Original Articles

An analysis of Imran Khan’s speech in Lahore rally – by Nadeem F. Paracha

Related posts: Imran Khan’s Lahore rally offers no hope to Pakistan’s religious and ethnic minority groups

Imran Khan takes over Lahore – by Riaz Malik

Editor’s note: In this post, we offer two thought provoking commentaries on Imran Khan’s speech in the PTI rally in Lahore on 30 October 2011. The first commentary is by Nadeem Paracha published in Dawn (31 Oct 2011) and the second is an editorial in Urdu published in Daily Mashriq.

You ain’t talking to a facebook crowd!
by Nadeem Paracha

Much of Imran Khan’s speech remained nothing more than a mix of feel-good sloganeering and hollow revolutionary spiel.

For example, exactly what does he mean when he says that he wants to turn Pakistan into an ‘Islamic welfare state?’To me this term is as meaningless, really, as, say, Bhutto’s ‘Islamic socialism,’ or for that matter, ‘Islamic banking!’

What is Khan suggesting? Is it just about the suffix ‘Islamic’ we put in front of everything that we do but that has very little to do with Islam?

Why can’t we just have a welfare state, or is that too western and secular sounding?

And to have a welfare state, is Khan planning to nationalise major industries and businesses and have the state confiscate large tracts of land?He says he can do this with an effective tax collection system. Great, all power to him then, but, again, what has that got to do with Islam?

Secondly, he rather audaciously used (in his speech) the figure of those killed in terrorist attacks in Pakistan (35,000+) since 2004, as a direct consequence of American drone attacks and ‘war on terror.’

Since the number of people killed in drone attacks is not even a quarter of those killed in the cities by extremists; and also, since many of those killed by drones have also been Islamic militants, it was, I think, rather sheepish and slippery of Khan to associate the multifold deaths of men, women and children at the hands of extremists in the cities to drone strikes.

And why would those who, as Imran claims, become extremists after their loved ones are struck by a drone, seek revenge by striking at common civilians praying in mosques and shrines, or studying in schools, or buying and selling in open markets?When Imran talks about holding a dialogue with militants, is he talking about negotiating and sympathising with such remorseless men?

This smacks of what is called the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ – a psychological phenomenon wherein hostages begin expressing sympathy and have positive feelings towards their tormentors, sometimes to the point of defending them.

Khan’s fanciful musings in this respect are actually a rather cowardly display (by the new ‘Lion of Lahore’) of twisted convolution (if not downright dishonesty) in which he is confounding his already confused young constituency by suggesting that extremist violence is being perpetrated upon a hapless population in the cities of Pakistan by those who are being killed by American drones.

Is that what is making these oh-so-wronged men blow up markets, shrines, mosques, churches, imambargahs and Ahmadis’ places of worship and slaughtering Pakistanis at will?

And even if this is what is making them do so, then shame on them and on those who are sympathising with them. For example, when a man dies from a ranger’s and a cop’s bullet in Karachi’s slum area, does his son or daughter goes out to explode in public because he’s been ‘wronged?’

No. He might become a criminal or a ‘target killer’ or whatever, but a mass murderer … ?

I sincerely wish now that Imran has made his initial mark in mainstream politics, he gets his bearings right and breaks out of the belief that he is still talking to a facebook crowd.

Source: Extracted from NFP’s article in Dawn

اداریہ

روزنامہ مشرق لاہور

جلسے کے کلیدی مقرر اور جماعت کے سربراہ عمران خان کی تقریر میں کوئی ایسا نکتہ نہیں تھا جسے ان کے موعودہ انقلاب سے تعبیر کیا جاسکے۔ ان کا سیاسی موقف اپنے استقلال اور داخلی تضادات کے ساتھ عوام پر اچھی طرح واضح ہے اور ان کی تقریر اسی موقف کا اعادہ تھی۔

عمران خان صاحب محکمہ مال کا ریکارڈ کمپیوٹر پر لا کر پٹواری کا منصب ختم کرنا چاہتے ہیں۔ اس میں کوئی شک نہیں کہ پٹواری ہماری معاشرتی روایت میں بدعنوانی اور رشوت کا استعارہ ہے۔ تاہم بدعنوانی پٹواری کی ذات پر موقوف نہیں بلکہ اجتماعی رویوں سے جنم لیتی ہے اور کمپیوٹر اجتماعی رویوں یا نااہلی کا انسداد نہیں کرسکتا۔ اگر ایسا ہوتا تو امسال پنجاب کے تعلیمی بورڈز کو اپنے نتائج منسوخ نہ کرنا پڑتے۔

