The Khan Enigma

By Waqas Habib Rana

Imran Khan2

How is it possible that Imran Khan openly calls upon the “umpire” to help him oust an elected Prime Minister and gets away with such a treasonous act, how can a political leader ask for unconstitutional help in a democracy and still enjoys a major public support? Well, let us see who to blame for that.

There are two major political entities in Pakistan; Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League (N) – they were busy fighting each other in the Nineties and later they took the fight to the dictator in the following decade- and after the dictator’s removal they settled down to govern the country “democratically”- we all know how bad the governance was by PPP- now the question is did they ever think about taking the masses into confidence on how the fragmentation of democracy has badly affected the socioeconomic fiber of Pakistan? Yes, we heard it in bits and pieces, but was there a cohesive effort to educate the people on how democracy is the best system which is by the people and for the people? Well, if there was an effort to set up this narrative then there was no way for Imran Khan to shout out for the Umpire and still conduct such huge public gatherings.

Imran Khan is doing exactly what the PPP and PMLN failed to do; he is educating the people with the same narrative every time he speaks. His narrative is anti-democratic, but it’s only getting popular because there is a huge political vacuum left by the likes of PPP and PMLN. The rise of anti-democratic narrative is an absolute failure of the two biggest political stakeholders in Pakistan; PPP and PMLN.

Imran Khan has used the electronic media to dish out his narrative and at the same time PMLN has failed to counter it on the media front; back to back interviews by the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister of Punjab would have helped counter the Khan’s perspective. They have left the field open for Khan to hit sixes without the fear of getting caught.

Also, it must be analyzed that why are people coming to Imran’s Jalsas in huge numbers, they must have a case to present. These are educated people and their overwhelming majority has a day job and they earn good for themselves but they are the real victims of this corrupt system either by the police, judiciary or the bureaucracy. If they haven’t been a victim then they haven’t been a beneficiary as well, so they think the system is not by them and is not for them. So, regardless of what Imran Khan is using them for, the Government must not rug their concerns off. Imran Khan has a bright, educated and hardworking support base, it’s only unfortunate that Khan hasn’t used them for good purposes; to raise their true and everyday issues in the Parliament and acted as a potent opposition.

The only way for PMLN to defy this onslaught by Khan is to add more democracy to this system, hold the Local Bodies Election. Give ownership to the people of Pakistan; give them the power that no non-democratic leader can snatch away with a Dharna or a Jalsa. Defy the impression that only few families are enjoying and sharing the throne of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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