In reality Mr Khan, no you Khan’t

Published: September 26, 2014


There was once a man who didn’t believe in empty rhetoric but followed through with his promises. He won Pakistan the World Cup, made Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust and established a university in Mianwali. The youth idealised him, the elderly praised him, and the people adored him.

And while he showed that change is achieved by the tangible, he never followed through with that in his politics. I wish he had.

He was selling a dream that many Pakistanis yearned for. A Pakistan free of corruption and nepotism, where the common man would have equal opportunities, where he would have freedom of movement, where the law enforcement agencies would protect citizens against those who try to snatch this freedom from them. So when Mr Khan was given the mandate of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), everyone hoped that he would turn it into a model of governance, a model for others to follow.

Unfortunately that never happened.

Imran came and defended the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP); he called them ‘our people’ who must be negotiated with. In fact, he was also a signatory to a document that claimed that the Taliban were legitimate stakeholders in Pakistan. He demanded that an office be made for their representation, he was the first that came to their defence after every attack they perpetrated and claimed responsibility for. He still insisted that it was not the Taliban but some other group who wanted to derail the peace talks with them. As for the peace talks, they were a non-starter. The Taliban never paid heed to Mr Khan’s call for peace talks. They never wanted peace.

And so the empty rhetoric ensued. Imran promised that there would be no nepotism in his Naya Pakistan. That it would be a model of competence. Yet he never explained how Mr Parvez Khattak’s relatives were granted reserved seats to become members of the National Assembly. He never explained how he gave a ticket to Gul Badshah, a person who had 22 cases registered against him. He never explained why Khattak could not bother to wake up in the morning for the flag raising ceremony on August 14 last year.

He could not explain why his people never bothered to show up to condole the citizens who lost their lives in terrorist attacks in his province. He never even bothered to condemn the terrorists. He never took action against his own minister who didn’t take responsibility for the DI Khan jail break but was quick to castigate the police. Such was the extent of ambiguity that people like Asad Umar had to come forward and explain that Imran’s demand for the Taliban’s office was his own wish and that it did not represent the views of the party.

Without providing us with solutions, Imran wishes to be the prime minister of this country.

Mr Khan, can you please shed some light on how you will bring about this change that you have failed to bring about in K-P? On June 29, 2013, Mr Khattak vowed to follow in Shahbaz Sharif’s footsteps to make Peshawar a model city, and then you claim that the incumbent government is incompetent.

This article is not in defence of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) or any other party but a reality check for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who has claimed to be the flag bearers of change but have done little to prove that claim.

Mr Khan, those that criticise you and your party are not traitors but rather just as much citizens of Pakistan. We have a right to question your efficacy in government, we have a right to demand that you condemn the Taliban and we have a right to demand that you fulfil all those promises that were part of your election manifesto. The people of Pakistan demand an accountability of all the leaders who have not followed through with promises made before the elections – and that unfortunately includes you.

Lastly, can you please explain to us what your party achieved staying on the constitution avenue right when the Chinese premier was to visit Pakistan to sign accords worth $32 billion? Could the march not have been shifted to an alternate venue to give clear passage to the Chinese premier to visit Pakistan and sign these accords?

You could have come back after the visit was over but you chose to ignore important bilateral relations over your own ego. Instead the Chinese head of state visited India, who embraced the opportunity with open arms and now threatens to lead Pakistan into international isolation. To top it off, your chief minister also refused to visit China for investment projects, just to stay in the Azadi march.

Where are your priorities, Mr Khan and what are they? If you think that you can run this country on merely rhetoric then here is a reality check for you – no, you Khan’t.

Ali Rizvi

Ali Rizvi

A producer for current affairs of a private television channel and freelance journalist. He tweets @rizvinator (

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

  • zainsheikh88

    ”This article is not in defence of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)
    or any other party but a reality check for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
    (PTI), who has claimed to be the flag bearers of change but have done
    little to prove that claim.”

    This is gold, Comrade.

    I think PTI supporters really need to learn that anti-PTI does not mean pro-(Insert-ruling-party-here).

    It just means that we don’t like your agenda.Recommend

  • Unknown

    Nonsense Article. Like all the problems in the country are because of IK. Chinese invesntment didnt go anywhere. What happened to the billions the chinese have invested in the past 7 years? Where did it go? If this system doesnt change, the same thing will happen again, and again. You need to realize that this system cannot continue to function like this. It has to change, or the country will forever remain hostage to the ruling class. Right now I don’t see any ANYONE Else speaking against this class so I will support IK until he fails and someone else shows up.Recommend

  • sooratgar

    There was never a contract of any sort to be signed by the Chinese premier. Please get your facts right before posting stuff randomlyRecommend

  • Parvez

    Lets for a moment agree with what you are saying……but when you wish to compare something you have to compare it with something else. So to be fair compare this performance with the PPP-Z’s or better still with the PML-N’s and you will come to the conclusion that its bad being compared to atrocious.Recommend

