Even long after we are gone, October 30, 2011, will be marked in history as the turning point of Pakistani politics. Not solely because of the fact that hundreds of thousands of justice-hungry protestors filled up the historic Minar-e-Pakistan ground on a single call but also because of the fact that the Pakistanis finally had an option. Imran Khan introduced his “Tsunami” to the entire world and sent out a clear message to his opponents: “Give justice or justice will be served”. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf was finally a force to reckon with. 

Imran and his party promised so much but fast forward five years and you still see him chanting slogans and lashing out angrily at Nawaz Sharif trying ever so desperately to de-seat the Prime Minister. A lot has happened within these five long years but Imran Khan still stands where we started off with; whining for power. 

I myself was and still am a huge “supporter” of the great man partially because of his honesty and somewhat blunt attitude. His clean resume was his main weapon and it still is. 

The problem started once the PTI started to expand. Imran introduced us to unfamiliar faces on 30th October 2011, but it was not long after the big fish joined the ocean. When the party seemed a touch overcrowded and in shambles, instead of filtering out people, Imran invited the alligators and that is where it all went wrong. 

Honestly, that doesn’t bother me. What bothers me the most is the fact that most of his followers are not just his supporters but rather his “fans”. To fully understand what I mean, we must be able to clearly see the difference between a supporter and a fan. A fan is described as a person with an intense, overwhelming liking and enthusiasm for a sporting club, a person, a group of persons, a company, a product, or trend. ‘Fan’ is a word that emanates from ‘fanatic’. A fanatic is someone who has lost all perspective, and only sees that which they are obsessed with. In short, fans are crazy, aggressive and unreasonable. 

Sometimes, some things are undefendable and arguing on such situations only makes you look bad. If you mistakenly run into a PTI ‘fan’ and start discussing politics, you’re doomed. Not only will he start giving out vague statements, he will mention Namal University and The Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital thrice in one sentence! If you ask him about PTI’s manifesto, the defendant will casually say “Aik mouka toh doh usay. Sab theekh kardega”. 

So for the sake of PTI and the little good that’s left in it stop fan-girling over Imran. Defend him if you want, but with solid facts. Stop settling for the ‘lesser evil’ theory, instead demand more. Don’t ruin the already tainted image of the party by lies and childish arguments. Remember that there is no harm in criticising once in a while. As for Khan Sahib, he should concentrate on what he has already, KPK because we don’t want PTI to win, we want Pakistan to progress”! 

RAACIKH ASGHAR,  

Lahore, August 24.