The fundofication of PTI

Published: February 18, 2012

Now that PTI is slowly evolving into a political party bent on making electoral waves, they are showing their true political colours and are going overboard with it. PHOTO: AFP

Three and a half months into the tsunami, things do not seem to be going in the direction many had hoped. What started out as a campaign to bring about positive and lasting change by bringing the youth and Pakistan’s moderate majority on board has now turned in to a lota/fundo-fest.

But the believers still cling onto the words that were said on October 30, during that historic jalsa in Lahore. The idea was that Pakistan was for everyone – liberals, conservatives and moderates coming together under the banner of one party that promised to build an Islamic welfare state and take out the old guard in one steady action (like a tsunami). And yet, three and a half months down the lane, reality is far from it.

So, what has been going on with the Pakistan Tsunami-e-Insaf?

Well, the answer to that can be multi-pronged but in the simplest terms, there has been a shift in the party’s ideology and now it’s just coming to the forefront. On October 30, Imran Khan came across as a uniting figure. At his jalsa, conservatives were standing shoulder to shoulder with liberals.

In his own words, he said:

I have struggled for 15 years, but it was all cross-sections of society. It was girls coming in jeans. It was women coming from deeni madrassas, it was Urdu-medium, English-medium, the religious. All of them came…

So, initially PTI was being hailed as the saviour of all classes and backgrounds; the upper and middle class and even the poor. PTI was going to help everyone out. Regardless of your religious and political beliefs, Imran Khan was promising an end to corruption in 90 days and a functioning state for all – and people bought this. But what most people forgot in the euphoria is that PTI was always a politically rightist party.

From the day it was conceived over 15 years ago, it was a center-rightist party. That was the main reason it was on good terms with PML-N right after its inception; that is why it has always been on decent terms with the Jamaat-e-Islami throughout its existence. PTI combined the socialist values that are found all over the JI manifesto, but combined them with the capitalistic nature of PML-N’s ideology. So in essence, if you go through the PTI manifesto over the last 15 years, it is basically a mix of JI and PML-N. It’s ideological positioning also shows this, where it has been right of PML-N and left of JI.

But these are the technical points of PTI.

The PTI Imran Khan tends to promote is based on his persona. And in that process, people tend to forget the very foundations of his party. What is happening now is that the foundations of his party are being exposed and that is disappointing the liberals who were seen as his core support and are still his core constituency. Although this is not surprising to a lot of observers, a large number of his party officials that were there pre-Lahore jalsa were old Jamaat people. And yet, somehow, his support base ignored this.

Now, take a couple of recent events that have forced people to start re-assessing what Imran Khan and his party really stand for. The first one was when Imran Khan called liberals ‘scum’ in an interview with the Indian NDTV. This was quickly hushed up by the PTI and its supporters as a one-off event where something their great leader said was misconstrued as some sort of a conspiracy and what not.

Next, the initial denial and then eventual acceptance that PTI was sending its representatives to Difa-e-Pakistan Council’s jalsas to read out messages on Imran Khan’s behalf. The trouble with this whole episode was that PTI initially flatly denied it back in December, saying there is no way that Imran Khan will ever go to a DPC jalsa and that anyone who goes there does so in their personal capacity. PTI supporters bought this. And then eventually Imran Khan recently asked what was wrong with going to a DPC rally or meeting. This sudden change of stance for many of his staunchest supporters was surprising to say the least.

What a lot of PTI’s support base is undergoing is buyer’s remorse. A large portion of PTI’s base identifies itself as liberal or moderate and they always assumed that their beliefs were embedded in Imran Khan’s persona and by default, in his party. But because most of them were late converts to PTI, they overlooked the basis of the party, which is center-right on the political horizon.

The assumption was that Imran Khan is a progressive man who speaks well and is educated abroad. The chances of him being a sympathiser of religious parties and other ‘fundamentalist’ groups was very limited given his background – that is what the majority of his base bought.

But now that PTI is slowly evolving into a political party bent on making electoral waves, they are showing their true political colours and are going overboard with it. To its current base, this might sound and feel wrong but for PTI this is a logical step. The fact is that the vast majority of people in Pakistan are social conservatives who lean to the right on the political and social spectrums. And right now PTI is trying to attract that vote.

The base was crucial in getting the party off the ground but it’s the majority of the social conservatives that will get it some share of political power. And having jump started the PTI from its 15 year political slumber, the party’s base that showed up in Lahore, now feels betrayed. Now that the liberl-esque packaging is coming off PTI, the buyer’s remorse is slowly sinking in.

So while some say that PTI is undergoing ‘fundofication’, I say it is merely just getting back to its roots – left of JI and right of PML-N.


Do you think the PTI should align itself with religio-political parties?

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Adnan Khalid Rasool

Currently the Deputy Executive Director Center for Enterprise, Trade and Development, Adnan is also a political analyst working mainly on electoral politics and political campaign management. He tweets at @adnanrasool

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Abu Bakr

    There are two ways to solve extremism. Violence or politics. And it is often a mixture of the two that is used to reach your goal. In order to eradicate internal threats like some banned parties in Pakistan, if you dont engage with them, you will never defeat them. I don’t understand why every single move by the PTI is so heavily criticized or so suspiciously looked at. And when someone asks why this is, they are called a troll. Imran was called a Talib without a beard for almost a decade when he asked for political dialog with the Taliban, now they have been allowed to have an office in Qatar by the US. When you are fighting ‘ideas’ such as terrorism and ‘sectarianism’ then the answers lie in politics with focused concise military action. It spells doom to just attack areas or entire groups, especially with gunships and drone strikes which kill so many innocent people. A lot of self proclaimed liberals supported this bombing of villages which would murder families. Yes MURDER FAMILIES. It is these kind of people that Imran Khan is referring to as the ‘scum’ of Pakistan in the video above. He did not say LIBERALS = SCUM. He said people who support the killings of innocent people, and CALL themselves liberals, are scum. It is against humanity and even against liberalism.

