Imran Khan Niazi is on the Right Side of History – by A Z

Long marchThe idea that political virtue is all on one side is both mischievous and absurd. We allow ourselves to talk in that way because in our country indignation, scorn, and vituperation are the fuel with which the necessary heat of any debate is maintained.

Attitudes towards Imran vary greatly, often heatedly negative. He is the head of a party containing some supporters whose exuberance may come across as wild and bullying. Imran Khan has a knack of blurting out things that can exasperate even his most ardent supporters. Many of his well wishers wish he could learn to back his unshakable determination with flexibility of method in the pursuit of far-sighted goals. The call for Civil Disobedience was probably ill-conceived and the insistence on the PM’s resignation now appears obstinate to many impartial observers. Any objective person would agree that he is at times prone to being hard-headed, being self-absorbed, being politically naive, being unable to see through people, or overplaying his hand as he appears to be doing now. But as a person, a human being, and a leader Imran’s strengths far outweigh his weaknesses. Imran Khan Niazi is honest, direct, patriotic, uncomplicated, straightforward, courageous, spirited, energetic, strong, determined, perseverant, uncompromising, and sincere. Imran is a man who acts according to his well-formed conscience and his innate determination without agonizing about some imagined stamp of approval down the road or the vicissitudes of the historical annals.

Having said that, now that all conspiracy theories have turned out to be false, Imran Khan stands much taller than when he started the walk. A man who fights merely by the force of his conviction. Whether or not he passes the test of the moment remains to be seen but what is already clear to a discerning mind is that Imran Khan is on the right side of history in a country where the right side of history is pitiably empty.

In fact while Nawaz Sharif is now a much diminished figure, Imran and TuQ loom much stronger than when they started the march.

The debate how many people are still sitting in Islamabad after twenty seven gruelling days is now meaningless. History does not remember the number of people; it reckons who was on the right side.

Imran Khan will not only walk away securing serious electoral reforms and transparency measures, he has also shown the world what he is about. A man who has the courage to stand, unmindful of consequences, for what he thinks is right. Not wavered in his resolve by malicious unfounded rumours, Imran has made Pakistan much ripened for democracy within a span of a few weeks. The future of popular suffrage can now be planted upon the foundations of electoral transparency and political accountability which Imran has taken a huge step towards laying down.

The history will also credit Imran and TuQ for severely denting the country’s powerful rulers’ unshakeable sense of impunity. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, someone has shown them that they cannot get away with everything even when in power. That they can be held accountable while in the saddle. Thanks Imran and TuQ for exposing the parliament, which even at its best behaviour, in the current joint session, comes across as little more than a bunch of rascals.

Imran Khan may not emerge looking a wily politician. But that does not matter for that is not what he is and that is not what we need. We have had enough of them, one more cunning than the other – all shamelessly deceitful. Imran embraced the profession of politics with other convictions and has now shown the pluck and nerves to act by them.

Of crucial significance is the fact that he represents change versus stasis in a country where political system and leadership is utterly morally insolvent. He is the first person to emerge in post-1971 Pakistan, and remains the only one on the horizon, who offers a decisive change of direction. Imran Khan embodies rejection of privilege, entitlement, and the sterile old order in favour of a new, vigorous, upwardly-mobile society built upon strength, merit, and achievement.

One may differ with his methods but, in the midst of Kleptomaniac politicians, Imran has sacrificed all personal happiness and private life for what he wants to achieve for his countrymen. Yes, his ineloquent pontificating has suffered from an excess of exposure wrought by continual public speaking during the sit-in. But, this exposure has also unmistakably shown that Imran is a human counterpart to the image of the lofty, distant statesman and glib, shifty politician.

{Thanks to TuQ, first time ever the absolute power in the land found it daunting to wash away the blood of poor people from their hands. Whatever his original motives may have been, the Model Town massacre has ensured that TuQ, despite his dubious theatrics, will be remembered as a leader who was willing to risk his life in seeking justice for his poor people.}

IK right side of HistoryWhether or not Imran is the man who ushers this country into a new era, whenever the New Pakistan emerges and whoever leads that process, Imran’s place in its history will not be in jeopardy. That much he has already ensured.

Having said that, many people fervently wish that Imran does not end up
on the wrong side of the present because they don’t want to outsource the change and accountability to an abstract future rather than here and now. They want it because, in the meantime, people of Pakistan can’t eat the future judgment of history. They can’t live decent, free lives because history might eventually work out for their grandkids or their great-great grandkids while their own lives are consigned to having the dynastic and corrupt status quo’s boot on their neck



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