously they intend to file petitions in the supreme court of Pakistan for money laundering against their arch target the prime minister of Pakistan main Nawaz Sharif. Jamaat-e- Islami has too joined the fray and its leaders have also announced to approach the supreme court to probe money laundering and offshore accounts of Nawaz Sharif and his family members who are primarily two sons and one daughter.

Simultaneously Jama-i-Islami, Tahirul Qadri the chief of Pakistan Awami Tehrik and sheikh Rashid president of Awami Muslim league have decided to mount street protests along with the legal battles against Nawaz Sharif primarily for stashing money abroad.

Although the issue of corruption is important but to single out the prime minister seems to be motivated with a kind of political animus. If the supreme court of Pakistan is approached to hand out their verdict on the money laundering case, then Imran Khan and other litigants instead of mobilizing street agitations, should wait for the verdict. If the apex court finds truth in the allegations, then prime minister had no moral grounds to hold on to his office. But if not then he should continue to administer his responsibly and complete his term till the next general elections to be coming off in 1918.  

The renewed round of agitations and long marches that all the fringe political parties and religious zealot Tahirul Qadri aim at kicking off against the PMNL government, would plunge the country into a spell of chaos that one witnessed during the upheavals of 2102, 2103 and 2014 whipped up first by Tahirul Qadri and later joined by Imran Khan along with Sheikh Rashid.

Although presently it is not the elections season in Pakistan, nor Imran Khan is a candidate, he can be equated with Donald Trump, the Republican Party nominee for his mercurial temperament, odd antics, outlandish statements and emotional decisions. Mr. Khan’s attitude in politics is irrational and immature. He should have been convinced that his earlier boycotts and fierce rabble rousing had not been successful in dislodging his prime foe Nawaz Sharif.

How can his latter day anti-government agitation fructify when PMNL’s political standing has become much credible after its victories in Azad Kashmir elections and even on odd seats in Pakistan? I would wish if better sense prevails on firebrand Imran Khan and he creates a favorable public opinion in his favor by presenting his agenda, plans policies in a decent and peaceful manner. That would be more convincing and result-oriented that knocking down the political edifice based upon the peoples ‘mandate.

The next general elections are far by two years and in this period Imran and his party cohorts can adopt a positive and constructive strategy to win the majority votes and thus be justified to hold the reins of the government. If the ongoing democratic set up no matter how faulty, is short-circuited, then this could lead to unhealthy tradition to oust a rival government by agitations and Dharna and by inciting the vulnerable sections of society.

It defies the logic why Tahirul Qadri who spends better part of the year in Canada comes to Pakistan to sabotage a democratic and political system that is the best notwithstanding whether the power wielders were competent or inept and corrupt. The best and the logical recipe to oust a political establishment should be on the political turf and not by noncooperation movements and violent tactics. Let the decision to elect the MNAs should be left to the choice of the people and not by short-circuiting it through foul and aggressive means.

The chaos that would boil up with such a rowdy rivalry could pave way for the army to step in and thus the country would recede back to dictatorship. A worst democracy is better than a best dictatorship. The periods of dictatorships are like oasis in a desert but not a full-fledged ever green orchard which in the case of power politics is democracy. Imran and other parties should not disregard and forsake the democracy at any cost for personal whims and wait for the elections to be held when due. 

As far Panama Leaks and   money laundering of Nawaz Sharif, let the supreme court of Pakistan hand out a verdict that should be binding on all. It would be in order that along with the probing of money laundering case and overseas accounts of Nawaz family and all other such cases should be looked into by the supreme court or NAB for that matter. This probe should be across the board without any political vendetta for political gains.
Even if Imran Khan succeeds in removing Nawaz as the prime minister he may later also remain vulnerable for a similar backlash from his detractors. So in this vicious musical chairs game of vendettas, should we infer that he is taking a wrong course for a just cause. Or else he may be acting at the behest of some foreign actors who don’t want CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) to fructify or Pakistan to remain politically and economically stable.

 I might be mistaken but there seems to be a great deal of similarity in the temperament, attitudes, outlook and world view of Donald Trump and Imran Khan. Both are short of vision, depth and sobriety that are the hallmarks of a politician and national leader. Both are readily pleased and infuriated alternately. They would look angels when in sober and kind mood. On the contrary when they are angry they would be provoked beyond permissible limits. On the whole both politically are incorrect and swayed by emotions and resort to knee jerk reactions to challenging situations.

Instead of healthy dialogue and logical response both are in the habit of lambasting and undermining their detractors, rivals and critics with condemnations, curses and derogatory remarks. Both tend to suffer from illusion of self-glorification and popularity. Both offer plans and recipes for nation building and politico-socio and economic issues that visibly look enticing but practically undeliverable. Both tend to suffer from distortions of understanding by making non-issues as big issues.

Both are emotionally zealous about their policies and imbibe bubbling spirit to excel other politicians in serving their respective nations. As such one may infer that Imran Khan is the Donald Trump of Pakistan.  The only difference between these two leaders and their postures that I can perceive is, that while Donald uses his party’s platforms and political caucuses to unfurl his agenda, Imran tends to advance his political bandwagon by demonstrating street power, holding rallies, sit ins and long marches that are reminiscent of the Indians demanding liberation from the British colonial rule in India.





2 comments:

  1. While Donald Trump has entered the wild waters of politics quite recently, Imran has been there for over twenty years now. Donald Trump has a strong base of white American supremacists and frustrated under-privileged , Imran has none of the sort. Donald Trump might still spring some surprise, Imran has no acuity to do that. Young lads and romantic females do not make a political force.

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