  • S Hashmi

    Yawn…. another IK bashing article, as usual without substance.Recommend

  • mohammad

    Very well written piece. Unfortunatly the PTI internet brigade will arrive shortly and chastigate you for speaking logic and sense mr rizvi but don’t pay heed to them. They are like blind sheep who can’t accept the fact that their leader is no different than the other politicians in this country.Recommend

  • PTI Workers Uniter

    Mr. Rizvi, Well formed arguments. You did not do the trendy thing and mention script writers Imran now uses, or mention the fact that he used to say Shaikh Rasheed was not good enough to be his sweeper. You did not mention his affair with Sita White that could get him lashed under the Hudood ordnance or where he is getting the money for these Dharnas with hundreds of thousands of people. You did not ask where his assets are (Goldsmith Bank London I am told not in a Swiss account) and you did not ask about Javed Hashmi’s expose. You just point out the facts on his track record which speak for themselves.Recommend

  • Humza

    Well said. I don’t think anyone takes PTI or Imran Khan seriously apart from a small group of pseudo intellectuals who want to use Egypt,Syria, Iraq, Libya and Tunisia and role models. The U turns, hypocrisy and anti state behavior of Imran Khan just reveal him to be a sore loser who will stop at nothing to assuage his big ego! He can’t see he is destabilizing Pakistan and preventing its development because he doesn’t respect the votes of the majority of Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Haya

    Finally stated what every objective Pakistani wants to ask, without being questioned about their “Pakistaniat”Recommend

  • jamhooriat

    well said.. youthias must understand that not everybody who speaks against kaptaan is a noora supporter. these are very real concernsRecommend

  • Use your brain

    @Ali Rizvi: Don’t you get it the System needs to be changed since it has many flaws. Can’t you see what’s the situation of the country right now? What’s the point if you bring the investment from all over the world if corruption still exist? Public will still die because they didn’t get basic needs eg. food clothing etc. Nothing will change until you rectify the system. Khan saying to your kind of mindset a traitor is correct since you people just see a small picture and support the system which is corrupt. You need to get to the root cause and eliminate them. You need to get the basic pillars at the right place first, only then there is hope for the betterment of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Irtza Shahan

    dude please first of all put aside your criticism to the mgmt skills of IK…. His argument is based on election rigging….. How can we support parties those have come in power through fake mandate and how much they have improved the governance? where is the local body system? where is the improvement in power distribution? where are the jobs? where is the improvement in the infrastructure of schools and hospitals? all we hear is about metro bus? where is the implementation on widening the tax net? how cannot we support IK against those inefficient selfish politicians?Recommend

  • Talha

    Dear Author, I really get the point of your heading but kindly change it because it does not sound what you are implying to and what it sounds is pretty dirty. Thank you!Recommend

  • Ahmad Bilal

    Imran may not the best but he is better option.
    Right to information act
    Conflict of interest
    300 dams project
    Same education for everyone
    Tameer-e-school project
    Depoliticizing police
    Online FIR
    These are the steps which are admirable.
    They took in 216 % more tax revenue than previous governments.
    The crime rate is 20% less.
    In current scenario Imran is only one who can.Recommend

  • Democratic Dictator

    Finally !!! Great read !!! Recommend

  • Ahmad Bilal

    Things will become better gradually as a whole in country. There are some negativities in pti as well but inspite of that they will be better than regimes of shareefs and zardari.
    Accountibilty favors people of pakistan directly so in that sense his cause is right.Recommend

  • meharoon

    I have seen the changes he is making in KP.
    Patwari System is streamlined
    Health treatment is almost free at hospitals
    Police department is brought online check it yourself
    Educational budget allocated currently is more than all other provinces even more than Punjab
    They are distributing laptops to gather votes in KP my cousin got it for providing the excellent results.
    These are the changes which would benefit the common man.
    A patwari who would ask for a bribe openly is worried and fears to ask.

  • Sarah B. Haider

    A well-articulated piece. However, have you forgotten that you raised your voice against the opinions of the most parhay likha, most honest, most patriotic and the most intelligent lot of the country? The lot that thinks that anyone having an opposing viewpoint is downright jahil and corrupted and deserve nothing but their galliyan?Recommend

  • Ali Khan

    Maybe author can write a next piece on how electing same two parties over and over will yield different results? Pakistan is already in cusp of failed state status, while the head of two status quo parties are billionaires. not defending anyone just pointing out the elephant in the room.Recommend

  • freed

    is it possible to have democracy with rigged election? If not, why are not all parties supporting democracy and punish those who were involved in election rigging? Recommend

  • concerned


  • concerned

    true that!Recommend

  • Sara

    Just one request to the author…. Read his book to get a clear picture on.why be supports negotiations with TTP!

