Imran Khan and ‘mass movement’ – Let us pray for Imran Khan’s swift recovery

First a new announcement by Imran Khan, which is followed by analyses by Hasan Nisar and Nazir Naji.

Imran announces campaign against NRO
Sunday, 1 Nov, 2009 11:12 pm

LAHORE : Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf has announced to launch a campaign against National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) here on Sunday, Aaj News reported.

Addressing a press conference PTI Chief Imran Khan said that a protest demonstration would be staged next Friday in Islamabad while in Lahore protest demonstration would be held on Saturday.

He said NRO is continuity of the policies of former President Pervez Musharraf, adding South Waziristan operation is also part of those policies.

He added that after the passing of NRO from the assembly it would clear that who wanted a society based on justice and who wanted loot and plundering.

Imran appealed all the political parties to oppose this ordinance.

He said Kerry-Lugar Bill is the bill of American interest and Pakistani people will not accept this aid at any cost.

Leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Mr Imran Khan has decided to hold mass movement rallies in Islamabad and Lahore to mobilise the people for a mid-term general election and against the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) as it passes through the process of legislation in the two houses of parliament.

It is difficult to imagine how Mr Khan will manage to whip up any national passions for a mid-term election when people don’t even come out to the marketplace; and Mr Nawaz Sharif, the most popular man in the country and the one most likely to become the next prime minister, vows that he has no plan to go for a mid-term change. Nor will the people feel moved greatly by the NRO to mob the streets and deliver on the plans set on foot by PTI.

There is a separate politics of mass mobilisation in the country and the last time it was done, not by the political parties exclusively but by the lawyers agitating for an independent judiciary, its denouement was prevented by a phone-call from the army chief. Is that a part of Mr Khan’s strategy? We have seen many small parties trying to get people to come out on the streets for their causes without great success. People seem to have switched off from the politicians. Jamaat-e-Islami is still at it — it has even held a national referendum on the Kerry-Lugar Act — without much effect.

Mr Khan is a big leader of a small party and has a growing political profile, but he may be jumping too far ahead by calling for a mass movement. He runs the risk of becoming the head of a fringe party forever by running after objectives that may be before their time. The Jamaat has actually reduced itself much by moving in radical directions under its former chief, Qazi Hussain Ahmad. It continues to do so under its new chief. The JUI under Maulana Fazlur Rehman has been more pragmatic. The PTI is still cutting its teeth; it must be more supple in its selection of goals. * (Daily Times)


(Hasan Nisar)

Let us pray for Imran Khan’s swift recovery

(Nazir Naji)