Monday, July 18, 2016

Imran Khan's Freudian Slip

Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri.
This unusually forthright statement by Imran Khan, that Pakistanis will distribute sweets if army takes over, seems like a Freudian slip: apparently, the failed coup plot in Turkey has touched a raw nerve on a subconscious level. As the wiser among us know that since the 2014 Dharna fiasco, Imran Khan has pinned all of his hopes on the security establishment that eventually the Sharif family will be banished from politics, and then the field would be wide open for PTI to emerge as the largest political party in Pakistan.

After witnessing the humiliation of the Turkish coup plotters at the hands of the masses, however, this deplorable statement by Imran Khan is meant as a reassurance to his followers and, more importantly, to his patrons in the establishment that you don’t have to worry, because Pakistan is different from Turkey and that such a treatment would not be meted out to any potential coup plotters on the streets of Pakistan.

In Pakistan’s 68 years long history, the army has directly ruled it for 34 years and for the remaining half it kept dictating the terms to the civilian governments. If the army failed to weed out corruption, or to enforce an egalitarian social order in Pakistan in three decade long martial laws, then is it not na├»ve to expect that it would weed out corruption if given another chance?

Moreover, if a saint like Edhi promises that he would work for the benefit of the poor masses, he can be trusted. But a sinner who has been surrounded by corrupt billionaires and political turncoats like Jahangir Tareen, Khurshid Qasuri, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Aleem Khan, Azam Swati and Sheikh Rasheed, one has to be an imbecile to expect from such a cabal of corrupt quislings to transform Pakistani politics.

Furthermore, it is wrong to assume that the Pakistani electoral process is somehow not credible and trustworthy as alleged by Imran Khan and his followers. We do have a few pitfalls in our electoral system, but on the whole it is quite transparent and trustworthy. To prove this fact by empirical evidence, we’ve never had a single party rule in Pakistan. In the four elections between ’88 to ’97, two each were won by PML-N and PPP, and the latter also won 2008 elections.

One could only blame one-party rule like that of Mugabe in Zimbabwe that such sham elections are rigged, but not the Pakistani electoral system where all the parties have equal chance, more or less, to form the government; provided they have the confidence of the masses.

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