Best laid plans | Pakistan Today

Best laid plans

The party looked less at ease, after having cured its constipation with some Hashmi ispaghol

If you were in Karachi this Sunday and missed the grand PTI carnival, you seriously need to get a life. I mean, for decades, young Pakistanis have been whining, “There’s never anything to do here!” and “Why can’t we have more social events, like Glastonbury?” And now, when the son of a Pathan (a Mianwali Pathan, but Pathan nonetheless) has actually taken the initiative and provided them an outlet, people like you have no excuse for not being there.

Indeed, Sunday’s Mardi Gras was the cure to a lot of ills. Imran Khan looked decidedly more at ease, after having cured his constipation with some Hashmi ispaghol. Abrar-ul-Haq was not his usual, domineering Punjabi self and actually sounded coherent. Shah Mehmood Qureshi chewed, enunciated and articulated his way into the history books and Imran’s legal team (Wajih, Hamid and Co) made sure that no libelous material was spewed forth. All in all, it was a civilised affair and everyone who went had a really good time. But is that what we really wanted from ‘IK: Live in Concert’?

Back in 2008, a black man was roaming the United States asking for change. Not in dollar bills, mind you, but in the shape of a paradigm shift. Obama’s message was clear: the status quo has let us down and its time to take matters into our own hands. This was all music to the unassuming American masses’ ears and they fell for the honey trap hook, line and sinker. Four years on, and now people are starting to wise up. Where are the landmark foreign policy and economic reforms? Has Obamacare made life better for the average American? How long can the Democrats ride the wave in the mosh pits of Pearl Jam and Green Day concerts that they use to draw people towards their cause? And most importantly, why is the US still involved in places like Guantanamo and Afghanistan? Can it be that the promise of change was merely a mirage? Have the American people been duped? OH NO!

For those who fail to see the writing on the wall, the message of the graffiti artists is quite clear. Imran Khan is a good man. He belongs to a good family, is well educated and of sound mind (sort of). He is eloquent and just as devilishly handsome today as he was when he lifted the crystal trophy in Melbourne in 1992. And, above all, he’s never been in power before, which means we can ‘trust’ him. I don’t know about you, but all of the above doth a good dulha make, but not necessarily a good leader of nations. Pundits, nay-sayers and sundry others have been yelling themselves hoarse, asking Imran to let on his actual cunning plans for the future of our fair backwater. But no answers have been forthcoming. All we’ve got is a veritable cyber army of trolls, uncouths and social misfits, willing to lay down life, dignity and honour to defend IK’s chances in the next general elections. I hate to say it, but (even at the risk of sounding like a broken record) batting (or bowling) credentials don’t quite cut it when it comes to abstract constructs such as development policy! Or land reform. Or women’s empowerment. Or poverty alleviation. If they did, Shahbaz Sharif’s motorcycle sojourn through flooded Rajanpur and his dinner at the dastar khwaans of our kissans would make him the next Jinnah (God forbid!).

Seriously though, I do hope that IK wins a few seats this time around. Enough to put him in contention for the Leader of the Opposition slot, or better yet, Minister for Sport, Culture and Youth Affairs. I wish this because I am not comfortable handing over the reins of my hollowed-out shell of a country to a man who is a certifiable megalomaniac. Right now, the cult of personality works in his favour because there is no actual work to be done yet. But come election time, all this fervour will be so much hot air. I want to know what good will come of a Hashmi-Qureshi-Leghari-Tareen nexus in South Punjab. I want to know how Imran plans on capturing the hearts and minds (sic!) of the rural populous with his Twitter and automated phone call-campaign. I want to see what happens when this holier-than-thou all-rounder from Zaman Park has to decide between cutting subsidies on petrol or wheat flour. Because this is the true test of the mettle of a man.

And above all, I want to be there when he breaks down and proclaims on national television, “You have no idea how hard it is to run a country!” I want to be there because I want to say to him, “Well son, neither did you. But you asked for it.”

Follow @mightyobvious on Twitter for more incoherence in 140 characters or less.

