Sadiq and ameen, Imran Khan is the cleanest politician in Pakistan and an evident choice for the 2018 election

Published: January 7, 2018
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Imran Khan still comes on top if one considers the principle of the lesser evil. PHOTO: PPI

In the wake of the Supreme Court (SC) verdict, which disqualified Jahangir Tareen, Imran Khan has been accused of hypocrisy by his critics who continue to defy logic by drawing similarities between his behaviour and Nawaz Sharif’s rhetoric of, “mujhe kyun nikala?” (why was I disqualified?)

After his disqualification, Nawaz started a campaign bent on maligning the judiciary and pitting the public against it, arguing that since the public had elected him, only they had a right to hold him accountable. This is, undoubtedly, a faulty argument, because if the public began meting out justice, Nawaz and his partners in crime would probably not be lucky enough to get a trial. Courts exist for a purpose, and not accepting their verdict means he wants a stay-out-of-jail free card, so he can continue to loot the country and hang it out to dry.

Even though Tareen was disqualified for misdemeanour, and not actual corruption like the godfather was, he set a new example by not only stepping down voluntarily but also refusing to challenge the decision. However, instead of giving him due credit for it, he was severely criticised and mocked with jokes, not only by his political rivals but by paid trolls, pseudo intellectuals and the biased journalists working for Nawaz. The same people would be calling him out for his hypocrisy had he started whining, “mujhe kyun nikala” after the decision.

Imran and Tareen proved true to their word by bringing an actual “tabdeeli” (change) into the rigid, corrupt political landscape by respecting the court’s decision, but in this country, that is still not enough. Imran was then vilified for not supporting the decision, but what else would construe as supporting the decision? Tareen resigned, while Imran accepted the decision without resisting it. He is, after all, allowed to be disappointed after losing a party member who has been with him for a very long time.

As far as Imran’s use of Tareen’s airplane is considered, what is wrong with that? Even the American presidential candidates have relied on party donors during their presidential campaigns and used their resources freely. Moreover, Imran’s reliance on actual donors for party expenses and air travel speaks volumes regarding his integrity as a leader. He could have afforded his own jets and cars, had he followed along the lines of the corrupt Nawaz and Asif Ali Zardari. Would the public of this country prefer that he, too, rob the nation for his personal expenses?

Then there is the Panama issue. Even though there were fierce attempts from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to embroil Imran in a similar controversy to make it look as if he too was involved in a Panamagate-like scandal, his critics failed to blemish his reputation. What more needs to be said, when Justice Faisal Arab himself declares Imran innocent, and acknowledges that Imran cannot be perceived with the same suspicion that those involved in Panamagate were.

Moreover, there has been looming criticism on Imran’s choices for candidacy, many of whom were considered to be the products of conventional politics by the pundits. But has anyone looked at the larger part of the picture? The key leadership of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is entirely composed of educated professionals like Asad Umer, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Faisal Khan, Usman Dar, and Fauzia Kasuri, amidst many others. Let us not fall into the PML-N’s ruse of delegitimising an entire party by blaming a few bad eggs, the likes of which exist in every political party in the world.

Even if we hold true the blatant propaganda, false accusations and a few shortcomings that Imran arguably has, he still comes on top if one considers the principle of the lesser evil. Believe it or not, he is the cleanest politician Pakistan has at the moment.

Imran and his party proved their worth in their debut rule managing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), arguably the toughest province in the country, and transforming it for the better in a short span of time. He ended political interference in K-P’s police, turning it into the best Pakistan has, as evidenced in its performance during the recent attack on the Peshawar Agricultural Training Institute (PATI). Healthcare seems to have improved, and government schools are now rivalling private ones, not to forget the billion-tree tsunami that has transformed the province’s environment for the better as well.

In contrast, the despicable condition of Punjab speaks for itself. The police is involved in numerous crimes, women are giving birth on floors outside hospitals and cattle is bred in schools. Even after 30 years of being involved in governance, what do the Sharif brothers have to show for it? The metro, which was built at an abnormal cost, or the orange train, which usurped entire South Punjab’s budget? Or the motorway, perhaps? The Sharif’s have been obsessed with such mega projects since day one instead of focusing on hospitals and schools. Why? Because these mega projects pave way for mega corruption, having more room for kickbacks than social service projects.

