The froth of Imran Khan – by Nadeem Paracha


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Imran Khan will sweep next elections – by Abdul Nishapuri

What can one say about Imran Khan? A great former cricketer, a compassionate philanthropist … a sorry excuse for a politician. But his continuing forays into bad politics and tactical blunders can be excused, for he is yet to understand that politics is not a game of cricket, and that the democratic election process does not follow the selection policy he enforced as the captain of the Pakistan cricket squad.

The truth is, Khan’s penchant for picking up talented players seemed to have gone haywire when he decided to pick his early political mentors.
Coming from a highly educated, cultivated, and somewhat liberal background, Khan had slipped into reverse gear by the time he decided to enter politics in the early 1990s. In other words, instead of looking forward to becoming an integral part of a new, democratic, and General Zia-less Pakistan, Khan struck an ideological partnership with shadowy characters who were hell-bent on keeping the country stuck in the 1980s – a decade when Pakistan pulled and damaged all of its important political, economic and social muscles under the stressful weight of a myopic dictatorship and the damaging jihad that a dictatorship sponsored in Afghanistan.

By the time Khan officially entered politics sometime in late 1995, it wasn’t his pristine education at Oxford University, or a more insightful understanding of Pakistan’s political history, that was informing his political make-up. On the contrary, his ideology was weaved from the usual reactionary claptrap one expects from former ISI men, especially those who got emotionally involved in Pakistan’s counterproductive Afghan jihad project.

One such chap was General (retd.) Hamid Gul, who is squarely responsible f0r shaping Khan’s rather warped understanding of Pakistan’s political history and dynamics.

The next natural step for him was, of course, going further down the reactionary rabbit hole, where a world brimming with the most outlandish ideas and concepts of history, politics and society continues to thrive. This hole is the same into which a number of urban, middle-class Pakistanis have decided to fall, becoming an isolated cult of sorts with its own set of prophets that include certain music and fashion celebrities, TV personalities, cricketers, journalists, televangelists, et al.
This cult also has its own understanding of Pakistani politics, society and faith, one that is a highly animated concoction of the distorted content still present in many of the country’s history and religion text books. This world view espouses a narrative patronised by the post-Zia military and intelligence agencies that puts Pakistan at the centre of the universe around which malicious anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam forces are constantly trying to undermine the country’s political and cultural wellbeing. As such, this narrative is highly anti-democracy, and thus looks at Pakistan’s ethnic and sectarian diversity and plurality suspiciously and akin to being a danger to Pakistan’s ideological singularity premised on the belief that there is only a single, homogenous strain of faith and nationalism that thrives (or should thrive) in Pakistan.

Alas, this train of thought does not emerge from the figurative masses. It stems from the Punjab-dominated, military-bourgeois-religious elite and its many fans among the large sections of the province’s urban middle-classes. Mind you, it is the same elite that was highly pro-America during the Cold War and played a leading role to continue undermining democracy and populist political parties through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. And if the decade of the 1990s is anything to be learnt from, one can also suggest that it is this elite that becomes highly vocal and animated whenever Pakistan slips away from the clutches of a military dictatorship and plants itself back in the more democratic domain.

To put it simply, it is ironic watching and hearing men such as Khan, Gul, Munawar Hassan and Zaid Hamid spout populist lectures and speeches on corruption, sovereignty and patriotism, when the truth is that much of what these gentlemen are spouting is nothing more than a slippery version of the narrative propagated by the above-mentioned elite whose roots are not in the so-called masses, but in the smoky corridors of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies and in the comfortable drawing-rooms and TV lounges of the country’s urban middle- and upper-income groups.

There is no doubt that men like Hamid, Hassan, and Gul are (in a Machiavellian manner) pretty conscious of this dichotomy and not bothered at all as long as it helps them keep a large section of the country’s urban bourgeois entertained and thrilled by long-winded myths and tall tales of “Muslim supremacy” and assorted tirades against democracy and rational politics.

But I do wonder if Khan is conscious of the fact that much of what he chants in the name of the poor people, free judiciary, national sovereignty, and Islam is largely a by-product of the nonsense generated for years by the country’s economic, military and social elite groups? However, since Khan has not been above hypocrisy and contradiction himself, blundering over and again by questioning the moral make-up of everyone from President Asif Zardari to Mian Nawaz Sharif and Altaf Hussain, only to be faced by some ugly reminders of his own not-so-moralistic past, one can assume that he too is conscious of the above-mentioned dichotomy.

