I am reminded of the well-used Urdu adage ‘Baigani Shadi men Abdullah Diwana’ - only this time it would be more appropriate to substitute ‘talaaq’ instead of ‘shadi’. I fail to comprehend as to why is our media going crazy over something that is a highly personal matter regarding the celebrity cricketer turned popular politician. This is not the first time that television channels have, in their pursuit of ratings, invaded somebody’s privacy and dragged a domestic issue into public domain. And if this is not enough, TV talk show hosts are spicing up the matter with conspiracy theories accompanied by justification that public figures and their personal affairs are public property. I partially agree with this notion with the caveat that we have our own unique culture, which is founded on decency and dignity. It is time that we learn to fuse our journalistic pursuits with our cultural ethos. I however entirely empathize with the wave of indignation in reaction to Chairman PTI’s handling of a media person during his press conference. As a political leader, the outburst was a sign of weak tolerance (read cracking under stress), immaturity and lack of political sagacity – traits that Khan Sahib needs to rectify in order to achieve his mission.

I was once questioned by someone close to the Chairman of PTI as to my assessment of how the party would fare in the cesspool of Pakistani politics. My response was that PTI had flaws, which if not redressed speedily would have fatal consequences. Firstly the Party Chairman was too naïve (almost gullible) in terms of what reached his ears through the people he had collected around him. This weakness was multiplied when combined with Khan Sahib’s tendency to be rigid. Secondly, Khan Sahib was facing a coterie of political opponents bred by intrigue and duplicity. Since he (Imran) was incapable of imbibing these ‘qualities’, he was liable to suffer repeated setbacks at the hands of not only foes, but friends too. In this context I had told the gentleman I was talking to that organized rigging against PTI would take forms hitherto not experienced, my exact words were, “You will not know what has hit you till it’s too late.” Thirdly the PTI strategy was reactive instead of proactive. Proactivity would stem from an effective information network that could enable the party to “put proof where their mouth was”. What Khan Sahib also needed was a think tank that could evaluate ‘threat’, devise and ‘war game’ future political moves.

Let us now turn to the recently concluded round of Local Bodies’ Elections. One phase of this grass root exercise is over, reaffirming the ineptness or perhaps lack of moral fiber in the hierarchy of our Election Commission. Much like the proverbial duck, the members of this august body have brazenly withstood media disclosures and eye witness accounts of how both the General Elections and the Local Bodies Polls were conducted. Nonetheless, PTI should come to terms with the fact that they have suffered a serious setback in the latest polls.

They should now sit back and take a pragmatic look at the measures that require to be taken in order to put the party on track. Their first step in this direction should be to ensure that their winning local body candidates deliver and deliver like their life depends on it. These individuals must understand that they represent a democratic tier at the grass root level and their good or poor performance will swing vote banks either way. As far as PTI is concerned, they should stop sulking and focus on becoming a reckonable opposition against wrong ruling party policies and decisions. They should clean up their party ranks and concentrate on the next General Elections in a systemic and reality based approach.

And last, but not the least, some disturbing news from Sindh. Reports indicate that the PPP Government is tabling laws in the Provincial Assembly and Senate seeking to curb Federal Investigation institutions such as FIA and NAB from investigating provincial corruption. If this move is not checked (through whatever means possible), it will undo the welcome results produced by the ongoing Karachi operation and measures adopted by Law Enforcement Agencies to rid Sindh of corruption ridden criminal mafias patronized by political entities.