Imran Khan Post Elections 2013 in Pakistan

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Learning From Defeat

I think there are many lessons to be learned from the defeat of Imran Khan.

If you’re like me you’ve probably been glued to the TV screen, reading and commenting on social networks and trying to make sense of the results of Pakistan’s perhaps only smooth Elections from one government to another, without any dictator or internal spanner in the works, which happens to be one of the few positive aspects thereof.

People in Pakistan had fervently waited for May 11, 2013, a day cricketer turned politician, Imran Khan, had promised all will bring “Tsunami” of change of “Hope.”

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies

These are his two slogans and keywords hammered since 2010 on a people who were frustrated beyond description. That frustration comes partly from the unwanted Taliban created in the 80s by the USA to fight Russia. The Taliban now terrorize our lifestyle and our values in the misguided name of their brand of Islam. Another thing that greatly frustrates us is the USA that sends drones to kill less Taliban and more of us as “collateral damage” that has left our people dead, disabled, angry and hopeless.

Besides the war on terror that has terrorized every Pakistani, we face an unendingly greedy and corrupt breed of politicians that puts the worst to shame, by their unprofessional conduct. We are subject to the left, right and centre styled politicians looting and plundering public wealth, portraying every single non issue as an issue, wholly and fully destroying our local and global image.

The Tsunami That Never Came

imran khan
DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 26JAN12 Imran Khan, Chairman, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan gestures during the session ‘The Future of South Asia’ at the Annual Meeting 2012 of the World Economic Forum in the congress center in Davos, Switzerland, January 26, 2012.

In such a backdrop, Imran Khan gave the HOPE of a TSUNAMI of CHANGE to the people of Pakistan. I knew he wouldn’t be able to deliver, I kept saying so, if you read my earlier articles, but in the last week, I took the leap of faith and joined the fervor of most around me to buck him up and hope, against hope, that he WILL win and all he said will indeed happen.

The results have shown otherwise, there is NO Tsunami, out of 272 National assembly seats 126 are with Nawaz Sharif, the pro Taliban product of General Zia ul Haq since the 80s who’s played turns with Asif Ali Zardari, the son in law of the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Corruption Wins Again

Both men are corrupt to the teeth whilst Nawaz has still developed his province along with elder bro, Asif has done nothing but take revenge from the people of Pakistan, that too after or through the mysteriously questionable death of his own wife often challenged by General Musharraf, the late Benazir Bhutto, to gain power. In fact, learning from him, HAD Imran got himself “killed” I am SURE his party would have won, but then Shireen Mazari and Asad Umer would have to take lessons from Zardari to that effect 🙂

Oh PLEASE do NOT take the name of “Analysts” and prediction gurus who “said this will happen” I am speaking of the emotional angle of HOPE that Imran Khan gave people in and outside Pakistan, he made tall claims, he called people names, he abused his enemies – so did all his supporters in the arrogance that he WAS coming.

Maybe Imran Khan WAS “coming” – but in another sense of the word… The people couldn’t see it coming, they blindly believed this macho guy will sweep the show, hit a six over the top. In the end, he couldn’t even push the ball to extra cover…”

There are many lessons we can learn from his “fall from grace and hearts” – Imran Khan just couldn’t make it to the big boys league, why?

1 Negative campaigning, against the wrong enemy

In Punjab, so far he has got 6 compared to 68 of Nawaz’s seats, a province he filled with negative campaigning against Nawaz Sharif, to what end? At the end of the day, Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz have done a LOT for Punjab, regardless of his Taliban links, Nawaz and Shahbaz are HEROES to an average Lahori and Punjabi. Vilifying a leader with a good reputation in his home territory was a suicide attempt and the results clearly SHOW that.

Further, had he chosen to focus on Zardari, he may still have mustered support in Sindh and Balochistan, however, in my view, a LEADER never throws rotten eggs at his competitors, but offers olive branches of “HOPE” – ironically Imran’s slogan wasn’t ever applied in practice.

2 Empty Slogans

“Change”, “Hope”, “Tsunami” etc etc were stock phrases of Imran Khan and his media team, they never had a plan, only one, insult the competition, and get votes, people simply got disillusioned, now his supporters will say “he will come in 2018.” Well, so can Bilawal or Fatima Bhutto. The latter is certainly a more attractive and grey cells-based choice in my opinion. Who knows if he’ll even LIVE to see the next five years, and what IS PTI WITHOUT Imran? nothing, they’ll disband in hours not even days, no one will assert or command the authority that he does.

3 Mob-ish supporters

Imran’s supporters are generally dumb heads, yes, like me there are few slightly less dumber as well, but in general one finds the majority slogan chanting empty heads who love to throw mud on all around, Nawaz, MQM, PPP etc. The only place it worked in his favor is the Taliban dominated KPK (ex NWFP) bordering Afghanistan province where drone attacks and lawlessness have made life miserable for the people.

