06 December 2011

Khan of Pakistan

In Indian film industry Bollywood, the suffix Khan is synonymous with success. The Khans rule the Bollywood; Shahrukh, Aamir and Salman are three indispensable khans of Bollywood. But who is Khan of Pakistan? There are many notable people in Pakistan bearing the name Khan. But the great khan of Pakistan is Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi, Imran khan in short. This article focuses on Imran khan’s politics and his recent wave of sitting protests against government.

Imran Kahn was born in 1952 in Lahore, in a well-to-do Niazi family. He studied in Aitcheson College and Oxford University. He made his Test cricket debut in 1971 but was dropped from the team shortly. He rejoined in mid-seventies and began his illustrious Cricket career. After Zaheer Abbas, He became captain of Pakistan cricket team in 1983 and remained on the position till 1992. He was responsible for many test series victories against India, England and others. Biggest success of his career was winning the 1992 Cricket world cup for Pakistan. He was later chosen to be the sportsman of twentieth century for Pakistan. In 1994 he started “Shaukat Khanum memorial Cancer hospital and research centre.” Named after his mother, this hospital provides free treatment to cancer patients of entire Pakistan.

After having success in the field of cricket and social service, He chose to rectify the state of affairs of country by entering politics. He formed his political party “Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf” in 1996. He contested 1997 elections and lost. He then supported General Musharraf in 2002 referendum for which He later on apologized publicly. In 2002 general elections He only managed to win one seat from his hometown Mianwali. In 2007 He was a part of APDM and from its platform boycotted 2008 general elections. Since then He has been a vocal critic of current government. He has regularly criticized both PPP and PML-N in media programs. He is against corrupt politicians and America’s undue influence in Pakistan.

In 2011 events took such turns that Imran khan has entered in political arena and He is challenging Big Guns like Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari. In April and may of this year Imran Khan started sitting protests against government. First He carried out a Sitting protest in Peshawar against drone attacks and NATO supply was halted. He carried out a similar protest in Karachi. Now recently on 7th August he led a sitting protest in support of Judiciary on Constitutional Avenue outside Parliament House in Islamabad. This is an indication that Khan of Pakistan has decided to take on political masters of the country.

Many people doubt that political abilities of Imran Khan. They are of the view that Imran Khan is very popular but this popularity can’t be translated into electoral success due to political dynamics of Pakistan. These people refer to Imran Khan’s election loss in 1997 and 2002 despite his popularity as a proof of their view. Recently a survey conducted in urban areas of Pakistan shows that Imran Khan is the most popular leader in Pakistan. Recently after a supreme court ruling, forty five million new voters are being entered in electoral rolls. These new voters are youngsters by and large who will be voting for first time in forthcoming elections. Can these factors help Imran khan steal a stunning victory in next general elections, is the most burning question.

Imran Khan’s party Tehreek-e-Insaaf doesn’t have an organizational structure on gross route level. Recently Imran khan has included many clean character advisors in his party for different fields such as foreign affairs, finance and legal affairs etc. People like Shireen Mazari and Justice (Retd.) Waji-ud-din are now a part of his party. Imran Khan has also started severely criticizing PML-N and He poses a grave threat for PML-N’s stronghold, Lahore. Khan can bag significant number of votes in cities of Pakistan, especially in Punjab. Can he win seats in Assembly? This depends on how well he runs his election campaign and what tricks his opponents will play in order to marginalize him. PML-N is known for aggressive election campaigning. Can Imran Khan withstand the dirty politics? If he did, certainly he will be an influential figure in next assembly following general elections. Imran Khan Popularity in rural areas is not satisfactory and this rural population constitutes 67 percent of total population of Pakistan. Also Imran Khan has not focused much on Balochistan and Sindh. He is targeting urban towns of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

In current scenario it’s really hard for Imran Khan to win majority seats in assembly and form government. However He can disturb the vote bank of PML-N. He can manage to win twenty to thirty seats. Then He won’t be in a position to form government but can be a part of coalition government. If He formed coalition with PML-N or PPP then it would be negation of his entire political philosophy. Since 2008 he has taken a principal stand against corruption and Nawaz’s and Zardari’s assets abroad. So from a realistic point of view He can’t be in government after next elections. After these elections, if He proved to be a tough opposition in assembly and was able to organize his party then after 2018 elections He can have the reins of power in his hands.

Imran khan doesn’t have any good politicians in his party. That’s why He has not been able to formulate a good political strategy. He is not focusing on Sindh, Balochistan and Rural Areas of Punjab. His opponents will do everything possible to sideline him. There are also some allegations that Khan is doing Anti-American protests on directions of intelligence agencies of Pakistan. His approach to the Balochistan problem is not clear and convincing. According to political critics hostile to him, he is over confident, autocratic and listens to none. Despite all these shortcomings, He has the potential to become Prime Minister of Pakistan. After giving chances to PPP, PML-N and other parties, Nation can afford to give Khan of Pakistan one chance to change the conditions of country overnight. In the current situation He is the only source of hope. Nawaz and Zardari have done no good to country. Zardari’s current rule has only yielded problems and Nawaz’s past is evident that it’s useless to have any good hopes from him. Despite all odds, the time has arrived that Khan of Pakistan should be given a shot to change the fate of Pakistan. If this didn’t happen then there is only darkness in the future of land of Pure.

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