The word ‘conscience’ is described by the Cambridge Dictionary as “the part of you that judges how moral your own actions are and makes you feel guilty about bad things that you have done or things you feel responsible for”. Metaphorically speaking, this little guy resides inside each head and behaves depending on the character and disposition of its host. In some people it remains awake and alert, guiding them on a path that leads to genuine respect and reverence. In others, it awakens under a certain set of circumstances making them do the right thing in spite of the knowledge that doing so may perhaps result in loss of power or privileges. There is however a third category of people, who put their conscience into a state of permanent slumber or even bring about its demise. This last category of people embodies a vast majority of our politicians.

Take for example, the official trio, which pops up on the small screen every time a response has to be given to criticism of the ruling family by (let us say) PTI. One of these spokespersons was once an important member of the team put together by none other than the soldier turned President, who has been labelled as a ‘traitor’ by PML-N. It is embarrassing (to say the least), how this particular spokesperson can appear on media and passionately defend his current Masters with no twinge whatsoever of his ‘deceased’ conscience.

I saw the passionate speech rendered by the PTI Chairman on the floor of the National Assembly, which focused amongst other relevant issues, on the Speaker’s lack of impartiality in forwarding ineligibility references filed against the PTI Leadership to the Election Commission, while refraining to do the same with the ones against the Prime Minister. On this day of all days, the Speaker absented himself from the House, indicating a lack of moral courage and a non-existent conscience.

Imran Khan’s speech surprised and impressed me with its irrefutable logic and dignity. In sharp contrast, the honourable minister, who stood up to respond had nothing new to say and was a disappointment. More so because he is the son of someone, who was (and still is) greatly respected. The (late) Khwaja Rafiq Sahib was a man, who rose to political fame from the grassroots role of a labour leader. Above all, this venerable and iconic politician was a man of conscience. I wonder what he would have said to his son had he been alive.

I have always considered the Cricketing Khan to be a poor politician, because he does not possess the three qualities that symbolise this class in general i.e. deviousness, corruption and absence of a conscience. One cannot, but admit that Imran Khan has some serious flaws, which he must rectify immediately if he intends to succeed. First and foremost, he errs in judging people. It is for this reason that he must take a look around him and evaluate those close to him, for it does not take much science for a gifted leader to detect the true nature of his comrades. Khan Sahib must also revamp his media advisors as they seem to be running out of common sense ideas. Most importantly, he needs to realise that people are tired of listening to the same thread over and over again (notwithstanding the fact that it may be the truth). A manifestation of this fact was made evident by the lack of expected turnout in the recently held rally, which ended at the Charing Cross in Lahore. The PTI Leadership needs to understand that their reckless statements and needless rhetoric provides grist to their arch opponents, whose ‘street humour’ generates amusement for a certain segment of the masses, who are ‘not the real filling in the sandwich’.

How does one awaken sleeping or dead consciences is a question, I don’t have an answer to at this point in time. What I am absolutely clear about is the need to trigger this awakening without losing any more time.