What’s more, though one would have imagined that a man like him was likely to have avoided certain disturbing exhibitions of xenophobia and sheer racism that have now crept in the narratives and mind-set of men like Hamid and his bourgeois elite following, Khan blundered again by deciding to actually appear on a controversial TV show on which Hamid and his warped sidekicks make a mockery of history and politics, peddling nationalistic chauvinism as patriotism, and paranoid fiction as ‘fact.’

If Khan takes himself seriously, what on earth was he doing on a show in which it was claimed that Einstein’s equation ‘E=MC2’ meant nothing and was actually another step by the Zionists in their march towards world domination, and that Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry too was ‘planted’ by western and Israeli agencies. This is only the tip of the iceberg made from the insane yet comical absurdities that do the rounds on that show. And yet Khan, who calls his party a mainstream political organ, decided to appear on a show that operates like a millennial, end-of-the-world cult?

The more tenacity mainstream political parties in the present parliament exhibit in the face of a rabid onslaught against its character by the Taliban, the media, and assorted drawing-room cranks, the more frustrated these gentlemen get, consequently becoming more audacious and absurd in their attacks.

The same thing might have happened recently with Khan. Perhaps getting more aware of the lack of any worthwhile electoral ability of his party (even though it has now been around for a decade), he proved himself to hold the same xenophobia and racial superiority that large chunks of the urban middle-classes have started to suffer from.
During a speech in Lahore, he lashed out at President Zardari and MQM’s Altaf Hussain, using the most worn-out critical clichés that the two men usually face on TV screens. But this was not the problem. Khan wasn’t saying anything new or offensive in this respect. However, while winding up his rhetorical tirade, he got carried away and revealed the true extent of his xenophobia. While attacking MQM member and a minister in the PPP-led coalition government, Babar Ghauri, Khan sarcastically equated him with African children.

Ghauri, who, like most MQM leaders, rose from a lower middle-class background and worked his way through the ranks amidst a number of crackdowns on his party by the state in the 1990s, has a dark complexion. And it is this that the mighty Khan (‘man of the masses’ – most of whom are not as fair as Khan himself), chose to ridicule. Speaking in Urdu, Khan said, “Ghauri was sitting (talking to me) on TV, so what should I say to this guy? I (wanted to tell him), Babar Ghauri, if I go to Africa, I can show you a hundred kids that look like you!”
I wonder if Khan spoke the same way about West Indian greats such as Viv Richards or Clive Lloyd? And is this why the great Khan chose to marry a white British woman instead of a ‘brown’ Pakistani girl? And was the great reborn Muslim and ‘honest politician’ so peeved with late Benazir Bhutto only because she could speak better English than him and have an equally fair complexion?

We can go on and on ridiculing Imran in this respect, but one would have to crouch as low as men like him have stooped just to bag applause from bored TV viewers.

A man with such a fantastic cricketing career, and an impressive record of philanthropy, a man who once seemed to possess all the right ingredients to become a truly enlightened and loved politician, has, unfortunately, landed on his face. He now sounds like an awkward cross between a freckled member of the Ku Klux Klan and a frustrated shrew who treats his country as a lowly damsel in distress who can only be saved by a fair prince like him, instead of those who come into power with the votes of the common, albeit dark Pakistanis.

Source: Dawn


15 responses to “The froth of Imran Khan – by Nadeem Paracha”

  1. I laugh only when ever i see imran khan and when he talk, hahha,when he taked how been out of his clothes, in my Opinion he is a clown in Politics Like RANGEELA who entertan the politician and i hope politicians not take him seriously, Mr Khan u dont have a worth to run Party i challange u, u can not win the seat of Labour councillor form ur area, what is PTI. Imran khan first app apne wife ka sath to insaf karo, then u tak abt the masses of Pakisan,
    WE CAN ONLY LAUGH ON U Imran Khan, hahahhahahahha

  2. name one current leader who has proved to this mentaly crippled public that he is honest. the man you just ripped to pieces over his honesty or some people say political immaturity is the only man who never cheated pakistan or its public. jinnah was ridiculed by our own muslims over pakistan as an seperate muslim state, now you see his picture everyday.. last paraghraph about babar ghauri was plain stupid cause it seems u havent seen wat mr ghauri looks like. comparing him to a chinese would have been incorrect but to an african is spot on. search the web for his pics.
    the fact of the matter is that jinnah was not perfect and same can be said for Mr Khan. some one who leaves his billionaire wife and kids for country should be praised rather then made fun off. the point you made about morality and that he asks the learders to resign over it was simply stupid. he does not say that zardari should resign cause he is imoral/religiously incorrect but because that these people have more then enough cases of murder and corruption on eperson can dream off. if mr taseer and zardari want to drink up on mujras so be it, none would challange their elligibility. the issue here is completely different to what you explained in the article.

