Imran Ready to Bowl


Imran Ready to Bowl

Imran ready to bowl. This gentle breeze blowing in from North. Fragrant. Whiff of expectation in the air. Imran starts running. Head lunging forward, piercing gaze, body curved in a magnificent arch, shirt trailing, measured steps like a Tiger on the prowl. Approaches the wicket, launches into that spectacular leap, body taut and air borne. The ball released, jags, cuts in shattering the wickets. Silence in the air. 12 AM, May 12.

 

May 18. Did the ball cut enough? A debate rages in the media, drawing rooms on the success of Imran’s electoral campaign. Was it a failure because it did not turn out to be the status quo wrecking tsunami? Or it was almost what PTI had hoped it to be. A campaign to put them on the political map of Pakistan, morph PTI into a third political force of reckoning. Well the answer would depend on which side of the fence you are on. PML-N supporters do not have to strain their intellects to rationalize the massive Punjabi nod in their favor. The mandate speaks for itself. The onus of analysis lies on PTI and PPP to argue and defend.

 

I had argued in an earlier piece of mine, “Busting the myth of Zardari”, that the praise lavished on Zardari is misplaced and he is hardly the political genius as imagined by many of his ilk. He managed to survive for five years and was helped by two key factors. Army’s reluctance to step in and Zardari’s finely honed survival instinct. In fact survival was pretty much his only the strategy which took its due toll on governance and PPP itself. Election 2013 saw PPP being routed in Punjab. In all likelihood, PPP voter, disgruntled and disillusioned with party affairs and his own miserable existence, defected and voted for PML-N. PPP leaders may disagree and rattle off ideological underpinnings of a Jiyala, unwavering loyalty to Bhuttos as reasons to never contemplate breaking free. Well, not only the higher turnout sidestepped PPP but their own kin deserted them.

 

PML-N is a different story. Sharif had all but ceased to exist politically after their forced exile. 2008 elections split Punjab between them and PPP pretty evenly. 2013 elections saw them descend on Pakistan with a verdict cast in heaven. Their landslide victory in Punjab and Centre has surprised even the pundits. It seems PML-N benefitted much more from the higher turnout than PTI. I have no doubt in my mind that Imran Khan was the single most important factor in driving people to vote. Media only added to the fervor and whipped up the nation into a frenzy. We saw women, urban youth in hordes at the polling stations. Guess not all were PTI supporters and many who had been silent lovers of PML-N came out bitten by the voting bug.

 

Imran’s portents of a tsunami may have faltered but he has worked up enough urban froth to scare the status quo into better governance. He was able to politicize inert segments of society who had had a history of watching it all from the fence. Urban youth and women participation in the elections made them much more inclusive and representative. The emergence of PTI as a third force has broken the stranglehold of two-party system on Pakistan. This effectively means more choice for the people. This means more competition for the current rulers. This means credible replacements in the waiting. PTI emerged as the second biggest party at center and swept Khber Pakhtunkhwa. In Karachi it secured the highest number of votes polled after MQM.  From nothing to all of this, PTI has come a long way. Tsunami it is not but a heartening and significant change in the right direction for sure. A couplet honoring the change in direction…

 

Why walk the beaten track

Why talk the sweetened crap

Let’s walk on the wild side

Let’s talk the taboos aside



Hasnain Iqbal

The blogger contributes for The News/Geo blogs


  • M.Saeed

    Let us not talk Punjabi nod. For that matter, let us not talk Sindh Card. In fact, Pakistan-Khapay was the real magic that made 5-year possible for Zehri-Zardari gulp. It is unfortunate that, amalgamation-change of lineage used “Bhutto Zardari” gravely backfired. Even there was a silent factor in play that made a material difference. It was the ruthlessly selfish prop-up of Bilawal to the top-most pedestal of the party, without caring for the repercussions evident without being vocal. Imagine die-hard party stalwarts good enough to be his grandfather expected to bow him and take their orders from him on how to govern? Sometime greed blinds beyond redemption.

  • Anonymous

    “Imran ready to bowl”?! ….perhaps needed adding ‘yorkers’. Sadly he is bowling wides right now nd trying to play a 20-20 instead of a test match. The last paragraphy bar the verse, makes te right observation.

