Imran Khan is and always will be the common man’s saviour and Pakistan’s happily ever after

Published: May 27, 2017
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A worker installs a banner showing a portrait of Pakistani politician Imran Khan on a busy street in Lahore on October 27, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

As a nation, we Pakistanis are a romantic people. From our folklore to our cultural beliefs; from our personal relationships to our politics, we love a sentimental tale of love, strife and bravery. It is only fitting then, that our choice of leaders should follow suit. The love affair of the Bhuttos is example enough – from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s fiery charisma, to his daughter’s legend, we have proven an unwavering support of the lone warrior fighting for the greater good.

As one light fades, another begins to flicker – Imran Khan charges into the arena, ready to slay all wrong-doers and battling for the greater good. Or so it seems. With the well-deserved skepticism borne of decades of disappointment, we wonder if this is the real deal.

Imran is a charismatic man; one who won us the World Cup, who we’ve grown up seeing on TV, who gave us the world-renowned Shaukat Khanum hospital, and is making considerably impressive ripples in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (K-P) and seems to be honorable. Albeit, he has terrible luck with women but nobody’s perfect.

Is it too good to be true?

While it is unarguable that the performance of K-P’s police has been commendable, healthcare has improved and educational reforms are fantastic (the ZamangKor initiative is something I came across on Twitter and it is extraordinary), there are those that believe that Imran’s political idealism will be his ultimate hindrance in forming government. There were those, also, who believed him to be an extremist apologist, but he mitigated that notion with his sensitive and unequivocal handling of Mashal Khan’s brutal murder.

Personally, I reserve judgment. Stranger things and stranger people have led our country. What I do believe, however, is that Imran has done an incredible service to Pakistan by simply being the opposition. What should have been a democratic right appears to be a service because we have for so long been infested by swarms of locusts only wanting to pass on the bounty. Unfortunately, the bounty happens to be us; our assets, our sweat and our tears.

For me, whether he becomes prime minister is immaterial because power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It may prove he is like all the others he condemns, or he may not. But by making the political establishment accountable, and seeming to allow no compromise on core issues, and making no back deal allies, he has done what no leader has in a long time – he has made his voice resonate through the country.

All is not ideal though, there seems to be disorganisation within the party ranks. There is a reputation for stubbornness and a tendency to only listen to the sound of his own voice. Sometimes, the speechmaking is over-much and repetitive, and he tends to trip on his own words. But regardless of whether the oratory makes sense to you, there are masses who come; who stand in the heat and wait for him to speak. While that is not necessarily a measure of political strength, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) machinery does not yet appear to be well-oiled enough like the other parties as to amass staged supporters instantaneously.

So he comes, the common man, to hear Imran speak. Somehow, it makes sense to him; whether he is Sindhi or Pakhtun, immigrant or son of the soil, the language he speaks, this man hears.

In the anti-climax of the Panama scandal, Imran has savvily, for a change, vitalised public support by a fierce momentum of jalsas. Remarkably successful, he seems to finally be giving his attention to areas like Sindh, which were previously overlooked. He has shown incredible perseverance and doggedness in the face of constant repudiation.

At the risk of sounding severely naive, he has inspired the magic dust of hope in many anxious hearts, perhaps mine included. After eons, here comes someone who doesn’t seem to ask for much, but promises everything. By standing up and pointing fingers, naming and shaming, he stands up to all the bullies no one ever fought simultaneously. Physically able, internationally educated, he cuts an impressive figure to commandeer the youth.

Pakistan has seen her fair share of experienced and weathered politicians; she has been raped by democratic leaders, pillaged by dictators and corrupted by religious clerics. It will not be unreasonable, perhaps, for our motherland to give this quixotic suitor a chance. After the Dark Ages, it is only fair that Pakistanis get their happy ending; whether Imran is our happily ever after remains to be seen, but what has become exceedingly clear is that he is all that is protecting us from the dark forces of corruption.

Suroor Siddiqi

Suroor Siddiqi

Dedicated humanist, mother and wife. Graduate in design, compulsive reader and interested in anything for the well-being of Pakistan. She tweets @SuroorSiddiqi (twitter.com/SuroorSiddiqi)

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

  • Sheraz Khalid

    “Pakistan has seen her fair share of experienced and weathered politicians; she has been raped by democratic leaders, pillaged by dictators and corrupted by religious clerics. It will not be unreasonable, perhaps, for our motherland to give this quixotic suitor a chance. After the Dark Ages, it is only fair that Pakistanis get their happy ending; whether Imran is our happily ever after remains to be seen, but what has become exceedingly clear is that he is all that is protecting us from the dark forces of corruption.”
    Im in tears, lady!!Recommend