    The PTI is engaging with these groups and has for years called for dialog. Imran Khan has said no extremist group will be allowed to operate from Pakistan soil, so his stance is clear. What is the present government doing? The inception and rise of the sectarian groups is extremely well documented since the 80s. After the hundreds of killings last year, and the recent killings of Pakistanis who all happened to be from the Shia community, what has been done? Is the ISI monitoring them at all? If you’re going to criticize the PTI’s way of dealing with extremists and terrorists, then i suppose you have a solution yourself.Recommend

  • Parvez

    One thing for sure, if Imran Khan doesn’t get a clear message across his support will fall by the way side. His rubbing shoulders with the religiously intolerant will not be received kindly.Recommend

  • Freeman

    I am not a supporter of PTI but I do not agree with the writer of this article at all. Last 15 years every anchor and whole media have been asking Imran Khan only one question that you are alone and you have no winning candidates. What was the meaning that questions????? Even Imran Khan had highly educated and professionals with him.

    After 30 october Now Lots of political people are joining PTI. What is wrong with it. Now the same people started to ask him that you are taking old politicians. I do not understand what those people wants.

    Writer’s all question marks are in my opinion wrong about Imran Khan. By giving Imran Khans different times comments or address reference does not make Imran Khan wrong. In my opinion Imran is heading 100% correctly and he should be keep doing this way. It is not easilier to break status quo in country like Pakistan. When Imran Khan say all those politicains are coming in PTI on his theory with out condition.

    Also in Defa-e-Pakistan there are other main parties also involved then why only point fingure to PTI only.

    *Poeple are joining PTI even there is no gurantee that PTI will come in power. This mean Politicians who are joining PTI are not Lotas / Funda fest whatever.

    If PTI was in power and then other parties politicians come and join PTI then we will be right to say they are lotas. Lots of them are even resigned from Parliement and joined PTI.*

    Pakistan’s political system is not very strong and free yet. Pakistani people are distrubuted in brotheries. If Imran does not allow these Politicians then PTI will lose their brotheries votes this mean it will be more difficult for PTI to come in Power.Recommend

  • Rashid

    First of all, I do not agree with the notion of the article. PTI has never been exposed, Imran Khan has always been considered a center-rightist, and the people who came on 30th October Jalsa never did so by “considering” him a liberal, or leftist. All of us know that he has been with right-wing parties during the Musharraf Era. Plus, I don’t know when he categorically denied any ties with religious parties; he has always been on fair terms with them. What people generally appreciate is the fact that he has good terms with religious parties from all schools of thought, and thus, he is considered a binding force.

    I really cannot say where you would put PTI as a political party. This is because they clearly have an economic vision inclined towards left. And if you consider his condemnation of drone attacks, and war on terror as being a rightist view, then he is surely a rightist. Then again, I personally think that he still stands for what he said in 30th October Jalsa, that justice would be same for everyone, and people living in Pakistan, irrespective of their backgrounds, would be treated equally when it comes to Rule of Law.Recommend

  •!/Pugnate Noman Ansari

    Liberal scum? Complete out of context quote by the writer. Anyone with half a brain can see what Imran Khan is talking about in the video, and what the author is interpreting it as to serve his article. Recommend

  • amin

    Another nice attempt to malign IK – you lost all credibility in my eyes with this section

    “The first one was when Imran Khan called liberals ‘scum’ in an interview with the Indian NDTV. This was quickly hushed up by the PTI and its supporters as a one-off event where something their great leader said was misconstrued as some sort of a conspiracy and what not.”

    Imran Khan has repeatedly said this and his definition of “liberals” in the context above was people who claim to be liberal but support drones and collateral damage which is definitely not a something a liberal would do.

    And he’s right … drinking whisky and smoking cigars doesnt make you a liberal when the policies you support are right wing neo-con policiesRecommend

  • Doosam

    very well written, any answers the fundos of PTI?Recommend

  • Minto

    You lie yourself when leveling allegation against a person? Where in the video he said liberals are scum? He said when ‘women and children are getting killed and these people applaud them, they are not liberals, they are scum of Pakistan’. And I agree with him- whether its a so-called religious guy who supports bombing of a church or a so-called liberal guy who supports drone attacks on civilians, they are scum of Pakistan!

    And yes I am a liberal, Muslim and Pakistani and supporter of Imran Khan! Recommend

  • Alishan

    Dear Adnan,

    After reading a few opinion based articles, especially Sami’s ‘viva-la-what’ and then this one, I feel compelled to comment. I generally like the article, however largely disagree with whats being portrayed recently in the media and opinion articles. I must admit I’m no political analyst, but all I know is that its not necessary to weigh people, parties or institutions in pre-set jargon. PTI’s emergence into mainstream politics is a great sign. We need some competition in the political oligopoly we’re living in. I have yet to see Politics of Left and Right between PPP and PMLN. We havn’t really seen any different policies from both parties, except maybe a fraction of their economic agenda which is either inclined towards feudalists or family owned businesses.

