Yes he Khan, but he may not

Published: November 11, 2011

Imran Khan needs to be a leader who is realistic as opposed to one who makes grandiose statements. PHOTO: NN1/ FILE

To say that Imran Khan elicits mixed emotions from me is like asking me whether I like chocolate; it’s complicated. On October 30 after seeing the swarms of people collect around the Minar-e-Pakistan, I was hoping that Imran Khan would come on a white horse and sweep me off my feet; I wanted to follow him. But alas I found the content of his speech to be lacking.

Despite the fact that he was able to mobilize such a large number of people, I was not ready to put the Daniyal Noorani seal of approval on him (clearly all politicians are dying for that these days). I, thus, started to ruminate as to why this was so.

My analysis indicated that the pros greatly outweighed the cons and that he was by far the only leader I would support. Yet, why wasn’t I willing to be like the rapid insafians (PTI supporter) who put MQM supporters to shame with their aggressive defense of Imran Khan?

Then it struck me the maybe the problem wasn’t Imran Khan; maybe the problem was me.

Clearly I have double standards.

I realised that I hold Imran Khan to a much higher standard compared to other leaders. Being able to relate to him more than any other leader, I see him as a reflection of myself and take it personally when his views don’t perfectly mirror mine.

Even though I am aware of my double standards, I am still not enthusiastic about the idea of supporting Imran Khan. Maybe like an unmarried person in his/her mid-thirties, I should just settle for good enough. However, like any unmarried person in their mid-thirties I won’t settle. I don’t want Imran khan to just be a good leader; I want him to be a great leader.

It may seem arrogant for a person who has under 300 Twitter followers to say that he is going to help a leader, who attracted more than 100,000 people to a rally, to become a better leader. But if there is one person who can appreciate arrogance, it is Imran Khan.

I want Imran Khan to rise above the politics of negativity and be the leader of a positive Pakistan. While his standup comedy is second to none and I enjoy a good machar/magarmach (mosquito/crocodile) joke as much as the next guy, Khan needs to disassociate from all of this and paint a vision of a positive Pakistan that people can believe in. He needs to forget the empty rhetoric and set small tangible goals. Saying that Pakistan will resolve all of it’s energy problems because it has a lot of resources, is like saying a fat person will get into shape because he lives close to a great gym. Only a Zaid Hamid fan can believe there is a quick fix to Pakistan’s energy crisis. Imran Khan needs to be a leader who is realistic as opposed to one who makes grandiose statements.

Given Imran Khan’s track record, it is hard to see any other current leader in Pakistan who has done more for the country. In his speech he made some great points regarding women’s development, rights of Balochi people and minorities, but he ignored the elephant in the room wearing a suicide jacket.

To those people who were sceptics, but are ready to jump on to Imran Khan bandwagon, I would say be patient and continue to push him to voice his opinion on certain issues. It is our responsibility to help him reach his potential. Till Imran Khan adequately formulates a coherent policy on issues that are important to me, my response to the slogan “Yes, he Khan!” will be “Yes he Khan, but he may not…”

Correction: The Urdu word ‘magarmach’ was mistranslated as ‘turtle’. It means crocodile.


Daniyal Noorani

Currently doing business development for a biotech company in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In his spare time he writes and plays music. His first single, Find Heaven, addresses radicalization and Taliban militancy and has been shown in a number of film festivals, most recently the London Independent Film Festival. He tweets at @daniyalnoorani

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

  • Faraz Talat

    This is precisely what I’ve been saying about Imran Khan.

    He’s all promises and no real plan of action. “End corruption” and “make the politicians declare their assets” is what people have been screaming for the last 30 years.

    We have an abundance of critics and a lethal deficiency of innovators and problem-solvers.Recommend

  • Zoaib

    Nobody can make everyone happy. Imran touched upon all issues close to the majority of Pakistanis’ hearts, especially those relating to our deprived classes. Things like the Patwari, Thana, ask any common person and he’ll tell you what effect just these two have on his personal life. The speech was only a broad outline of PTI’s priorities. All I can say is stay tuned, a LOT more is to come on various issues…Recommend

  • The Reader

    Personally I am a big supporter of IK and attended his 30th October Jalsa as well. I won’t deny that I hated everyone who uttered a single word against Kaptaan but I guess we are all being blindly passionate here. We need to be calm and considerate. Social media is abuzz with our violent attacks and hate talks. About time all PTI Trolls become PTI Pals.

