By Enum Naseer
Much was achieved in over a month’s time in Pakistan: the khakis’ resolve to stay in the barracks was tested, the ruling government received a heady dosage of sobriety after distasteful exploitation of state machinery and the social media’s favorite Khan won a life-long battle against claustrophobia. Whether we like it or not, Mr. Khan has moved things. The mass awakening of political consciousness is mostly, if not entirely his doing. With his seemingly repetitive speeches about life as a young Pakistani in the land of the Gora Sahib completely enamored by the Westminster style of democracy, Imran Khan has captured the attention of many a yuppie. People gather around the campfire every night, share stories, indulge in a bit of song and dance and vow to stay put till the leadership be shamed into resigning from public office.
Pretentious political prognosticators warned Mr. Khan from the very beginning: get out with what you can while you still can. Today, it is heart-wrenching to watch him become increasingly adamant on fading into irrelevance once again. The problem isn’t with his ability to attract a crowd and feed it his version of the truth (read: anecdotes)—at sixty-two Khan still has it: a boyish grin, an athletic build and a jaunty air. Compare him with Sharif: who is past his prime, plump and looks nervous whenever he’s put in the spotlight. Now think about Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy—can we spot some similarities? We have reason to believe that Khan’s personal charisma and sex appeal may go a long way in shaping Pakistan’s political future—which is good, for him and for his party. It may in fact even be correct to say that in the not-so-distant future, ceteris paribus, the PTI will be able to benefit from the coming of age of a significant proportion of his support base unless, of course, it is misled by faux constitutionalism.
That post Z.A.Bhutto, once again there is a leader who claims to be from ‘among’ the masses and rejects the ‘status quo’ has infused a new hope among the people of Pakistan. What bigger sacrifice can the proletariat dream of than one where the status quo rebels against itself and begs that it be dragged to the guillotine? Mr. Khan, you have truly won hearts. We are dreaming again, of better, happier days ahead after the bloody revolution rids the country of its filth. You have the media’s attention still fixed on you while the de facto Prime Minister struggles to save face and make an impression on international forums; your ideas have brought the ‘liberals’ and our disgruntled brothers with beards together dancing to the tune of azaadi without revealing your secret plan of action. Well played, skipper… well played. (Slow clap)