    As I said earlier, I generally like the article, except the part where you show the interview with NDTV. If you see the whole interview you will realize what he’s trying to say. He talks about the REAL liberals who are global citizens, who are anti-war, anti-killing, pro-humans, even the ones living in the west. Then he talks about the self-proclaimed liberals, who are actually in support of this phony war on terror. He goes on to say, how can someone claim to be a liberal, if he supports killing of innocents, without a fair trial. He also says that he cannot be anti any country since there are people living everywhere, and one can be against policies, but not against a country. I have yet to hear someone say such things on mass media, inside or outside the country.

    Finally I hope we all understand the level of segmentation in our society, where some of our thoughts are totally contradictory. Having said that we are all Pakistanis and none can be excluded if we have to move forward. Its not easy but someone has to bring everyone to the table and try to reason with them, and build a consensus on necessary reforms that will take Pakistan forward. This also includes regional segments, class segments, religious segments, and all other segments of society previously marginalized or ignored. At least in my opinion, I fully support what PTI has stood for and the way its bringing people from all segments of society together. Hope it continues doing so. Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    A party is not divided between fundamentalism or a certain view of being “liberal”. You are painting a black-and-white picture.Recommend

  • Ali Wazir

    LOL Right of PML N. Hilarious

    PTI would never get the Liberal “Scum” vote anyway.
    Most of their daddies be workin for Ittefaq and Sugar mill mafia or own some huge Jageer and Haris me thinks…Dont like all this scary anti corruption talk.

    IK has explained he considers himself a Liberal (Like Tariq Ali or anyone in the Global Left who oppose Military operations and GWOT) but does no consider the local brown sahibs, what the Great Ali Shariati called “Maghrebzadeh” “Liberal” at all. They are “liberal” in the sense Hosni Mubarik and his ilk are Liberal in Egypt.Merely lipstick on a pig.

    As for DPC why is everyone going crazy. Would you rather have them train in ISI sponsored Jehadi camps again.Just the sheer amount of Indian and American panic on this innocuous political development is strange. No one stops RSS or the Evangelist from taking out rallies, why special rules for Pakistan.

    I think this rally business is a healthy turn of events.

    Maybe in politics they will realise violence and sectarianism arent popular election slogans. And maybe they develop much more healthy cynicism for the Establishment in politics.

    If PTI has maintained it is ready Talk and engage to TTP, Baloch Separatist and MQM, why exclude DPC council?? All of em are militants of one variety or the other.

    Britian engaged the IRA and Sinn fein, Spain the Cataloniat and ETA, why should Pakistan pursue the novel we dont negotiate with terorist unless they are our assets strategy.

    My personal theory is PTI sent Ejaz Chaudrey just to piss of the Americans, no other political party would dare poke their finger at the Americans like this. Even JUI F decided not to go to the DPC rallies.Especially in an election year.Nothing like a Tete te with the UN banned fundo to re-establish your anti American credentials.

    As for PTI politics its centrist like any any of the large Social democratic parties in Europe (i.e Christain Democrats, Social Democrat etc etc). Why is that a hard concept to understand in Pakistan, is beyond me.

    I think its healthy that they are trying to go mainstream and political. They are as Pakistani as you and I. PTI has for 10 years engaged all religious parties, Fundo label is pretty old actually.Pretty tired by now.Recommend

  • Zohaib

    Wait for election month and then give your preview. You just cannot give your preview before anything is finalized.

    Then, give your review after the elections.

    This is how it should be. So wait few months your time for preview & review will come.Recommend

  • Pappo Piplia

    The people called scum by Imran Khan call themselves liberals but they are technically not. They are fiscal conservatives who support wars. There is more to liberalism than drinking alcohol and wearing western attire.Recommend

  • A Shahid

    You are simply trying to blow a couple of incidents way out of proportion. PTI is above the ideological mumbo jumbo and this self-serving divide among Pakistani nation along with others like ethnic, race, language, sect etc. Let me see…Zardari is a liberal and does not attend DP rallies.. Are you happy to have him serving as a President? What IK promises is way above and far more pivotal for Pakistani state than such theoretical and philosophical debate. He promises delivery of public services, governance and performance which no other liberal or conservative in the country can boast of. Therefore, I would refrain from spreading despondent propaganda among the masses. Recommend

  • Abid Malik

    Left or right, IK is still better than the other leaders who are not sincere with country. An airplane with a crooked pilot lands no where. And there is no point in trying those who are tested already and miserably failed.

    Liberalism or fundamentalism is not a big problem. Leftist or rightest shouldn’t be criterion. We need a leadership that is sincere to the country. We tried liberal Musharaf and fundamentalist MMA in KP. And every one knows results. They left country in mess. Recommend

  • shah

    now its fashionable to criticize imran khan … dude have ur 2 mins of fame… this article is as useless as watching 2 and half men with ashton kutcher on a monday night !!!Recommend

  • peterparkerarcher

    Worthless article. Overly used anti imran propganda material. The writer didnt have any bright ideas to write about and he thought ..hey tribune ia anti imran lets publish an article against him they will definitely lap it up. It is shockingly biased. The writer should definitely take some creativity courses.Recommend