عمران خان صاحب نے تھانہ کلچر میں تبدیلی کا نسخہ منتخب تھانیدار یا شیرف کی صورت میں دریافت کیا ہے۔ یہ امر قابل اطمینان ہے کہ اگرچہ عمران خان کو منتخب صدر، منتخب وزرائے اعلیٰ، اور منتخب ارکان اسمبلی کی دیانتداری پر اعتماد نہیں تاہم وہ منتخب تھانیدار کی دیانتداری پر مکمل اعتماد رکھتے ہیں اور سمجھتے ہیں کہ پولیس کو سیاسی اثرات سے پاک کرنے کا طریقہ یہ ہے کہ تھانیدار کو علاقے کے لوگ منتخب کریں۔

عمران خان حکومتی عہدیداروں سے ان کے اثاثے معلوم کرنا چاہتے ہیں اور آئندہ چند ماہ میں یہ اثاثے ظاہر نہ ہونے کی صورت میں سول نافرمانی کا ارادہ رکھتے ہیں۔ قابل ذکر بات یہ ہے کہ عمران خان کو صرف منتخب سرکاری عہدیداروں کے اثاثوں میں دلچسپی ہے۔ سوال یہ ہے کہ ہر انتخابی امیدوار کو اپنے اثاثوں کا اعلان کرنا ہوتا ہے۔ منتخب نمائندے الیکشن کمیشن کو اپنے منقولہ اور غیر منقولہ اثاثوں کی تفصیل بیان کرنے کے پابند ہیں۔ ان گوشواروں میں کسی بددیانتی کی صورت میں انتخابی عذر داری دائر کی جاسکتی ہے۔ ایسی صورت میں عمران خان کی سول نافرمانی غالباً مربوط سیاسی اور معاشی پروگرام نہ ہونے کی عکاسی کرتی ہے۔

اس اہم خطاب میں عمران خان نے جمہوری نظام سے وابستگی کے بارے میں ایک لفظ نہیں کہا۔ 1600 ارب سے لے کر 1800 ارب روپے کے کل سالانہ محصولاتی حجم میں بیرونی قرضوں کی واپسی، دفاع اور انتظامی اخراجات نکال کر جو باقی بچتا ہے عمران خان اس کا حساب چاہتے ہیں۔ یہ ان کا شہری اور جمہوری حق ہے لیکن ان اثاثوں کا کل حجم ملک کی مجموعی معیشت میں کیا تبدیلی لاسکتا ہے۔ کیا عمران خان نعروں کی مدد سے بجٹ کے خسارے، بیرونی سرمایہ کاری کے فقدان اور کمزور صنعتی شعبے اور تجارتی خسارے جیسے معاشی مسائل حل کرنا چاہتے ہیں۔ 1999ئ سے لے کر 2002ئ کے انتخابات تک عمران خان کو جنرل پرویز مشرف کا قرب سلطانی حاصل تھا اور آمر کا احتسابی بیورو سرگرم تھا۔ عمران خان نے معیشت کو ترقی دینے کا یہ نسخہ تب کیوں استعمال نہیں کیا۔ پاکستان میں کوئی ایسا قانون موجود نہیں جس کی مدد سے شہریوں کو اپنے جائز اثاثے ملک سے باہر لے جانے سے روکا جا سکے۔ درحقیقت کھلی منڈی کی معیشت سرمائے کے آزادانہ انتقال کا دوسرا نام ہے۔

