Imran Khan hasn’t carried balls since he stopped playing cricket

Published: March 10, 2016
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Imran Khan wants advice on women protection from a group (CII) that believes there should be no minimum age for a girl to be married. PHOTO: MOBEEN ANSARI/DAWN.COM

(Author’s note: Blog and blog title refer to cricket balls only. Puns not intended).

Here we go. Another day, another Imran Khan statement reflecting a worryingly right-wing mind-set.

This much is clear: Like the countless who voted for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) in the last General Elections, I shall not be voting for a political party that is full of so much hot air it should be floating around the world, that holds a country hostage through street politics, that is both outsmarted and manipulated, that consistently panders to the single biggest threat in the history of this country: the religious preachers.

There is a reason why they called him Taliban Khan.

Imran Khan believes the nickname was a conspiracy started by a TV channel that actually helped make him a political star by giving him more air time than CNN has given MH370. Of course, both are mysteries; Malaysia is missing an airplane while Khan Sahab is missing… well, never mind.

So, what’s the latest?

Well, Imran Khan informed women at Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University that he refuses to introduce the domestic violence bill in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly unless it is approved by Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology (CII),

“The CII will review the draft and suggest whether it complies with the Holy Quran and Sunnah.”

Just to be clear, Imran Khan wants advice on women protection from a group that believes there should be no minimum age for a girl to be married. This same group previously ruled that girls as young as nine-years-old were ready. Later, it endorsed the ruling by saying a girl could be married at any age and was ready for rukhsati, “if the signs of puberty are visible”.

And we all know what happens after rukhsati.

Only recently, a 13-year-old died of internal injuries after having her rukhsati arranged by her family to a man twice her age, who clearly thought ‘signs of puberty are visible.’

The CII also doesn’t think a man needs written permission from his wife before he sets off for a second marriage.

The CII also says DNA evidence can’t function as primary proof in a rape case. Yes, obviously, rapists commit their heinous acts only when in front of four witnesses.

Just to reiterate, Imran Khan seeks advice from on a bill to protect women from abuse from this very council.

The Human Rights Watch in 2009 estimated that between 70 to 90 per cent of Pakistani women suffered some form of abuse. Meanwhile, the Aurat Foundation says that over a 1000 women are murdered in the name of honour every year in Pakistan. And according to Dawn, in Punjab alone, in 2013, 427 women were driven to suicide, 706 gang raped/raped, 1569 kidnapped and 774 murdered.

Undoubtedly, Pakistani women are being victimised at alarming levels.

Let’s also keep in mind that the CII is merely an advisory council. The power they carry hinders on the respect they are afforded. While the Protection of Women Against Violence Bill 2015 was passed by the Punjab Assembly, Imran Khan is still waiting for Uncle CII’s permission before giving women more legal defences in K-P.

CII tried to hit the Punjab Assembly with a bouncer by calling the bill “un-Islamic” but Nawaz Sharif hooked the ball out of the park, cracking it with a piece of willow we did not know he wielded. Meanwhile, Imran Khan has given his balls to the CII; just like he handed them over to Jamaat-e-Islami, when he stood by as they, his political allies, gave speech after speech in favour of murderer Mumtaz Qadri; just like he gave them to the Taliban as he gave statement after statement in their favour, even stooping so low as to appealing for a Taliban embassy hours after a church had been bombed, the hundreds of disfigured bodies still not cold, the tears of the families still running, their hearts still heavy;  just like he gave them to the fundamentalists when he paraded American citizen Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s picture around, creating a dangerous narrative in order to win votes; just like he gave them to the PTI government in K-P when they banned Malala Yousafzai’s book.

In all honesty, it is surprising Imran Khan has any balls left to give. Imran Khan has no balls.

This would explain why after appealing for talks with the Taliban, Imran Khan backed off when they requested his presence at the negotiating table.

No, Imran Khan has no balls. He would rather stay in the commentary box.

Meanwhile, regardless of whether he deserves full credit, under Nawaz Sharif’s government, Pakistan executed a killer hailed by thousands of extremists, passed a historic women protection bill, launched a military operation that finally curtailed the country’s terrorist problem (thank you Raheel Sharif) and even made sure we stopped using proxies to access YouTube.

But what if Imran Khan had become prime minister?

Would Pakistan have started Zarb-e-azb or would the government still be negotiating with the Taliban in order to find the ‘good Taliban’? How many more innocent lives would have been lost during the extended period of indecision?

How many embassies would Taliban have in Pakistan today?

Would Pakistan have punished Mumtaz Qadri for taking the law into his own hands?

Given Imran Khan’s kachay kaan, how disastrous would his international policies have been?

Would he have come home beaming after a meeting with India, having proudly negotiated control of Kashmir in exchange for the rest of Pakistan?

Would any province in Pakistan have passed a bill to protect women?

I shudder to think what Naya Pakistan would have looked like.

Do you think Imran Khan should consult with the CII before passing the domestic violence bill in K-P?

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Noman Ansari

Noman Ansari

The author is the editor-in-chief of IGN Pakistan, and has been reviewing films and writing opinion pieces for The Express Tribune as well as Dawn for five years. He tweets as @Pugnate (twitter.com/Pugnate)

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