  • haroon ali

    I think the debate of PTI being a right wing or a left wing is wrong in the first place. The real issue today is difference between Right and Wrong. Whether you are a leftist or a rightist, you are basically corrupt. PTI is therefore party of the ‘Right’, i.e honest people who believe in justice, equality and merit. And whoever believes in that, disregarding whether he is a leftist or a rightist, should join PTI. The writer of this article is trying to make an issue of a non issue. Recommend

  • Samson Simon Sharaf

    For the sake of argument, presuming you are correct, why not stay in and fight it out. Knowing you and Fraz Shafique were the only ones who persuaded me to join PTI, why not join hands and the battle rather than bad mouth a party that is still morphing. Though in the east, we talk of relationships, yet when a new entrant comes in any organisation, there always are ripples and infightings. So be positive and play your role in a party you joined more than a decade ago.Recommend

  • Loneliberal PK

    Let’s get this straight. Those who stay silent on drone attacks on terrorist hideouts are violent fascists, and those who support the Taliban “our brothers” are peaceful, insaaf-seekers?

    Is this the opposite day?Recommend

  • Ziaahmad

    Author just exposed himself when he quoted Imran Khan out of context about liberals been scum.

    and Imran was never considered Leftist. so plz come up with something logical based upon facts rather than assumptionsRecommend

  • wsd

    My advice to the author,” Grow up buddy”!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • b

    It seems most people are dumbfounded when the Political part of voting is cconcerned. Incapable of understanding Left from Centre and Right from Fundo. All the newbees springing in after attending IKs concert are suddenly baffled that there is a constitution attached to thatt Party – and with pathetic knowledge aboutt what Liberal or Conservative mean they’re suddenly going nuts.
    Guys, relax- educate yourselves and understand thaat the Change IK wants to bring will have to appeal to the Sensibilities of This Nation – not just to you virgin voters

    And This right here, right now under zardari, this is what a Liberal Democracy looks like, and I’m sorry to say, Pakistan is not refined enough to be a democracy.
    And too religious to wish it was Liberal.
    The current political strategy isn’t working. Hence the Change.Recommend

  • Loneliberal PK

    By the way, those who are applauding (a strong term to use, I believe) the drone attacks are not doing so because of the collateral damage, even though IK makes it appear that way.

    What they’re favouring is a direct, no-nonsense policy towards the terrorist scum – they’re rejoicing the end to Pakistan’s ridiculous game of hide-and-seek, endless and meaningless negotiations with unyielding terrorists, and two-faced tomfoolery.

    US has already tried depending on Pakistani forces to root out terrorism by training and funding the “boots on the ground”. How successful was that? Not at all, it’s safe to say, since they couldn’t find OBL hiding in their own backyard, let alone finding terrorists in remote territories near the borders.

    I can make my peace with ending drone attacks, if only I’m provided an alternative strategy that is not a proven failure.Recommend

  • anti religious terrorist & their supports

    Well and rightly said…
    if u see still babies crying ‘let elections comes’ ‘ lets elections ticket be decided’
    i want to see how imran khan give a ticket to a person who doesnot belong to SMQ family from his seat.
    It is all drama of ISI/establishment… sad thing is we all know it but we still want to be betrayed Recommend

  • Insider

    Imran’s comment has been taken completely out of context by the author and these generalizations to undermine IK are in-fashion these days. Imran clearly called those liberals scum who justify and support killings of innocent men, women and children through drone attacks. Recommend

  • http://NewYork Falcon

    No offense my friend. But if that is all you picked up in the last 3 and a half months about PTI’s goods and bads; hardly few points and those too blown out of proportion…then I would suggest to stay more plugged into politics…secondly about buyer’s remorse…people will feel so when they have a better alternative…as of now that is not the case…I am afraid you reflect more of what is going through your mind than the general public as such…at this point it is less about manifestos and political positioning…it is about delivering results…his indirect representation in DPC was more for political reasons to start engaging fringe groups pre-emptively than to just vent out…yes he has issues with US imperialist policy but not enough to engage in chest thumping. Furthermore, in case you noticed he seems to have a very friendly stance towards India…which is different from DPC’s core ideologyRecommend

  • Salman Ghumman

    Did you wage a protest when the US started aerial bombed Afghanistan to dust in 2001?
    Did you walk out against the illegal war on Iraq? The answer is No. The liberals in pakistan are indeed the scum when they belittle the dignity and self respect of an entire people and brand their armed struggle, albeit misguided, but proper to their historical character and zeal asa form of religious terrorism when its anything but political. Imran isn’t a fake liberal – he is amongst the very few true liberals the like of which include Tariq Ali, Edward Said , Noam Chomsky who seek an end to imperliasm and emergence of self respecting nations as the key to this planets survival.
    And please stop contriving terminologies for the sake of argument. Rightist, Centrist Leftist means nothing when the straits are as dire as in Pakistan. Recommend

  • faisal

    again the writer seems to confine liberalism in some following of ideas and beliefs. he is criticising IK of engaging with the alien kind , the writer doesnt like. being liberal is about accepting others as reality and not trying to corner them. many of so called liberals in pakistan are either sectarian or social class fascists in their own ways and i think the word scum used by IK doesnt look bad in that context especially for those who support bombings on innocent kids, women and old.Recommend

  • Syed Abdul Wahab Gilani

    He’ll surprise you with more U turns…Recommend

  • Dr. Afaq Ahmad Qureshi

    If we take the cross section of the society, the majority will be found in a spectrum stretched between the right and the center. If IK (and I am absolutely not in his favor) is trying to reach the majority of the voters, what is wrong with that. And to prove that he is right of PMLN and left of JI, much words were wasted. Recommend

