Even long after we are gone, 30th October 2011, will be marked in history as the turning point of Pakistani politics. Not solely because of the fact that hundreds of thousands of justice-hungry protestors filled up the historic Minar-e-Pakistan ground on a single call but also because of the fact that the Pakistanis finally had an option. Imran Khan introduced his “Tsunami” to the entire world and sent out a clear message to his opponents: “Give justice or justice will be served”. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf was finally a force to reckon with.

Imran and his party promised so much but fast forward five years and you still see him chanting slogans and lashing out angrily at Nawaz Sharif trying ever so desperately to de-seat the Prime Minister. A lot has happened within these five long years but Imran Khan still stands where he started off with: whining for power.

I myself was and still am a huge “supporter” of the great man partially because of his honesty and somewhat blunt attitude. His clean resume was his main weapon and it still is. Quite frankly, in a state buried under the dirt of corruption and fraud, a clean slate is what makes you stand out from the rest of the pack. That is exactly why the people are so desperate in finding a true and just leader. For most of them, Imran Khan is still the man. Not just a man, to be honest, he is deemed as a superhero, to some Pakistan’s very own “Batman”.

But I don’t like to imagine stuff. It is quite clear to me and I believe, like many other “supporters”, that he is a normal human being. I see myself as a realist and over the past five years or so; we have seen the man himself evolve into a typical politician. He started out clean with the slogan of change and for me personally, it was something very refreshing. I, like many others was new to politics and somewhat alert too. The “roti, kapra, makaan” slogan never caught my attention and neither did the Sharif’s witty tactics. The PTI was finally my ticket to a better Pakistan; at least that is what I thought.

The problem started once the PTI started to expand. Imran introduced us to unfamiliar faces on 30th October 2011, but it was not long after the big fish joined the ocean. When the party seemed a touch overcrowded and in shambles, instead of filtering out people, Imran invited the alligators and that is where it all went wrong.

Honestly, that doesn’t bother me. What bothers me the most is the fact that most of his followers are not just his supporters but rather his “fans”. To fully understand what I mean, we must be able to clearly see the difference between a supporter and a fan. A fan is described as a person with an intense, overwhelming liking and enthusiasm for a sporting club, a person, a group of persons, a company, a product, or trend. 'Fan' is a word that emanates from 'fanatic'. A fanatic is someone who has lost all perspective, and only sees that which they are obsessed with. In short, fans are crazy, aggressive and unreasonable.

But there are those who are very reasonable, humble and graceful. These are the supporters. In other words, a fan listens to the heart while a supporter prefers using the brain. The supporters are able to look at everything the party does objectively, are ready to listen to what the opposition has to say and are not afraid to be critical. It is up to them to protect the party's values and integrity and to encourage their leader to carry on and keep moving forward.

Imran, on countless occasions rightly pointed out that we, the people, were the real game changers. He made us believe that for once the people had the power to change the dynamics of the country’s elite system. He repeated the definition of true democracy so many times that it almost became boring but what he wanted the most from us, his followers, was encouragement when he took the right step and criticism when he deviated from the right track. But, unfortunately, his history, style, charisma and choice of words blinded some of us and before we knew it, some of us had irrationalized and become his die hard ‘fans’.

Sometimes, some things are undefendable and arguing on such situations only makes you look silly. For instance, if you ask a PTI supporter how Imran Khan can end major corruption within just 90 days (as stated by himself), he will, with full confidence, give vague statements saying “Imran Khan hai. Karlega”. If the argument is prolonged the devotee will go all the way back to 1992 and mention how Imran Khan defied the odds and almost single-handedly made Pakistan witness its most memorable sporting achievement. If you mistakenly run into a PTI ‘fan’ and start discussing politics, you’re doomed. Not only will he start giving out vague statements, he will mention Namal University and The Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital thrice in one sentence! If you ask him about PTI’s manifesto, the defendant will casually say “Aik mauka tau do ussay. Sab theek kardega”. Like I mentioned earlier, people still think he is “Batman”.

So for the sake of PTI and the little good that's left in it stop going gaga over Imran. Defend him if you want, but with solid facts. Stop settling for the 'lesser evil' theory, instead demand more from him. Don't ruin the already tainted image of the party by lies and childish arguments. Remember that there is no harm in criticizing once in a while.

As for Khan Sahib, he should concentrate on what he has already; KPK. After all, our goal isn't PTI's victory, but Pakistan's progress.