Here we go! From a party of purist to a party of a dirt mixture—-the PTI has hitched itself to a bandwagon that had brought a bad name to this country. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has issued almost 98 per cent of election tickets to those against whom Imran Khan, the party’s leader, had raised red flag for almost 19 years. He would name them, one after the other, to tell the nation how they all had looted this country. The party was a non-entity until 2011, when it was decided to jack it up. The jack was applied and it came full circle with the Panama papers, when the entire PML-N was wrapped up and consigned to the dustbin of history. Even if the PTI comes to power, the character of its government will echo cheat and deceit, not only to its voters, but also, to those who had laid their hope on Imran as an agent of change. Commenting about this change of heart, one of the workers of PTI, Uzma Kardar, said on a WhatsApp group chat that PTI had comprised on embracing dirt to cleanse the dirt. Could there be any more absurd explanation or justification. If Imran is thinking that his party will keep laundering the spoilers, his methodology might not prove right all the time. These electable may help him to come to power but his ideology of change will remain a slogan unless Imran is ready to take the bull by the horn. Which bull? The bulls are many, the landlords, the kingmakers and the mightiest bull——the establishment. Will Imran get the handle on Pakistan’s foreign policy, will he be allowed to even spare a thought on the security paradigm and will he have any liberty to even suggest a tilt to the security dimension. How much leverage will he have to decide upon the law and order of the country? Will he be able to rectify the accountability system so that no one is grilled and sent to the relics of history? Imran will have to assert. And asserting prime ministers had to face ugly fate. Is Imran ready to face the music? With this lot——pro-establishment—-Imran will be hands down to face the rot, as it consumes him and his party. The sledge used to splinter N league can be ever ready for the PTI. It will only be matter of time. These potential parliamentarians are not that easy to dismiss in totality.
In the hindsight, the mighty, the influential and the power that be considered parliament the best route to control and manage governments. Landlords, agriculturists and kingmakers made to the parliament. They made law making hostage to their whims. These lords grew in weight and stature as the country became more corrupt and subservient to the so-called 22 families. Many economic and financial policies followed through the years, to beat this culture of hegemony. But the knife has been cut out, to slither the poor and to make the cleavage between the have and the have-not, further deep and down. There was no return. The country was kicked around among the civilians, the military and the kingmakers. Each of them treated the nation and its beloved ideology to their own taste and style. Some brought in it the spice of religion, while others marinated it with the ethnic juice. Killing, massacre, rape, kidnapping, and target killing was committed on the land of pure with relentless courage. Worst of all, the treasury was looted mercilessly and the country was tied to foreign aids and debts for survival. People with clean credentials did appear sporadically. But they were side-lined or left to flow alone in a ravine that had become thick and heavy with people having muddied intentions. Prime ministers were hanged and prime ministers were sent to exile. The fondness to call the country a security state grew intense over the years and as our penchant to equate with the Indian hegemony rose; more money and diplomacy went into the creation of nuclear bomb than sustaining the ever-rising number of people slipping into poverty. Wars were fought to save the country on which the mighty India had evil designs. The ominous clouds of Kashmir hovered over the strategic thoughts, and we drove the daggers deeper into our enemy using the Kargil turf. It backfired not because the idea was bad. It backfired because the idea was developed, nurtured and executed in silos. This lone wolf of duplicity has now transcended into a culture of deceit and manipulation. It is in this culture of manipulation that Imran has decided to play his fiddle of peace.
Nothing could be worse than losing hope. Will Imran live to bear this loss of hope——the PTI’s genuine voters are broken——-the dirt mixture is too thick and too sticky to go away anytime sooner. Will it make a change——even the guesswork is not applicable here.
The writer is a freelance journalist based in Lahore.