دہشت گردی کے مسئلے پر عمران خان کے خیالات میں کوئی ندرت نہیں۔ وہ عسکریت پسندوں، پاکستان کی سرزمین پر قبضہ کرنے والوں، ہزاروں پاکستانیوں کو شہید کرنے والے اور لاکھوں پاکستانی شہریوں کو یرغمالی بنانے والوں کے خلاف فوجی کارروائی کے مخالف ہیں۔ عمران خان کے حامی انہیں ملک کا وزیراعظم دیکھنا چاہتے ہیں۔ ملک کے وزیراعظم کو آئین اور ملک کی سلامتی کے تحفظ کا حلف اٹھانا پڑتا ہے۔ یہ سمجھنا مشکل ہے کہ عمران خان عسکریت پسندوں کے خلاف کارروائی نہ کرنے اور بطور وزیراعظم اپنے حلف میں کس طرح مطابقت پیدا کریں گے۔ غالباً اس کا جواب یہی ہے کہ وزیراعظم کے منصب پر پہنچنے کے لیے انتخابات میں کامیابی ضروری ہے۔ انتخابی عمل انقلاب کا نہیں، آئین کے تسلسل کا تقاضا کرتا ہے۔ شاید اسی لیے عمران خان چند ماہ بعد سول نافرمانی شروع کرنے کا ارادہ رکھتے ہیں جب آئندہ انتخابات میں ایک سال سے کم مدت باقی رہ جائے گی۔ جس طرح عمران خان نے قومی معیشت کے کلیاتی خد و خال کو نظر انداز کرکے ایک جزو پر توجہ مرکوز کررکھی ہے اسی طرح وہ پاکستان کے قومی سیاسی منظر میں صرف پنجاب کے ایک خاص حصے کو ہدف بنائے ہوئے ہیں۔ پاکستان کی تاریخ میں بہت سے مسیحا آئے اور پھر اپنے صدری نسخوں سمیت تاریخ کے اوراق میں گم ہوگئے۔ اگر عمران خان اس روایت کو تبدیل کرنا چاہتے ہیں تو انہیں اپنے سیاسی موقف پر سنجیدگی سے غور و فکر کرنا چاہیے۔

Source: Mashriq

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All the kings men in PTI’s Lahore rally including some journalists and politicians known for links with Pakistan’s military establishment


An abusive placard against President Zardari in Imran Khan’s Lahore really (Source)

Imran Khan’s abusive attack on President Zardari on a previous occasion

Some questions about Imran Khan’s PTI NA-USA LLC – by Ahmed Iqbalabadi

Imran Khan’s financial credibility? – by Ahmed Iqbalabadi

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15 Comments

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  • Excellent analysis, both by NFP and Mashriq.

    Imran Khan’s speech, unlike his rally, was a major disappointment.

  • Nadeem F paracha Proud Karkun of MQM – Papa Altaf will never like your this piece of suiting your purpose lullaby as Daddy himself called Imran to congratulate him over his successful Jalsa in Lahore, so no pocket money for this month I’m afraid, Rules are Rules, how would haider abbas rivi or for that matter mustafa kamal feel when they’re asked to tighten up their holes and not utter a retaliation when Chachu Zulfi grinds daddy??

    Oh and btw opposing Imran khan’s peace dialogue with talibans, hey paracha how about writing a similar lullaby like one, but this time against chachi clinton for asking the same rhetoric – GET TALIBANS ON NEGOTIATION TABLE WITH US

    In your dictionary, US themselves asking for PEACE DIALOGUE is debatable and can be adjudicated plausible but Not IMRAN KHAN, coz Pocket money on stake!
    Now like a good boy, allow my freedom of speech & prove that you’re not a COW-tard!

  • The journalists I can see are Haroon Rasheed, Shahid Masood and Mujeeb ur Rehman Shami. There is Mian Azhar and also Farooq Amjad Mir (he was naib nazim of Lahore during 2001 and 2005)

  • @ Zain, well said brother. I cant imagine how you could appose some one trying to promote peace and unity in Pakistan.

  • @zain: You seem to be a magnificent burger jihadi, a true mama’s boy. Did she teach you all this crap? Is your love for Taliban ‘fucking’ khan emanate from the fact she has been indoctrinating you over the years? Chachu Zulfi may very well grind daddy, but at least there is a daddy in existence in this case. I can’t say who’s gonna grind you because in your case daddy doesn’t seem to be a known personality. Mustafa Kamal and Haider Abbas would think of something when they are “asked to tighten up their holes”, but it appears that you have already tightened yours, and it has forced you to spew shit from your mouth. Go find a men’s room, if you are a man; if not, ask mama.

  • Mr Khan’s speech started with attacks against President Zardari and the Sharif brothers. His repetition of the false story pertaining to Ambassador Husain Haqqani about a nonexistent letter was uncalled for. Mr Khan should not bend facts to suit his case. On the domestic front, Mr Khan’s politics revolves around mainly two issues: elimination of corruption and systemic administrative structural change. Even if Mr Khan somehow manages to end corruption, is there any guarantee that the existing system will not regenerate it? How the PTI intends to save our economy is something that is virtually conspicuous by its absence in its programme. Mr Khan talked about the patwari (land record officer) system and the thana (police station) culture, but provided only half-baked solutions. Giving superficial solutions is a sign that Mr Khan has failed to recognise the actual depth of the problem. He needs to come up with better plans. Once again Mr Khan talked about reconciliation with the Taliban. He needs to be reminded that more powerful people and forces have tried this policy and failed. How can we expect those who kill and maim innocents for their fanatical objectives to think rationally?

