Only Junoon (Passion) can overcome Noon (Status-quo), where there can be no in between. In the sixties, there were several movements against the Shah of Iran, but only Imam Khomeni was able to topple him by his straight approach. He believed in black & white and right & wrong with no compromises or grey areas. During his exile in Paris, he was surrounded by several prominent activists who were working under his leadership. Before taking any decision his standard question was, ‘is it right or wrong?’ He believed that a Muslim should follow the righteous path no matter what be the cost. Mashliat (compromise) was unknown to him. It was his strength of character that prevailed in the final show down with the policeman of the Middle East and agent of the West.

Karl Marx was the architect of several Socialist Revolutions in the 20th century. His hero was Prometheus, a Titan in Greek Mythology who gave the knowledge of fire to mankind. As a punishment, he was chained to a rock till he was rescued by Hercules. Junoon seeks change not rewards. The use of fire changed human life for which Prometheus faced many hardships. In the words of Sufi Saints, “Sulli They Charna Painda Ay” (One has to face crucification for truth).

Iqbal terms it “MarkaeHak-o-Batil” -struggle between the good and evil. In this struggle ‘Momin’ (righteous) is ‘Faulad’ (steel). In order to overcome evil, righteousness is required not more of the same, in such a scenario status-quo prevails. The Poet of the East very clearly spelled out the differences between ‘Shaheen’ (Falcon) and ‘Girgis’ (Vulture).One flies high and hunts its prey while the other low and preys on the dead. They have nothing in common and cannot co-exist. According to him ‘Shaheen’ and ‘Girgis’ belong to a different world altogether and warns the high flying bird to keep away from low performers to maintain its flight and dignity.

On April 25, 1996,PTI started as a Junoon for ‘Insaf as Imran Khan strongly felt that no nation could survive without justice. Despite his best efforts, the movement did not take off. In 2002, only Kaptaan was elected member of the National Assembly from Mianwali no one else made it. Undeterred he kept the struggle going. In 2006 he invited Ahsan Rashid a founder member of the party to lead Punjab. Ahsan Sahib proved to be the Chou-en-lai of the movement. He came with his corporate experience and financial resources to boost the struggle.

In 2007 when the Lawyers Movement started the party was launched with its youth cadre at the fore front.

Comrade Aitzaz Ahsan was kept under house arrest in Zaman Park, very close to Kaptaan’s residence. The civil society also started to operate at the ‘Nehar Ghar’ close by. With both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif in exile, PTI emerged as a major force under the leadership of Kaptaan and Ahsan Sahib. The Junoon was visible, even Noon decided to be a part of the struggle but from Zaman Park it was led mainly by PTI, Concerned Citizens’ of Pakistan (CCP) and PPP supporters of Aitzaz Sahib. Regular meetings and demonstrations were organized for the restoration of judges.

In one of the demonstrations outside the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) house in Islamabad in 2007, there was a brutal lathi charge against protesting members of CCP, PTI and the Lawyers community. We saved ourselves by taking refuge in the Islamabad office of Aitzaz Sahib which was close by however the private guards were badly beaten for letting us in. The ‘Junoon’ for rule of law continued. Every Friday there were a demonstration on the Canal Bridge on the Mall Road and then we dispersed after singing the national anthem.

During this period PML(Q) was in power while PML(N) was in wilderness waiting for its leaders to return. Even at that time it was rumored that the movement of lawyers was secretly funded by the Sharif Brothers. Later on when the judges were restored the tilt became visible.

In the May 2013 elections it was expected that the contest would be free and fair but it was not to be. “Noon” prevailed over “Junoon” through electoral manipulation which now has been termed as the incompetence of the Election Commission which how always favors Noon.

In the sixties when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) launched his Peoples Party, it was pure “Junoon”. Till the elections he was not taken seriously.

Traditional politicians considered him an upstart and novice. In West Pakistan, he emerged as the single largest group in the 1970 elections by winning 81 seats. By the next electoral exercise in 1977 the leaguers (Noon) surrounded ZAB and neutralized the ‘Junoon’ of his party. it proved to be the beginning of the end for one of the craftiest politicians of the 20th century who had earned the title of Quaid-e-Awam.

Like the PPP of the sixties, PTI is the party of change today led by a popular leader who has instilled ‘Junoon’ which has the potential of running over the forces of status-quo like PML(N), PML(Q), MQM. There is not much difference between PML(N) and PML(Q). Both were launched as establishment B-Teams to strengthen status-quo. With its long stints in power PML(N) has been able to create its own disorder within state institutions, while PML(Q) and its splinters represent the traditional order. None of them believe in ‘Junoon’ nor can stand up to it.

As a party of change, PTI has to set its course. It can continue with its ‘Junoon’ or contaminate its purity with inclusion of tainted figures of Noon and Qatil League. Instead of Markae Hak-o-Batil it will then become a struggle of BatilvsBatil with ‘Junoon’ pushed in the background as was done by ZAB in 1977 which resulted in disastrous consequences for him, his party and the country. History is a great teacher but turns ruthless when it is violated. However, no one has ever succeeded in dodging it. The year 2016 has come with its own challenges. PTI is trying to elect its leadership through the second Inter Party Elections which promises to be free and fair unlike the last exercise. Who will fight ‘Noon’ will be decided soon, hopefully it will be ‘Junoon’ otherwise, it will be business as usual.