    PTI should learn to appreciate the massve good they have brought into the system and desist from the continuous dharna which will in a short time, erode the goodwill for them. The Captain needs to get some sage counsel now instead of appearing to be a reactionary.

    Time to work on improving ECP and te flaws in it instead of confrontational and antagonistic dharnas – use the legal means to challenge any misdeed with proofs instead of sending Ibrar-ul-Haq to the screens, declaring it was better if tese elections did not happen if the result was going to be so manipulated – or even Ishaq Khaqwani casting aspersions on Supreme Court in. Hamid Mir interview on Thursday.

  • Anonymous

    PTI now needs to accept that the overall election result will not significantly alter even after a fair indpendent examination of results….and their goal ought to be to fix these ECP loopholes for the next elections.

    They also need to acknowledge that their message did not quite reach the rural masses in the same manner as it did in case of the urban, literate ones. This is the area to be working on with the understanding that tere is a Pakistan outside of the ocial media class – before another issue arises i.e. burger versus bun kebab.

  • Anonymous

    Javed Hashmi’s nomination as PTI’s candidate for the PM – seems PTI is not serious in their bowling. Question to ask is Would Mr Hashmi have been the candidate if PTI had won a majority in the National Assembly?

    With all affections and regards for Mr Hashmi, his struggle, and notwithstanding the symbolic nature of the gesture by PTI, Prime Minister’s role is physically and mentally exhausting and the candidate’s choice does reflect seriousness of the party, amongst thinking people!

    Surely there were others in that parliamentary committee who could be put up as the PM candidate instead of going for sentimentality – certainly expected from party pitching for change.

    To top all that IK’s speach addressing the Supreme Court on elections – a bit crass reminding about ‘favours’ in the restoration of judges movement – almost like an ultimatum. I recall Yusuf Raza Gillani tried the same too. It would be much better if IK followed all the legal courses upto te SC instead of seeking suo moto notices. Mr Khan needs to revert to his saner counsel.

  • M.Saeed

    Let me remind a long forgotten statement of Imran that he might need now to get his orientation back in place. Imran had once stated:

    “Spirituality does two things for you. One, you are forced to become more selfless, two, you trust to providence. The opposite of a spiritual man is a materialist. If I was a materialist I would be making lots of money doing endorsements, doing cricket commentary. I have no interest in that.”

  • Anonymous

    Nasrullah Sb

    1. The choice of opposing candidate does reflect upon how seriously the symbolic gesture is taken.

    2. SC does not have unchallenged authority to checkmate EC decisions if PTI does not follow all the procedures needed with the EC – another Constitutional body. IK’s llanguage aimed at te SC is not strengthening that institution but more likely to bring it into disrepute. The need us to follow all the existing rules right to te SC instead of instigating a reaction with street protests and dharnas in the first instance. If Suo motos is what PTI looks for then better to be rid of the Parliament and make judges the rulers.

  • Anonymous

    Nasrullah Sb

    Whatever other parties do, one expects more from the party fighting for positive change. Agreed that priciples cannot be compromised but to try and force those principles by not following principles is not a positive change sought when legal avenues available are not exhausted yet.

    • Anonymous

      Nasrullah Sb

      Will be helpful if you could elaborate where the mist is. Perhaps it was not clear that the procedure is to start the legal course through the ECP and move it up the ladder through election tribunals and if need be to the SC. Where is te dichotomy in seeking to follow legal procedure laid down – when PTI had been asking others to do the same?!

      Do you get to go to the US Supreme Court directly and before junior courts have seen action ? You will recall Bush-Gore vote fiasco! Referring to SC and judges directly in political speeches tantamounts to politicising them and this is least expected of PTI. On the other hand any over active judiciary encouraged by such political incitement, may end up crossing the red lines itself and is detrimental to maturity of political parties too!

  • Anonymous

    Mr Khatak, the new PTI chief minuster in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, says drone attacks are not happening in KPK, with a snipe at the centre too. Ahhh the political fudge when it should be avoided for such important matters!

    And the other comment about Kalabagh dam – seeking reference to previoys resolutions of KPK nd Sindh assemblies. Lets see if PTI is able to build consensus on Kalabagh – they are running KPK and can bring new resolutions in the country’s as well as the province’s interest – if they want to!

  • Anonymous

    I think Saeed Sb will provide a better analysis of Mr Khatak.