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PTI losing the opportunity to fill the political vacum

Source: alexpressed

PTI’s Lahore Jalsa on 23rd March 2013 was the climax of PTI’s political struggle so far. It was culmination of a long struggle, party organisation including intra-party elections and was also to serve as a platform to launch them as mainstream contender for the next elections. It was supposed to be a kickstart to PTI election campaign. The Jalsa was successful and impressive but well short of my expectations and that of analysts. To start with, the numbers were unimpressive. The crowd was charged and electrifying for sure but the 200K people who attended it was almost the same as PTI’s last show of power at the same place. More than a year’s gap and intra party elections raising 70-80K elected reps should have resulted in atleast double that figure. Although Tahir-ul-Qadri’s Jalsa at the same place can not be directly compared because it was a religio-political crowd but he managed to gather a much larger crowd than Imran Khan. Having said that, this Jalsa was still the largest of all political Jalsas but the point remains that PTI needed a much bigger show for perception building and not a mere repeat of what they had already done a year ago.

Aerial view of PTI Lahore Jalsa
Aerial view of PTI Lahore Jalsa

Fiaz Tariq’s brilliant photographs from the Jalsa can be seen here.

Second, and more importantly, the speeches were utter disappointment. Absolutely meaningless. Forget about Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Javed Hashmi as they were just content less, Imran Khan’s speech was bigger disappointment.

In his half hour speech, Imran Khan invokes Allah 15 times, Quran and Nabi a dozen times but fails to mention the word ‘Awaam’. Its fine he loves Allah and Allah loves him, alright if he wants to make it public but where was the real content? We were talking politics but that is precisely what was missing in his speech. The whole speech revolved around his 6 promises, which if you read, look like a hopeful groom trying to convince his to be father in law asking for his daughter’s hand. I won’t lie, I am very religious, Allah loves me and I love Allah, I will live in Pakistan so you daughter will be close to you blah bhah. All okay but what about the problems of Pakistan? Terrorism? Energy Crisis? Unemployment and poverty? Civil Military relations? None of these were under discussion. Imran Khan has been saying for a long time that he will launch party manifesto and policies on this day but that is what I could not find.

Imran Khan's Lahore Jalsa and his 6 promises
Imran Khan’s Lahore Jalsa and his 6 promises

Listen to Imran Khan’s speech on 23 March 2013 Jalsa here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8_A3TzWRuE

Extremely disappointed at the speeches particularly and I hope PTI will quickly get over the celebrations and reflect. I hope someone in PTI was sane enough to notice the low crowds and content less speeches and gets back to work.

Imran Khan seems to understand the importance of ‘perception building’ in Pakistan politics. Non-Ideological voters in Pakistan normally vote for the most likely winner. Imran Khan has been trying to build a perception for a long time, a perception that PTI is going to form the next Government. IK has been criticised by many for being overconfident as he has repeatedly claimed that PTI will clean sweep Elections 2013 but this Jalsa was a key to build this perception. This is precisely where PTI needed a massive show, a crowd double what they had here, would have caused a lot of concern in Raiwind but I’m sure Sharifs will be at ease now. It was a good show but nothing extraordinary.

Understandable that speeches at such Jalsas are usually rhetoric but considering the fact that Imran Khan is not a gifted speaker like Bhutto, and so content was extremely important. This was a moment PTI has the opportunity to tap into the undecided vote bank. A large chunk of urban vote bank which normally votes for PMLN is undecided. Similarly  a large chunk of progressive, left leaning and minority vote bank (including Shia community, Christians and Hindus) who traditionally vote for PPP are extremely disappointed and are considering options. They understand very well that PTI is a centre-right party but performance or lack of it by the left leaning coalition of PPP-ANP-MQM has forced the minorities to consider alternative options. Attitude of this coalition specially PPP has been spineless on most issues and PPP appeared to be a centre-right party than what is actually is. Pakistan Peoples Party remained silent on Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti as if they have disowned them, there was no meaningful action on Shia Genocide and minority persecution and it won’t be unfair to say that PPP resided over Shia Genocide; anti-terrorism bill delayed for five years, and taking a step back every time the right-wing funds objected like the case of amendment of blasphemy laws and finally PPP appeared overly subservient to the military establishment e.g. extension for Kiyani and wasted opportunity after OBL episode. Recent TV appearances by Imran Khan and other PTI members condemning Sipah Sahaba (see this and this) and violence against minorities; and their visits to Quetta had earned the party respect from the minorities. He had an opportunity to tap into this void using this Jalsa but he didn’t put an effort. The rain could not wash away PTI but the news of electoral alliance between PTI and JI the next day did it for sure. The minorities will have to think twice before considering PTI now.

