Syed Haider Raza Mehdi
As I have always said we love to focus on the juicy peripherals.
Below the belt comments like Pinky peerni, lambasting him for his recent travel on a charter plane for Umrah etc are symptoms of this terrible malaise we all suffer from.
Sophisticated bhaands maquerading as anchors with overblown egos are having a field day, having a go at him.
One in particular, who I do like because he keeps everybody on their toes, has gone completely overboard by twisting facts and in his typical style has taken on the role of Judge, Jury and Executioner.
But these are all non issues in my opinion. Embarrassing, yes. But still non issues.
Having said that, I must admit that Imran also doesn’t help himself.
He has this uncanny knack and impeccable timing and an amazing ability to do the perfectly wrong thing at the right time such as this Umrah flight.
Just the optics of travelling in a luxurious chartered plane are an eye sore.
Kumbukht PIA YA Saudia say chulla jaatha, even if he had justifiable reasons to travel with ZB on his plane.
Having said this also, I dont think he’s compromised in any way and is still our best hope.
Just wish sometimes he could just pay a bit more attention to the political fall out of such ill considered actions
Having said that also, here are the hard core facts.
1. He’s struggled for 22 years to reach this stage, with zero political capital, background or legacy. And yes he has compromised on the purity of his party realising that there was no other way. One hopes that the compromise is manageable. This only time will tell!
2. He has literally and singlehandedly by sheer force of undying effort given us three cancer hospitals and a world class university and was and still is able to convince people of his incredible financial integrity as they pour money into these institutions.
3. But for him, Nawaz would have gone away scot-free. Had he not done his November 2016 Dharna, the Supreme Court would never have taken up the case!
4. He refused close to 200 million pounds sterling as part of his settlement during Jemima’s divorce proceedings. If he was greedy for wealth, well there it was lying at his feet. Even the adjudicating British judge was taken aback at the refusal and had to ask him twice.
5. His financial integrity is impeccable. Accusations of ATM JKT and Aleem Khan are very targeted to attack his integrity, his greatest asset. JKT has been paid every single cent from party funds for the use of his plane. Every party has donors. Some huge. So does PTI. Does anyone seriously think a political party runs on air and a prayer? The question is will he allow these donors to take undue advantage when in power?
My considered opinion is that its about a snowball’s chance in hell.
6. He has a clear plan in making public sector institutions independant and free of political control and influence lead by competent and honest leaders.
7. He has vowed not to give a single paisa of development funds to any MNA or MPA. Everything through Local bodies and associated public sector enterprises.
8. He plans to give constitutional protection to bureaucrats so they cannot be changed like chess board pieces and work without fear or favor.
9. He plans to limit cabinet to policy making and legislatures to only legislate. Some aspiring legislators are in for a huge surprise.
10. He plans to make the police totally apolitical and all accountability institutions, strong, free of political control, so they can do their jobs without fear or favour, including haul PTI MEMBERS who deviate from the straight and narrow.
11. He is incredibly patriotic and won’t sell the country.
12. And unbelievably determined!
This is what gives me hope!
And if anybody can do the above, its him.
And if he cannot, well then its our tragedy. Because it will certainly be not for lack of effort or intent, but because the mafia like status quo forces were able to stop him, supported by many of us who have accepted the narrative of the likes of Nawaz Sharif.
And yes he is a maverick, occasionally puts his foot in his mouth, is arrogant and preachy and also makes some really dumb mistakes.
But I dont see any of these as being existential.
He is still our best fighting chance to get us out of the quagmire.