The Sharif brothers have a history of claiming that they will solve the crises in our country, be it energy or water, once they get re-elected. If the chief minister, along with his brother who was the prime minister, couldn’t provide a necessity as basic as water to the entire country in the all these years, what makes us believe that one more term will suffice?  What more proof of the Sharif’s incompetence would one need to opt for Imran instead?

PML-N’s incompetence doesn’t stop here.

Its economic hitman and our finance minister, Ishaq Dar, has brought our economy to the verge of bankruptcy. We owe more to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) than we can pay and may have to opt for a bailout with harsh conditions. There are concerns that IMF will seek the abandonment of Pakistan’s nuclear technology, leaving us defenceless against an aggressive, hostile neighbour. Our currency has devalued, and our commoners are forced to go to India for healthcare. All this as Nawaz’s family lives abroad and his wife gets treatment in London, leaving us to suffer the consequences of his economic terrorism.

Nawaz, the three-time prime minister of Pakistan, has his businesses, properties, his children’s education, medical treatments, everything based in London, and visits Pakistan to “rule”. This is our democracy, and what the Sharifs have to offer. Our wealth and resources are being plundered and sent to the UK, just like they used to be 70 years ago, except it was the British then and now it is one of our own. Times may have changed, but our fate remains the same.

Now, after another SC verdict where Imran has been granted bail in all four cases registered against him in the anti-terrorism court (ATC), he has triumphed once again. This is all the more reason to vote for him in the upcoming election, because like it or not, Imran is the only politician in the country who has been officially declared “sadiq” and “ameen” (honest and truthful) by the courts. This honour rests solely with him, whether his opponents like that or not.

The reactionary rant of Maryam Nawaz subsequent to the decision, referring to Imran as a “laadla” (darling), do not come as a surprise since the corrupt father-daughter duo has been constantly maligning the judiciary in attempts to escape justice. However, those taunting tweets do little damage to Imran now that the court has declared in his favour.

We shouldn’t forget that in the end, it is Nawaz who keeps going back to the Saudis in desperate attempts of seeking some kind of help, while Imran stands clean and as a bastion of honest politics in today’s day and age.

Would you vote for a convicted money launderer, a thief, knowing fully that his win would be his sixth time looting the country? Someone who proved to be a national security risk and brought us to the brink of destruction? Someone, who has been in constant rule for decades and yet has failed to deliver, or would you want to choose someone who proved their worth in a matter of years? The choice is quite clear.

Any Pakistani who wants change or wants to see the country progress will vote for PTI in the next election, as it is our last chance, and the voters will be doing this country a huge favour by not voting for Nawaz Sharif or his gang of criminals once again.

Is Imran Khan the only "safe" option left for Pakistan?

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Ahsan Zafeer

Ahsan Zafeer

The author is interested in politics, social issues and sports. He has a passion for writing and believes that issues can be resolved through discussion. He tweets as @AhsanZafeer (twitter.com/AhsanZafeer)

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

  • bilal

    Well said. The critics on Imran Khan are really shallow. There is simply no comparison between Imran Khan and all his opponents (not just Nawaz).Recommend

  • Yousaf Haque

    2nd man and 2nd chance for people of Pakistan to elect a person as their leader who earnestly believes in principles.Hope,though I doubt,that this time they understand who is good for them and who will pull them further downRecommend

  • Energizer

    A person who admits tax invasions, ownership of an offshore company, constantly changes stance on his source of income, and proven to be the father of an illegitimate child, can be sadiq and amin ? What a joke. Moreover, Isn’t he the same person who incites undemocratic culture such as civil disobedience movement, and attacks on media broadcasts ?

    What is his party’s performance in KPK ? Like Punjab, have they been able to build power plants from north to south to end load shedding ? Any safe city projects consisting of thousands of cameras to be vigilant of law and order ? Any hospitals and services to treat hepatitis, dengue, polio, kidney and liver transplants, smart ambulance for villages and narrow allies ? Any schools ranking ahead of others ? Any anti-child labour laws ? Any waste management systems ? Any mass transit systems to improve traffic and connectivity ? Any FDI ? Any steps to promote participation of women in workforce ?Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    You guys are doomed since there is not much diffrence between the two, they are a bunch of crooks waiting for their turn to vandalise the countrys wealth. You have a father who is the head of the family of thieves who is not prepared to let go and another irresponsible one who has left his sons to be brought up by the divorced mother in a foreign land. The only chance if a man like Macron appears and forms a new movement to save the country from thieves? A messaiha perhaps.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Israr Khan