    Imran Khan talked about the rights of the Baloch and ending the ongoing military operation in Balochistan. How he plans to persuade the army and the FC to end their kill and dump policy is anyone’s guess. While he talked of educating women and the rights of minorities, he did not talk about the discriminatory laws that are loaded against women and religious minorities. He also failed to talk about the persecution of the Ahmedis and sectarian conflict. Mr Khan’s main targets were the politicians. By keeping quiet about the military’s role in Pakistani politics and the consequent mess we are in today, Mr Khan has certainly aroused suspicion. Many believe he has the blessings of the establishment.

    The jury is still out on whether to call the success of PTI’s rally a game changer or not. PTI lacks the required party machinery and electable candidates. Mr Khan also made some tall claims, such as calling for civil disobedience and shutting down the cities if the politicians in power do not reveal the full extent of their wealth, but on this he may well be tested in the coming months. While the successful rally has added weight to Imran Khan’s political standing, the next general elections will show whether the PTI is able to translate a successful rally into parliamentary strength.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\111\story_1-11-2011_pg3_1

  • There could be flaws in Imran Khan’s speech, there could be contradictory and vague statements but some points are very clear:
    1. He has mobilized educated youth and specially those sections of society who never goes to political rallies with families.
    2. He has used nationalistic approach which attracted masses, he didn’t use religious and regional biases to address public
    3. Youth don’t want old faces, they want CHANGE.

  • Is Imran Khan a communist?? I mean, talking of “Welfare State” and all…Just wondering. (Or maybe just an opportunist – especially a Communal opportunist, whatever that means.)

  • @Iqbal: So you confess you got a daddy living in UK who tightened up his hole, burning down Paks flag and running away to Mamma Elizabeth in Uk and these days riding M16’s AK47?
    Yes i am a burger Jihadi unlike a sissy dumbfuck like you who’s still in the topsy-turviness of determining his raison d’etre as per to HOW can a woman on my part make such an error of delivering me out or for that matter blame the doctor for hatching a testicle like you, for which i famously quote: no matter how much hair you grow, no matter how heavy and fat you get – you’ll always remain under the BAT.

    Oh and btw i think the 500,000 people at Lahore PTI jalsa are enough to suffice your mothers insatiable appetite for DOING AND GRINDING HER MORE

    P.S We’ll not make the mistake what the rabid rehab Altaf qasaye did in your case, so we’re opt CONTRACEPTION – don’t want my kids to be hurled n bashed like this by an another me, simply can’t take that!

  • For a quick summary of who amongst fake liberals were running #PTI rally publicity on Twitter, review this:

    OmarWaraich Omar Waraich
    Wow. That’s a big crowd #PTIjalsa

    OmarWaraich Omar Waraich
    Apparently the Ravi bridge is choked with traffic heading for the #PTIjalsa

    OmarWaraich Omar Waraich
    Too early to say. But he’s officially in the game now RT @blakehounshell: so imran khan is the real deal huh? Game changer?

    OmarWaraich Omar Waraich
    Lahore Special Branch say the venue at Minar-e-Pakistan is full #PTIjalsa

    tammyhaq Ayesha Tammy Haq
    by OmarWaraich

    AajTV saying Lahore venue filled to capacity gates closed workers will have to listen to the speeches outside speakers set up #PTIJalsa

    OmarWaraich Omar Waraich
    The Punjab police estimates that there are 22,000 at the #PTIjalsa and rising. Official counts are usually conservative

    OmarWaraich Omar Waraich
    @aleefbaypay Literal. It’s a very big crowd

    kaalakawaa Kala Kawa
    The PTI speaker just said that the capacity at the ground is 200K. Nahin, right? I can see 50K though.

    kaalakawaa Kala Kawa
    Minto Park is a far more scenic location for a jalsa than Bhati Gate.

    kaalakawaa Kala Kawa
    @Razarumi To be fair, the impact of 1 of today’s rallies on Pakistan’s political future likely to be larger. Prob not MQM one. @shahidsaeed

    kaalakawaa Kala Kawa
    Anyone know how many times President Zardari has officially addressed the country? (You know the PTV style address)

    kaalakawaa Kala Kawa
    A little funny to see jiyalas like @marvisirmed get uppity at IK aligning himself with a few former PMLQ guys

    tammyhaq Ayesha Tammy Haq
    @mirza9 estimates are 35K at the moment

    tammyhaq Ayesha Tammy Haq
    #PTIJalsa filling up looks HUGE has Pervez Rashids resignation been sent in?

