It is incredible to see how little, if any, headway was made towards political stability or accountability in the past 20 years and then suddenly how significant a revolution has silently yet surely overturned the political framework of our country in the past two years alone.

Two people take the credit for this phenomenon by any measure of significance. One, Mr Asif Ali Zardari as the President and Co-Chairman of, perhaps, the most inept, albeit the only, government to complete its tenure and two, Mr Imran Khan, the man who has single-handedly challenged the political apathy of the majority of Pakistanis and how.

As far as Mr Zardari is concerned, the fewer words said the better; the past five years have more or less left no room for words, the suffering has been absolute and the lesson learnt quite comprehensive. Mr Khan, however, is an enigma and not in a bad way. Sidelined for the first 15 years of his political career as a lightweight nobody to suddenly emerging as a third major political force in a landscape where breaking the status quo and challenging the established two-party rivalry was a near impossibility, he has succeeded to unsettle many and give hope to more. His opponents are baffled and can describe his resilience as either dumb luck or mulish stubbornness. Without taking away anything from the man, who has time and again proven his worth, whether in establishing a state-of-the-art hospital, a university or flood relief efforts, one has only to look at his alternatives to understand why in the current situation he seems to be a paragon of his species.

For one, he is well educated that in itself is a rarity among the riff raff politicos; second, he is accomplished, his track record speaks for itself and third, he is sincere to his country and its people. If I am to give credit where it is due, then I must acknowledge everyone associated with the PPP, PML-N and their coalition partners in being so rotten as to make any other alternative possessing any shred of honesty seem like the epitome of integrity and Mr Khan by any standards is honest and sincere. So Kudos to all of you out there, if you hadn’t been as corrupt as you are, we, probably, would not have seen how much better Imran Khan is.

It is this distinction that has made all the difference. This election will, perhaps, see the maximum voter turnout in Pakistan’s history. Sixty-five percent of the registered voters are 30 or below and it is, perhaps, the naïve hope of youth that has been the game changer in this election.

What once was considered a laughable impossibility is looming as a probable reality and I, for one, am enjoying seeing the dons of Pakistani politics squirming in their corrupt skins and the intellectual mafia blatantly refusing to see the transformation occurring in our lifetimes - the non-voters are willing, nay determined, to vote in the coming elections.

A certain Ms Bhutto deems Mr Khan’s credentials based on his previous accomplishments as far removed from the reality of politics and, therefore, besides the point, someone should tell her, her views would have been better received if she had any inkling as to what in heaven’s, she was talking about, not ever having lived in Pakistan and all, whereas a Ms Nawaz could have made an impact if I could have distracted myself from her Louis Vuitton bag as she so soulfully empathised with the destitute and the oppressed from within her air-conditioned SUV. The pious holy man screaming with all his turban toting might about conspiracies, Jewish agents, Ahmadi lobbies and what not seems to be running out of breath, as he slowly sees his stately being sinking into oblivion; I should, perhaps, one of these days attend to his intellectually challenged diatribe - after all, he does provide ample comic relief in these trying times.

I might not agree with all that Mr Khan says or proposes, but I do believe he is the best option at the time. He has made it possible for people like me to see the difference one can make as an individual. He gives people hope; he makes them passionate about Pakistan and about being Pakistani. A friend in Lahore is giving his two month’s salary to his campaigning fund, another has given his personal vehicle to assist in bringing voters without transportation to polling stations, a third is going door to door to encourage people to vote for him. Who could have thought a politician could have achieved this sort of belief in people, who have nothing to gain personally from his party winning, except the realisation of a better Pakistan, a prosperous Pakistan for all.

So come May 11, I will be voting for the first time in my life for a person I believe can lead our country with honesty and integrity. I will not be alone in this; many like me will stand shoulder to shoulder to achieve an objective through the sheer power of our vote. It is up to me and every Pakistani to shape the destiny of our country through our efforts, our sweat and blood; therefore, it is imperative the man steering this ship has my confidence. Come May 11, when my vote will count, I will step up and say: “Here I am, Mr Khan, here I am Pakistan.” 

    The writer is a freelance columnist.