The real challenge Imran Khan faces
Lazim hai k hum bhi dekhenge….
These famous lines are excerpted from Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s famous revolutionary poem. The poem elucidates the basic desire of common people that “We will see a time when Mountains of Injustice are blown away like a cotton.” Reincarnating this poem right now is to remind Imran Khan the real challenge he has to face in future is the desire of common people of Pakistan. Imran Khan a revolutionary, cricketer turned politician and his party Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) won at least 115 seats for the National Assembly and formulated coalition government post July 25 General Elections. Imran Khan is the new Prime Minister of Pakistan. His party made clean sweep in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and also came as runner up in the Punjab Assembly with 66 and 119 seats respectively.
There was propaganda and many allegations before the elections that Imran Khan was being supported by Pakistan Army and the international media referred him as ‘ladla’ or the blue-eyed boy of Pakistan Army. There were also allegations made on Pakistan Army that the election was politically engineered and the army had put a bar on media. These allegations went wrong as the GE-18 were recognized by international observers from Europe and India as transparent, fair and free. Indian Observer S. Y. Qureshi expr-essed his views on NDTV calling Pakistan’s recent elections as “free, fair and transparent”. Post-elections Imran Khan delivered his victory speech, where he talked about both domestic and foreign policy issues of Pakistan. He outlined the solution of Afghanistan quagmire through “negotiations”. The major bone of contention between India & Pakistan is the Kashmir issue for which he referred that both parties should negotiate to resolve this issue. He also considered CPEC as life line of Pakistan economy and appreciated the efforts of Pakistan all-weather friend China in making CPEC a success for Pakistan economy. On domestic front he promised some reforms in the existing infrastructures and refrained himself to keep protocols and luxuries, while being in office.
Now comes the real challenge for Imran Khan “Hum dekhnege”. It is the voice of a common Pakistani who stood in the long queues on election day, just to change the future of his/her (she males included) country and cast their vote to change and for a prosperous future of Pakistan. The overall voter turnout as identified by Elections Commission of Pakistan was 51 % which is a huge turn out if compared with previous elections, this can be considered as first victory of Imran Khan and his party PTI for giving a sense to the people of Pakistan and educating them about the power of vote. The Faiz poem Hum dekhnege” was chanted during 2013 General Elections of PTI and during Azadi March, but it was not chanted in 2018 election rallies of PTI, the poem might be misplaced by PTI’s DJ, but Imran Khan should remember that people still remember this poem. Negating all the propaganda’s such as Army’s meddling, media censorship and political engineering, can we just stick to the real sensation of a general election where common masses make choice for their future leader. I think theoretically and practically election is the only process where a common person can make his desire for the future of his country, where a layman an illiterate a clergy or feudal stands equal and can make their choice. So for this we have to keep this propaganda tools a bit apart while appreciating and understanding the essence of democracy.
People of Pakistan have done their job and now it’s the time for Imran Khan to fulfill his due promises. Pakistan’s economy is facing huge challenges and is struggling to avert a currency crisis that has presented new government with its biggest challenge. Many analysts and business leaders expect that another IMF bailout, the second in five years, will be needed to plug an external financial gap. Imran Khan’s party has promised the common masses to produce 10 billion job opportunities and end corruption, ensure transparency.
Ostensibly, Khan and his party has also promised to provide a standard education and to curb the water scarcity and provide standard health facilities. This is what was the attractive and catchy soup for the common masses to vote for Imran Khan. The desires and hopes of the people are quite high even from a kid, youngster or a house wife everyone has kept the hopes too high that Mr. Khan would bring the slogan of “Change” into actual practice. The rise of populism is quite clear from the turn out that Pakistan received in General elections. People stood against the obsolete and conventional form of democracy. The rise of populism is not only confined to Pakistan. In order to highlight explain and understand the concept of populism. In Europe, Brexit in the United Kingdom and the rise of the Front National in France are other examples of populism. In southern Europe, two parties on the left, Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain, have highlighted this distinction between the people and the elites. In UK, France and Pakistan people now understand the power of vote and what is right or wrong for them. Political engineering is a propaganda tool to divert the people attention from their actual right.
Let’s get back to the basic theme of this article which lies on Faiz’s “Hum Dekhenge” that rise of populist support for Imran Khan can be understood under these three scenarios.
Scenario 1. What if Mr Khan fails to fulfill his undue promises? Mr. Khan would face the same fate of revolt and suit in against his government by common masses and opposition would give him a tough time that would end his tenure before five years.
Scenario 2. Dealing Naya Pakistan with Old Tactics If Imran Khan deals with Naya Pakistan with old tactics, then it would be same old wine in new bottle. Referring to old tactics means, if he sticks himself to the same road building and Metro Bus projects then the chances for success in 2023 elections are less. He has to work on IT sector, CPEC, advancement in space technology and capacity building.
Scenario 3. If Imran Khan fulfill his Promise? Mr Khan would emerge as most powerful and potential leader and would be placed in the list of charismatic leaders list such as Erdagon of Turkey, Mahatir Mohamed of Malaysia and Franklin D Rossevelt of US who brought their countries economy from currency crisis, Jewish debts and soup kitchens to world’s leading economies of the world. People of Pakistan are quite mature and understand their values and right. The path for Mr Khan is quite perilous, because he has to act what he said to the general public. Otherwise Coke Studio has reincarnated Faiz poem “Hum Dekhenge” in a multi-cultural video alarming the new leader that “Hum Dekhenge” and this time it’s not a quasi-promise.