Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dear Imran Khan: Give us your "I have a Dream" speech on 23rd March

By Shah Zalmay Khan (@PTI_FATA).
Part 2

I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. 
Listening to, or reading, this excerpt from the "I Have a Dream" speech by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. one is simply enthralled by it. King delivered this speech on 28 August 1963, during the famous March on Washington in the American Civil Rights Movement calling for an end to racism in the USA. The speech, delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was a defining moment of the movement which gave it a pace never known before. The speech went viral and became a symbol, alongwith King himself, of CHANGE in the status-quo prevailing in the mindsets of the predominantly white elite of USA who thought of the black people as outcasts.
So why am I writing this today? Whats the relevance of King's speech to PTI or Imran Khan or  Pakistan? Let me explain a bit.
23rd March 2013 is the day when PTI plans to launch Tsunami Phase-II in Lahore, at the very ground where Tsunami Phase-I was witnessed on 30th Oct 2011 i.e. Minar-e-Pakistan. It is the same venue (and day) at which Muslim political activists gathered from whole of British sub-continental India to pass what we now know as the 'Pakistan Resolution'. 23rd March 1940 is a glorious day in Pakistan's history; 30 Oct 2011 is a glorious day in PTI's history, then what about 23rd March 2013?
Imran Khan has already stated that this PTI Jalsa is going to be a defining moment in PTI's fight against Status-Quo and the dawn of a 'Naya Pakistan'. So what better date than 23rd March and what better venue than Minar-e-Pakistan, to pass the 'Naya Pakistan Resolution' - through 80,000 elected party officials representing every nook & corner of the country?
One has to admit that change movements need orators & great speakers - Imran Khan (however much we love him for his straightforwardness and clean intentions) sadly, is not one. Whats the way out then? Perhaps a written speech. But as per my understanding (I may be wrong), Imran Khan dislikes written speeches - and that is the problem.
This has to change. Leaders have to be very precise in whatever they utter because anything they say is automatically taken as the party policy, by media, by followers and by critics too. Written speeches are good; this classic one by King was also written and well-rehearsed.
23rd March is one of the most important days in PTI's struggle and may be the cornerstone of a PTI success (or God forbid failure) in the upcoming general elections. With stakes so high, can we afford an unimpressive start to our 'Election-2013 campaign'?
Admit it or not, the success of this Jalsa will hinge (in addition to the number & enthusiasm of participants) upon Imran Khan's speech. Will his speech be different from the past? We have time & again seen PTI lose classic political opportunities only due to unimpressive speeches, interviews or media bits of PTI leaders (including Imran Khan himself, lets admit it).
For example: Remember Waziristan March achievement was marred by the severe personal war of words between PTI & JUI leaders when on repeated JUI instigation, Imran Khan termed Maulana Fazl as Munafiq on eve of the March. The occasion that was supposed to pressurize all other parties & attract international attention was (at least locally) made controversial by the unnecessary exchange of non-pleasantries. (international response was ruined by Malala incident).
What then should the 23rd March Speeches be?
The importance of 23rd March Jalsa merits that PTI leaders especially Imran Khan deliver well-rehearsed written speeches. Every PTI leader speaking before Imran Khan should pick one PTI policy and explain its salient features to people in his speech. They should try to avoid bashing other parties and concentrate on own plans.
Imran Khan's speech may encompass following:-
  • Dreams of founding fathers for Pakistan, in the context of 23rd March especially.
  • Dreams of Imran Khan for Pakistan.
  • Briefly, salients of all the already presented PTI policies in simple plain words.
  • Introduction of team for implementing the policies i.e. 80,000 elected PTI officials.
  • Oath to serve Pakistan from the elected officials.
  • Present and get endorsed 'Naya Pakistan' Resolution (consisting of some main points) from the whole audience.
Dear Kaptaan - make a speech that is remembered in history. Make a speech which becomes defining moment of the war against status-quo just like Martin Luther King Jr's speech.
A speech that can be printed out by PTI supporters and copies distributed to common people as PTI manifesto. A speech that touches everybody like King's speech did.
Kaptaan, you are capable of doing it. Just do it; give us your "I have a Dream" speech.
Note: Part-1 of this article is here: Way forward for PTI - More substance and less rhetoric please
The writer is a tribesman from Bajaur Agency (FATA) and tweets at @PTI_FATA (Just a volunteer; no official association with PTI)

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.


  1. Totally Totally agree to this one!!!.. Nothing better than this.

  2. i have been saying this to Mr. Asad umer since quite a while also,i told him when i met him too, but they have understanding that people like his direct and his own style more. I told him it should be crisp, to the point, with powerful points. But to no avail so far, i am keeping my fingers crossed for 23rd March. Its dead serious issue and they dont realize it.