  • Asad

    Yet another baseless ANTI-PTI articleRecommend

  • Yoda

    Though I consider Imran Khan’s policies to be of the naïve, pseudo-intellectual sort–I won’t go so far as to call him a right wing nut-job. He simply reflects, for better or for worse, the pulse of the middle class and as despicable as that conspiratorial, quasi-Wahabi mindset may be–it’s the will of the people: democracy. I for one, support that, regardless of my personal reservations against it. For the first time in Pakistan’s recent history (at the very least), a new force, without any political background or feudal backing is emerging and that’s laudable. I won’t vote for PTI, I support the War on Terror when it comes to Pakistan and do not see eye to eye with many of the closet fundamentalists who support Imran Khan, but I will stand at the back of the raging crowd and silently applaud the victory of democracy over the political establishment. It’ll take a while before we have a truer form of democracy that does not pander to sensationalism and cult-like politics, but one step at a time! Also, the NDTV clip was yellow journalism personified, Imran Khan was clearly talking about who he felt were liberals in name only. Liberal being a subjective term, many of his supporters are indeed liberals and do–ironically–share a lot in common with American liberals who are, as a matter of fact, against the War on Terror and drone attacks. Recommend

  • The Reader

    Author, if you are disappointed in Imran Khan please talk about yourself only and do not include the rest of his educated supporters like us who still see hope in IK.Recommend

  • faraz

    When Taliban were killing people in Malakand, Imran was telling everyone on TV that Taliban have brought justice and people love them. He opposed Swat operation although Taliban openly violated the agreement. Has Imran ever talked about the 1000 schools that were blown up by Taliban. Did PTI condemn the sectarian massacres by Taliban? Imran considers TTP as pushtoon nationalists although TTP has murdered hundreds of Maliks and thousands of pushtoons. He is silent over the policy of using jihadi groups to wage proxy wars. He is not a right wing bigot, but he is a confused man.Recommend

  • Navid A. Malik

    The article is a perfect example of misquoting to serve a predefined purpose. The people who support drone strikes which has resulted in so much “collateral damage” do deserve to be called scums.
    Imran has very correctly been opposing Pakistan army’s involvement in tribal areas which has resulted in so much instability in Pakistan and if it makes him a fundu in the eyes of the so called “liberals” of our country, then so be it.
    I think the silent majority of Pakistan has woken up from their self induced slumber and will surely vote to make a difference this time.Recommend


    Why these wanna-be leftists (whose own parties are nothing short of dictatorial mafiaz i.e ANP PPP MQM etc) jurnoz try to pull PTI legs on every petty issue ?

    What was PPP’s response on Salman Taseer murder? where its “liberal” slogan got burried then? what was Aafia card doing in MQM jalsaz?

    The fact is some self made liberals (like self made thekdarz of islam on other side) want to pull IK legs for every petty issue and this article was nothing short of that.Recommend

  • Souped up

    Wow! Another brilliant wave of flatulence from the writer.Recommend

  • whatta whatta

    ET!….even the middle-brow papers of the world tend to give the two sides of the picture—with what has been going on recently, one can safely conclude that your opinion pieces are only meant to malign Khan and his party—— When one sees such biased and only one-sided views coming onto your forums,one is forced to believe that PTI is being blatantly targeted—-which in the long run will only harm your reputation as being a newspaper reflective of all views…..

    Khan is seen by many Pakistanis as their leader and I just await the day when your policy will change, too, ‘when he comes into power’–

    Then, you will be playing him up I know since being against the status-quo is not what one sees in your articles—Recommend

  • Truth Teller

    What can you expect from a shallow & hypocrat person like IK? He will be a disaster for Pakistan. AAZ & NS are thousand times better than him.Recommend

  • Omair

    While I agree with some of the content in the article, I take very strong exception to false interpretation of the ‘scum’ interview by the writer. This is where the article loses its credibility and comes across as one of the many PTI / IK malign campaign articles in ET. Writer has concocted the facts to create a message that never was. Context is completely twisted and made it sound as a generic jibe at all ‘liberals’ in the country which was not the case. Very yellow indeed,Recommend

  • Bilal

    Excellent lets vote PPP back into power since PTI is a sham and PMLN is too right wingish for me… no that doesn’t sound right lets not vote then. But oh wait! I am a libral who believes in democracy and should vote, for I want the democratic system to work in my country… am I confused? HELP!

    My friends lets not get into analysis paralysis. Lets for once not wait for a perfect universe and vote for a change, it might not yield exactly the result you want, but how bad can it get? Recommend

  • Ali Wazir

    If you know any one from malakand. Please ask them what they think about the military operation now.I had ppl who swore at me when I pointed out the flogging video was a fake admit that the Army operation was a terrible idea. Huge land grabbing and timber smuggling operation is going on right now. The HR abuses were some of the worst in the entire WOT,and absolutely nothing to show for it. The entire Taliban leadership of swat made it to Afghanistan and are attacking Dir and Chitral in hundreds. The police and civil administration refuses to go back in the valley. The army may have to me stationed there indefinitely.
    Smashing success, surely IK has been proven wrong.
    Swat is a mess. Only reason you dont hear about it is they are slightly bigger messes right now. But there will be a round two soon.Recommend