    Please check and cosnider Dr Arif Alvi’s request ==>

    As for your blog post, I absolutely loved it. Khan indeed needs to rise above such petty jibes and blame games. Come on man, you are far better than this!You have voiced your opinion pretty eloquently. You have all my ‘like, share, tweet and +1″!Recommend

  • Majid Urrehman

    If you put Nawaz Sharif to your tests, you would again find yourself having double standards.

    “Given Imran Khan’s track record, it is hard to see any other current leader in Pakistan who has done more for the country.”

    Have you tried to look into others’ track records too?Recommend

  • http://Mehreen Mehreen

    So why don’t you measure up Nawaz Sharif?
    Also measure up Zardari
    Measure up Altaf Hussein
    Measure up all others

    Think about the pros and cons of the current crap (sorry I mean crop) of leaders and compare it with what you think about Imran and enlighten us with another write up.

    Please give yourself a healthy dose or reality and dont’ live in some la la land.Recommend

  • Ali Azizi

    A Magarmach is a crocodile and not a turtle ;-)Recommend

  • Abdul Moiz Jaferii

    “magarmach = turtle” : “Imran khan = liberal”Recommend

  • Ahmad Hammad

    Well, it seems as if the Pakistani media, including Tribune, had become a party for Imran Khan. Impartial comments/analyses are rare now.
    To me, Imran SHALL win only if the establishment continues to support him and devise policies/startegies for him. When it will come to the masses, everyone is gonna see that PML-N takes the driving wheel in the next elections.
    Though I too wrote on “PML-N losing to Imranlink text“, yet my conclusion is different…

  • Nandita.

    I don’t know squat about politics in pakistan. But yeah, i still want to comment on this blog. :P :P …. The reference to the unmarried 30 yr olds was not needed. It’s not .. er… polite! Recommend

  • Mehrunisa

    My feelings exactly. Good job :)Recommend


    This is a sheer propaganda against Imran Khan that he has no practical solutions to problems of Pakistan because i believe he has. The reason he dont mention them in public is because he will implement his plans when he will be in power. In past most of his ideas has been stolen by PML(N) etc. who are now in power e.g. Sastee rotee… Guys be fair. This man is a national hero and he has been in politics for last 18 years or so. He must have gathered enough knowledge about dynamics of Pakistani politics that he is worth giving a chance. WHAT OTHER OPTION DO WE HAVE????????????????????Recommend

  • m, waqas

    be calm and be patiance let him come give him a chance then compare him with other SO CALLED leaders, this is the main problem with our pakistani nation they want change over the night but to clean this GEND(GARBAGE) of 64 years u need ateast four five years but atleast you mantion your direction you mantion your goals where we have to go, what we have to achive what are our problems and what are thier solutions.
    so rather than compare KAPTAN’S double standards ” GIVE HIM A CHANCE” then compare him with others, this is the problem with our pakistani nation they want change over the night….Recommend

  • The Reader

    Nandita, it is not polite to read something about Imran Khan and not say something nice. *Attacks* :PRecommend

  • Sulaiman Amin

    Great article Daniyal… I completely agree with the ignoring the white elephant.. it is a cause of concern!Recommend

  • Usman

    Whatever anyone says… Sada Nara KHAN ae..:DRecommend

  • Zeeshan

    the speech was a waste of 10 mins of my life after watching the television for 6 hours, i agree to the fact that he has a clear track record and that he is honest unlike most leaders, i will think of supporting IK after he visits sindh,balochistan and kpk , he is criticizing pml n the most but it is them only who allowed him to hold the public rally! let him come to karachi and i will see what happens , he is actually helping zardari and his cronies cut pml n’s vote bank and it would not surprise me if he is being supported by the establishment of pakistan which is the real policy maker today, against which he never utters a word.Recommend

  • Tahir

    Do you expect him to read a 300 page economic policy in a Jalsa?Recommend

  • u_too

    We like his promise and he seems like he will deliver. But only time will truly tell.Recommend

  • Salman Qureshi

    Some fair points but no strong reasons to not support Imran Khan. It would be better to work and support someone who is honestly trying to make a difference as opposed to the rest of the lot who have only butchered Pakistan in the past. Recommend

  • Danyal Kaimkhani

    i dont get this anyone who joins PTI becomes clean automatically what happend to changing the status quo are legharis not part of status quo same family run politics and imran khan needs to stop justifying exteremisits for killing 35000 pakistanis stop defending those who killed innocent pakistanis and muslim and the reason why imran khan is corruption freee is because he never got a chance to do corruption we need to stop comparing him with other politicians and everyone keeps talking about giving him a chance and let him try this country is not a video game that you get so many lives what if under imran khan there is bad governnance then there will be anarchy again to throw him out of the government our country can not afford this anymore stop it imran khan btw i dont hate imran khan this is just my opinion so backoff so called insafisRecommend

