It seems that the number 30 is lucky for PTI. It emerged as a major political player on October 30, 2011 at Minar-e-Pakistan while it was revived again on September 30, 2016 at Raiwind. Kaptaan’s speech was forceful while all the others before him had least impact. When Khan talks people listen to him as they trust his honesty and integrity. From the Karachi Jalsa of December 25, 2011 when the established politicians were introduced till Raiwind, Kaptaan was trying to combine the spirit of his party with the logistics of the old players and finally he succeeded in a massive show of strength right outside the gates of Takht-e-Lahore (Empire of Sahrif’s).

Logistics play an important role in all spheres of life. There is a “Logistics Cell” within GHQ which ensures that the soldiers are taken care off with mobility. Most GHQ sponsored/launched political parties like PML-N, PML-Q, PML-Convention were built around logistic support, spirit was unknown to them. Once in power they expanded their logistic framework with major inroads into state institutions, which eventually caused their collapse. It was evident at Raiwind that night that the Police force was concerned more about the safety of Jatti Umra palace and its inhabitants rather than the sea of people who had poured in from all over the country. The scope of logistics in politics has been expanded by these GHQ sponsored parties to un-imaginable heights, which includes stuffing of ballot boxes and manipulation of electoral roles as well.

In the checkered political history of Pakistan only two political parties were not launched by GHQ hence were driven by spirit not logistics. As narrated by my father who participated in the March 1940 Jalsa at Lahore in which the resolution for Pakistan was passed, it was a mass mobilisation of the Muslims of India who rallied behind their leader. In 1971, people thronged to the same venue to hear Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB). My father who was a leaguer and worker of the Pakistan Movement though opposed to ZAB still wanted to hear him. It was a massive gathering of people from all walks of life, I was there with him this time around.

People of Pakistan came out again on October 30, 2011 to listen to the Kaptaan. The venue was the same but the crowd was different. There were young and old, families, men, women, students, and children. Kaptaan then went to Karachi for another massive gathering at Mazar-e-Quaid on Dec 25, 2011. While the crowd was spirit driven the “Logistic Driven Political Players” had reached the stage. With their presence around Kaptaan the crowds started to dwindle. By PTI standards the Jalsa at Nishtar Park on September 06, 2016 was a Jalsi.

In the 1970 elections ZAB and his People’s Party won 81 national assembly seats with no logistic support. The voters used the resources of GHQ sponsored parties but voted for ZAB. Dr. Mubashir Hasan a political novice got highest number of votes from Lahore to get elected. The capital of Punjab slipped out of the hands of the establishment. Takht-e-Lahore was then created to re-establish the establishment hold on politics. Today PML-N is so entrenched in Punjab that they can see eye to eye with GHQ where it was conceived.

The People have been mobilized four times before the gathering on Sept 30, 2016 (Jinnah 1940, ZAB 1970, Aitzaz Ahsan 2007, during lawyer’s movement, Imran 2011). In all the above movements spirit was the driving force, logistics had minimum role. PTI is a spirit driven party which always lacked logistic support, unlike the GHQ launched parties. It has now succeeded in combining the two that is why the Raiwind gathering was so impressive. Masses were there because they have faith in the Kaptaan and his leadership but they showed no respect for the “Logistic Managers” that had arranged and organized their visit to the venue, they had come only for their Kaptaan.

PTI can make use of logistic network built by the party organization not influential individuals trained by the GHQ Logistics Cell. The rank and file of the party is spirit driven which is an essential ingredient for a movement to succeed. That is why parties like PML-N lack street power and rely on ruffians like “Gulloo Butt”. When Nawaz Sharif tried to force back his entry from exile not even a handful of his supporters made it to the airport. As a result Mian Sahib was immediately put back on a plane to London.

Like Jinnah and ZAB, Kaptaan has, mass following. On his call the masses will come. With “Tanzeem Saazi” their participation can be facilitated but there is no substitute for spirit or “Jazba” that Kaptaan has built through years of honest hard work and service to the people which the “Logistic Masters’ lack. After the 18th amendment Islamabad has been cut to size, only the Khakis remain there. The march has to be in Lahore to take-on and dethrone “Takht-e-Lahore” which is the real battle ground. Kaptaan being a son of the soil has to return to his base to play the most important innings of his life, but with a caution, for change driven parties only ideology and spirit translates into votes, with logistics in a facilitation role only.