Pakistan Peoples Party also need a reality check. The left-leaning progressives and minority communities specially Shia who vote almost unanimously for PPP do this because they expect something in return. Their votes do not come for free. When a Pakistani progressive or liberal votes for PPP, he expects the PPP to govern on the basis of progressive, liberal and left principles and not act as a centre-right party. He does not expect the PPP to disown the liberal heroes Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti, he does not expect the PPP to reside over Shia Genocide as mere spectators, he expects the PPP to challenge the security establishment and do some liberal legislation. The party will lose this vote bank because the voters want to give a clear message to the PPP i.e. you get our vote because we vote a progressive liberal party, if you can’e be that and will act as a centre right party, this vote will go elsewhere too.

On the other hand, I hope PTI realises the political mistake they are making. Jamaat-e-Islami needs no introduction but as a reminder to the readers: AlQaeda No. 2 Khalid Sheikh Muhammad was captured from Naazim of JI’s house in Rawalpindi. 2 more listed AlQaeda terrorist were also found from JI residences in Pakistan. JI held funeral prayers of Osama Bin Laden all across Pakistan. Nazim JI Mirpur was killed in a drone attack in NW with other terrorists and Qazi led his funeral prayer in Mirpur. Samia Qazi calls Taliban killers her brothers. When Govt asked religious leaders and parties to issue statements condemning suicide blasts, JI refused to do so. Munawar Hasan in his famous interview with Shahzeb Khanzada from which he ran away mid way, said that TTP is also doing Jihad and its okay to blast away Pak Govt and people if need be. The same Munawar Hassan rejected Women Protection Bill and claims if a raped woman should remain silent and sent to jail if she fails to provide 4 witnesses. PTI can definitely do better without the baggage of fascist Jamaat-e-Islami and I hope good sense will prevail in PTI.

Munawar Hassan says raped women should remain silent

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=490307894352471

Munawar Hasan runs away from interview with Shahzeb Khanzadeh

http://www.zemtv.com/2012/11/01/to-the-point-with-shahzeb-khanzada-munawar-hassan-interview-1st-november-2012/

Samia Raheel Qazi calls Malala a  CIA agent and JI leads anti Malala campaign

http://blog.ale.com.pk/?p=1979

Jamaat-e-Islami exposed

http://blog.ale.com.pk/?p=2043

Jamaat Islami 1 Jamaat Islami 2 Jamaat Islami 3 Jamaat Islami 4 Jamaat Islami 5 Jamaat Islami 6 Jamaat Islami 7 Jamaat Islami 8 Jamaat Islami 9 Jamaat Islami 10 Jamaat Islami 11 Jamaat Islami 12 Jamaat Islami 13

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AleNatiq

Social Media Activist - @alexpressed - blog.ale.com.pk

3 Comments

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  • Am I the only one in Pakistan who seeks substance over perception management, like the one this fellow recommends in his lame article: “but the point remains that PTI needed a much bigger show for perception building and not a mere repeat of what they had already done a year ago.” Surely not. Especially the discerning people who congregate here on criticalppp, they want answers to how Imran Khan will be the Savior of Pakistan — right?

    So how about addressing these issues—if anyone in Pakistan, let alone Imran Khan, has the solutions for them.

