In the 1970 elections Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) was able to knock out all the ‘Siadi Khilaris’ (political players) of his time in West Pakistan. He introduced the ideology of socialism which he translated as Roti, Kapra, Makan for better understanding of the masses. He replaced “Siasiat” with “Politics” which is a vital point to understand. The origin of the word Siasiat is from the Arabic word Sias which means horse trainer/controller. Whereas politics came from the Greek word Polis or city. Policies were then formulated to govern the city state and Police was introduced to ensure peaceful existence. In other words the purpose was to serve not control or manipulate.

The so called Siasi Khilari we have today were introduced by General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1985 partyless elections. They have transversed an interesting route as under:

1985 partyless – PML (Pagara) – PML(N) – PML(Q) – PML(N)/PTI

- PPP – PML(Q) – PML(N)/PTI

In thirty years (1985 – 2015) they have changed their political loyalities five times and yet they are being called “Khilaris” whereas they have proven to be ‘Anaris’. Either they fail to understand the rigours of politics or their approach is short sighted. In both cases they should be treated as political trash and disposed off accordingly.

As cricket is a popular sport in the country an analogy can be drawn. Separate players are selected for three formats of the game. For T-20 it is hitting, for ODI there is some planned hitting whereas in Test Matches it is resilience and discipline as the game is long drawn. An innings can change the outcome of the match. Pakistan recently defeated Sri Lanka in the third test by stellar performance in the fourth innings. Interestingly those stars were not selected for ODI series. Politics is not a twenty limited overs match. It calls for a long drawn struggle over decades. Team has to be carefully selected otherwise it may prove to be the proverbial one step forwards and two backwards.

Initially Imran Khan selected a test team which remained in the arena for eighteen years. After the October 2011 historic jalsa at Lahore he decided to re-enforce his team with ‘Siasi Khilaris’ to prevail at the ballot. What he got was political trash of all the parties but they succeeded in getting top slots in a party of change which was built on solid ideological basis of Naya Pakistan for which they were ‘Anaris’ (fools).

PTI was the first party to appoint a shadow Cabinet followed by four think Tanks of experts. Policies were formulated and presentations arranged for the CEC. First 100 days plan was also prepared to provide guidelines to the cabinet. After ZAB’s PPP perhaps PTI was the party that had done its homework to deliver good governance to the people of Pakistan.

When ZAB picked his team he rejected all status-quo politicians as he wanted to deliver change. For him the so-called ‘Siasi Khilaris’ were ‘Anaris’. He picked up ideologues like Dr. Mubashir Hasan, Dr Ghulam Hussain, Mukhtar Rana, SM Masood, Sheikh Rashid, J. A. Rahim, Hayat Sherpao, Hanif Ramay, Mairaj Muhammed khan etc. In the 1970 elections ‘Political Pundits’ predicted five to ten seats for him, he was able to win eighty one with representation in all of the four provinces of West Pakistan.

By the 1977 elections the political trash managed to come close to ZAB and were awarded party tickets. It was the beginning of the end of the progressive politics of the People’s Party. The Anaris of ZAB’s ‘Awami Pakistan’ now became Khilaris. Status-quo and its players were now back in the corridors of power. Their game had started.

Since December 2011, PTI has been facing a similar onslaught from politicians whose forte is to jump ship and change loyalties. ‘Naya Pakistan’ is not for them. Between 1977 to 2013, there have been ten manipulated elections, how will the devils fare in an honest ballot for which they have no experience or exposure. The battle for ‘Naya Pakistan’ is alien for them in which they can have no role.

In order to select his team Kaptaan has to decide the format of the game. According to him T-20 is a ‘Tulla’. It is like a circus in which fortunes can change in an over. Technique and concentration is not required. Politics require test temperament in which one has to dig in and fight it out till the last bell. Honesty, integrity and merit are essential ingredients for success.

ZAB did not believe in constituency politics. He won the elections on ideological basis. Like Imran Khan he contested from several constituencies and won most of them. Since then constituency politics have made a comeback but local players cannot be forced on the nation. In real democracy politicians have to earn their wings through service to the people or the ideology they present.

PTI will be best served if local players return to their constituencies as they are not acceptable as national leaders. For the party rank and file their role is unacceptable. Democracy is all about debate and discussion. A leader must be accessible with open ears and eyes. He must have the capacity to listen and then absorb divergent view points. In politics distance always hurts.

Change comes through ideology. Kaptaan and PTI have made a national commitment to create a ‘Welfare State’. Every office bearer of the party must take an oath to work for this goal. Some of the so called ‘Siasi Khilaris’ that summoned the Kaptaan believe that most welfare states are bankrupt not realizing that the Mecca of capitalism has the highest budget deficit. Most Scandinavian countries are welfare oriented and not bankrupt. It calls for change of national priorities. Nations are built on solid foundations of knowledge not highways and bridges. The new generation will have a major role in ‘Naya Pakistan’ in which state will be responsible for education, health and employment. The youth will be educated, trained and put to work so that they can build themselves, their families and the motherland for which Siasi Khilaris (not Anaris) are required.