  • http://[email protected] Sheraz

    Man o man. Do anything on pakistan but dont talk about imran. PTI followers jump in like bloodhounds. They are not good at taking critisizm. I must say Imran talks alot and when you talk alot you are bound to make mistakes. Lets face it imran would do and say anything he can to make pTi major league. Let it be taking help from establishment, mushraff drop outs or any xyz with zero integrity. I hope people following him have the heart to handle the change they will never seeRecommend

  • Babar

    Rubbish how you are misquoting Imran Khan. Didnt you notice how he said ‘these so called liberals’ and how he never addressed liberals directly. He was referring to the actual scum of pakistan who think of themselves as liberals when they actually arent, to add to that, the Indian channel is also quoting him wrongly. So wrong of you to misguide your readers.Recommend

  • Stark Contrast

    PTI is going to win next elections. My vote is for Imran KhanRecommend

  • saleem

    Anyone joining with the Disgrace Pakistan Council needs to have his head examined Recommend

  • Aviator

    Ok I see IK’s point in trying to bring Taliban and other groups into peaceful dialogue, but this has failed in the past. The Taliban have proved to be untrustworthy. Look at the peace accord in 2007, they used that as a springboard to launch a murderous campaign in the whole country. I am very much against the use of violent drone strikes and bombing, but sadly it seems violence was needed to control them.

    Maybe IK will be more successful in negotiating with the Taliban as a Pashtun.

    I just hope he knows what he’s doingRecommend

  • RAFE

    Baseless arguments followed by pathetic writing… writer were actually trying to enhance his writing skills …. and now after CJ .. Ik and PTI is the favourite topic of new so called writers to blame them for every thing even they don’t hold any office or something .. hats off to u for wasting your and us precious time !! IK forever !! Recommend

  • Abhi

    I am really surprised by PTI supporters response here.
    If people supporting drone attack are really scum then what would you call people supporting Talibans and Hafiz Saeed types?Recommend

  • Jehanzeb

    PTI is right of PML-N? So, you’re saying PML-N is more concerned about socio-economic reform and democratic rights than PTI? Recommend

  • ali

    What about Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Khursheed Qasuri who were foreign ministers when US was launching drones? Arent they the real scum? Recommend

  • kamran khan.

    PTI is going to win next elections. My vote is for Imran KhanRecommend

  • Salman Zafar

    Pathetic article….
    Poor analysis…. Recommend

  • Khan

    Imran never said that liberals are scum. He said that people who portray to be liberals while denying basic humanitarian rights are scum.

    Did this blog get a fact-check? Is this a joke?Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    But we are not talking about them, are we?Recommend

  • Riaz

    Such a biased article. That is all I can say about it.Recommend

  • karim

    This is the PMLN propeganda.Since PTI has become a political threat, it has started criticising imran khan and PTI.It is parhetic to note that PTI is not yet in power and it has been criticised.All the basic ideaoligy propegated by imran khan is still the party policy and once PTI come to power it will implement that policy.It is ironic that these writers do not say or write anything about the heavy corruption prevalent at centre and provincial governments.Loadshedding, bad law and order situation, joblessness and political nepotism has made life hell for the poor people while these writers are criticising khan who has done a lot for the country in his private capacity.Recommend

  • Rashid

    Once again ladies and gentlemen, PTI trolls completely took over the comments section! Recommend

  • Massi Musabtey

    /Let’s get this straight. Those who stay silent on drone attacks on terrorist hideouts are violent fascists, and those who support the Taliban “our brothers” are peaceful, insaaf-seekers?

    Is this the opposite day?/

    Would anyone tolerate drone attacks on criminals in the Bronx providing it also results in innocent bystanders being killed?

  • superduper

    I’d agree with you, but then we’d both be wrongRecommend

  • minime

    Dear writer,

    I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you wrote.Recommend

  • SAK

    PTI is all bad and PPP and PML (N) are all good. As one writer said It has become fashionable to criticise IK. Last 2 decades have been been the decades of these 2 parties and look where has the country reached!!
    Believe me Musharaf was here because of failure of these two so called saviours of Pakistan!!!Recommend

  • Abid

    ET has gone overboard in bashing PTI…..seems like they have an agenda. Atleast let the party come in power then criticize.Recommend

  • Nadeem

    Imran we are all the way with you. These articles have no bearing on us. Inshallah we’ll prove these pseudo intellectuals like Najam Sethi wrong. ChaoRecommend

  • Umer Rasheed

    Completely out of context references. PTI bashing is becoming a popular means to seek attention.Recommend

  • Bravo

    Good article, 80% agreed, yes PTI support is decreasing day by day, but main question is why ?? that’s really important. Musharraf people joining PTI?? Media is not doing the free shows for PTI and not showing interest in PTI ?? (Specially big channels)

    If we go back 12 months in the past there was no PTI, even IK was trying from last 15 years but from last year he and media started “change needed” slogan, in every talk shows they said PML-N and PPP are fighting from ages we need change.

    People like that slogan and so many joined PTI for this change what Mr. IK was talking about.

    But is there is any change? Same old people? same old way for fighting on talk shows after that from PTI spokes men !! Same old way of doing politics!! Same billionaires!!

    That’s the media power which makes him “The Survivor” , “The Change Maker”, “The Tsunami” bla bla, but actually media is the “King Maker” without their support Mr. IK is nothing and IK should check his decisions he took in last 2-3 months.