    Ahsan i respect and appreciate the way u have placed fact in front of ppl, i support ur point of view and i think if a nation cannot decide between good and bad then decisions are taken for them this has been the case since 1978 here 40 years we have been made to believe that nawaz musharaf are best for the nation, they are not for sure, what we need is an HONEST, TRUTHFUL AND NON CORRUPT LEADER and that is IMRAN KHAN AND IMRAN KHAN ALONE…
    u mentions some names Asad Umar one of them i like him and i really like him i think he has passed v imp checks he has passed the check of A LOYAL PAKISTANI many times he left his job in usa came here in Pakistan, then left as HEIGHEST PAID CEO BACK THEN TO JOIN PTI i admire him and i think if IK for some reason is no PM then ASAD UMAR should be, fauzia kasoori, shah mehmood, shafqat, murad saeed, faisal javaid , ali mohammad, khattak all are educated ppl of Pakistan and are all loyal HOWEVER THE CHECK OF IK IS WHAT WE NEED FOR NEXT 5 YEARS on ALL OF THEM not so they do not go corrupt BUT TO ENSURE NO ONE TRIES TO OVER POWER THEM OR TRY TO INFLUENCE THEIR DECISIONS, WITH IK’S RIGHT BEHIND THEM NO ONE WILL DARE GET IN THEIR WAY … NAYA PAKISTAN INSHAALLAHRecommend

  • Saif Ali

    Brilliant writing that precisely educates the reader regarding the pros, cons and histories of the current political leaders in Pakistan. Its astonishing that a failure like nawaz sharif has been given 6 chances to destroy the country . What do we have to lose by giving Imran Khan a chance?!. He could never inflict as much damage as this current family of parasites that are bleeding the country dry. Hope IK wins in upcoming elections as he certainly deserves it.Recommend

  • Junior Minhas

    Finally someone at ET speaking sense.Recommend

  • Usman Haq

    Thumbs up for you it seems that you have expressed the thoughts of a common man.Recommend

  • stevenson

    The problem is that the author seems to think that u turns, lies and deceit, not to mention overseas accounts and bad language are fine when Imran Khan does it but bad when others do it. I could tear apart the Imran Khan support in a few short sentences but his behavior towards others is why he should never be PM. You guys have to understand, Imran Khan can never be considered sadiq and ameen in a Muslim society when he is not that even in the West where he was judged negatively in a court case due to a paternity suit. Imran Khan refused to accept his daughter born out of wed lock to Sita White who took Imran Khan to court. American courts judged him to be the father of the girl and thankfully Jemima Goldsmith had the decency to care for the girl after her mother passed on. Women do not trust a man who fathers children and then refuses to accept them let alone care for him. Imagine the problems and shame when Imran Khan shows up in the US and the media has a field day with a runaway who refused to show up in court to accept his own child. All the politicians in Pakistan have issues but Imran Khan has character flaws of a deep nature. The fact the economy and energy crisis is better now with the current government escapes the writer but to each his own !Recommend

  • Sami

    Personality worship has no cure. The article is the perfect example of Personality worship syndrome.

    Using the words like “Only Hope” and “Cleanest” are infact the evidence of hopelessness that is being created by Personality Worshippers.
    How come Imran Khan is the only hope?. How he is the cleanest?. Kindly stop this. Open your eyes.

    Every Pakistani is the Hope and future of Pakistan.

    Imran Khan recently defendant Jehangir Tareen and even stated that “Insider Trading” has no harm.
    The guy who can defend Insider Trading of Jehangir Tareen can never be stated as clean.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers

    Don’t forget how close IK is to those TTP freedom fighters!
    He was chosen by them as their official representative in talks with the government years ago!Recommend

  • M. S. Chaudhry

    The greatest danger to Imran is from Imran itself. Look at recent events. He has given his future in the hands of Maneka family. If Madam Bushra’s ex-husband ever said that Imran stole his wife from him then all his achievements and bloggers efforts will go into the drain. This is Pakistan, all husbands and their kids will come out to defend their wives and mothers from him.Recommend

  • Hasan

    Agreed. Imran Khan’s opponents are mostly crooks, including the bearded ones, and all they have are weak, shallow accusations whereas Imran has been proved to be sadiq and ameen. I and my family will vote for PTI.Recommend

