Khan ko Samjhao, Siyasat Nahin Riyasat Bachao, loosely translated it means 'some one knock some sense into Khan, it is time to save the state and not give preference to saving politics'. Now the Khan in Question here is Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehrik e Insaaf, a right wing political party which made its debut in the political arena in the 90's. While the latter half of the title, Siyasat Nahin Riyasat Bachao, the one liner was made very famous recently by Tahir Ul Qadri, a leader of Minhaj ul Quran who flew all the way from Canada to shake things up as far as national politics is concerned. I must admit I have become a fan of the guy, he is firm on his ground that the violation of the constitution of Pakistan is unacceptable. The point of this blog is exactly this, it is more important to save the STATE, save the nation, save Pakistan, than save Politics. If the state survives, so do we, so does politics, so does everything else that Pakistan stands for. Now before I make my point, just a quick recap about Imran Khan for our foreign audiences.
PTI's founder Imran Khan, a native of Lahore was very popularly known as Kaptaan or Captain, he was once upon a time a legendary cricketer and an even more legendary Pakistani Cricket team Captain. He led a bunch of cornered tigers, a defeated and broken down team to glory on the global stage by winning Pakistan the Cricket World Cup in 92 in front of a crowd of 87,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia. Khan Saab retired from international cricket right after the conclusion of the 92 Cricket World Cup and moved towards completing his ultimate goal from at the time, which was at the time was completing 'The Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital' named after his late mother, that Khan had been spending years trying to gather funds and complete. His years of hard work paid off, today Shaukat Khanam Cancer Hospital is a rare beacon of hope and light in an otherwise decaying health care set up in Pakistan by free health care to the under privileged. After Khan's completion of his cancer hospital project, he sought to head towards the Pakistani political spectrum, with an idealistic belief that he and his followers can shape the future of the county and rid it from both military dictatorship as well as failed democracies. Imran Khan and his political party the PTI boycotted the national elections of 2008, even though previously he had served as member of the national assembly in Islamabad running from Mianwali in South Central Punjab. Some see his boycott over idealism in 2008 as a social suicide.
Khan is now back to claim his stake in mainstream politics of Pakistan and with the overwhelming support of the urban middle class youth, he and his followers believe with the utmost confidence that they can sweep these upcoming elections in May and form a ruling government in the national assembly. His party now features veteran politicians such as Javed Hashmi (Ex PML-N) and Shah Mehmood Qureshi who for sometime was Pakistan's foreign minister in the recent PPP government till his falling out with the Prime Minister and was replaced with Hina Rabani Khar. I am personally a big fan of Shah Mehmood Qureshi, I admire the feollow, he was among the few gutsy and respectable young men in the PPP government, and his principle stand against the United States brought about his down fall. Imran Khan began his campaigning activities on a big scale in Fall 2009, which started off with a massive Jalsa (Rally) in Lahore which was attended by over a 100,000 people, followed by one in Karachi which some estimates claim was attended by somewhere between 250,000 to 500,000 people.
I do not doubt these figures, I do not doubt the number of supporters and followers he has, I also do not have much objection to the fact that his party is very right wing and are strong advocates of an Islamic influenced socioeconomic model to be adopted in Pakistan. I do not even doubt his sincerity and his honesty as a credible individual, but politically speaking just how realistic is it voting for him and having him in power. How equipped he is to handle the really dirty nature of politics. I was having a chat last week with a colleague of mine who is very active as far as political following is concerned, even he agreed with me, that in order to clean up the dirt, one needs to get their hands dirty, and Imran Khan's refusal to play ball, even if it means playing a few in the bag kind of tricks is not helping. All the more reason for me to say 'Siyasat Nahin, Riyasat Bachao, Save State Not Politics.
Imran Khan at this point does not have the political clout, even after his coalition with the Very Right Wing JUI to be able to form a ruling coalition government in the national assembly. If anything he is managing to achieve is to cannibalise to some extent the vote bank of the Center Right party led by Nawaz Sharif and his PML N. PML N according to many analysts and political experts is a hot front runner for sweeping the up coming elections. PML N is the only party that is capable of halting the Asif Zardari led Pakistan's People Party in its tracks and prevent Asif Ali Zardari from another five years in Government along with his countless corrupt ministers, who have done nothing but ruin this country and bring it down to the ground. Everything from the economic and energy crises, to terrorism to smaller things such as chaos with passports, the government has done everything in its power to make life a living hell for citizens of Pakistan. They also failed to control insurgencies in the province of Balochistan or curb the militants that attack innocent people. It is off utmost national interest that everything and anything should be done to prevent another Asif Ali Zardari led PPP Government from coming into power, and the only political candidate capable of giving the PPP a fight is Mian Saab. I am personally not a fan of Mian Saab and I utterly despise the free hand he gives some religious organizations especially in his native Punjab, but we are talking about the need of the hour, which is we need a Government that does not feature Asif Zardari.
See I realise Nawaz Sharif isn't much to look at either, he doesn't have the appeal that draws in the ladies which Imran Khan does, but that's not the point of this. The point is we need to get rid of the PPP government, we need economic stability and a government that is nationalistic. Sure Mian Saab doesn't have a clean record and Khan saab has a record as clean as a whistle, but let's be realistic Khan saab does not have political leverage enough to form a government. Khan should think long term, it is in his long term and national political interest, that he throws away his ego and shake hands with Mian saab and form a coalition or an alliance of sorts with him in the national assembly. It will do wonders for Khan saab's political future and for his political party if they are part of a winning coalition government, even if they are a small minority partners in the ruling coalition. So my appeal to Khan saab is, please save Pakistan and worry about politics later, please put away your ego and personal dislike for Mian Nawaz Shareef and join forces with him for the greater good off Pakistan, once your PTI is part of the ruling government even as a small partner, there are limitless possibilities that await you. This is better than two right wing or two center right parties being divided and trying to eat up one another in the crucial Punjab primaries and giving leverage once again to the Left Wing Pakistan People's Party. If we as Pakistani's do not want Zardari back, we need to think long term, we need to think of National Interest and Save Our State.
So Siyasat Nahin Riyasat Bachao, Khan apne Supporters Ko Samjhao Aur Pakistan Bachao