Monday, October 31, 2011

Did Imran Khan just own Lahore?

Imran Khan
I know a lot has been said, is being said, and will be said about Imran Khan's insanely large rally in Lahore yesterday. Did he woo the masses of their feet? Yes. Did he prove that a lot of people support him? Yes. Did he own Lahore? I think he might just have.

Imran Khan set out to prove a point, and he nailed it into every nailable thing out there. He ripped through the Sharifs' fortress and came out the other side victorious. He didn't say anything new, he didn't surprise anyone with new promises, but he delivered a powerful speech, one that might have sent shivers down his opponents spines. He also managed to shut his detractors (yours truly included) up and proved that his followers are not only from the educated urban middle class. They come from all strata of society.

But while all that is good and rosy, there are other points that need to be discussed. There are questions that need to be asked and answers that need to be heard. Imran Khan once again continued to lick the shiny armour of the army. He recounted an anecdote involving Hussain Haqqani, Pakistan's ambassador to the US, and Zardari in which both of them beg the Americans to save them from the Pakistani generals. Perhaps Imran Khan thinks licking the army's shiny suit would earn him the required number of points to qualify as the next prime minister of Pakistan?

He also talked about corruption and how Rs 3000 billion is lost every year in tax corruption. But once again, he failed to mention how he would eradicate this colossal negative enigma from Pakistan. He also talked about telling the Americans to talk to Pakistan on an equal footing. While these are noble sentiments, in the real world they hold no water. The US acts as our benefactor, hence we dare not say anything offensive to it. Unless the shackles of benefaction can be broken, I'm afraid Imran Khan was simply indulging in yesterday's rhetoric.

Imran Khan also spoke of ending the military operations in the tribal belts. I really want to ask him whether he's become insane? OK so he says the military fights the local Pakistani population in the tribal belt. My question is what of the many thousands of Uzbek, Chechen and Arab militants residing in those places? Who is going to fight them? Or are they "our people" too? Or does Imran Khan believe they do not exist and they are simply a figment of the imagination of a few people?

Imran Khan said the tribal elders have assured him that if the army stops taking action in the tribal belt, the terrorism will automatically go away. Of  course it will. By not fighting the cancer spurting out of the tribal belts, the Pakistan army will become complicit in letting it spread.

Is Imran Khan a very charismatic man with a lot of fan following? Yes he is. But he talks nonsense at times particularly with regards to the foreign and interior policy. While his solutions to the energy crisis are admirable and in fact extremely workable, his solutions to steering the country out of the mess it finds itself in are based on populist whims and rhetoric.

I want to like Imran Khan. But he never gives me any reason to even bother. Rather, he takes all of the reasons that might make me like him and shoots them in the head. And that makes me wonder, who am I going to vote for in 2013 when I've ruled Imran Khan out?


Usman Ijaz said...

Is there any other leader who you think is capable of taking Pakistan out of this mess.
Agreed that he not a tamed politician but isnt he better than people we have already tested???

Khumair said...

Two points.
First: He's the best (or least bad) option
Second: I believe all that education, upbringing (and relationships with beautiful women) must have brought Imran Khan a little away from the stupid ideas he seems to propagate (like stopping all warfare)
If this is true, then he might be playing a very smart innings. By pleasing the army and ensuring that the terrorists and extremists dont see him as an active threat (like PPP, ANP and even Jamaat e Islami) The biggest advantage of this is human, not political: by having a neutral relationship with them, Imran assures teh security of his rallies. This is the only reason that Imran has the audacity to travel to all parts of the country and call protests and rallies there. All other political parties (including Jamaat e Islami) face the threat of terrorists attacks. 
Also, if you listen carefully his Lahore speech hinted at how he believed the tribals had to be strengthened (the peaceful ones) to eraditcate terrorists from their midst. (though I agree totally with the ANP's stance on this issue)

Syedfayyazhassan said...

Well Tribal Maliks are all killed by Talibans. Those that are left are afraid of going back to their homes. What grass Imran Khan is smoking. I think he is the most dangerous man in Pakistan. I consider him Zia ul Haques re incarnate or Zaid Hamid with in politics

Hamza Malik said...

Usman the trouble is I don't see anyone (Imran Khan included) taking this country out of trouble. The PPP has a selfish, idiotic slave mentality. The PML-N also has the same selfish, idiotic slave mentality with special focus on Punjab. And Imran Khan's policy might not be selfish but you have to admit its idiotic.

