Mr. Khan now be serious! Somehow the circumstances have made you a political leader. Now you lead a political party, which has a considerable following; no matter which class or classes it consists of. The followers of your party, they are all Pakistanis, and enjoy the same political choices as the followers of other political parties do.
It was just non-serious and out of sync when recently you spoke in Islamabad, and said, ‘I was boring; New Pakistan was not anywhere on the scene coming into being. Then I thought something had to be done.’ Regarding this, you need to ask yourself: Is it political? Is there in politics anything like boring, and that it exhorts you to do something, such as organizing rallies and doing “political fun.”
It’s quite a pertinent question that must be put to you and you must answer it clearly; no hanky-panky, please! What you and your party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, stand for. As it may not be a difficult task to see what other parties stand for. But, mind it, it’s next to impossible to decipher what you and your party stand for. What’s the unique message you have set up a new political party to deliver?
Here are two issues you and your party took up just for nothing, and, it appears, then left them as they were, just for nothing. Raymond Davis case; and the Nato-supply blockade case. It may be asked why in the first instance these cases were taken up, and how they fitted in with your total political outlook and the PTI’s political philosophy, if any.
In the same vein, it may be asked why the PTI and you have gone for a tirade against a media-house. What political gain will it bring to the PTI is not clear? Contrary to it, it tells about the untrustworthiness of your political acumen. As a matter of political grounding, every politician keeps his / her eyes focused on the intended and unintended consequences of his statements as well as his / her actions; he / she knows if he / she says “Yes” to something, at the same time he / she means “No” to something. So by targeting a media house, you have exposed your siding with the security agencies.
That’s the politics of the moment which even a novice politician knows well. Mr. Khan, you know your recent outbursts, regardless of the fact whether it has been caused by some personal injury to you or it’s a matter of PTI’s policy, have earned you and your party a negative rating, even in the eyes of those who voted for your party. Mr. Khan, have a moment of reflection and calculate what your party is gaining out of it.
So, be it known to you that whatever you say and do is political and has political implications; i.e. it will earn you some voters and at the same time lose some voters. So be so gracious to yourself and to your party so as to make an estimate of political loss and gain before you go for anything.
Let’s come back to the point: what is it the PTI stand for. Ah, you might retort, ‘we stand for a welfare state!’ Fine, that’s a good answer. But you see all other parties want Pakistan to be a welfare state. How your party is different from them? Or, you see that your party is not a notch different from other political entities!
So, is your party that belongs to the same ilk? Or if different, kindly prove that by your actions: this is how in thinking and in practice you are not like the lot of the politicians the citizens of Pakistan are having and tolerating! Do something that brings credibility to your views and actions, and makes you stand out of the crowd.
Mr. Khan, try to reflect why you so often change your positions. Or if you change your position, try to make others understand why you changed it! That will make you credible! Also, Mr. Khan, political positions once taken should not be altered on whimsical grounds. Your followers and others are rational beings; they have every right to question you on your changing of your stances regularly.
But, then again, the question is what political position you or PTI has taken that you both stand for over a long term perspective. That aims at trying to understand what unique identity PTI possesses and you enjoy as its lone leader. And that means what political contribution you and your party is capable of making to the polity of Pakistan. And that amounts to asking also how you and the PTI may be able to partake in the political evolution of Pakistan.
Ji, Mr. Khan! that implies a negative judgment too. In case, you and your PTI has no program which may push forward the political and constitutional evolution of Pakistan, what else you and your party is in the political arena for then. Let it be clarified here that political and constitutional evolution is what nations and countries strive for and they strive for it so that the citizens are free to enjoy fruits of their talent and efforts, their lives and their freedoms.
Or would you mind enlightening the electorate, what else is there you and your party has in store for the hapless people of this country! Mr. Khan, be positive and try to give the electorate something they may be proud of, such as dignity of their persons and self-respect, which other political parties do not have on their agenda; and mind that for this to achieve one do not need to be a prime minister, or in the government.
For this to achieve, you and your party needs to do politics with responsibility by espousing and following certain principles. For instance, while in opposition in the center you and the PTI may opt for exposing the merciless day-to-day exploitation of the ordinary citizens by the machinery of the state of Pakistan, which you are so eager to be chief executive of. And you and the PTI, while in power in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa, should exemplify this is how the provincial machinery facilitate the citizens with due respect instead of degrading and exploiting them.
But, for this to achieve, you and the PTI need to get your act together; try to do it. Best of luck, Mr. Khan!
Note: This article was completed on May 18 and was originally posted in June 2014.