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Welcome to Chowraha - crossroads!

Chowraha is the crossroads of thoughts, events, opinions and feelings...all that have been shaped by individuals living in an increasingly complex world inter-connected through various means of communications.

This blog is about the crossroads in society - whether it is those of a diaspora community, global media complicating the structure of nations and cultures, or individuals finding parallels in spaces unknown to them.

Note:
The above picture is courtesy a much-admired photographer (Ali Khurshid) whose work is a source of inspiration and reaffirms the belief in the complex beauty of this world.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Imran Khan - a dispensable party or a complacent people

In his recent launch of new book, Imran Khan spoke to an auditorium full of supporters and fans at the UCL on what the purpose and message of his book was. Mr. Khan explained that the book dedicated to the youth of Pakistan aimed to unravel the realities behind the world post 9/11.

In a country constantly faced with militant attacks, drone attacks,suicide bombs, target killings and American warnings and threats as we have only most recently witnessed, it is no exaggeration to say that Pakistan is one of the biggest victims of the world post 9/11. The problems faced above and the repercussions to these is both an international affair and of domestic significance too. In the increasingly globalised world thanks to means of communications, trade and media, it would be naive to assume that the two are separate from each other especially in a country sandwiched between India, Afghanistan, Iran and China.

Where do we begin then?

It's only logical we begin at home. How so? It makes sense to first rid our country from the corruption, dishonesty and greed that are trade-mark of it's many times tested politicians. Mr. Khan reiterated that Pakistan's major problem was not terrorism but corruption and dishonesty. The concern over extremism versus liberalism, fundamentalists versus moderate Muslims, secular or non-secular are not the concerns of the masses - these are topics of discussion over "elite dining tables."

Imran Khan speaking at UCL(Sep 2011)
It all sounds good on paper, but can Imran Khan really win or topple votings in the upcoming elections? How will PTI succeed without previous precedence of vote banks?

According to Imran Khan, in Punjab and Sindh, 50% of the registered votes are fraudulent while the percentage is even higher in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Supreme Court has demanded that this be resolved and Imran Khan is hopeful that this will go in his favour. After all, the recent Pew research and Yougov polls indicate that the gap between opinion in his favour versus the support for others is widening.

But who are the people involved in PTI?

The main questions from the audience revolved around Imran Khan's team. George Fulton in his recent article on Imran Khan's popularity did not point out anything extraordinarily different from what people have been saying - is it all about Imran Khan then? It's a one-man show!

PTI rightly points out that what is needed to run a country is an institution, not a party. Perhaps we are convinced that Imran Khan doesn't have a team because PTI does not consist of names notorious for their greed, dishonesty and corruption - it's made of people who are strong institution-builders and who have the right intentions.

Jinnah did the same - he was elitest, representing the masses surroundimg himself with respectable, honest names not corrupt politicians. Jinnah left us too soon but at least he gave us a country - a mammoth task. Should we not have put our trust in him had we known he would have left us or would be unable to ensure a system around him?

We often ask why we cannot replicate an Arab Spring but little faith do we have in others like us, and the ability for us to join hands and step up. Having said that, it took many years of "apparent" lack of faith in change, and complacency in Egypt before Egyptians surprised the world with their power. It's too easy to reject positivity around us and highlight what's wrong but it only takes a gleam of hope to lay our trust in us and bring about a change.

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