The Karachi tsunami strikes

Published: December 26, 2011

The successful PTI rally in Karachi proves one thing for sure, especially to the Imran Khan naysayers and doubters: that come next election, his party will be a formidable force to reckon with.

A bulk of the audience comprised youth, many of them presumably disenchanted with the way politics is done in this country. Of course, his party has already accepted several former ministers and members of parliament from the PML-Q and one heavyweight from the PML-N in the shape of Javed Hashmi. Mr Hashmi stood on three seats in the last general election and won all three and is reported to have several MPAs associated with him from the Multan region.

For taking these tried and tested politicians, the PTI chief exposes himself to criticism because including such names is not going to bring about the change that Imran Khan promises he will bring to Pakistan.

One hopes that when the time comes to award party tickets the party will give most of them to new faces. In this it could face a dilemma in that there may be pressure on Imran Khan to give them to those individuals who have won in the past. That is something that the party will have to strike a balance and in light of the fact that many of its supporters are attracted to it precisely because it seeks to bring change in the country.

While the party seems to be gaining from strength to strength, doubts about how it is getting so many so-called “electable” politicians is making some observers think that the PTI is getting help from certain quarters. This may not be a stretch of the imagination given that such things have happened in the past as well. However, it does seem that to a considerable extent, the groundswell of support for Imran Khan among the general population, and especially younger people, is genuine.

Right now a year or more remains before the next general election. Going by the turnout at the Karachi rally, it is likely that the PTI will become a formidable force in that election, and may prove to be more than just a spoiler, in electoral terms.


Anum Fatima

Anum works as a sub-editor for The Express Tribune's editorial pages.

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

  • Khalid

    More than 100000 people rallied in support of Pakistani cricket star and opposition politician Imran Khan in the southern city of Karachi on Sunday. This team is the winning team and will be forming the next govt in the upcoming elections.

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  • Sadiq Akhter

    It was an MQM sponsored Jalsa, Nawaz Sharif can also help Musharraf conducting bigger Jalsa than this one.Recommend

  • Someone

    @Sadiq Akhter:
    I would not say MQM sponsored but definitely some things went behind the scenes with MQM and PTI, specially after the remarks of Altaf HussainRecommend

  • Azam Shah

    Why Azam Swati did some part of his speech in Pashto, was he playing an ethnic card ?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Summed up nicely. PTI is lucky it’s in the right place at the right time and they know it.
    The PTI’s strength right now is the very visible weaknesses of the PPP and PML-N and the peoples hunger for a change. There real test has yet to come. Recommend

  • Modazul

    When he didnt have these electables and had new faces people would complain and mock at him that he can’t win with these new faces. Now that he’s got some old ones, people are complaining and nagging again. Oh God the Pakistani nation is so ungracious. Always complaining. ALWAYS.Recommend

  • usman

    Imran khan is talking about “change” ….!

    And people of Pakistan are desperate for a “change” …..!

    we should give him a chance ….!!! Recommend

  • Rehan

    @ Sadiq

    Dude, Nawaz Sharif cant even gather people even for his own Jalsa in Lahore like Imran did in last Jalsa so how can he support Mushraff to gather such amount of people. :P Recommend

  • Zawar

    I flew from London for this jalsa and there were many more like me. One thing I can say about this jalsa is that there was a HUGE number of women, children, families and students. I don’t think the so called agencies can make them come out. Recommend

  • fayaz ahmad

    this is not about our parties, we supported in past or which we are members. this is about our country..,, we should support PTI, there are doubts but there is hope that may be this time we are on the right side,,,,Recommend

  • http://comments. Sultan Ahmed.

    Really question before is that,
    revolution or tremendous change can be brought by democratic process?
    Revolution has its different definition regarding the change.Change of old system consisting on years.
    We have laws,civil and criminal,We have constitution,amendments can be entered into the constitution for change, that is a process.
    in case,change destroy all the old system,it mean revolution.
    Revolution,revolutionary change,change through democratic process,what would be procedure of change.
    Change through democratic process would take huge time, it is not a matter of days.Recommend

  • http://[email protected] Sohrab ahmad

    I think it is time for change being a pakistani we all are tide of old faces i have great rescpect for ppp due tou Zulfqar ali bhtou and Nawaz sharf for moter way and for atomic technology also mqm is good for karachi but this is time for change lets vote for imranRecommend

  • Zohaib Sharif

    the issue i want to bring on about is the necessary actions of Mr. Imran Khan to safe the country and country’s money from these gamblers sitting in cabinet and parliament. the second question lingers inn my mind is about the simple excuse from Baluchistan about the past actions against it, can the simple sorry or excuse covers all what Baluchistan witnessed and faced in these all past years?Recommend


    I like Imran khan but I Dont like Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)
    old biryani + new plate = Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)Recommend

  • http://NewYork Falcon

    @Zohaib Sharif:
    Don’t you think it is thought provoking of PTI to have apologized to Balochi people even though they have never been in power? Its true that mere apologies are not good enough. But this is certainly a good start. Secondly, he already mentioned in the speech that they plan to divert extra-ordinary portion of funds to Baluchistan for development of the region. So they are not only apologizing but showing how they are going to follow-through on their commitment.Recommend

  • Rehman

    If you did fly in from London to show your support, I am quite sure that some peeople from different parts of Pakistan, other than Karachi must have also shown up. Recommend

  • Hammad Siddiqui

    Truly a very successful Jalsa. If you want to read 5 lessons from Imran Khan and PTI branding strategy check my blog.Recommend

  • Hmmm

    Baghi Baghi Baghi BaghiRecommend

  • Robin Mitha

    The Karachi Jalsa clearly demonstrates that Imran Khan has arrived. It is also now evident that the next election if held in 2013 will give him enough time to build up his party with defectors from other political parties and as such have an enviable bank of winable seats.

    Whoever or whatever has engineered and backed Imran’s rise over the past 6 months has obviously done a good job. Now we wait with baited breath to see how this new twist in the political soap opera of Pakistan’s political theater plays out.

    What we can wish for is that Imran will bring in some genuine people and maybe help reverse the tide of corruption and decline, by a few degrees atleast. We wait and we hope.Recommend