Sunday, May 13, 2012

"The PTI argument" by Adiah Afraz - A primer on bashing of PTI and Imran Khan

Courtesy: Daily "The News" (13 May 2012)
The PTI argument
By Adiah Afraz
My interest in the PTI is academic in nature. Well sort of. Actually as a PTI supporting columnist I often find myself in a strange position of being answerable for many PTI actions.
“Your Imran Khan has sent a letter to a JD rally?” I would be accused.
“Your Imran Khan has refused to share roof with Salman Rushdie in India” I would be smirked at.
“Your Imran Khan is calling us liberal scum...” long whine.
From Jamat-ud-Dawa to Sita White, and the philosophy of hair colour to the possibility of Botox, I am increasingly held accountable for a variety of things Imran Khan does or says. And frankly, being a layman of sorts especially when it comes to making polite conversation in the social sciences jargon, it is not always easy to avert the IK hating onslaught from the intellectual dragons.
I either make an emotional argument about Imran Khan’s honesty and philanthropy, or rephrase his theory of ‘engage the marginalised’, or simply just maintain a stubborn mulish stance that Imran Khan is good for Pakistan simply because he is. Period.
Thus begins a regimen of watching re-runs of Imran Khan interviews, tediously going through print sources, and randomly going to PTI events, quietly sitting in dark corners, and taking notes.
In order to inform, I need to stay informed.
Now no matter how much I want to make use of my notes from the PTI gatherings and write a ground breaking piece about how the PTI is a party of the liberal, by the liberal for the liberal; yet this one is not about the PTI as much as it is about my genuine inability to understand why there is so much scepticism about Imran Khan among certain intellectuals despite his spotless credentials.
The argument against Khan has three categories. The basic argument, the before and after argument, and the more ridiculous argument.
(And remember, I am not making this up. This is a summary of real arguments raised by real people possessing real credentials.)
Basic argument: Politics in Pakistan is not what a layman thinks it is. And by layman we mean all the aunties and fools that form the PTI. Or was it the maulvies and fools that formed the PTI? Well same thing.
So politics in Pakistan is not about honesty and massive rallies. It’s about something else. We won’t tell you what. For that you will have to get a degree in politics. For now just rest assured that if you like Imran Khan, then you are either na├»ve and ill-read or an aunty and a fool.
Imran Khan might be honest but so were most of the fascist dictators. He might be popular but so was Hitler. Nationalism of every kind leads to fascism eventually. Hence it is concluded that a corrupt government of a corrupt party that we have tried numerous times is better than an honest person with popular support because we haven’t tried him right? So we never know what he will do if tried. After all army is bad for democracy and it’s the army that is supporting Imran Khan.
And no we don’t believe in conspiracy theories, we just listen to the underground mole grapevine theories. Amen.
The before and after (the Tsunami) arguments.
Before: Why is the PTI a one-man party? How can Imran Khan win if he doesn’t make alliances?
After: Why is Imran Khan letting everyone join his party? He is going to be lost among a crowd of ‘leaders’. He will be the proverbial camel out of the tent.
Before: Does Imran Khan think that taking out measly rallies against missing persons is going to help? After: Why doesn’t Imran Khan go to the missing person’s camp? Why has he ditched the missing persons?
Before: The PTI is a party of housewives bored out of their skulls trying to avert a middle age crisis. After: Why are there no women on stage in the PTI rallies? Tsk, the PTI has lopsided gender representation.
Before: Why doesn’t PTI talk about minority rights? After: Hey, IK is talking about minority rights. AND he is praying on the stage. Conclusion: IK is a point scoring mullah.
Before: IK has no support in the streets. After: IK is just a one Tsunami wonder. Well, two Tsunami wonder may be, big deal. Actually Tsunami is not even a positive term. IK should stop using it.
Before: Ha, ha the tsunami has fizzled out. See we told you. Now why is IK reluctant to hold a tsunami in Quetta? After: Ok, he did, did he? But we are not commenting on it because we are busy somewhere else.
My list is long. But I am running out of word limit so let me move to the third category.
The Ridiculous Argument: All Imran Khan ever does is to talk about Shaukat Khanum. A country is not a cancer hospital.
Well, a country my dear friends, is not a Swiss account either. Neither is it a place of plunder for the rich and the corrupt.
My argument is simple.
Do we know of any Pakistani institution, which is made by Pakistanis, is run by Pakistanis, is self-sustaining, is corruption free, nepotism free, has no VIP culture, has international prestige and meets global high quality standards?
My suggestion is, go and visit the hospital. Take a round and then stop by the mosque. Because it’s there that you will witness one thing that distinguishes Imran Khan from the entire breed of politicians.
People pray for Imran Khan.
Hearts that are hurting and humbled, helpless and hoping for a miracle, pray for Imran Khan.
Call me outdated, call me provincial, dig out all sorts of technicalities and build all sorts of arguments, but I would still like to believe in this person.
At least he won’t ask us to leave the country if ever we got sick of him. If you don’t know what I mean watch Gilani’s interview to CNN.
Hey I have a question: Why is nobody criticising him?

The writer is a teaching fellow at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, LUMS. Email: adiahafraz@

The original article is here:

Disclaimer: This blog is not an official PTI webpage and is run by a group of volunteers having no official position in PTI. All posts are personal opinions of the bloggers and should, in no way, be taken as official PTI word.
With Regards,
"Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf FATA Volunteers" Team.

No comments:

Post a Comment