    AnjumKiani anjum kiani
    RT by tammyhaq

    #PTI caravan stopped by #Zardari. & #PMLQ supporters in #Jhelum & #Gugranwala. Negotiating to defuse stand off. Police request peace.

    tammyhaq Ayesha Tammy Haq
    @shahidsaeed according 2 organisers now 70K chairs. It’s a bit like a cricket stadium there’s chairmans box VIP enclosure & general stands

    Razarumi Raza Rumi
    by Mehmal

    Good show by #PTI. Excellent to see youth getting involved in politics and hope they also vote in the 2013 election. Ditto for middle class.

    Mehmal Mehmal Sarfraz
    @OmarWaraich how many then? 100k or less? @kaalakawaa

    pakistanpolicy Arif Rafiq
    by Mehmal

    RT @norbalm Difference between #mqm & #PTIjalsa one has orchestrated flag waving, the other is passionate, and celebratory.

    Mehmal Mehmal Sarfraz
    according to Iftikhar sb (@jawabdeyh), thousands of PTI supporters on Ferozepur Road on their way to Minar-e-Pakistan for #PTIjalsa

    Mehmal Mehmal Sarfraz
    true RT @hushamahmed: Have to admit: PTI today will be bringing those ppl to its rally too, who never attend such Jalsas normally.

    Mehmal Mehmal Sarfraz
    @kursed PPP didn’t promise any change as such but PTI does. PTI-walahs claim they’ll end corruption, etc @OmarWaraich

    Mehmal Mehmal Sarfraz
    @R_baloch PTI ki livestream try karo

    pakistanpolicy Arif Rafiq
    RT @asiffshahzad various ppl who i spoke to in Lahore says PTI jalsa is bigger than shahbaz sharif’s sarkari show.

    pakistanpolicy Arif Rafiq
    RT @Mehmal RT @OmarWaraich: Lahore Special Branch say the venue at Minar-e-Pakistan is full #PTIjalsa

    pakistanpolicy Arif Rafiq
    Former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal emailed me on August 18, 2011 stating that PPP gangs are waging a “genocide” campaign against Muhajirs.

    pakistanpolicy Arif Rafiq
    If you want istihkam-e jamhuriyat, you might not want to side with dictators and murder your political rivals.

    pakistanpolicy Arif Rafiq
    Wait — How are Altaf and Zardari making love again? Just over a month ago, senior MQM officials were mailing me accusing PPP of genocide.

    sharmeenochinoy Sharmeen Obaid
    The numbers are impressive- people still believe in the system and democracy! Thank you #PTIjalsa –

    rizwanrkhan Rizwan Raees Khan
    by pakistanpolicy
    Initial diff I can see between #PTIjalsa and others is that other than party workers families and the middle class have turned up in big num

    anthonypermal Anthony Permal
    You know, #MQM & #PPP’s reactionary stance today says alot about their fear of the ‘what-if’ factor of #ImranKhan. #PTI #Pakistan

    kursed Abdullah Saad
    by anthonypermal
    If nothing else, I hope the PTI rally shames other parties to not to use state machinery to pull people again.

    anthonypermal Anthony Permal
    Ppl were complaining b4 today’s #PTI rally that there won’t be enuf ppl. Now they’re complaining about big crowd+finding fault #Pakistan

    AnjumKiani anjum kiani
    by anthonypermal
    #PTI caravan stopped by #Zardari. & #PMLQ supporters in #Jhelum & #Gugranwala. Negotiating to defuse stand off. Police request peace.

    tammyhaq Ayesha Tammy Haq
    “@kaalakawaa: I hope Imran Khan recites some Jalib today. It’s been so long since anyone’s tried that one.” brilliant

    Saba_Imtiaz Saba Imtiaz
    +10 RT @kaalakawaa: I hope Imran Khan recites some Jalib today. It’s been so long since anyone’s tried that one.

    shahidsaeed Shahid Saeed
    by aliarqam

    Desperate: “Pervez Rasheed Challanges Imran Khan to show 50,000 chairs at his rally within one hour…. If shown he will resign from senate”

    tammyhaq Ayesha Tammy Haq
    #PTIJalsa is massive. Women on stage. Lots of jurnos on stage

    tammyhaq Ayesha Tammy Haq
    LOL “@mosharrafzaidi: MQM’s expression of solidarity with President Zardari almost as comical as Altaf Bhai’s gangsta rap.”

    tammyhaq Ayesha Tammy Haq
    Has Imran Khan finally arrived? Will this huge rally translate in to votes? Will credible people join the #PTI ?

