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Why we should support Imran Khan

For those who continue to criticize Imran Khan, and in some instances with valid concerns, a humble plea. Please do read this.

Imran Khan
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Syed Haider Raza Mehdi |

We are unforgiving when it comes to others. But beneath the surface we are deceitful, hypocritical liars and cheats. Not all, but the vast majority. Specifically the well-fed and privileged amongst us, who criticize others from the comforts of their elegant houses, adorned in expensive clothes.

Those who question Imran Khan’s leadership and find fault in his decisions, having never walked his path, not even close! Those who offer free advice by the ton but never care to step outside their comfort zones or put themselves at the risk or can try to sacrifice something substantial.

Those who live the privileged lives in Pakistan or overseas. Those who show off their children’s graduations from foreign universities, their houses and the elegant drawing rooms and the  Koochi, Poochi, Timmy and Tony type friends celebrating ‘botoxed’ birthdays on Facebook, flaunting their houses and their lifestyles. And yet I hear many wanting our society to change.

But do we really?

Nothing changes for us the elite, the rich, the powerful, the privileged, and the well connected. Our children go to elite schools, as I did. We use our privileged networks to get jobs, business contracts and escape the law. We spend more money on one dinner then what could probably feed a poor family of this wretched country for a month

We spend an enormous amount of money on our children’s weddings or their wedding dresses which could fund a small school or a health clinic or a free food kitchen. We spend our vacations in the Disney world and on the playgrounds in Dubai, Europe and North America.

Maybe I’m wrong. But till he proves otherwise, I see no man upending this wretched and terrible system of elitism, except him, with all his faults! Otherwise, as I’ve always said, it’s back to the stench of the Sharifs and the Zardaris.

When the going gets tough or a little insecure we have our Green Cards to run away with. We know everybody who matters, bureaucrats, generals, judges, police officials, tax officials, customs officials. Anyone that matters. Our work usually gets done by connections or though bribery. Unless, of course we encounter a bigger scoundrel than ourselves!

So really nothing changes for the privileged. We have generators to light our homes, gas cylinders to light our stoves. And we treat our house helpers worse than dogs yet rant about the miseries of the Palestinians and the Kashmiris. We persecute our minorities and then complain about how we’re discriminated against in the West.

Read more: Imran kicks out pet dog ‘Sheru’ on wife’s order

Our Allah of our faith and our God of the mosque are very different. We try to buy salvation by contributing to religious charities from our ill gotten proceeds. There are always exceptions though. We are a miserable, sick, hypocritical wretched lot and when a ‘preacher’ takes on the state and all that we stand for, we quake in our shoes. We blame the Army. We blame the Government. We blame the law enforcement agencies.

However, we never blame ourselves. Us the wretched elite, who have along with the politicians, the generals and the bureaucrats have looted, pillaged and plundered this poor country. A small minority may be an exception. Then comes a man, Imran Khan, from the same elite, like a mad person, quite insane, I must admit, and proclaims that he wants to change the system and provide equitable opportunities for the poor, the marginalized, the exploited and the disadvantaged.

We spend an enormous amount of money on our children’s weddings or their wedding dresses which could fund a small school or a health clinic or a free food kitchen. We spend our vacations in the Disney world and on the playgrounds in Dubai, Europe and North America.

The very same wretched lot, we the elite of Pakistan, have used and abused for as long as one can remember to fill our coffers and our bodies and our egos!

And what do we do?

We rave and we rant against him. How dare he? We attack the man from the lowest of the low. Even the educated amongst us. “Oh he takes cocaine!” Good for him, I say, if that’ll help him make this country better. I’ll gladly send him a lifetime’s supply, if it means destroying the blood sucking leeches. But I don’t know if he does.

“Oh he’s a womanizer!” Well if he is, it’s between him and his Creator. He will be held accountable. Provided if he actually is.

This is not to defend the man; it’s to illustrate the pettiness of our accusations.

“Oh he’s arrogant!” Damn right he is. He’s achieved more in a lifetime far more than many of us would achieve in 4 lifetimes.

Yes arrogance may not be good and I’m sure he’s learning. But hey will it destroy Pakistan? In fact I think a great part of his success may actually be because he has such a high opinion of himself. We slowly and gradually attack every part of this man. Why? Not because he’s bad, but because he may possibly upend everything that the elite and the privileged want to preserve.

We attack Imran Khan because he may destroy the entire system of power, privilege and patronage that was so assiduously and painstaking built up by the likes of Nawaz and Zardari. In which we, the privileged, have served as crime partners.