  • MarkH

    Nah, but actually writing even a one page one is a nice start. 300 pages is a whole lot of work and also has to be intertwined with almost everything. He would not be able to come off as making absolutely no references to solutions if it existed or if it does exist, he probably didn’t help write it and hasn’t read it himself.Recommend

  • common sense

    PPP failed badly, given chances 3 times.
    PMLN failed badly, given chances 2 times in center and once in punjab.
    MQM well its a terror party, people support him in karachi coz they are afraid of his party goons and thugs. people loathe this party but still in power because of terror.
    MPLQ well its a Musharaf breed, given a chance.

    last we are left with one and only one the future the hope the unprecedented IMRAN KHAN.

    all hale to IMrAn KhAn……i just believe in him , he will bring the CHANGE, i mean the positve change.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @The Reader:
    Haan, i shall say something nice about Imran khan. He’s incredibly attractive, :P You agree, don’t you girl.Recommend

  • Topak Khan

    PTI supporters keep asking who else should we vote for I say let us all vote for MEHMOOOD KHAN ACHAKZAI

    oh well these fair weather political analysts don’t even know tht guy gave 3 decades of his life for tolerant democratic Pakistan and continues to do so. Who am I trying to convince Topak Khan, let them vote for him and then run away from this country :(Recommend

  • Salman Orangiwala

    @ Nandita Das , when did you last upgraded your contacts .?
    Incredibly attractive .lolzzzzzzzzz and that too in his sixties ??

    All those tongue-twisting abuses and frowning on all Politicians? ……..look at him closely .Recommend

  • Nadeem

    I dont understand this thaana and patwari obsession. Only 2-3% pakistanis get in contact with these institutions, then how come this ranks so high in IKs agenda? What about other problems like lawlessness, mainly caused by terrorism, unemplyment, substandard education, traffic hazards, low productivity, loack of innovation, lack of research and development, corruption at the lowest levels of establishment. IK didnot even mention these issues in his speech. Recommend

  • Urdu News Pakistan

    Imran khan is a great leader by the support of Youth of Paksitan, the changes will come in the future InshaALLAH.

    Hurriyat News | Urdu News | Pakistan News | Pakistan Urdu NewsRecommend

  • The Reader

    Hehe, you are my friend now! Mwaah! :)Recommend

  • Saad yousaf

    What you say buddy is right on the money, but unfortunately the people of the country over the past half century have backed themselves in a cage, with imran being the key.
    It may be a rusty key, it may even take time to get us out, but if the key can somehow unlock us, maybe we as a people can make something of our selves yet.

    The lock being are current leaders.Recommend

  • I am Pakistani

    I am a big fan of Imran Khan. He is a great cricketer, a wonderful person, a determinant individual. He wants to bring a change to our country. Things which i don’t understand about him is?
    Total Pakistan National Assembly seats: 342
    Distribution of those seats is mentioned below.
    Federal Punjab Sindh Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Baluchitan Fata
    Genral: 2 148 61 35 14 12
    Women: 0 35 14 8 3 0
    He need at least 1/3 of majority in election to form a government. Right.
    I have just these simple question for him and for his supporters
    1. As common sense how many seats do you think he can secure out of these 342 national assembly? Please realistic not be emotional.
    2. Can he name 12 cabinet members today whom he thinks have no corruption charges and are best and qualified candidates for the ministry he will appoint them?
    3. What is Pakistan biggest challenge today Education? Awareness to rights, awareness to global changes. Does he have a road map for next 10 years?
    4. Today’s biggest war is Economical War. Rest every thing else is a propaganda. Do he have a economical recovering plan for next 15 years? If “yes” tell us about just for his first year. Rest we will understand.

    These are four simple questions.

    Please please my humble request to all readers are we all are Pakistani’s. We all love our nation. Don’t think emotional. Take couple of minute to think and than decide what do you want from your next President or Prime minister. Do you want same thing happen to you what had happened in past or you want a government who is responsible enough to rum our nation. Otherwise another 5 years will past and we would be in worst condition than today.

    One thing i just want to add on to this is I saw a talk show of Imran Khan couple of days ago on Dunya News with Mubashir Luqman. Where he said he never involved in Match fixing. I remember an interview of his on Janta ki Adalat program telecast by ZEE TVV long ago. Rajat Sharma was its host. Imran proudly told host and audience that he bet on Pakistani cricket team during his career. You can ask him about it.Recommend