Syed Hassan Belal Zaidi

The writer is a journalist currently working in the development sector. Tweets at: @mightyobvious_



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21 Comments

  1. Kasif said:

    Yeah well Son that day ain't coming cuz he ain't a sissy. When did you watch him cry that he wasn't able to run Shaukat Hanam because it was so difficult? Megalomaniac… didn't Mountbatten say that about Jinnah you baldy?

  2. Shahid said:

    I am sure you would love to see him fail, just to prove a point as you gleefully insert your pensive 'victory' tailpieces. However, people like you would never have the courage to point these questions to the hereditary parties who are in the saddle of power both at faderal and provincial level. I would not be surprised if you pen a Bhutto eulogy on 27th, without bothering to know their records on all of the above 'policies'. The issue in our country is that poor are illiterate enough to be easily duped and intellectuals are myopic enough to miss the bigger canvass altogether.

  3. LandOfPure said:

    Right to the point. Now, here comes tsunami of criticism from the Toru brigade.

  4. mazhar ali said:

    This man a Ganja himself looks to be narrow minded like other famous Ganjas

  5. zah said:

    wow. what a thinking. so you are happy to leave the state' s affairs to NS who by the way have ruled this poor nation for 6 times( twice in centre and 4 times in punjab)and sir zardari about whom i donot have much to day but u can read international print media for that But you would not give to the man who have established himself the biggest hero at all levels. sir, seriously what are you thinking. it seems ant-imranism is the call of the day to get some cheap popularity. i really worry about pseudo-intelectuals cum liberals who sees this country through western eyes and if some body wants to do something, they will certainly try to make it difficult for him. good luck sir but i promise we will prove you wrong.

  6. umariqbal said:

    So agreed with kashif saahib and also with shahid saahib and also LandofPure. And am totally not agreeing with the tindoo ( the writer of this column )
    I mean what the heck yaar tindoo ? do u wanna give the power back to these culprits who are already ruling (more like ruining) the country or u want the ganjaa league (like urself) to hold the power again who have nothing, and i say again nothing at all to give to their province's graduates except mere a freakin black cabs service. ? Give it a rest, will ya !

  7. Imran said:

    @Mr. Syed Hassan Belal Zaidi

    I presume you are in the best of health and unfaltering spirits and i assume only after reading your article, if you know what i mean… hah! Hi Zaidi, we meet again!

    There is a sound reason in your piece this time coupled with some lines and paras which i have to comment on.

    Indeed it was a great show, a carnival, a Mardi Gras…but it was again seen with a spirit which has given me goosebumps, yet again! Am i too naive to feel this? May very well be! We all can call it whatever it was, a show/jalsa etc, but it has showed at least showed what people want now. You compared highlighted Obama in your text, and i will highlight him as well and other mainstream US politicians that when they have rallies/speech they also have actors/musicians supporting their cause and keep the crowd fired up. In this part of the world, we are more emotional, and IK knows how to tap into our emotions. I wouldn't call that a bad tactic instead i call it a smart move in the dry politics that exist. Moving on…
    No one knows the future, we all can predict, analyze through what we see try to make sense of what may happen. But at the end, we (including you 😉 ) are humans. We may have one opinion but at the end the result may very well differ from what we thought. In this case, we both could be right, and we both could be wrong. You have analyzed in a way which makes you believe he might have the same fate as Obama had. Well, who knows, it might very well be. But i do not believe so, and not only because i trust him, i have faith in Allah as well. Whatever is going to happen now with Pakistan, it will be either seen as the best or worst thing that happened to Pakistan. Most critics including you, do not understand the veracity of the situation where Pakistan stands. Peoples emotions are high, and their spirits have been thrashed by the existing ruling elite. Even if they IK does not come into power, people like me will get disappointed, it will be a serious blow to my aspirations and motivation to just work for a better life in Pakistan. Yes i am being emotional, because as humans this is what separates us from every other living thing and it is important to feel to be able to do something in life.
    IK will not announce every inch of his policy but what i have heard him say is that he will have his policies based on the poorer masses and i totally agree with him. If we give the masses a choice, in the end it will only help in building a nation. In my opinion the economic reforms brought in by Musharrafs government helped Pakistan but at the same time the Lal Masjid and judiciary fiasco and other controversies led to his downfall. Even if people from the same cabinet, i have nothing to worry about. It is the leader who is in control, he does not make policies but instead governs them to lead to his vision. Yes IK has not been in power, but you also cannot close yourself from reality that he is just not a world class all-rounder, he is a true leader and an excellent administrator, i talk abt SKCMH. Since long it has been touted that it will not survive this year or the next, but it does every year and still provides what it stands for. You do not need excellent credentials to be in power, one needs 'metal' as you mentioned and he has it! You have to agree that he has not shown any cowardice in his approach, and that is what makes me judge him. Also, if he does not win elections in a majority, i may be wrong but i know he will never get any ministry. What you wrote there was just a jab at a blind man, cos to me it did not make any sense whatsoever! Again, a leader leads his vision through. The question is if he can carry it through his team or not, that only time will tell. But i have my hopes up high along with my faith. Otherwise, my friend, as you wrote in that article, that you may have to go to Barbados. Well, i'll tell you frankly, you will definitely have to go there if IK does not come into power, because if we as a nation submit to the ruling elite again, there will be no Pakistan to write for.