    DrAwab Awab Alvi
    #ptijalsa 350,000+ people – The revolution has started #pti

    kaalakawaa Kala Kawa
    Is this when I eat crow? Really quite well done by the PTI. That’s a LOT of people, and I’m assuming a lot of work went into it.

    DrAwab Awab Alvi
    Imran khan offering namaz Maghreb on stage at #ptijalsa #pti

    mosharrafzaidi Mosharraf Zaidi
    by TheseLongWars

    compare the captivating energy of Imran Khan’s crowd, versus the lethargic acquiescence of Altaf Hussein’s.

    mosharrafzaidi Mosharraf Zaidi
    Skipper praying Maghrib. Marvellous.

    pakistanpolicy Arif Rafiq
    by le_Sabre
    I know this is bad, but wouldn’t it be great if Altaf had a heart attack and died while giving this absurd speech no one wants to listen to?
    37 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    le_Sabre Daaniyal
    #PTI has brought out the youth to support him. Out of conviction!n what can the PPP bring out on its side? a 2 bit murderous thug in London

    Rezhasan Rezaul Hasan Laskar
    A terrific in-swinger is on its way, and this will be the first ball that will remove the wickets of two batsmen: Imran Khan.

    Rezhasan Rezaul Hasan Laskar
    This is not a flood, it is a tsunami, anyone standing in its way will be swept away: Imran Khan

    Rezhasan Rezaul Hasan Laskar
    I pledge that no strength, including Zardari or Nawaz Sharif, can stop this flood: Imran Khan

    Mahamali05 Maham Ali
    by tammyhaq

    We are going to give rights to domestic servants who are treated like animals: Imran Khan. Impressive #ptijalsa
    21 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    tammyhaq Ayesha Tammy Haq
    This ones for the women…education for all. #PTIjalsa

    tammyhaq Ayesha Tammy Haq
    Hahaha RT @SundusRasheed @AamnaTaseer @tammyhaq pretty clear on my political stance. my leader has to be attractive. and not my brother…..

    tammyhaq Ayesha Tammy Haq
    Months of planning millions of rupees later 1 vote RT @jhaque_ Have decided to vote for Imran Khan in 2013 elections #PTIjalsa #Jazbati

    tammyhaq Ayesha Tammy Haq
    @fispahani 2 b fair 2 Imran Khan he spke out whn @SalmaanTaseer ws murdered he supportd @sherryrehman blasphemy bill more than 1 cn sy 4 PPP

    tammyhaq Ayesha Tammy Haq
    Here comes The Great Khan…

    OmarWaraich Omar Waraich
    Special Branch is saying the turnout is 105,000 at the #PTIjalsa

    OmarWaraich Omar Waraich
    Huge exaggeration RT @NewsweekPak: PTI claiming half million present at Imran Khan’s rally.

    shahidsaeed Shahid Saeed
    by OmarWaraich

    “Imran Khan: A cricketing hero with his eye on political glory” – by @omarwaraich – Aug, 2011 ind.pn/p9s5dO

    mosharrafzaidi Mosharraf Zaidi
    first thoughts on Imran Khan’s speech: meandering, light on specifics, impressive breadth, so-so delivery, some really bright spots.

    mosharrafzaidi Mosharraf Zaidi
    assassay. best romanized word ever.

    mosharrafzaidi Mosharraf Zaidi
    Imran Khan seems to have turned a corner from the “twilight” speech, thanks his “team” and the PTI youth that came out in numbers #PTIJalsa

    mosharrafzaidi Mosharraf Zaidi
    On womens’ rights: “we will declare an education emergency for women, we will ensure women receive their fair share of inheritance”

    mosharrafzaidi Mosharraf Zaidi
    Imran Khan at #PTIJalsa – “we will empower domestic workers with their rights”

    dnoorani Daniyal Noorani
    by beenasarwar

    People who are upset that he didn’t touch upon Ahmaddis and blasphemy law, one shud be careful when navigating a minefield #PTIjalsa

    Razarumi Raza Rumi
    by beenasarwar

    Absolutely. He is a force 2 reckon with MT @mosharrafzaidi:PTI rank& file pulled off an historic event in Lahore.That’s nothing to scoff at.

    mosharrafzaidi Mosharraf Zaidi
    major policy assertions by Imran Khan at #PTIJalsa
    42 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    mosharrafzaidi Mosharraf Zaidi
    “hum baldiyati nizaam lay kay aain gay”

    mosharrafzaidi Mosharraf Zaidi
    if you’re interested in electoral politics, getting a big crowd together at a historic venue in “opposition” territory is a good start.

    abbasnasir59:
    Imran Khan has announced his entry finally as a serious contender in politics. Does he have what it takes to win parliamentary polls?