When you talk about Pakistan, you ought to think the whole thing through. How can a person be so benign as to proclaim that he will stop the Pak army from fighting the terrorists in our tribal areas?

I, or rather the majority of the people talk about Imran Khan because we believe he has the potential to radically change the structure of this country. That's why we want him to make the right choices. Not the severely degenerated ones he's proposing.

Hamza Malik said...

I hadn't thought of that. However the age old adage that "if you play with fire, you get burnt" holds remarkably true if this is indeed what Immy K is doing.

Imran Jamal said...

I am no
supporter of Imran Khan (especially the lack of progressive elements in it)
however, he is much better than the political offspring’s of Zia called
Sharifs. If Imran does not associate himself with rightwing religious groups’
people of Punjab would see him as a better
alternative to PML-N. Comparing IK to ZAB is apples and oranges. ZAB had made
himself popular while representing Pakistan
at the UNO and as the youngest man to represent Pakistan at the UN. He devised a
revolutionary platform for his socialist PPP and did not align himself with
any rightwing parties or mullahs. He created a sharp contrast with the old
leaders and Imran Khan has failed to that as yet. Another point is Imran Khan
has to show a clear difference between himself and other rightwing parties.
He is too rightwing to be compared to ZAB who had a socialist slogans and was
opposed by all mullahs. This is too unfair an example to come from a
professor. Unless Imran Khan clearly shows the differences against PML-N and
“different people” as his allies he is going to be same kind of leader as
Nawz Sharif is. ZAB did not make election alliance with mullahs and religious
parties and Imran Khan should do the same, if he wants to be different.

Hamza Javaid said...

Hamza sahab jane deya, hiss de baari aane diyo :D

Saqib4911 said...

"....Imran Khan said the tribal elders have assured him that if the army stops taking action in the tribal belt, the terrorism will automatically go away. Of course it will. By not fighting the cancer spurting out of the tribal belts, the Pakistan army will become complicit in letting it spread....."

I don't know what brand of weed did you smoke before coming to this conclusion. To elminate an issue you need to look at its root cause, and the root cause for this issue is the fact that we (our army and the US) started to bomb the hell out of kabalis back in 2005 and continued to do that until this day. This created the so called terrorists which are now hardbent to take revenge by fighting against us.

Uhmm, let me ask you this hypothetical question, if the Pakistan and US army bombs your home and kills your family, would you take revenge? or would you start smoking your weed and try to forget about what had happened. Well maybe you will do the later. But unfortunately for us, our tribal fellow country men are not as Hippe as you are (maybe you should sell them some of your weed to the Kabalis). They like to take revenge for their loved ones killed by our/US army and the airforce.

I had never heard of any insurgency prior to 2005 (before we started military operations on our own people) in our tribal areas, oh wait, maybe I am not smoking the same brand of weed that you were smoking before you wrote this blog/article.

Remember this (once the high from your weed has subsided), the more we prolonge the operation in our tribal region the more the so-called terrorists we will create.
If military operations were the answer, then we would have been done by now, after spending 6 years of operations, and by using the world's most powerful military (US) as our ally.

Read some world history, only 10% or less insurgencies to date have been curtailed via military force, the remainder were subdued via negotiations. A good example is the IRA against England.
Get your self some useful education, our country is suffering becuase of brain deads like you!!

Saqib4911 said...

Imran Khan spoke pretty much non-sense back in 1992 when he said he would win the cricket world cup for the country, or at least that is what most of his critics said back then but we all know what happened.....

Imran Khan was building castles in the skies, wrote one newspaper, when he annouced that he would build a world class cancer hospital in Pakistan. Well the guess what...they were so wrong...

Iman Khan will never get the mainstream people support for himself and his political party......well guess waht happend in Lahore? .....

Any other negatives that you would like to add???? Please add to the list but dont be surprised if he keeps all of his promises.....he has a strong will ...... and to succeded in life....will must be stronger than the skill....

Carry on with your non-sense....haters....

Hamza Malik said...

You seem to be interested in weed quite a lot. Maybe that's because your supply has dried up?

Get a life, go out, run around a bit, and when you're sweaty and tired, take a shower and go to sleep. Maybe that way you're degenerating brain cells might grow back.
Now let me answer your concerns. Are you in denial? Maybe you are. Maybe the lack of weed you keep talking about is the reason but either way. Are you denying there are no Uzbek, Chechen, Arab or Somali militants in the tribal areas? Are you denying that no insurgency exists in the tribal areas? Are you a supporter of Mullah Fazlullah? Are you a supporter of Maulana Radio? Do you support Mullah Omer? Do you support Hakeemullah Mehsud?Remember, your answers define what kind of supporters Imran Khan has. The kind of logic you're applying can be explained by this example: You keep throwing trash out of your house, over the wall, and in to your neighbour's house. When your neighbour tells you to stop, you tell him to go to hell because YOUR trash in HIS house isn't really bothering you. But, the who's responsible here? YOU are.