  • raj

    So i would ask one simple question, What choice u have for PM seat in the next election. Its not about who is corrupt. Its about who is less now. and others have got their chances. If you have a name, i would be glad to hear you choice.Recommend

  • raj

    so u wud want NS or zardari to be your next PM ?Recommend

  • Parvez

    There is one quality Imran Khan has that towers over all his other qualities and that is plain and simple…..being stupid and in politics this is lethal.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    At least Nawaz’s behavior with women is better than IK’s. No scandal, no second or third marriage, no illegitimate child, and last but not least, no intimate messages to women party members!Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    No one can trust Imran now, after he asked his “peeni” to marry him! At no time in the entire history of “sufism” has a “mureed” done this to a “peer”!Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    And yesterday his chief minister Parvez Khattak was seen praising those (Difa-e-Pakistan) who openly support terrorists!Recommend

  • Anon

    And in the end, one more time, the one and only criticism anyone can really come up with is “Sita White Sita White…”

    On the other hand is a party/family that has systemically destroyed law and order, and institutions in the country and made policies for one purpose and one purpose alone – self-enrichment. They and their cronies have been accused of being involved in everything … in which the Panama case is the least violent! There is nobody in the country who doesnt know that NS and co are crooks of the highest order. NS has practically admitted it with “tumhe is se kya!”

    And yet all these “Muslims” who have issues with IK “moral character” seem to think that it’s the Islamic thing to do support criminals and to help them to beat up and steal from the poor and the weak. One wonders where they learn their Islam!

    And IK’s supposed “bad language”. He’s never used a swear word… just called a crook a crook. Go and check out NS’s speeches from the 90s. They’re much worse! The problem is that the PMLN has such a huge network of cronies all over the country and at each level (which they can afford because they steal the money from the state and use it to bribe people and run the party), that they are able to make a much stronger PR case.Recommend

  • Anon

    “You have a father who is the head of the family of thieves who is not
    prepared to let go and another irresponsible one who has left his sons
    to be brought up by the divorced mother in a foreign land”

    That’s a very good summary. You think both of these things are completely the same? One man uses everything at his disposal to rob the country. The other one divorces his wife after his marriage falls apart (helped along by the fact that the PMLN tried to put his wife in jail and constantly claimed she was part of a Global Jewish conspiracy). Anyway, so after his divorce, his wife goes home and he lets his children go with their mother. What should he have done? Would you rather that he “honour-killed” her for trying to go home or keep her children?

    People really do draw some outrageous comparisons in the pursuit of parity!Recommend

  • Ali Ashraf

    Such a poor one sided article. Master of U turn is cleanest candidate for premiership? Let me explain “mujhe kayun nikala”. There were more than 400 cases of panama leak kindly tell me what is status of rest of the cases? CJ is visiting hospitals for showing his authority. Taking actions against dirty water in Sindh and criticizing orange line metro, I will close the metro. :D as if all the problems of KPK has been resolved.Recommend

  • Anon

    Wow… very good questions. Here are some answers that I know off the top of my head.

    Before everything else the term is “Tax EVASION” no invasion. I think IK has never admitted to anything of the sort. He did Tax AVOIDANCE (which is not illegal) and that was in the UK, not Pakistan. To bring his money to Pakistan.

    And Civil Disobedience is the core of a democratic society!

    Let’s also look at these other so-called metrics of performance. For electricity they have opted for Hydel projects and already completed a total of 181 out of a total of 356 announced. That’s clean renewable energy managed at the local level. They dont have to go running for fossil fuels to keep these going, and cause no pollution.

    “Safe city projects” only work if the law enforcement agencies want them to work. That requires serious police reform and merit-based inductions into the police. These things are much more important to maintaining law and order (which they have done… or at least initiated). Otherwise you have videos of crimes being committed on main roads and no action taken against the perpetrators. It makes a lot of sense for the Police to not act in Punjab… after all, who would be the people they needed to arrest? That’s why they have Gullu Butts leading the charge and killing people in broad daylight.Recommend

  • Anon

    As for health and education, IK is the man that brought these to the fore and made them election issues in the first place! Otherwise people in the country were just happy to vote for roads and underpasses.

    Check out their record on these and you’ll see that a lot of work has been done in these areas. Hundreds of primary schools have been rebuilt, enrollment has gone up and government schools are starting to function again to compete with private schools for students. It’s completely ridiculous to compare the results of KPK in 4 years with those of the richest province in the country over 30 years. And yet, they are getting closer and have comprehensively beaten Punjab on infrastructure!