    He should kick off ex-APML/PML-Q people from his party etc. etc. Bring the actual change pick some people from middle class (like MQM) and bring the real change.Recommend

  • Umer Rasheed

    The above article is a part of a series of PTI bashing by our educated elite that thinks that being part of something which is highly ‘public’ these days makes them a common man and hence they aim to provide a detailed in-depth criticism in every domain from education to foreign policy etc just to alienate themselves as the elite minds. Feudalism much. Recommend

  • rizwan


  • Mustafa Moiz

    Imran Khan isn’t alienating his supporters. The so-called “liberals” have always been against him, and now you’re acting as though they were his greatest supporters since the beginning and he’s betraying them now.Recommend

  • Abhi

    we are talking about Imran aren’t we?Recommend

  • Freetobe

    What do you think we should do with all the fundos my dear writer? Should we kill them all? It would be a tad difficult considering the turnout on these rallies. If you say we have to change them through education then who do you think is going to do that? Mian or Zardari? Even for that you will have to turn to Imran Khan. So please…just like you advocate that gays,lesbians and all the other liberal ‘scum’ should be catered for in an ‘all inclusive’ utopian democracy then let the fundos be part of the political process too becuase you have no right to deny them their God-given right to speak out for what they believe in. But feel free to disagree with it as that is your God-given right.Recommend

  • FunnyGunny

    Too many opinions these days with too little substanceRecommend

  • Superman

    Sometimes i feel that all those who are worried about the fundo threat are merely worried about whether they will be able to enjoy their can of beer and puff on their hashish laced cigerette once a right wing government comes to power. Dont worry dear friends…people were able to do that even during Zia’s time.Recommend

  • Kami

    The writer has been kind but I’ll be blunt. PTI in assence is nothing but a political front for the terror outfits. Its just the burger version of JI which is caterring for the up market, the segment of the society where JI traditionally failed to make any inroads.Recommend

  • seriously?

    LOL….Even at the time you claim PTI brought hope, the Express Tribune was constantly publishing articles against Imran Khan. The fact of the matter is Imtan Khan and PTI was never a hope for the so called liberals like you before and will never be in the future. However, for the people who came to the 30th Oct jalsa, he is as much of a hope now as it was back then. And what people like us, who consider him as a hope do when they read articles like this in the past and are reading it in the present? We ignored it then and we ignore it now.Recommend

  • Bravo

    Super like, burger version, hahahaRecommend

  • faraz

    @Ali Wazir

    Blowing up of 600 schools, and barber shops, tailor shops were fake? Didn’t Taliban refuse to abide by the treaty? Didn’t state machinery collapse completely? You are right about human right abuses, and that’s regrettable. But what other options were available. Should we then handover entire Malakand to Taliban? Imran’s theory that they want quick justice through Nizam e Adl was proven false by Taliban. They want to take over the state.Recommend

  • Well Wisher

    Well to be honest. I will have to give one applause to Chairman Khan that he has really hypnotized all his followers who are now unable to differentiate anything logical or illogical. When Chairman khan talks about good governance that his party is capable of, all other parties have equal claims, so why should I forsee Imran as the honest person here , just because he never got a chance to sit on the pony to Islamabad … no way man,,, this is not the way I have chosen things in life… at least me …. there are too many flaws in the party now… Initially when they started, I thought they may really bring about a change which is very much needed in Pakistan. but slowly and gradually the party was hijacked or were invited by the same old hogs which the people have been facing for the past so many years. I mean how can PTI followers take Azam Khan Swati, Sardar Asif Ahmed, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Khursheed Ahmed Qusoori and few leaders from PML-N a possible change. If this party has a place for Khursheed Ahmed Qusoori than it should have a place for Musharraf too. Why the double standards. Khursheed Qusoori was Musharaffs right hand and part of every bin policy he had… and now he becomes a momin , for the reason Chairman Khan needs electables, PTI needs to grow. I agree with the guy in the article that PTI is just looking forward to power, no matter how it gets. They have become desperate. What about talking about the corruption in the Pakistan army. Is it there ? Has chairman khan ever spoken about it. When Mansoor Ijaz mentions the ISI chief flying to Saudi Arabia, does he question that. Now when Chairman Khan needs support from Balochistan, he calls up on Baloch leaders and the Baloch leaders give him the condition of talks only on the idea that the men in boots should be kicked out from the province. Can Chairman khan accomplish this. And lastly , I was watching a TV talk show in which Awab Alvi, son of Arif Alvi was sitting alongwith Faisal , the anchor on a talk show and he suggests working out a way with MQM was all about politics. Mr Chairman Khan, in his interview to express news says that for MQM, I have done a ‘well left’. This was the same Chairman Khan who had invested his 15 years scorning MQM, calling it terrorist and going to Scotland Yard as the first person with proofs to malalign Altaf Hussain and now he does a well left …. so what about the hundreds of people who died in Karachi violence and chairman khan supposedly pinned MQM for this…. for all the henious crimes committed by MQM (as chairman khan thinks), he does a well left…… come on guys, PTI followers wake up ….. but in the end , thinking well for PTI , I would want to see Chairman khan ride the car to islamabad and be part of the government. So that people can see themselves and will not have an opportunity to cry and lament that PTI never got a chance. I am a well wisher for Pakistan, looking for the right party to vote. Help me.Recommend

