A Man Without A Plan
Imran Khan is hailed as an enigma.
It’s said that he can revolutionize Pakistan and bring it to the top of the echelon.
He is portrayed as an honest man who will do his best to help the citizens of the country. However, let us see what does Imran Khan stand for?
Ever since the 2013 election, PTI has campaigned heavily for removal of then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
They had alleged that the previous election was rigged, and have held several demonstrations aimed to pressurize the government.
He has been able to tap into the enthusiasm and vigor of young Pakistanis, who will be a significant part of the electorate in the coming election. Young people don’t vote, but that’s a discussion for another time.
Politicians in Pakistan don’t really run on concrete plans and campaign agendas in the first place. Where politicians in the United States run on deregulation and a progressive tax system, Pakistani parties try to dumb down their ideas.
The Peoples Party has highlighted socialist policies by promising roti, kapra, and makaan to every destitute Pakistani, while PML- N had championed privatization and a freer market as the highway to a better Pakistan.
What does PTI propose to do? Do they believe in free trade, fair trade, or economic equality for all?
Khan has espoused some nationalist tendencies, saying that he will put the interests of the nation first.
This draws parallels to the Trump administration, which has long championed the phrase ‘America First’.
The problem is that the United States is a superpower with the ability to strong arm other countries.
Pakistan can’t simply alienate allies by taking a hard line in terms of trade and the war in Afghanistan. With us already struggling in the diplomatic arena, it may not be best to have a leader who continues to shun foreign affairs.
Several parallels can be drawn to Imran Khan and Donald Trump.
Khan has promised accountability and honesty in his administration, yet has let some controversial politicians into the party fore.
Khan, who prides himself on high ethics and morals, hasn’t exactly helped that cause by recruiting controversial figures like Aamir Liaquat into the apparatus.
He hasn’t been particularly interested in governance either; whereas Trump engages in petty feuds with members of the media and of his own party.
Khan holds large rallies where music criticizing the current administration is a prominent feature.
He makes a rare appearance in the Parliament, and that too to rail against the establishment rather than work to develop policies to improve the country.
The truth is that Imran has no clear vision for Pakistan. Though it’s easy make promises to bring accountability and honesty to the government, how exactly does he plan to achieve that? I’ve seen no properly developed policies released by his party.
He loves to dabble in identity politics; instead of running on policies of his own, he tries to tell the electorate how bad the other parties are. ‘Don’t vote for me for what I’ll do, vote for me because the others are so bad.’
His slogan for the past three years has been ‘Go Nawaz Go’, as if removing a single politician from power will remove the blight in the country. He wants people to vote AGAINST other parties, rather than FOR him.
Imran Khan someone who likes to campaign, not govern. He likes the adoration and praise he receives by the general public, and craves the media attention.
He doesn’t have the heart or the aptitude to govern, and doesn’t care enough to nail down the specifics of policy.
What differentiates Imran from the others? Is it his glitzy backstory and privileged background? What does he bring to the table that others don’t? Should we give him a chance just because we’ve tried everyone else? What’s the worst that can happen, right?
People don’t like Imran Khan the politician.
They like Imran Khan, the cricketer, the celebrity. Being a lauded sportsman and socialite doesn’t make you good at governance.
Speaking at the top of your lungs to criticize other politicians isn’t an effective campaign strategy.
Bemoaning the results of an election you lost comprehensively isn’t the way you win over voters.
You develop concrete policies and ideas. You stay firm and hold your ground. Unless Mr. Khan realizes this, he isn’t going to win an election anytime soon.