Now to your point about the fact that there was no insurgency before 2005. There was no insurgency before 2005 because we weren't doing anything about the militants who had free reign in the region. Once we started clamping down, they retaliated. They will always retaliate.

Yes there has been collateral damage and that's why we denounce the American drone strikes. But significant gains have also been made. Remember Baitullah Mehsud? Remember Jamal Saeed Abdul Rahim? 

To minimise the collateral the Pakistan army needs a ground invasion to eliminate these leeches from our lands. Or are you telling me no, they are no leeches, no insurgency exists in the tribal areas, and everything is rosy in FATA? Oh yeah, maybe you do believe that. After all, you are suffering from a lack of weed which has gotten your brain all fuzzy.

Hamza Malik said...

Funnily it is you who is indulging in castle building in the skies. You have answered no question or concern that I have raised. Tells me a lot about the kind of support IK has. He is just like the rest. He has no democracy in his party. He is Chairman for life of PTI. There are no elections in PTI. All office bearers are appointed. Trying to put the proverbial cart before the horse are we?

Its called hypocrisy. IK is a blunt man with honest ideas. But it is his foolishness and supporters like you who let him down. Either answer the questions the world raises (including the ones that I've asked), or refrain from indulging in mundane rhetoric. 

omairzuberi said...

Dear Hamza,

You say "He also talked about corruption and how Rs 3000 billion is lost every year in tax corruption. But once again, he failed to mention how he would eradicate this colossal negative enigma from Pakistan."

I don't know of a single forum where Imran has not laid out HOW him and his party are going to achieve this. I am very surprised you are unaware of this.

Let me give few statements they might jog your memory, then you can issue an apology.

Leaders to declare Assets
Leaders to pay tax on these assets
Independent NAB
Independent Police
Independent Judges



Hamza Malik said...

Dear Omair,

What is the mechanism to get the leaders to declare their assets? Will he send FBR teams to arrest them if they refuse to declare their assets? What is the mechanism to force them to pay their taxes? Will he send police to arrest them? How does he intend to ensure that NAB is an independent body when it is busy investigating politically motivated cases?Please also keep in mind that it is these very same politicians with whom IK will have to make alliances to form a government if he comes into power. Do you think he would still go after them knowing that they could end his political capacity in a second if they so wished if he's in power? I don't think so.

Here's what he should've said. He's acting and talking like all the rest of the useless, spend, has been politicians. He should have talked about reforming the tax structure. He should've talked about the introduction of a new tax regime. He should've talked about ensuring tax parity according to income. Instead, he talked the talk and tried to absolve himself of responsibility by naming names and indulging in rhetoric. He said he'll lead a civil disobedience campaign. I would love to see him try.

Dreamer said...

automatically go away? what he said was the 10 lakh armed tribal men will eradicate the militants.they have vowed to do so. if you know your history you ill then know that these tribals have eliminated each and every opponent of theirs, even those as strong as the british and the russians. just because you do not like someone please do not fabricate facts or quotes concerning them

And you are supposed to be an educated individual. you should understand that a 30 minute speech cannot contain the nitty gritty of future plans. it can only give an overview. Furthermore, if you publish an article be prepared to receive criticism and do not get personal if you receive such criticism. Please maintain some civility as it will lend it the credibility that it needs

Hamza Malik said...

Once again, if these tribals had disallowed militants to flourish amongst them, the army would  never have decided to launch an operation there. Furthermore, the Americans wouldn't have felt the need to launch drone strikes into those areas. Also, please don't forget that the Pak army has wiped the slate clean in South Waziristan. It is the north that is the hornet's nest.

Also, your argument that the militants will be eradicated holds no water. Why? Because implicitly or explicitly, the tribal elders have declared (according to Imran Khan's statement that the tribals will eliminate the militants) that they are complicit in anti state activities. Harbouring terrorists is anti state according to law.

Now where have we seen this pattern before? Oh yes in Swat with Sufi Muhammad. And we all know how that ended up.

Khan is playing with emotions. That's it. Yes I know why many people will vote for IK. He is the best choice from amongst the worst pool of candidates. But that does not mean he is our only hope.

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