    SamadK Samad Khurram
    Not sure if any PML-N or MQM/PPP mentioned Balochistan at their rally. #PTIJalsa

    SamadK Samad Khurram
    Forget political differences for now and cherish the moment. This is a great day for democracy and people’s participation #PTIJalsa #PTI

    SamadK Samad Khurram
    The highest estimate for PML-N rally was 70K, which is at least 30K lower than the lowest estimate for #PTIJalsa. #PTI #Pakistan

    SamadK Samad Khurram
    Wow.

    sabahat24 Sabahat Zakariya
    Just returned from the PTI jalsa. About to blog it. Stay tuned if you are interested in my take.

  • Piped Piper of Lahore
    News Comments (54)
    By:Harris Bin Munawar Tuesday, 1 Nov 2011 10:34 pm | 54 Comments

    The people of Pakistan want change. They are not happy with the status quo and want to get rid of the corrupt turncoats, the regressive clerics, and the meddling retired generals who currently share power in Pakistan and are responsible for the state we are in. But is Imran Khan capable of bringing that change?

    Malik Zaheer Abbas Khokhar won the 2002 elections on a PPP ticket. But when he realised his party was not ready to side with a dictator, he rebelled and became part of a group of PPP dissidents that joined the Pervez Musharraf government in return for favours. Eventually, he joined the establishment-backed PML(Q). The PML(Q) lost in 2008 and the military ruler fell. In 2010, Malik Zaheer Abbas Khokhar made a comeback. He contested a by-election in Lahore on the ticket of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf.

    Ijaz Khan Jazi belonged to the faction of Muslim League led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. After General Pervez Musharraf ousted Nawaz, Ijaz Khan was one of the many turncoats who parted ways with Nawaz. After the fall of Musharraf, Jazi Khan also made a comeback in 2010. He contested a by-election from Rawalpindi on the ticket of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf.

    One key member of the establishment-backed PML(Q) in Punjab was Mian Mirajuddin. He was the senior vice president of PML(Q) Punjab and a provincial minister for Excise and Taxation in the cabinet of chief minister Chaudhry Pevaiz Elahi. After the fall of PML(Q), Mian Mirajuddin did not resurge. But his son entered politics in 2010, contesting a by-election in Lahore, on the ticket of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf.

    Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed, who is credited with organising this week’s surprisingly large public meeting at Minar-e-Pakistan, was a nazim of Islami Jamiat Talaba, an organisation accused of sabotage, violence and moral policing in a number of universities in Pakistan, including beating up girls and boys who interact, and professors who resist the group’s authority. In 2007, when Imran Khan arrived at Punjab University to speak to students as part of his campaign against Gen Musharraf, members of the IJT beat him up, dragged him around, and then shut him down in a room until the police arrived and arrested him. In 2008, Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed was made the president of PTI Lahore, ad hoc.

    Shireen Mazari was the director general of the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad, a think tank funded by the foreign office and linked closely to the security establishment. She continued to work with the institute until 2008, despite Pakistan’s decision to support the US in its war on terror. In 2008, she fell out of favour and was removed. In November the same year, she joined Tehreek-e-Insaaf after a meeting with Imran Khan and was then made a vice president without elections.

    Gen (r) Hamid Gul was one of the architects of Pakistan’s policy of strategic depth in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The policy involved creating private religious militias with weapons and money from the US, and it backfired when many of those groups began to resist the authority of Pakistani state and committing acts of terrorism in Pakistan. Veteran columnist Haroon Rasheed said in a column in August this year that Hamid Gul had sent him to Imran Khan to persuade him to join politics. The two have recently been accused by philanthropist Abdus Sattar Edhi in jointing PTI. Hamid Gul is Imran Khan’s mentor.

    Flanked with people who are part of the problem, how is it possible for Imran Khan to be able to identify and resolve it?