  3. i lived in karachi for my first 15 years and i know what MQM represents and what sort of people come up to main stream politics. bunch of thieves and murderers have enough going on for them then for you to support them.
    why dont you write a article on MQM. dont forget to add what altaf said in india about pakistan 😛

  4. What NFP said is full of crap. he allways comeup with controversial issues. I m very sorry but all he is doing is to add ‘mirch masala’ to his news to sell it in market.

  5. imran khan is suffering from delutions of greatness for a long time.hamid gul and harun rashid have used this spoilt brat for fun and propaganda purposes.

  6. Well said, naseer ahmed. NFP as usual has been surgical and straight forward in his analysis. Imran Khan lives in a make-believe world; a world, as mentioned by paracha, that was constrcted by men like Hamid Gul, the jamat islami and where we can now also find ppl like Zaid Hamid.

  7. imran khan recently used racist comments at MQM Babar Ghauri in his party meeting . its a very dangerous sign .A man should have avoided such racist statement at sitting Senator, Anyway he is nothing more than a standup comedian .

  8. Disclaimer: we sent this rebuttal to dawn but they have deliberately avoided publishing on their blog.

    Paracha Piffle by Umar Khayyam

    What can one say about Mr. Nadeem F. Paracha? An erudite savant he never was, a self proclaimed paladin of democracy and liberalism, a purveyor of pessimism … a groveling apology for a political pundit. But his risible theories, disingenuous surmises and analytical howlers can be excused, for he is yet to realize that he cannot fool all the people all the time.

    The truth is that he lost all sense of fairness, reasonableness and impartiality when he took up conjuring up drivels for a day job. What exactly is his grouse against Pakistan, its history, its heroes and its national ethos is unclear but what is patently evident is his deep seated animosity towards a certain national hero -Imran Khan!

    So obsessed and paranoid is the worthy writer about Imran Khan that not a single write up of his is devoid of barbed shafts aimed at Imran Khan. Granted that he always ran low on writer’s ink and that logic and profundity were never his forte, but has he become so sterile, jaded and pathetically predictable as to be unable to write a single article without hurling mud at a celebrated national hero? History is replete with examples of once high and mighty writers, eventually running out of ideas and becoming clichéd and banal towards the fag end of their careers, but what to talk about the desultory and vapid ways of Mr. Paracha who seems to have met his waterloo even before a Toulon? Has he become clichéd and banal without first attaining greatness? Or he is among the proverbial exceptions which prove the rule? Or just that he is not worth the writing space he occupies and readership he enjoys undeservedly?

    But he is not the lone ranger in this relentless crusade against Imran Khan . There is a certain cabal of pseudo intellectuals, dissembling experts, pocketbook analysts and self styled paladins of democracy and liberalism have lost their sleep, all sense of reason and logic in denouncing Imran Khan. The question is, what has Imran Khan done to earn their ire? Why is he being painted in such lurid colors? What crude conduct has he been guilty of to elicit such derision and scorn?

    The answer is that he is a man about to meet his situation. If the situation and the man meet, then the machinery is set off by which history takes one direction instead of another. Imran Khan is all set to meet his situation, enjoy his tryst with destiny, and relish his moment of truth. In times of universal deceit uttering a word of truth is a revolutionary act. So goes an inexorable law of history. But any revolutionary act in an era of darkness is a hideous crime, so goes another law of nature. Imran Khan has proved himself to be a hideous criminal, liable to be summarily denunciated and tossed into dustbin of history, for daring to speak the truth in a time of universal deceit.

    In an age notorious for mendacious, bland, spineless and venal politicians, Imran Khan appears to be sincere, dynamic, defiant and consistent. Three of his personal characteristics have endeared him to the people of Pakistan: His sincerity, his refusal to compromise and deal with the powers of darkness and his courage. He possesses in fair degree all the three primary characteristics of human soul, as enshrined in the Greek mythology; nous (intellect) thumos (passion) and epthumia(appetite). He has vocally and consistently opposed the anti-national, anti-people policies of the forces of status quo, ever since his entry in the political arena back in 1996. His message: No deal, no compromise, no gradualism, no sharing of power, no rapprochement with those, who have imperiled the existence of Pakistan.