    Excerpted from: http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2013/02/context-for-shia-killings-in-pakistan.html#Imran-Khan-Savior

    Imran Khan is some part of the right-wing Difa-e-Pakistan Council (Defence of Pakistan Council – DPC) group of “militant Islam” formerly known by different acronyms some officially banned: SSP1, LeT2, LeJ3, JeM4, ASWJ5, JuD6, TNSM7, etc., (I lost track), who are state-sponsored and even openly supported by the Punjab government (PML-N’s Chief Minister in Punjab Shahbaz Sharif et. al.) and by right-wing elements of the ISI. And of course, Imran Khan also occasionally flirts with the “moderate Islam” of Tahir-ul-Qadri. Both Hegelian Dialectics of “Islam” are sponsored by different factions from within the Pakistan military, which in turn is paid from the Western tax-payers hard earned monies to become the coveted Military Inc. of Pakistan with the Western power’s great blessings. This praetorian guard, a rising new “feudal class” in Pakistan, is now fully invested in staying America’s proxy army in Pakistan. This is how power flows in Pakistan today behind the veneers and puppetshows put up before the public – be it the elected Parliament, or the many variants of “Islam”. Without their minimally tacit approval, not a fly can buzz in Pakistan. It would be found riddled with bullet holes the very next day. The combined output of all these variants of “Islam” and their open and secret benefactors, is to lay the groundwork for the creation of “revolutionary Islam”, whether or not they each realize it. That is the shia arc of crescent a long time in the making and yet to be fully realized. We are, after all, looking at a lifetime of World Was IV. Many teams have to play their part, and it seems to me that “revolutionary Islam” has been gestating in the oven too long. I am sure General Hameed Gul (Ret.) understands this better than the brainless posterboy of modernity, Imran Khan, his foolish rapidly aging protégé who has been dying to become president at all cost. A good donkey to ride on for the ubermensch.

    But then again, perhaps not, as it was this traitor General, then head of the ISI, who gave to neighboring Muslim Afghanistan “their Vietnam War” in service to his massa in Washington, purveying the fiction of “strategic depth” to carry the Pakistan army along. I once had a long conversation with a former director of ISI the day after his daughter’s wedding at which I was an unofficial (hobbyist) photographer. When I presented the bride and groom with a beautiful photo album of their wedding pictures that I instantly had processed the same day, the father of the bride invited me to join them for lunch, which I did. In the conversation he disclosed that he was a former director of ISI, and when I explained to him where he got his specious “strategic depth” from to fck Pakistan, he simply couldn’t believe nor refute the commonsense of my straightforward observations. I held him to rapt attention for the entire time and all he could murmur was: why did it not occur to us? None of these Generals are known for their commonsense. Groomed at Westpoint and Sandhurst, they reach their positions of power in Pakistan’s military only after being vetted by the white man to be psychologically able to carry the white man’s burden on Pakistan’s back without complaint. As I noted in 2008:

    ‘In 2007, while the ‘Army Act 2007’ was still in effect, I offered two Pakistani military men, recently retired 3-star generals, whom I had occasion to partake a meal with in Islamabad, that I could craft any terrorist to their specification for them for a mere $15000 – a number that I conjured up out of thin air thinking it was suitably low to impress upon them how easy it was to harvest the surviving victims whose parents, wives, daughters, sons, had been bombed to smithereens, who had nothing to look forward to in life except the abyss of hunger, deprivation, and alienation, and especially from among those holding the ‘Pakhtoonwali’ tradition. I was trying to rationally talk them out of bombing our own peoples in the tribal belt in this fictional ‘war on terror’ by explaining to them how Machiavellian political science works. I had held their attention for over 3-1/2 hours. And I was rather stunned when one of the 3-star generals of Pakistan’s Army, and let me hasten to add (Retired), responded to my ‘jihadi manufacturing challenge’ with “Zahir you are asking too much, I could do it for $2000”!’

