Friday, March 15, 2013

Way forward for PTI - More Substance, Less Rhetoric Please (Part 1 of 2)

By: Shah Zalmay Khan (@PTI_FATA)
Part 1 
Zardari Lutera.
Nawaz Sharif Naqli Sher.
FazluRehman Munafiq Molvi.
Asfandyar Wali Easy Load.
Altaf Hussain Qaatil Bhatta Khor.
Mulk Loot ke kha gaye sab.
Heard all these expressions already? Where? Perhaps in Punjab, in Sindh, in Balochistan, in KPK; in every street of Pakistan. Plus one more place where you may hear all this - PTI Jalsas or PTI leadership interviews / talk shows.
The above expressions are voice of the common, deprived citizen of Pakistan who is leading a miserable life due to all the years of status-quo rule of PPP / PMLN / PMLQ / MQM / ANP / JUI. These words are completely justified from the mouths of ordinary helpless citizens who are at the mercy of hyenas feeding on their flesh.
But how does one feel when PTI leaders - especially the Kaptaan himself - join the chorus of common citizens in voicing the same expressions for the corrupt rulers? Feels good na? One's soul gets peace hearing our beloved leader bash the crooks & hyenas?
For an Insafian like me (who is in love with Kaptaan), it actually feels good to see our leaders and Imran Khan himself speak the sentiment of the common man on the street.
What about the ordinary non-aligned citizen / undecided voter / serious observer? Does he like it?
Ding dong?
The answer is a Big NO.
So my dear Kaptaan, with all due respect, you (and other PTI leaders too) have to stop criticizing other parties and their leaders in the street jargon , especially by name. We don't need to tell the Pakistani nation what the crook rulers of PPP / PMLN / PMLQ / MQM / ANP / JUI have done to them. They don't need it because they are suffering their rule, in the real time. The people don't want to hear from you what Zardari, Sharifs or Maulana etc are doing to them. Lets stop this criticism now - even though all this is true.
What can PTI do then?
What the people want to hear (or at least deserve to hear) is the way PTI will change all this. They want to know our policies, our vision, our plans or at least they want us to be a bit different from the other parties in public discourse especially talk shows. Someone may say well PTI has given a dozen policies already by arranging seminars. Just how many people know about such seminars? Even with moderate media coverage, no seminar will last in memory of the common man more than three days, such is the pace of events in the country these day. We are, collectively, a nation suffering from STMD (Short Term Memory Disorder).
We presented our policies in seminars, very good. But thats not the end of it, in any way. With our dozen policies, we are not empty-handed, unlike the other status-quo parties. We have a strong backup of the policies. Lets make this our strong point, our only discussion point in all speeches, media interactions, interviews and talk shows. Our think tank should make a 4-5 page summary of the whole policy set and no leader (especially Imran Khan) should be without this summary when appearing on media shows / interviews / Jalsas. Cram the policies summary guys cram it. Talk it on every show, every interview, every speech so that even the ordinary street person knows the salients of PTI policy on energy or rural governance or health or youth empowerment. This is actually possible because we have a precedence to this. Remember nobody except lawyers knew about the details of law but due to the assertive role of judiciary and the associated media coverage and daily repitition, even the illiterate man on the street today knows about the NRO, Article 62/63, Immunity and things like that. So lets make PTI policies talk of the town in a similar way by repeatedly stating narrating them on all fora.
One more thing.
Dear Kaptaan - and Insafian leaders - lets stop the rhetoric of 'Tsunami', 'Tsunama', 'Panipat ki Jang' and 'Clean Sweep' now. Why? Because as much as it thrills us Insafians, it irritates the neutral / undecided voter and the serious observer who has not yet made his mind. This rhetoric is doing more harm than good. One is always at a loss to understand why we have to use such terms? Particularly we should stop our claims of a 'Clean Sweep' please. We plan to win & we are capable of doing that but slightly toning down the rhetroic associated with the sweeping term would be welcome.
We claim to be harbingers of change (and rightly so); lets begin the change at home. Lets change the way PTI leaders (especially Imran Khan) speak on media and in Jalsas - more substance and less rhetoric.
How about we start this with 23rd March Jalsa?  After all its never too late.
I rest my case.
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. Lala,
    I always liked the good work you are doing, I understand your point of view & share it to extent that we need to translate our policies into publically understandable slogans, yet to understand the basis of opponent bashing, we need to look at the culture of the battle field, Central Punjab, let me give you a personal comparitive example of 12 year old kids fighting in a street, I have seen it in KPK, FATA, Potohar region ending up in bloody scars & torn clothing, yet in Lahore, i have seen Lahori kids stand at a distance of 1m & hurl abuses at each other, the crowd laughing at the funnier one & the other run home crying. This Marasipann has merged into the culture of central punjab, stage drama stuff & you cannot avoid it as a political party. you will be termed BORING & the masses will start mocking you & the seriousness of the message will be lost.

  2. I agree that we are not anti-somebody party & we need to look at the larger perspective, yet highlighting the evils of what we are up against & own achievements is only probable way forward. I have seen people mocking each other in an experienced democracies like US. what do expect from from a Pakistani voter whose effective age is 5 years (after re-birth in 2008)

  3. we live in a nation where aftab iqbal becomes more popular than anwar maqsood, unfortunate as it may be yet we have to live with the cultural realities & adopting them before suggesting improvements will result in cultural alienating, not feasible before elections. Your suggestions can be useful after the elections, yet till then we have to do as Romans while being in Rome, remember, we haven't claimed the Rome yet.

  4. Take the example of Social Media, we started as frustrated directionless youth mostly indulging in arguments with opponents of critics. we have moved so far ahead of that, iPhoneApp, #PTIProjectAlpha, Insaf Radio, Insaf TV & upcoming Android app are our matchless achievements, but remember the root of it was all those facebook pages mocking the opponents, releasing videos, pictures & comics etc. take away that entertaining part & SM will become too serious & Boringm, which seriously v dont wanna be, attraction to humor/sarcasm is merged in Human DNA, cant fight it.

    I rest my case :)

  5. While I generally agree to your points about cramming the policies and using them in Talk Shows and debates by PTI leadership, Imran Khan holds himself brilliantly on media with logical responses of questions asked. Reference of matter from policies will help the party no doubt, but the dynamics of a Jalsa and talk show (or scholarly debate) is different.

    You need to understand brother that PTI Jalsas have hundreds of thousands of people participating in them from all classes (majorly illiterate, semi-literate, who are highly emotional) and they need to be involved. While I agree that there should be substance in speeches, emotions, sarcasm, finger pointing, future prospects, hope, anger, joy, love, sadness, surprise, affection, aggression, empathy, compassion, contempt, hatred, hostility etc. all play vital role in getting the participants involved.

    All participants should leave feeling satisfied that their representation is done properly by their chosen leader. Khan has done it brilliantly up until now. I agree to you on bringing change in speech of Khan for 23rd. It should include more emphasis on future plans and direction that the country will take in PTI’s government. It has already been mentioned by Khan himself that 23rd Jalsa will launch PTI’s election manifesto so I believe that his speech will majorly revolve around possibilities, probabilities, hope, better future, and path that needs taking.
    Just my two cents.