    Imran Khan held a huge public meeting in Lahore this week. Tens of thousands of his young followers see him as a messiah. But that reminds me of the story of the Pied Piper of Hemlin. Someone who had come to rid the town of plague was not paid what he had been promised, and took away their children. The story probably refers to Nicholas of Cologne, who claimed to have had religious visions and lured away a great number of children on a disastrous Children’s Crusade in 1212. Imran Khan has claimed similar religious visions in his new book. But the establishment will not give him what he wants, and he may lead our children away to somewhere they might never return from.

    The writer is a media and culture critic and works at The Friday Times. He tweets @paagalinsaan and gets email at harris@nyu.edu

    http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2011/11/pied-piper-of-lahore/

  • I do not make a pretence of a neutral, fly-on-the-wall observer regarding my views on Imran Khan. The Lahore rally proved me wrong about the extent and numbers of his following. However, other than that one quantitative aspect, it reinforced the already settled impression of him possibly being an establishment stooge and either extremely naive or purely disingenuous. The towing of the military establishment line while attempting to be a populist leader is a contradiction that to me is irreconcilable, and hence makes him a hypocrite.
    The single most anticlimactic moment of the rally was definitely the speech of Imran Khan himself. With the stage set for a historic speech, the opportunity was squandered by him. The unimpressive and apparently extempore speech was largely filled with repetitions of easy recommendations he frequently imparts. Conspicuously absent was mention of any serious military accountability. While Khan rightly exhorts politicians to bring back their foreign assets, he is curiously silent on the military’s multibillion assets in Pakistan. How about we begin at home? The foreign policy element in his speech was equally one-dimensional and simplistic — that of standing up to the United States and befriending China. No marks for novelty here. His argument against drone attacks is cogent standing alone, but it is almost immediately followed by why we should negotiate with the Taliban. Terming these sadistic medievalists as “our brothers” estranged by drone attacks is plainly dishonest and is an attempt to perpetuate the narrative of the military establishment’s discredited doctrine of ‘strategic depth’. I hope I do not have to burden your memory much while reminding you of the consequences of the previous occasions we capitulated, most recently in the Swat peace deal. Advisers like Shireen Mazari and mentors such as Gen (r) Hameed Gul are not confidence-inspiring. Imran Khan made a token statement on Balochistan, I sincerely hope that he follows up, though given his record and affiliations I am not hopeful. The closest he came to a making a serious policy point was while talking about patwaris and thanas, unfortunately he trailed off without a concrete suggestion.
    The image of Imran Khan praying alone on the stage in Minar-e-Pakistan is telling. I have no doubt that the theatrical move was orchestrated and calculated as a ploy to reinforce his image of the messiah. I found it exhibitionist, ostentatious and a manifestation of an ego the size of Lahore. Could he not have prayed off stage or conducted a jamaat if he was so inclined — so much for being inclusive. However, do remember it is the same man who titled his recent autobiography Pakistan; a political history. This is quite a contrast with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s Lahore speech of 1977 where he said “Haan mein sharab peeta hoon, laikan awam ka khoon nahi peeta!” (Yes I drink alcohol, but I do not drink the people’s blood). And before anyone embarks into drawing hopelessly inexact parallels between Khan and Bhutto’s rise, they will do well to remember Bhutto was fighting the military establishment while Imran Khan has them babysitting him.
    Malcolm Gladwell made famous “the Warren Harding error” in his cleverly written book Blink. Warren Harding was one of the worst presidents in the history of the United States. Gladwell attributes Harding’s rise to the Oval office to the fact that the latter looked presidential and stately. Harding was a tall, dark and handsome man with a very perfunctory understanding of statecraft. He was vague and ambivalent on almost all major issues during his political career, but continued on the way up because he just came across as heroic. I am sure this is not the only reason people gravitate towards Khan, but personal charisma remains a major selling point.
    The last argument which should be addressed is: don’t all of these objections apply to our current political leadership? They probably do, but our current leadership is not prophesying a tsunami. People who vote for them will have a fair idea of what they will get. Nevertheless, Khan’s policies and motivations will be more minutely examined and more criticism will follow, now that he seems to be a serious enough player. A reference I am sure many of Imran Khan’s fans will understand is from the movie Spiderman: “with great power comes great responsibility”. Khan has brought the historically apolitical urban youth into mainstream politics and needs to be commended for that and I hope that they vote for him, if they are so inclined, and elect him. However, if there is to be another attempt at a GHQ-backed test-tube revolution, that will be the real tsunami.
    Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2011.

    Saroop Ijaz
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/288134/not-another-tsunami/