Love it or hate it, own it or ignore it, Imran Khan is not so good at playing politics. There is nothing useful in glorifying him for things he doesn’t possess or has not done as yet. But as a matter of habit, in a parochial political culture, many Pakistanis do it. And this over-glorification of human beings is done so frequently and morbidly that anyone who questions, no matter how logically and humbly, is either verbally or physically attacked. This is what Insafians too do whenever someone tells them that Imran Khan is a human being, and nevertheless, a politician. Social media, in these days, is the best place to validate this statement.

After Panama Case verdict, Pakistani politics apparently changed for many TV anchors and some analysts, but for others it is as dirty as it was before the ‘historic’ decision of the apex court. Interestingly, both Imran and Nawaz celebrated the verdict and distributed sweets. Some media persons before and after going through the judgement focused on what the three judges have observed and stated, and some were closely examining what the other two judges declared and conveyed in their dissenting note. And between politicians and media, public remained largely confused and silent except for those young boys and girls who had taken their positions on social media even before the announcement of the decision.

Amidst the state of confusion, uncertainty, absurdity and morbidity Imran Khan made a shocking statement that he was offered Rs10 million bribe to stay silent on the Panama case. This statement by Imran Khan, Nawaz’s nemesis, changed the ongoing political discourse in Pakistan. Panama Case verdict has almost been forgotten and a heated debate over whether Imran Khan is speaking the truth or telling a lie has erupted.  

PML-N is asking Imran Khan for the evidence to prove what he has just disclosed so confidently. But Imran Khan is, at least at this stage, not willing to name the person who brought Sharif’s message to him. He has a reason in doing so. Nobody discloses the sources so easily for personal, professional and political purposes.

But Nawaz Sharif’s friends and prominent party members, or in Machiavellian terms 21st century political mercenaries, are focusing on the issue and pressuring Imran to prove what he has said, otherwise they(PML-N) shall approach the court.

Insafians are not being apologetic for what their beloved leader has said for two reasons. Firstly, the two judges have categorially stated that Nawaz Sharif is a liar and a dishonest guy who betrayed the nation. Secondly, Imran is a credible leader and whatever he says is unquestionably and unverifiably the truth.  

What the PTI’s leader has said is politically inaccurate, self-destructive and demolishing if not exactly suicidal. It does not hurt PML-N, nor can it. PML-N has nothing to lose now. But Imran Khan is, lovingly, giving them a chance to knock him out of the game—if not out of the hearts.

Imran Khan is being bashed, criticized and disowned by many people on social media for being so irresponsible and politically immature. I do not myself really know what political maturity is, and how is it determined, and by whom?

However, for a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of Imran Khan’s political life it is important to ask three questions. One, what has Imran Khan given to Pakistan in the political sphere? Two, what has Imran lost after making this controversial statement? Third, how can Imran regain what he has lost advertently or inadvertently?  

Firstly, Imran Khan is poor at playing politics. By poor, I simply mean he lacks what is so crucial for capturing power and holding an office in a country like Pakistan. He is politically uncompromising, willful and stubborn. He does not really know what to show and what to hide, what to say and how to say, and what is in his interest and what is not. These political imperfections and impracticalities are really what define Imran Khan.

But what this high-headed Imran has given to Pakistan is absolutely matchless, precious and sacred for a nation. That is the vision, the strength and confidence to question, the courage to protest against corruption, the hope to stand up again and this time on our own feet, and the passion to rise.  Imran didn’t play well in a political ground and this is what changed our politics. The story of Panama case and The Godfather will always be remembered in Pakistan’s political history. And all credit, without any doubt, goes to Khan.

Secondly, this statement has damaged his credibility. This statement is as an unintended political gift for Nawaz Sharif by Imran Khan in such a critical situation. Imran has probably hurt his well-wishers for a moment and has lost some votes as well. There is a reason behind making this claim that he has lost what he should have not. He needs votes more than anything else. And as a matter of opinion, even if he had been offered Rs10 by Sharifs he must have not stated this in public because he won’t be able to prove this. There are people who simply don’t believe or follow politicians so blindly.

Thirdly, Imran has achieved bigger things and lost very little. He has done what Pakistan needed badly that is to activate Pakistan’s politics and to ensure more and more mass participation. What Khan has lost matters but what he can still do matters more. And what will he do has a greater value. If Imran wishes to be Prime Minister of Pakistan and desires to sit in PM’s chair that is problematic. Because that is the chair where Raja Perviz Ashraf used to sit and Nawaz Sharif still sits in. This is not what Imran should strive for. He has already done much for Pakistan, and further, if he is interested to work on, he needs to organize our politics, to mobilize the youth, to help strengthen our institutions, to teach people about their rights, to help Pakistanis to make Pakistan great. This is what Imran Khan can do, and should do, without sitting in a chair where so many have sit and so many others will in years to come.