A couple of days back a blog was published on the website of Express Tribune in which the author highlighted his disappointments in Imran Khan and his PTI. The author holds certain beliefs that may well be based on his personal understanding of the PTI’s mode of functioning pre- and post-elections. But then, the disappointment of the respected author appears to be merely the seagull approach with special reference to the practical politics.
PTI has provided Pakistan’s democracy a great deal of profit. The galvanising of masses and bringing the traditional non-voters out to polling station to vote on the election-day was indeed PTI’s biggest achievement. To these millions of people Imran Khan was a Knight in the shining armour. Under this impression most of the supporters of the PTI started wishing for a utopia, while some wished for simple progression in the country; however, a very low percentage of supporters exactly acknowledged that politicking at large is also about being uneconomical with the claims during the campaigning and for the most part about being pragmatic. As brutal as it sounds especially for the utopians it is the only politics that we have known always, probably as far as history of democracy takes us to. There are varieties of choices when it comes to voting a particular political party in elections but knowing that only one of them will ultimately get your vote you narrow down your choices and support and vote a singular party that you think have to offer what you demand. This is how it works.
People voted Imran Khan’s PTI heavily on the same ground, as much that it got the second highest votes in the country. While voting for PTI the people knew very well the angle of approach PTI always has in dealing with the issue of Taliban. And despite that PTI managed to bag second highest votes through its supporters. Now at any moment after the voting a voter thinks that his choice has faltered he is left with the only choice which is to voice his concern and/or suggest a novel way through which he thinks the issue against which he has reservations can be dealt with. The plot thickens, during the former federal government of PPP, the All Parties Conference APC) had decided for a peace talk with the TTP. In addition to that, the so-called leftist parties of Pakistan, the MQM and PPP have lately been found softening their approach towards the issue of dealing with the Taliban menace.
There is something merits mentioning: talking about peace talks or softening one’s approach towards the issue of dealing with TTP, and actually conducting the peace talks and offering the Taliban all that they want are really the two opposite sides of the barricades. Naturally it is absolutely fine to show the fears where PTI could end up giving TTP all that it wants, but at the same time it is equally important to understand that way before PTI looks forward in doing that it would be under the pump of its heavy supporters who are not ready to live under the stings of Taliban at any moment in their lives. Hence, PTI, and for that matter even the PML-N, wouldn’t follow this course and do the mistake. Understandably, in the democratic and political process the mistakes are naturally and unknowingly made. And voices like that of the author of the blog play conspicuous role in getting the attention of the political parties and barring them from conducting the grievous mistakes. However, during all this show there is a pressing need to understand that any undue criticism and wedge politics could hamper the overall democratic process in the country.
Coming towards the empowerment of the youth that the PTI has promised, the PTI actually fulfilled it. More than one-third of the tickets were awarded to those below the age of thirty, whereas eighty per cent of the ticket holders contested the elections for the first time. It is lucid that the supporters of PTI are quite passionate about the youth-factor, but it is equally important to understand that there is no alternative to “experience”. While in real world organisations require “experienced” people for their managerial portfolios, here we are talking about management of the country which similarly demands the people to be of public intellect and experienced under whom the youth are supposed to work and provide the best of their input to sail the political activities of the party smoothly. With time the youth at-present would become the managers and by that time they would have earned enough experience to know how practical politics work.
Let’s get to the PTI and JI alliance in KPK. As undesirable and unpopular the alliance is for many of the disgruntled PTI supporters, including myself, after spending a few minutes crunching numbers it can be hypothesised that had the PTI not formed alliance with the JI in KPK the opportunity to rule the province most likely would have fallen straight in the hands of indisputable self-proclaimed rightists – the JI and JUI-F together with the independent candidates. What would have been more worse for the province: the PTI sitting in opposition while primarily the JI and JUI-F governing the province, or to scrape together the only opportunity PTI got to govern the province and shun the chance for the JI and JUI-F to form its government in the province. The former would have appeared more obnoxious to the presently disgruntled PTI supporters on the national level and the voters on provincial level; with a heavy mandate they would have called PTI for an alliance so that it forms its government in the KPK and gets the only chance it has to prove what it promised. In retrospective, had PTI been interested in the alliance it would have gone for the seat adjustment pre-elections with the JI in KPK which it didn’t. If anything, practical politics is not just as straight as an arrow and the decision of PTI to form coalition with the JI must have come tough for the party.
Let’s cut to the chase. Every political party has the shortcomings and PTI is no exception; it has lately made some challenging decisions that have positive strings attached to it too and only the party has the opportunity to exploit those positive strings in favour of it. PTI, in any case, shares a huge responsibility as of today than probably any other political party because of the fervent slogan of “change” it introduced on the political horizon of Pakistan. One can only hope that the PTI will actually “deliver” what it has promised to the nation. As for today it is too early to have a bone to pick against the newly elected governments, whether the PTI or PML-N.