Why I won’t vote for PTI

by Zia Ahmad

 

This will undoubtedly invite a lot of resentment from wide eyed insafistas and runs a high risk of making me supremely unpopular, but ask yourselves. In the heart of your hearts, do you think PTI will manage to bag a couple of additional sympathy votes this Saturday in the wake of the Imran Khan falling down off an overcrowded rickety lifter. At 60, an injury like this can cause valid concern for his well being amongst his devotees and the rest of the people as well. Of Course.

Yes that was mean and cynical. Lap it up.

The good doctors say he’s fine. We believe them.

Head injury notwithstanding, Imran Khan is poised to fall severely short (pun intended) of actualizing the promises he’s been making for some time now. He was the Great Khan Hope til a few years ago. But kowtowing to right wing parties (banned and otherwise) and displaying a poor grasp over real world geopolitics plus a propensity of making nigh naïve proclamations now and then “My government will end corruption in 90 days”, “I will order air force to shoot down drones”….doesn’t it remind you of when you were nine.

Stating the obvious, running a country is a whole different ball game than playing cricket, winning a world cup along the way ( yes we still thank you for that 21 years onwards) and running a philanthropic endeavor (again, a lot of people are in your debt Mr Khan).

Yet

Rhetoric and jingoism has won Imran Khan a significant support in select urban centers and the youth in particular. The same rhetoric has also won him various aliases, Tsunami Khan and Taliban Khan being the most cherished. Promise of change and Naya Pakistan are rather later inventions. And that’s what lights the Insafista’s fire.

It is demonstrated through the casual and whiny “Yaar, us ko bhee chance dau” to the apocalyptic, “Pakistan needs CHANGE!!”.

PTI’s remarkable campaign momentum stands on sheer verve, hope, ideals and our twin home grown cottage delicacy known as ghairat and jazba.

All very good.

For what it is worth, more and more of us from all walks of the populace are engaged politically, compared to the 90s.

Though it is the interesting, unique shapes and colors this display of emotion which are unsettling for a political party that claims to be the representative of a new Pakistan.

“Other parties (PML-N, we are looking at you) have money, we have the fire”

Not a slogan that inspires me to look forward to a prosperous Pakistan.

The unhealthy fixation with forces of destruction continues with the annoying buzz of Tsunami this, Tsunami that.

Very mature Mr Khan.

Two historical precedents, that needs to be brought up here. Some 80 years ago, a certain individual rose up from obscurity, pained by the misfortune and humiliation of his once great nation, riled millions of his countrymen with the assurance of restored honor and a bevy of other impossible promises. He won the election by a landslide. His name…Adolf Hitler. Most of today’s youth will be aware of him. And some might even be surprised that Hitler didn’t come to power via a coup or some other dastardly scheme. He was elected to the premiership. The rest, as they say, is history.

Speaking of youth, the second precedent comes from round the neighborhood. In the late 60s, Chairman Mao extended his faith in the country’s youth. You can imagine there were many. He empowered them. He called a cultural revolution. Very 60ish and rad. The consequence: A national nightmare that took China more than 20 years to recover from.

I’m afraid Imran Khan is taking the youth and rest of the fans for a ride. Promising them what they want to hear, apparently putting his faith in him. Compared to Nawaz Sharif, Zardari, Altaf and all, he still looks cool at this age. Appearances are what really matter in politics…right?

Thing is Imran Khan and PTI for that matter is relying on the youth and the quasi-liberals to carry on much of its campaign when the heart of the matter is he has an undying teenage boy infatuation with the Taliban and has already made coalition deals with Jamaat e Islami. It would be interesting to know how the urbane PTI supporter responds to this, other than throwing dirt at the existent, traditional politicians. We know they are dirty, what else is new?

He enjoys the avid support of gung ho generals of yesterday and their firebrand pious enthusiasts.

You do know PTI has them on the pay roll and as benefactors.

 The reductionist mindset of Mr Khan has been highlighted in the past as well. Refer to Dr Hoodbhoey’s observations. Or the time when Mr Khan refused to consider the idea of repealing the second amendment of the forty year old constitution. The very one which  declares Ahmediya community as non-muslims.

As a blogger said elsewhere, “Today, a political candidate is denying a group a basic right to identify based on a fundamentally wrong constitutional law. Tomorrow, someone will go a step further and deny some other group another basic right. Such inherent and open discriminations end up in a vicious cycle.

Just ask the Germans”

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