Read more: Imran Khan’s life of lies & cheats exposed finally: GVS Special…

Many well intended, sincere, honest and good souls joined Imran Khan, but left him soon after. Perhaps they were unable to take the terrible toll of politics in Pakistan. Some may have left because of their large egos. Many misrepresented their past and current credentials. Many came wide eyed, wearing rose tinted glasses, looking for heaven.

Sorry folks this was the wrong place. Politics is a tough business, especially if you’re in serious opposition to the entrenched mafias of the status quo. If you’re going to be a part of a movement which threatens to break the existing order you better be ready!

Your businesses might be attacked.
Your interests might be attacked.
Your family might be attacked.
Your reputation might be attacked.
Your whole life might be attacked.

So either you’re very powerful and strong to withstand the struggles for a long time or you give up. Like any organization, political parties have their internal power struggles. Some win and some lose. It’s about the impact and the results. PTI is not an exception!

Of course Aleem Khan is an unsavory character. But is he an existential threat to Pakistan now? Imran may have made some mistakes and errors of judgment and if so, he will pay the price for his decisions. But are those really as terrible as they are made out to be?

Perhaps they were unable to take the terrible toll of politics in Pakistan. Some may have left because of their large egos. Many misrepresented their past and current credentials. Many came wide eyed, wearing rose tinted glasses, looking for heaven.

I, for one, had a serious problem when the KPK government gave the handout to Maulana Sami ul Haq. However Imran has a point. If we want to influence what is being taught in the Madrassahs, we need to have leverage on that decision. What can be better than buying yourself a seat on the board? It’s a risky decision, fraught with consequences. But does anyone have a better idea?

His KPK track record is better by miles then any predecessor government. He’s done a near miracle, in spite of and despite Khattak, that wily dyed in the wool traditional elitist politician.

But for heaven’s sake give Imran his due.

In 21 years he has changed the political landscape of Pakistan by creating a third party in a two party system. He started from absolute zero. Zilch! In this journey, he has experienced the entire range of political options, and has become much more pragmatic and realistic about governance.

If his pragmatism leads to the whole scale surrender of his political values, then lynch him. If he has been blindsided by some people then he will reap the consequences of his decisions. But, for heaven’s sake, let’s wait and give him an opportunity to prove himself. This plea is especially to those who live comfortable lives in the snug confines of their homes, far from the terrible hopelessness of the poor, of the marginalized and of the dispossessed.

How many have been part and parcel of this man’s struggle and suffered? Very few have. The guy destroyed his marriage. His reputation is the target of all those who enrich themselves from the current system. There have been several in his party, who have vested interests with the PMLN or PPP.

Of course Aleem Khan is an unsavory character. But is he an existential threat to Pakistan now? Imran may have made some mistakes and errors of judgment and if so, he will pay the price for his decisions. But are those really as terrible as they are made out to be?

Then there are the “may na manoon” types. So if not Imran, then who? I ask. How will the system change? There is this stupid incoherent silence, rants against him and the stupid mantra of “let democracy continue”. Yes by all means let’s keep getting the same wretched lot. I personally, cannot see Imran allowing any of his questionable team members, if they are, like JKT and Aleem Khan or others using their offices to indulge in corruption while in power.

Read more: Will Imran Khan lose 2018 elections?

And he’s not God, for God’s sake. He’s desperately trying to make do with what he has, and that’s not much to begin with. We’re trying to kill the horse even before he’s at the starting line. Fie on us!

Let’s give Imran the credit for the attributes he clearly has; his courage and bravery, his financial incorruptibility, his unmatched passion, determination and above all his unquestionable patriotism.

And for that alone he deserves a chance. So let’s give him that chance.

We are petty people. Our egos overwhelm our good sense. We find fault in everything he does which reminds me of what Cassius said about Julius Caeser in a Shakespearean drama. “Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world like a Colossus, and we petty men walk under his huge legs and peep about to find ourselves dishonorable graves.” -Julius Caeser

Maybe I’m wrong. But till he proves otherwise, I see no man upending this wretched and terrible system of elitism, except him, with all his faults! Otherwise, as I’ve always said, it’s back to the stench of the Sharifs and the Zardaris.

Your call, folks!

Haider Mehdi is the current Convenor of The Strategy Study Group, founded by the late Col. S. G. Mehdi M. C, former Group Commander of Pakistan Army’s Special Services Group (SSG). Haider is a former Pakistan Army officer, corporate leader, management consultant, business trainer, and serial entrepreneur. The views expressed in this article are authors own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.


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