  • Ad

    What a piece of crap. Tell me, have you ever been to KPK? Yeah not that many, but I have witnessed the changes myself. And once again, what a piece of crap. So according to the author it went something like this: “China: Hey Dude, I just decided to come to your country and sign a $32 billion deal. But wait! I will do it only if you let me land in ISB, and give me a safe passage. No fucking way, not in Lahore, idiots! I said ISB. Ok, so ISB is not possible, I am fucking going to India and sign a deal with them then. India is my new best friend from now on”…. Yeah… countries make their decisions like… good luck with that!Recommend

  • Saira

    Makes sense to me, the dirt may just be in your mind. Recommend

  • Signs

    Baseless article!! Furthermore, it isnt about what IK has done and can do. The question now is the legitimacy of the ruling govt. Not a supporter of PTI but as far as my knowledge serves me, our nation has not come across many leaders who talk actual sense. IK should be awarded for his services in terms of educating this dead nation. In the coming election PTI you have my vote.Recommend

  • Maria

    I think we all know that a number of projects were supposed to be signed and given the go ahead. That’s what happens on state visits. Imran Khan thinks that by delaying projects supported by the Chinese and economic growth in the country he can win the next elections. This is very short sighted and shows his lack of concern for the country. Things were improving before his protests because even Moodys of America upgraded Pakistan’s economic ranking. PTI is a dictatorial party where they expect everyone to support them at all costs. They do not believe the rest of us have a right to an opinion and this makes the PTI very dangerous. PS My relatives in KPK say that governance there hasn’t improved an iota but things are worse since PTI came.Recommend

  • AAQ

    as far as i have researched,tax rate has been 216% in kpk -highest ever,police corruption rate has gone down conseiderably,and polio has been tackled quite suuccesfully,free health services are alos being provided in govt hospitals,and same education system is being introduced,also,PTI had always supported the idea of negotiations,way before the eelections they had declareed it so it was no u turn when imran openly supported the negotiation process.Also,unlike JI pti said that it wud fuilly support the army in zarbeazb depsite their strong support for the negotaion processsRecommend

  • Ali Rizvi

    So anything that goes against Mr Khan implies that I don’t get his politics. You know this tabdeeli that Khan and you guys keep talking about, its funny, because those who don’t really see it are You guys talk about democracy? Please learn to take criticism. For those of you claiming education budget is highest, well sorry to disappoint you the education budget for KP in 2013 was Rs4 b excluding the salaries of teachers and staff, while Punjab education budget in the same year was 44.3 billion. PTI increased education budget by Rs1 billion while PML-N increased education budget by 4.3 billion. Please don’t argue on lies, just for the sake of arguing.
    Also, kinda ironic when PTI gives laptops that’s not for votes but PML-N giving laptops is for votes. And when Taliban would blow up the people of KPK in smithereens Mr Khan would come and claim it wasn’t them. Please lets be honest with ourselves. PTI hasn’t delivered on their election manifesto.Recommend

  • And I heard KPK sent a mission to Mars as well. Good going.Recommend

  • Nawaz Sharif’s list of random disjointed ideas/initiatives like this would be way longer. Shahbaz Sharif’s would probably be tens of pages. What’s the point of lists like this?Recommend


    go and search for it, its all there.Recommend

  • Amima

    Same education for everyone??? When did that happen? So you are telling me there is NO private school functioning in KPK??? Within government school, it is not the same bhai! Schools with Save the Children and USAID intervention LOOK completely different, teachers get stipend TOO. Last I checked (which is two weeks back), KP (after AJK) has the highest number of RURAL and URBAN private schools operating. Go to Chitral OR even Abbottabad, see the type of schools and type of education imparted over there and then come back and write ill-informed comments like that. Seriously!

    Right to Information Act was researched and developed way before 2013 so dont include that in the list of achievement. Higher education budget through donor interventions like DfiD and GIZ – ah they are included in foriegn aid that IK keeps spewing venom against. Also they HAVE dictated the direction of education sector plan. ALREADY. The Tameer-e-school project is part of the mandatory Annual Development Programme, all provinces have them so dont glorify that either!Recommend

  • freddie

    the problem is pml-n, ppp and any other political party cant find any solid corruption evidence against this guy that is the reason they pick things like he has a dog named sheru, he lives in the bunny gala, his kids live in the uk, and the list of immature allegations go on… to date this guy hasnt taken anything from the people of pakistan, he has only given them… a hospital, a college, and a bit of hope which we all had lost…Recommend

  • MZM

    Metro bus, which was nothing less than a curse according to them, is being launched in Peshawar.Recommend