    Cant comment too much on health, but they tried reforms which were heavily resisted by Doctors. Don’t know where the situation stands. The solution to health is not to just construct shiny new institutes and buildings all over. It’s to have them working as well!

    For child labour laws. Quick google search and here you go…
    http://www.pakp.gov.pk/2013/acts/the-khyber-pakhtunkhwa-prohibition-of-employment-of-children-act-2015/

    Waste management? I’m not sure, but there is only one party that has a comprehensive Environmental policy in the country. That has planted a billion trees to try and resist the impact of climate change and pollution. Impacts of which we’ve seen heavily in Lahore over the past two years. Everyone is drinking polluted water and breathing pollute air, but very happy because they have roads!

    So, all these question… try Google for the answers, and you’ll find them!Recommend

  • Humza

    You are right. People are fixated on personality because we haven’t understood that democracy and institutions are more important for stability. Imran Khan doesn’t respect the vote of the majority and is bent on taking over power no matter what the cost to the country. He proved that with his dharnas that scared away leaders from Turkey and China. Can he dispute that Pakistan is moving to being a middle income economy despite all of his attempts to destabilize the country? No one wants to give the current government credit for improving the economy but the world’s financial houses do. Imran Khan also taught the people of the Faizabad sit in how to hold a country and the government hostage. Imran Khan cannot be a force for positive change when he doesn’t care about anything but his ego. That’s why former PTI supporters like me left him. Look at what is best for economic prosperity and development – it’s not PTI.Recommend

  • sterry

    Have you been to KPK and asked people what they thought of PTI? My family aren’t as enthusiastic as you pretend. The city now is all dug up and they are making a nonsensical Metro Bus after ridiculing Nawaz Sharif about Jangla Bus for so many years. Do you really think we are so naive not to see that Imran Khan has no agenda apart from mud slingling. Compare what Shahbaz Sharif has done in Punjab and you will understand why we in KPK wish we had someone like him in charge. Health and education have always been election issues and no, Imran Khan doesn’t deserve credit for that. Ask any family and they want jobs and stability. The difference of opinion is that PML N wants to improve the economy and infrastructure hoping trickle down with improve other things too. Despite that, education and health care is better in Punjab under Shahbaz Sharif. The energy shortage has been largely fixed in a few years. Did Imran Khan do that too? No. Stop worshiping a man and think about the country. You seem to be obsessed with defending Imran Khan but try to understand why we (the majority) won’t be voting for him any time soon!Recommend

  • sterry

    Maybe you don’t know that putting money overseas in accounts is tax avoidance. It’s funny that you think it’s ok when Imran Khan does it but it is not ok when someone in Nawaz Sharif’s family does it. Most of the accounts in Panama were from people in the BRIC countries including 2 billion from Putin. The UK President Cameron, Chinese leaders and others were all named but what civilized countries did was change laws since even the Panama accounts are legal off shore accounts. You seem to be obsessed with defending Imran Khan without understanding that he has done the same thing that others have done. You cannot understand the difference between lawful protests and public mischief or anarchy which is what Imran Khan tried to do with his never ending dharnas since he can’t win over the public in a fair contest. Well Imran Khan taught the Faizabad sit in folks about civil disobedience as you call it but most of us call that anarchy and promoting instability. The world took a bad view of the dharnas which made things bad for development and investrment in Pak including CPEC but that’s what PTI wants since they have no agenda apart from getting power at all costs.Recommend

  • sterry

    Thumbs down if you ask me. If you respected the wishes of the common man you would respect the election results and wait for the next elections to win votes. The only thing Imran Khan the sore loser has done is try to create instability ever since the elections. That’s what he is good at and nothing else.Recommend

  • Adeem Baig

    Imran Khan Is The Best Politician.
    Recommend

  • RHR

    This was frankly completely pathetic article.
    The funny thing is that these members of IK cult are extremely abusive of their opponents while they eulogize their Taliban apologist in such terms.
    Pretty lame!Recommend

  • RHR

    You seem to be either the author himself or if not him then at least as lame as heRecommend

  • Arslan Afzal

    Even your polls have biased options, and also follow foreign funding case of political parties, or lets not go there because then there will be a lot of dry cleaning required for making up the ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’ KhanRecommend