  • Umer Rasheed

    PTI never posed to be leftist party to start with. Though it has had suffered at the hands of the ultra-conservative parties like PML(N), JUI etc. it does not make it a leftist party. And now since Imran Khan is speaking against Afghan war he is being labelled as a rightist himself. PTI has always tried to pose itself as a centrist party. PTI being conservative is an illusion of the left liberals and it goes vice versa. Recommend

  • rex minor

    Imran Khan is on the right track, getting closer and closer to the pulse of the youth, the potential force of Pakistan. It is upto liberals to define their role in the country? It must be remembered that in western christian as well as in all muslim societies, the majority of the people are fundementaly conservatives, but committed to human freedom and socialy liberal philosophies. This is what the spring revolution in muslim countries is all about and conservative Islamic politicaly engaged parties are destined to lead the muslim world eventualy in the Islamic way, which is being developed gradualy in Turkey.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Seema Shaikh

    I agree with well wisher, wonderful comments. Recommend

  • Ali Wazir

    Buddy you are asking the wrong question. The question you must ask is more basic. How did the Taliban get into Swat.??
    Swat had the highest rate of education in KPK. Is not bordered by Tribal areas or Afghanistan. Is a settled district so ppl dont own weapons. Most of it is owned by Khans with large land holding and had a rapidly growing urban middle class.

    Look into TNSM. Then look up why Moulana Fazulluah Radio station were impossible to shut down . Then look up who actually were the Sawati Taliban. Swatis are notorious for being the most lax when it comes to religious matters among Pakhtuns. It was an ANP stronghold. From where did the Tlaiban all of a sudden cropped up.

    Then lookup what drove the initial popular support for the taliban. Then try to see how the Taliban copted the landless peasant class against the landholding Khans(Sawat is one of the few areas in KPK with an intact Feudal system in many areas)
    .Then ask why did the Military, Intelligence apparatus allowed a thousand or so taliban to stockpile weapons and dig bunkers and fortification for over an year.And then let them slip through their hands. Then look up the Bios of couple of the Taliban leaders.

    My own feeling in short is that it was Mush regime show that went wrong much like Lalmasjid. The media was expertly manipulated by the establishment. And the “Liberal scum” media and NGO demagouges played right into Mushes hands.

    There are couple of WIKILEAKS cables on the subject that may change your views of the popular security state narrative of what actually happened in Swat.

    Its not useful to get into emotionality and starting the discourse from a point that supports your narrative. “Taliban baddies and valiant faujies” narrative does not stand to scrutiny.Nothing ever is that Black and white.
    Nor is it particularly useful.

    The end results speak for them selves. Swat is destroyed, many are dead or unaccounted for. Extremism is now most definitely a deeply entrenched problem now. There is nothing to show for the destruction.Recommend

  • Saad Ullah

    I dont agree with the statement of the writer “But because most of them were late converts to PTI, they overlooked the basis of the party, which is center-right on the political horizon”

    I beleive majority of converts to PTI were those people who were fed up with the traditional corrupt and incompetent politicians, and wanted to see someone new and overthrow those corrupt people, and PTI seemd to be the best possible choice! All the PTI supporters just want the existing kind of politics to end!Recommend

  • mayna

    niiiiice try, ET!


    I personally know at least a 1000 people voting for IK. I bet PML-N and PPP have started paying people to write anti-IK and anti-PTI articles.

    But nobody kicks a dead dog you know ;)Recommend

  • bigsaf

    And then eventually Imran Khan recently asked what was wrong with going to a DPC rally or meeting.

    Taliban Khan’s inner beard showing. Hobnobbing in a regressive cesspool is just wrong and sick.

    The DPC rally is filled with ultra nationalist bigots and extremists. It’s an anti-India, anti-US obsessive hate fest which justifies violent militant aggression (twisting Islam for nationalist Jihadist radicalization of youth), anti-minority bigotry (bullying Ahmadis earlier), sectarian extremism (notorious anti-Shia serial murderer Malik Ishaq and banned Sunni supremacist organizations ASWJ/SSP), and international terrorism (Hafiz Saeed, offerer of Jannazah for Al Qaeda’s OBL and suspect behind Mumbai attacks).

    But IK needn’t worry. He was well represented by Ijaz Chaudry, PTI’s VP, besides establishment likes of JI Munawar Hasan (Taliban are our ‘brothers’), Ijaz-ul-Haq, Sheikh Rashid, Hamid Gul (Taliban Khilafat), etc. Recommend

  • Rukson

    Let’s be real here, Imran Khan’s party is based on his personality and personal charisma, of which there is admittedly no shortage. But the effectiveness of his party as a functional unit is yet to be seen and can only be speculated about. Blurting out promises is easy, following up is not.

    As far as ‘fundofication’ is concerned, there is enough support for the PTI from non-fundo, young educated types to significantly counter balance it. But that’s not the danger here, the danger is that Imran will not be able to deliver because he doesn’t have the nitty-gritty know-how of running a state.

    Found an interesting poem today at Lets just hope Imran oroves this pessimist wrong. Recommend

  • Daud

    lets get to the point, Imran khan.. Salman Taseer or Mumtaz Qadri…please dont give justifications..Recommend

  • Concerned

    Look Mr. Writer-of-this-article, PTI is not a centre-right Party, it is in essence, a centrist party only, beacuse it talks of a welfare state, which is being leftist, and it stresses its alliance with Islam, which is being rightist. So combining the two, PTI is centrist, which is definitely in agreement with my (and many others’) political oulookRecommend