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How not to become a Prime Minister

Ahh the Prime Minister House seems like the only place where one can get a goodnight’s sleep. Perhaps it’s wide rooms are the only place where ones heart feels content.

Ahh the Prime Minister House seems like the only place where one can get a goodnight’s sleep. Perhaps it’s wide rooms are the only place where ones heart feels content. The desire to be on top has always followed Kaptaan but perhaps this time, he has bitten more than he can chew.

Let’s analyse the various milestones in Kaptaan’s life in order to decipher where he went wrong.

The World Cup win of 1992 was a step in the right direction. What an easy roadmap for power when the nation already adores you? Accompany that with sexy looks and a smile worth dying for, you’re indispensable. At least for half the populace.

Did you say Cancer Hospital? Wow. That’s even bigger than defeating all cricketing nations of the world. What an ideal résumé, isn’t it? Fighting cancer and winning gold. PTI was looking towards a Quick Start in the murky world of power politics.

Sadly, the world of parliamentarians and generals was far more ruthless than the world of cricketers and doctors. Kaptaan realized that his popularity had its limits. His party could not win more than a single seat in Parliament. Not accustomed to defeat, Kaptaan made his first political blunder when he allied himself with the then military dictator. The decision was soon regretted but Kaptaan started to understand the power dynamics of Pakistan. Perhaps power did not come from the awaam but from certain elements of the establishment. Over the years, he failed again and again trying to attract political support. He had financial constraints along with an inexperienced team. He did however, have a remarkable sense of pride saying things like he would not even hire a certain former federal minister as his ‘chaprasi’. He is even quoted as saying that some generals piss their pants if one is able to gather a few thousand people on the street. Ah the old Kaptaan. Isn’t he cute?

After over a decade of political struggle and a failing civilian government, Kaptaan finally saw his first significant political success. The month was October and the year was 2011. Lahore was the city and Minar-e-Pakistan was the venue. Kaptaan saw over a hundred thousand people rally towards his political call. This was the first time that he had made it to the mainstream. His voice had reached the silent masses of Pakistan. Apolitical people ranging from housewives, students and professionals, all stood before him as he promised the mantra of change.

Change. Yes, but a political party could not be a one man show. Kaptaan realized that he needed ‘electable’s’. Influential men who had been wining elections since time memorial. The first big fish to jump ship to Kaptaan’s side was a former Foreign Minister. He was the true definition of the word. His family was one of the most influential in the country due to its relation with a particular religious figure. The father too had seen his share of power, the governorship of Punjab in Zia’s time to be precise. Now it was the son’s time to rule. Two other former foreign ministers joined the new club and now the Kaptaan was not short of strong candidates in various constituencies. Many disgruntled politicians found their way to the emerging party. It was like betting on the winning horse. Legharis, Tareens and Hashmis alike found a certain coziness with the Kaptaan. The destination of Prime Ministership was getting nearer and nearer. Billions were spent on the political campaign of the party in the 2013 general elections. The party had its very own office bearers, an efficient organisational structure and the backing of certain elements, not enjoyed by the competitors. So confident was Kaptaan that he openly proclaimed on television, the guarantee that his party would ‘clean sweep’ the elections. The world is full of dreamers but sadly, most have to wake up.

The elections were not as successful as Kaptaan had expected. A provincial government in Khyber Pakhtunkhua was not enough to satisfy the ambitions of the runner-ups. Everyone knows that the real joy of power lies in the federal government, not in KPK. A provincial government was formed and Kaptaan seemed somewhat disillusioned with his new political strategy. His old school buddy, the interior minister convinced him to meet his arch rival, the PM in order to discuss matters of National security. It was astonishing when Kaptaan hosted the PM and his advisers in Bani Gala whilst enjoying tea and biscuits. Perhaps Kaptaan was beginning to become the politician he always thought he was.

As the military leadership changed, a certain Canadian citizen decided to return to his native land after a year and half long vacation in the developed world. The government panicked before his arrival and brutally murdered some of his supporters. The Canadian knew that this was the best opportunity to settle scores with his former allies now turned enemies. He announced a revolutionary March in Islamabad and much to the surprise of everybody else, he declared himself and the Kaptaan to be cousins. Well, almost everybody else. The cousins stood fast in the capital as they demanded the resignation of the PM over the alleged rigging in the elections. Thousands of political supporters stood a few meters away from the Parliament. They were told not to leave until their demands were met. Unfortunately, regular people can only devote so much time and effort to a political cause. The sit ins failed and the Canadian hopped on the first flight back home. This was perhaps the most crucial time in Kaptaan’s struggle. His supporters numbered fewer and fewer everyday and thus he decided to divert his focus to the urban centers where most of his support base lied.

There was one key point during the sit ins which cannot be ignored. The cousins were invited to have a conversation with the new man in charge of the armed forces. It is hard to guess the nature of the conversation.

The Kaptaan has now reemerged in the political sphere, as he always does and has called for a show of strength in the capital on 30 Nov 2014. A certain former federal minister by his side. It would be pertinent for Kaptaan to remember the meeting with the Chief. If he had paid attention, he would have realized that this was not the way to become Prime Minister.

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