    Imran Khan is the worst Trojan horse of them all – why? Because he is presented as “Mr. clean” and unrecognizable by the masses as being worse than “Mr. Ten Percent” from whom many Pakistanis knew what to expect from the very beginning. As an intelligence and Western asset, Imran Khan will deliver the worst nightmare yet to simpleton Pakistanis. All his plans are outright scams to feed more people from the gravy-train of state treasury. All his plans are plans to loot and plunder anew – for the fresh crop of plunderers – since he cannot harvest any of the old already sponged off stuff. His energy plan or education plan for instance? After HEC under Ata ur Rahman and Sohail Naqvi squandered billions in crap, Imran Khan is proposing to spend trillions, 2.5 trillion in fact, to replace one crap with another crap. He wants to make English compulsory and the medium of instruction after 8th grade in Urdu medium and public schools to bring them at parity with English medium schools; and teach everyone in Pakistan the same standardized curriculum. What is that mother? Even India which is ahead of us in all metrics education, does not have such an insane policy. Yet they have IITs which surpass the best IVYs in America in terms of competition to get in. The son of Infosys president couldn’t get into IIT so he went to Cornell – as a safety school! We don’t have one decent university in Pakistan where I would love to send my own children and this moron now wants to spend 2.5 trillion rupees in another boondoggle? Increasing literacy rate is great goal – it cannot be carried out in a slave state with no economy to absorb them. The development of a nation cannot happen overnight – only its rape and theft in the name of doing speciously sounding great things can happen overnight. Just like Ata Ur Rahman did, and no one could challenge that mother for his hare-brained schemes that turned Pakistan’s higher education universities into a diploma mill for third-rate and often plagiarized work (see my report sent to the Supreme Court of Pakistan—also ignored by them).

    As for Imran Khan’s energy policy? You think anyone in Pakistan has the balls to go against the WB-IMF tag team which has neo-liberalized, i.e., privatized our economy? See what Thomas Friedman says about it below: “The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist — McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the builder of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.”

    Imran Khan is just offering more scams and only fools and simpletons will go for them—that is our Pakistani genius. Watch him and his confrere, the flag-bearer of “moderate Islam”, Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri, partake at the massa’s table in the 2011 World Economic Forum. Invited there to ensure that the brown-nosing horses run in the future electoral races will all be compliant to the white man’s burden! These two bit house niggers, groomed into power in Pakistan the same way Benazir Bhutto was, have the balls to stand up to the massa? With what? The Pakistan military works for the same massa, are paid from the same coffers, as does the entire bureaucracy, the media, public and private institutions, and what is now almost a fashion to be considered avant-garde, to call oneself a think-tank, all of whom continually echo the same core axioms of the massa, live off of its largesse of aid, and occasionally play controlled dissent.

    image here: http://humanbeingsfirst.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/pakistani-stooges-at-the-world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-20110127_10.jpg

    Caption Pakistani house niggers at the elite’s World Economic Forum annual meeting, Januray 27, 2011, seated next to the massa. What are they doing there? Being rewarded for selling “moderate Islam” and Fatwa on Terrorism while echoing the core axioms of massa.
    Caption Pakistani house niggers, Imran Khan and Tahir ul Qadri, seated on the massa’s table at the Western super financial elite’s World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2011. (Photograph source: a reader submission) How did these two political “no-ops” of least significance get invited to world economic forum for the white man’s recognition? They are neither financiers, nor industrialists, and nor do they hold any economic or financial ministerial position within the government of Pakistan. Yes, as Western intelligence assets managed by their local counterpart, both are being rewarded for selling the massa’s pitch on “moderate Islam” (even in their occasional controlled dissent with the Pakistani establishment which is most dutifully towing the massa’s full line on “militant Islam”). And Tahir ul Qadri specifically for his “600 page Fatwa on Terrorism”. Both house niggers artfully retain the core axioms of massa on “militant Islam”, to continually push the envelope of the Hegelian Dialectic forward as a self-fulfilling prophecy!

    I say, enough of being *** simpletons!

    Instead, why don’t concerned Pakistanis who love Imran Khan ask their favorite savior to counter those points?

    How is he, or any other savior, going to un-privatize a public commons from the clutches of the WB-IMF tag team of money lenders?

    Sure they’d ask the right questions if they knew what to ask. So here are the questions.

    Zahir Ebrahim
    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

  • If Imran Khan show has failed in Lahore, and surely enough, every sane person thinks so, then it is a loss to none other than PPP. ‘Cause, PPP had been greatly vouching and expecting TI a great party to confront PML-N that could divide their votes in the election and this scenario would have helped them to grab more NA seats from Punjab than it gained in 2008. Now it looks, PPP was betting on a dead horse.