  • Miraz Khan

    I am form India ,He is not only the HOPE of Pakistan but also the Ummaha and the entire world.I am great admirer of him and to me he is the “Imam” of Musilm ummaha.
    Pakistan is needed to make way for him and stand upto him …he may not come down to you.Recommend

  • Amir Sultan

    Excellent article. For all those tired of the usual contrarian drivel against the only leader without a penny of corruption. To all those who say he is incapable (or what have you) just ask them who they will be voting for this election, you’d be surprised at the ridiculous reasons people come up with for voting for this lot.Recommend

  • Maroof khan kpk

    well written, IMRAN is seems a good man and living in the heart of many but he has some weakness and manner issues that he need to change if he want to be successful leader, one his tantrum on the stage to the people standing in the surrounding with him where he should not be too harsh,

    another he need to carefully choose truly genuine sincere people in his party to stand for elections on the party ticket instead of bringing well known corrupts other parties former members of parliament and ministers into his party, and he should have sympathy toward those common people who love him and sometime they are just crazy about him and believe in his ability that he will change pakistan,

    I am Living abroad since long, i saw one video on youtube where the spectators waiting on a building first floor if not mistaken in Quetta baluchistan to take a glimpse of imran, with a lot crowd at the same place one of the poor men in the crowded pathway fall to the ground, luckily the survive the fall but imran did not even stop to see what happen to the poor guy, he just walked off very arrogantly,

    another video i see he behave so immodestly and arrogantly with much egoistic manner pushed a woman hand that approach him try to touch his hand to gain his attention while he is busy interacting with the media persons standing on the stage, he can have just told her nicely to wait and than listen to her complain even if that women was seems to have no important point or even she was desperate to solve her own useless issues,and her own problems. he should have some courtesy and sense of humor beside showing himself as a messiah for pakistan,Recommend

  • http://nazarbaaz.blogspot.com/ 2#

    ho ho ho… so much heat in the article. OK so that means you like him as a leader right? fine I also do but the problem is, … even the herd of sheeps has a leader and that does not mean they can fight with lions. By lions I mean the real Lions, not that I I support PMLN, No no I dont support them but you have to be fair about following points.
    1: Shehbaz shareef had chance in Punjab so look what he Did:
    Danish schools, laptops distribution, metro and not orange line, Quaid e Azam solar park, Pakistan’s largest right? free chinese classes in Punjab. Still you are not happy and would say Imran is the only hope?
    2: Likewise Imran got chance in KPK but look what he did: Change in police uniform and a few more things you mentioned above are not of much importance since they are not creating a future for country or making an example that another province will copy. Well Imran copied metro example and now they are making some transportation system in kpk I dont know whats the name though.
    Also, to become the PM of Pakistan, he has to come out of the vaccuum he has around him which is a major hurdle that foreign diplomats do not meet him frequentry and also he does not have a political influence even in country, jut forget about International influence.
    A politician needs strong grounds in their land, international influence, foreign policy, business mind and also the marketing skills which are lacking altogether in our KHAN. Actually I like him but sorry he is not the person Pakistan is looking for as a PM. Reply back to me if you fairly think I was neutral.
    Infact Mr. Zardari is the best politician of Pakistan in my opinion and to understand Pakistani politics, we need to arrange a PHD studies about Mr. Zardari.Recommend

  • Barney Trg

    40 ppl apparently have died in abbotbad…naya kpk……Recommend

  • Ali

    Fantastic read. IK truly is our only hope. But our country really doesnt deserve him.Recommend

  • Ahmar

    Someone’s a fan, obviously. Oh how Immi tickles the strings of my anxious heart with his magic dust of hope. Here comes my savior….after eons of raping by the politicians, dictators and religious clerics. Oh what a knight in shining armor has come, to save the damsel that is Pakistan…

    I need to go and vomit the iftari out now.

    Recommend

  • Rasheed

    Inspired the magic dust of hope? Protecting us from the Dark Forces? For all it’s worth, you make Imran sound like a dropout wizard from Hogwarts. Might as well call him Darth Vader too. The man is no legend. Chances of him saving Pakistan are as close as Nawaz Sharif sporting an all-out beard.
    Mind you, reading this is quite tiring if one’s fasting. At least have “some” substance.Recommend

  • Hasan

    None of anybody’s business until one take’s the mantle of leadership; and leadership is an ethical position of decision making. In that context, I would like “the only hope of Pakistan” to own up to his child whose mother has been seeking justice for last 20 years. If that is done i’m behind a human being who owns up to his/her mistakes, seeks forgiveness and then carries on.Recommend