  8. ZEN said:

    Undue criticism – why are you afraid to give him a chance! What other option do you have! I think, you need a life and mind with the right attitude. IK is the best choice in current times. You cannot rule out this option with your weak reasons. Think hard!!

  9. umariqbal said:

    So agreed with kashif saahib and also with shahid saahib and also LandofPure. And am totally not agreeing with the tindoo ( the writer of this column ) . Go lick foot of MQM, PML-N and PPP who are already ruining the country, best of luck !

  10. ThoughtFelon said:

    I have never seen such well rounded head albeit an empty one!

  11. Meroz said:

    i agree..
    you are continuously criticizing him but 'you haven't come up with one alternative so far'…!!

  12. shahid mahmood said:

    its a good script but imran khan is the person who brought all the nation on 1 plate form united.

  13. Haider Abbas said:

    did imran have any practical solution to the problems of inflation, unemployment, low economic growth rate and population surge? I would like any of his followers to reply

  14. Mighty said:

    Why can’t you trolls be more sensible like Imran (huge comment above)? Do you know that 90% of my motivation for writing these venomous pieces comes from baiting mouth pieces. Keep trolling and I’ll keep writing 😉

  15. Vasi said:

    Pretty lame attempt overall! Comparing the US political dynamics with that of Pakistan – to be precise, Obama's rhetoric of change with that of Imran's – is next to ludicrous, as there are a significant number of other factors at work in the US. Always wonder what such intellectually fragile and confusion-laden "analyses" suggest as to what should be the solution for getting this country out of the deep hole that the status quo forces have driven into…honestly, these self-proclaimed "analysts/intellectuals" don't really have much of a clue, to address my query! 🙂

  16. SAM said:

    @Writer a.k.a. Syed Hasan Belal Zaidi: You got a better option than Imran Khan to vote for? For his policy statements you need to talk to his legal and economic team which by the way has professors from Cambridge as well. For a mass gathering like the one in lahore and karachi, one doesn't expect policy statements coming forward. Forget all this, i'd love to hear who you're voting for….

  17. imad said:

    Hey man,,,*,,,,,,,,,u think ,by criticizing imran khan,,u are doing something different,and u feel,u desrve to be liked…………………..*

  18. Ayesha said:

    Excellent article Mr. Zaidi… Pretty much what I've been saying to people for a while. Nice to see that I'm not alone in thinking that IK is an unsuitable leader for the reasons you describe and nice to see it put so eloquently.

    It's just a shame that the individuals who have commented above don't know how to debate or discuss diverging views without coming out with asinine, personal attacks such as "ganja" and "baldy". They sound like idiots.

    To the commentators…Mr. Zaidi is expressing HIS opinion, you feel free to express yours on your own blog or on here and try to do it without name-calling as though any criticism of IK were a personal insult to you. It is not. Get over yourselves and behave like adults!

  19. concise said:

    you know, come imran khan or anyone else, Pakistan will remain pathetic exactly because of the people who have commented above. The problem is with us, and even Imran Khan can't change that.

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