  • An

    Thanks Ali Rizvi! I agree with every bit of your articleRecommend

  • hayat

    first of all it is perhaps the most unsubstantial piece from the anti PTI brigade. The KPK online FIR registration system is an exemplary service to the nation. Secondly the KPK govt has concentrated on a priority basis to reform the patwar system which has been acknowledged by Fareeha Idrees on Waqt news. Next, owing to the police reforms and improvement in the service, terror attacks have been significantly reduced. Furthermore a high security prison is almost complete and high value prisoners will be shifted soon. Now coming on health. This is from tribune’s report “for the first time in the history of Pakistan, polio has not been discovered in sewage water samples taken from Peshawar”. I need not say further. On legislative issues after sindh assembly the KPK assembly has been selected as the best with the 2nd largest number of legislations. While the quality of these legislations is far higher including RTI, RTS and conflict of interest laws. And for China. Even a not very keen observer of political and economic issues realize what Chinese private sector corporations are doing in Pakistan. Thanks to our govt the cost per unit from the nandipur power project can reach as high as 41/unit if produced with diesel which is highly likely. if behaving like an ostrich (by putting ur head in the ground) suits u thn do it but dnt misguide the Pakistani public


  • Rashid

    same education means same Syllabus!!
    do some research before criticizing!Recommend

  • Rashid

    You sound like Marvi Memon. or from her team!Recommend

  • Zaka Zafar

    Owned :DRecommend

  • Zaka Zafar

    WOW! people like you are really sleeping. Go to sleep again dear. May be Kaptaan will come in your dream with Naya Pakistan.Recommend

  • Rameez Zafar

    Most of the minorities n shi’ites are against IK now for his pro-taliban policy! And you are spitting venom against IK is also due to the very same reason.Recommend

  • Rameez Zafar

    These lists were created in more than 20 years of govt by these ‘Bros’ who did nothing to improve the state of govt. hospitals and school. PTI government have shown their resolve and have taken stern measure to improve the health and education facilities. So keep comparing the performance of 2 years with 20 years and enjoy the Dynasitc Politics.Recommend

  • Rameez Zafar

    So 1.5 years is an enough time frame to judge the performance of a govt . KUDOS :)Recommend

  • guest

    . Why cant he grow up and stop being this childish. Where is the sportsmanship in this guy? Admit the defeat for goodness sake and go home.
    I regret deeply supporting IK in elections, bit sad that I have a hand in making this egoistic guy what he has become.Recommend

  • guest

    300 dams project!! can you at least show me 1 dam?

    By your logic, this should solve all the electricity issues for KP. I see none of that happening. If this is another ‘khawab’ of IK, then I can show you 1000 more khawabs Nawaz and every other party claims to have! Please stop this rhetoric and actually show real work.Recommend

  • Barney Trg

    lol…yeah……health treatment is not free …..pti promised free scans before the elections and couldnt even deliver that to the ppl of kpk….i have video proof of it too…the rest of ur achievements are little more than topi drama of change and no real change in kpk….Recommend

  • Barney Trg

    u should correct their 5th grade maths first and see that pml has only been in federal power for 6 yrs out of pakistan 66 yrs …..while some of the photo ads of schools in kpk were actually photos of schools taken from punjab….Recommend

  • Barney Trg

    yep teh dancing for no reason at the useless dharna with zero proof has a lot more substance for u Recommend

  • Barney Trg

    Translation:……….. dude pls…i am clueless pakistani who just woke u this yr and knows every thing about politics becuase i heard imran khan’s speeches……now i will pointlessly proceed to talk about infratructure while having no knowledge as who has been developing this in pakistan in the past history…..I am such a BIG from PTI that the same election i and my leader call rigged….PTi claims second biggest majority from that same elections….. clueless…

  • Savera Ahmad

    Kid…honestly! Please grow up. This blog post shows any can write and get published these days. Recommend

  • Atique Siddiqi

    Metro bus in both pindi and lhr cost upwards of PKR2B per kilometer. The metro project in PSH includes a highway as well as a bus service. Is it a jangle bus service as well. even if it is, the cost on the whole project at the moment is 15B with a length of 26km, a per KM cost of less than a billion that includes a highway as well as bus lanes or something like that. The process at the moment is transparent. The main issue with the metro services in rwp/isl and lhr is the exaggerated cost! I mean PKR2B+ per kilometer. Thats almost the per km cost of the delhi “metro” and not jangle bus service. think before you speak! There are different ways of doing the same thing!Recommend

  • Atique Siddiqi

    so if the other team cheats and no investigation is done, in “sportsmanship” you should shut-up and go home! hahaa
    or someone robbed your house, you went to the police, nothing happened for 18 months… so should just shut-up and go home
    there are a lot of other examples as well…. what a load of crap!Recommend

  • John Falstaff

    What about the 3 million he took from the OSPs and was upset when his workers asked about it?Recommend

  • Pakistani

    Don’t try to discriminate things like this, what Taliban gave you, a basket full of fruits or bomb…?Recommend