A number of people including youngsters have pinned their hopes on Imran Khan. But this is the same hope which swept ordinary Pakistanis when the military dismissed democratic political setups in 1950s and 1990s; only to be disillusioned shortly afterward.

Regardless of the big crowds Imran drew in Lahore and Karachi, his party is not in a position to make a big show in free and fair elections. There are a few factors which Imran’s supporters must think before getting disheartened (for another time). Imran claims to eliminate corruption in 90 days, solve persistent electricity and natural gas shortage problems, go for unified education system for the whole country, address widespread joblessness, terrorists and extremists to be brought in mainstream - well, no one will object to these goals, but where are the practical plans and team to implement the same (the otherwise hollow promises)?

Sensing the military establishment’s nod for Imran, a number of opportunists, left-out politicians, and former intelligence officers are joining Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) bandwagon. PTI has no following in rural areas; therefore, it has to depend on feudal lords who will enforce their own agenda in return for their support for any party. Imran’s desire to win back extremist elements by merely talking to them is a foolish dream. Talks for the sake of talks from a weak position will only result in boosting of terrorists’ morals. At present, PTI is only depending on Imran’s personality; his arrogance has been taken as a positive sign. Perhaps same qualities are being injected into his supporters who are intoxicated with big crowds in their rallies. Sadly they prefer to ridicule their opponents rather than argue and win the argument. Not a good sign for an emerging democracy in a country which has been repeatedly ruled by military dictators.


Karachi, December 31