On Imran and tigers

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Rabzon, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Rabzon

    Rabzon FULL MEMBER

    On Imran and tigers

    The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2012.

    By Shahid Mahmood
    The writer is a Canada-based editorial cartoonist and his work has appeared in several international publications.

    The tiger is an apex predator. It is a solitary, powerful beast and it is no surprise that Imran Khan is attracted to it. The Imran we all once knew was a cricket superstar who captained Pakistan to their first World Cup victory. He rallied the Pakistani cricket team in the 1992 final, ordering teammates to play like “cornered tigersâ€. A voracious playboy — he was once married to Jemima Goldsmith and was romantically linked to the likes of Susannah Constantine, Sita White, and Goldie Hawn. Like Imran’s bouffant hirsute and playboy years, the tiger analogy is now passé. As a politician, Imran needs to build true credibility. Democracy, as they say, must be something more than just a tiger and a cow voting on what to eat for dinner.

    Over the years, Imran’s political campaign has been built around a narrative that has close associations with violent jihad. He has channeled public support using a popular, yet simplistic refrain that Pakistan’s political elite bears the blame for all of Pakistan’s woes. He argues that this political elite is corrupt and is complicit with the United States in the ongoing war on terror. This “master-slave†relationship, as Imran called it in a recent interview with Julian Assange, has caused indiscriminate death in Pakistan.

    Imran’s misguided strategy is treacherous. Islamist groups exemplify all that is wrong with Pakistan. Their version of Islam lacks both empathy and tolerance. Islamists have long manipulated religion to advance a political agenda. Like the Republican Newt Gingrich, Imran has traded political obscurity for fleeting notoriety. The potential for intellectual rigour has been traded for half-baked ideas, the sort, which according to Najam Sethi, “you would pick up at an airport — and now Imran is caught in a no-man’s land, satisfying neither liberals nor conservativesâ€. Imran’s political rhetoric does not provide the framework to organise a proper government. Any Pakistani who pontificates that they can end corruption and terrorism in 90 days is disingenuous. But then again, this is the same Imran who wrote that Darwin didn’t quite get it right — referring to his theory of evolution as “half-bakedâ€.

    According to Imran, the salvation of Pakistan’s sovereignty lies in resurrecting the ideology that helped create Pakistan. He urges the country to unite to repulse American interests in the region. Imran’s use of religion and anti-American sentiment to push a political agenda is unfortunate. He shows himself as an opportunist, willing to appease Pakistan’s right wing in order to win votes and gain popular support. As someone who has stated that he wants to be “a catalyst for change, bringing in a big revolution in Pakistan and changing the way the country is goingâ€, he is doing everything wrong. Imran’s speeches are full of clichés, false hopes and unreasonable offerings.

    Pakistanis should demand more of their politicians — being Imran Khan is not good enough. When John Fitzgerald Kennedy took the oath of office in 1961 as the President of the United States, he delivered a moving speech announcing the dawn of a new era — “rejoicing in hope and patient in tribulationâ€. He went on to say: “In the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding on the back of the tiger ended up inside it.â€

    Imran should heed President Kennedy’s tiger analogy instead of politicking like a cornered one.
  2. Rabzon

    Rabzon FULL MEMBER

    Excellent editorial, Dawn is one of my favorite newspapers, its editorials are pithy and always to the point, but this one takes the cake.

    I have great respect for Imran Khan the sportsman, Imran Khan the social worker but I have zero respect for Imran Khan the politician.

    As the editorial correctly pointed out “the politics of Imran Khan, the religious right and even other mainstream centre-right parties in Pakistan help perpetuate the confusion and uncertainty that prevents the public from truly understanding the threat militancy poses to the state of Pakistan and the fabric of society.â€

    Imran has been spreading disinformation on the war on terrorism by mixing some truth, outright lies and false conclusions.

    In my book, he is a terrorist apologist.

    Khan and the Taliban


    IMRAN Khan wants to lead a ‘peace caravan’ to South Waziristan to protest drone strikes, but the TTP is having none of it. Speaking to the Associated Press, a TTP spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan has condemned Khan and his ‘liberal’ politics and declared that if the PTI does try to hold his political rally in South Waziristan, the TTP shura will convene to decide how to respond. While the spokesperson did yesterday reject that he had threatened to kill Imran Khan, the crux of his accusation against the latter and the democratic system stand: the PTI chief is a liberal infidel and the democratic system is un-Islamic. To some, the TTP’s outrageous claims will be a definitive rebuttal of the oft-repeated allegation that Mr Khan is soft on terrorism and that he misrepresents the real reasons for the existence of Islamist violence in Pakistan and the region. After all, how can ‘Taliban Khan’ be a friend of the Taliban if they denounce him in emphatic terms?

    But that would be to miss the point. The TTP’s loathing for the way Pakistani state and society is organised is so extreme that even flawed political narratives that are part of mainstream Pakistan are viewed as repugnant and worthy of elimination by the TTP and like-minded militants. The denunciation of the PTI’s political platform by the TTP is first and foremost about the danger that violent radicalism continues to pose in Pakistan — nobody is safe, not even those who take up causes, such as opposing drone strikes, that would seemingly work to the benefit of militants themselves.

    There is, however, another, perhaps more subtle, point at work here: the politics of Imran Khan, the religious right and even other mainstream centre-right parties in Pakistan help perpetuate the confusion and uncertainty that prevents the public from truly understanding the threat militancy poses to the state of Pakistan and the fabric of society. When Mr Khan argues that if it weren’t for the ‘foreign occupation’ of Afghanistan, militancy in Pakistan would be a virtually non-existent phenomenon — a historically and factually incorrect theory — it only serves to deepen the societal confusion about Islamist militancy that has been nurtured by the security establishment since the days of the Afghan jihad against the Soviets. The Taliban want to remake Pakistan in their own frightening and grotesque image, as TTP spokesperson Ihsan proudly stated.

    Until they are defeated and the mindset they represent decisively rolled back in society, Pakistan will be in danger. That, more than anything else, is the message the political class should be sending Pakistanis.

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