    Imran Khan has his finger on the pulse of the nation. He has the sagacity and credibility to unite all the disparate forces along the most radical demand: Sweeping away of the current iniquitous system. He has aroused hopes of deliverance from ineffectual rule in different strata of society. The middle class, much reviled by Mr. Paracha, see him a harbinger of freedom from the yoke of regression, restoration of 1973 Constitution, authentic democracy and Rule of Law. They regard him as a nationalist opposed to military dictatorship and American interference in our internal affairs.

    He is a born leader; tough enough to fight, human enough to make mistakes, humble enough to admit them and tenacious enough to absorb the pain, get up and keep walking. With the nation in dire straits, stranded in a dark tunnel at the end of which no light was in sight, it was Imran Khan who glowed like a beacon of hope, courage and perseverance. Like a true leader he is courageous and steadfast in his beliefs, he makes life shrink and expand in proportion to his courage and makes others feel bigger when they are with him. Like a master conductor he reaches behind the notes to bring the best out of the players.

    It is darkest before the dawn; a trough has to precede a crest; only after a nadir comes a zenith. Only from the ghoulish nightmares of the past emerge fresh hope and a true leader!

    A leader whose revolutionary and soul stirring message, spreads across the milieu like wildfire, warming the hearts of a bedraggled and comatose nation, setting ablaze sterile and cold imaginations, triggering off an earthquake, resulting in seminal tectonic shifts, which alter the tapestry of the landscape as well as the future of the nation dwelling within, forever. When a nation is in crisis, it needs a man to match the times. But you do not create such a man, you only recognize that man. Cometh the hour, Cometh the man. Today Imran Khan is like a classic hero who has emerged as a paladin of nationalism, baptized in the waters of public opinion, made great and filled with courage.

    He who stands by him can aspire for victory, while he who stands against him is bound to find himself on the wrong side of history, marginalized, ostracized, left redundant and conveniently forgotten.

    So take your pick Mr. Paracha, nail your colors to the mast, whether you would like to lick the spittle of MQM or side with Imran Khan? Whether you would like to go down in history as a man with great ideas and honest intentions or a petty mechanic peddling cynicism for a livelihood

  9. @Tayyab

    Mere honesty is nothing! You need to be capale also. Unfortunately, IK despite 14 long years has not been able to structure his party! If one persn has been failed for over a decade, and he claims he truly believes in democratic principles, what do you think he should do? Quit and accept the failure …isn’t it? But no he is not going to do that.

    All he is good at is getting hateful, conspiratory and emtionally provocative directions from Qazi and Hamid gul types and then pass it over to the general public!

  10. @nadeem fucked-up paracha
    being a drug addict never helps and with that being on a payrolls adds to the misery. About your surgical analysis of imran khan, sixty percent of it is true and the rest your bias. Who said that he is the ideal man to lead Pakistan? Please point me towards anyone better. Also please come up with surgical analysis of rest of the politicians of Pakistan with the same zeal and please do not forgot bhuttos. AHH!!! Babar Ghauri THE SAINT ….poor babar ghauri got some racial slants ….what if he killed dozens of innocent or he looted the public money… he deserves no public humiliation…right?? you did not say a single word about what babar ghauri said about imran …i guess you forgot or simply you chose to ignore …how righteous of you? do you want me to do a surgical analysis of you MR. Nadeem? i have read enough of your articles to think i am qualified to do that. Very well said about imran and his political mentors and similar ideological whoops. You are clever for a drug addict. Or was it you past? can you tell me your greatest achievement? what have you achieved in life other excessive barking just like most of the people you criticized. WOW to your global knowledge and kudos to your hate for conspiracy theorists. probably you like criminals more than dillusionals. for me , i hate both. the difference between me and you is, i do not criticize one and leave the other. In other words, i am not a hypocrite. you are a hypocrite Mr. Paracha ….so much for your following …..you intellectual depth amazes me …your selective interpretation amazez me more …..tell me if you are any different from zaid hamid. Both of you are attention seekers. I hope you earn what you are looking for. so much for your honesty ..

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