4 Misdirected aims

Imran spoke at length on the importance of Education, I always disagreed, in fact Pakistan’s ex PM Shaukat Aziz (top 10 Citibanker at one time and my alumni IBA grad) spoke of the same, and I disagreed. From the time that I was just a student at IBA at 22 years of age I thought it was hogwash. For a reason. Education is good, no doubt but in what order? Law before education or after? Will the US disband its police force and have 20 more universities instead, what civil war will ensue? What civil war and lawlessness EXISTS in Pakistan for as long as I can remember. Since 1947 many educated people from India came to Pakistan (including my father and forefathers) what good did THEY achieve? Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz family, most National Assembly members post General Pervez Musharraf are very educated!

In fact, General Asif Akhtar, ex Chief of Kashmir and Afghanistan Affairs at the ISI once said to my face “Imran, it is the educated who have raped Pakistan, again and again” – how true it is! More education simply adds to the evil genius of our corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.

Much before Imran Khan’s “Tsunami” claims I had launched my initiative in 2006 called Change Pakistan with the slogan “BE ONE FOR ONCE” wherein I implored all parties of Pakistan and the Army, via changepakistannow.wordpress.com to forget their petty differences and work as one to rebuild a dying nation. I was hoping Imran Khan would steal it from me, a presentation I gave to his face in 2010, just before his patch up with some power brokers wherein I’d hoped he’d talk more sense but even their involvement had little impact on this bashful playboy.

His slogans didn’t address the needs of law and order except blind allegiance to a partisan Chief Justice who has done nothing for Pakistan except take revenge against Musharraf. He spoke of education but not law and order the CORE need of every Pakistani. He had NO PLANS for governance, his ideas only suited KPK province where his Taliban styled devolution of power can make sense. Civilized society can only say “excuse me” to his methods and aims.

5 Leadership crisis

Imran Khan, even as a cricketer, didn’t like competition, and saw colleagues as such too, politics is no different, the people he is proud of, Asad Umer, Arif Alvi, will he give them the mandate he has? If he did, at least Asad would have made FAR more sensible statements and strategies than Imran Khan, ANY DAY, I bet he doesn’t like advice, he likes people to DO things.

So here’s what’s DONE, end of story for Pakistan for the next 5 years!

khyber pakhtunkhwa images
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa image montage: Wikipedia Images (Counter clock-wise)

Peshawar Museum – Khalid Mehmood, cc-by-sa-3.0

Malam Jabba Ski Resort – Waqas Usman, Public Domain

Khyber Pass – Anthony Maw, cc-by-3.0

Swat Valley – Isruma, cc-by-3.0

Battagram Landscape – Khoikhoi, cc-by-3.0

Islamia College, Peshawar – Maaajid, cc-by-3.0

Lake Saiful Muluk, Naran – Almazi, Public Domain

Photos: Wikipedia CC BY-SA 2.0

6 US/other Alliances fiasco

Imran hates to team up, he is the celebrity, he’s the “Best Man” (in all senses) he’s “Super Cool” – he’s the “Playboy” he’s the “Heart throb” and he of course, as the “King” can only expect people and nations like America to come and kiss his feet right? Wrong. He turned down alliances with Musharraf and Nawaz or MQM that for the past one YEAR I was vehemently advising him and those very close to him, yet he never listened, he doesn’t listen, he only talks! America is “bad” they send drones and “we’re fighting their war” and similar hogwash, he lacks the acumen of common sense as percieved in global country leadership, he may be VERY SINCERE to Pakistan but his international stupid goof ups remind me of the charming and endearing Sarah Palin of “Alaska close to Russia” fame (and more) 🙂 He has to learn to team up, Musharraf, Nawaz, Altaf, everyone has a good side to them, no matter how bleak, cash in on it, take the pack along then just “me and my followers/supporters/slaves” sort of thing.

7 The TEST in KPK

All this he did for ONE government in KPK! And he’s got it, will he be able to deliver there? Against all odds one finds Taliban, Indian, American, Pakistani agents infesting the place, poverty and lawlessness the order of the day, how will he cope there?

KPK is his litmus test in governance, if he can make it there, perhaps 2018 or even before will see him delivering elsewhere too.

Changes Needed

One suggestion I can offer, if he can make a government in KPK, offer business opportunities and attract Pakistani and foreign capital from WITHIN Pakistan as well, based on “Good Governance” that will have the competition running around. He can turn KPK into an Island of Excellence. That is his test, that is his salvation and that is NOW the “hope” for Pakistanis…

In the end…

Leadership is not just about the right vision, it’s also about good manners

He’s made false promises, acted with ignorant arrogance and pride, disillusioned the masses and YET he won KPK, the MOST CHALLENGING province of Pakistan, right next to Afghanistan, stronghold of Taliban ideology, immense natural resources. If he can turn them around, he will automatically gain global and local support. The world will be rid of Taliban and to an extent, Al Qaeda, and Pakistan will see a model of governance they’ve been dying to see for ages.

And please, Imran, this time around, NO PROMISES YOU CANNOT DELIVER…

Work with positivity, don’t demean and insult, leadership is not just about the right vision, it’s also about GOOD MANNERS.

Imran Owais Kazmi is a an expat Pakistani vocal on change locally and globally through good governance and tolerance.