Can ‘Kaptaan’ lead the final showdown against terrorism
“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger”– John F Kennedy, inauguration speech January 1961.
The nations which do succeed, do so by rallying behind a true leader .A leader, who will not betray their trust and will come good when austerity hits. Pakistan is currently facing an unprecedented surge in terrorism inside its borders and the nation is searching for an icon of hope and aspiration.
So how is Khan different from his more traditional counterparts and what makes him more likely to succeed in unifying this dejected and oblivious nation?
From making champions out of a mediocre injury ridden “down and out” Pakistani cricket team to achieving the inconceivable state of the art charity run cancer hospital; he has made things happen. Throw in the realization of a prodigious private university in one of the most deprived corners in Pakistan, achieving the incomparable task of erecting a politically capable “third force” and sustaining unheard of numbers in his dharna for an unexampled length of time; he has done it all. For Imran Khan, everything starts with a dream. Strong self belief, courage, perseverance and the will to fight for what’s right till the very end are some of the facets of his personality that have helped him translate those dreams into reality. A dream for change and a dream for better tomorrow is what he showed the Pakistani nation and successfully made them believe in the “power of unity”.
Imran Khan has brought the politically indifferent “educated class”, traditionally limited to a circadian routine, to the forefront of Pakistani politics. He seems to have learnt from history what other politicians in Pakistan conveniently overlooked .He targeted the undiscerning middle class and succeeded in assembling them under his command.
“Nothing worth gaining is ever gained without effort. You can no more have freedom without striving and suffering for it than you can win success as a banker or a lawyer without labor and effort, without self-denial in youth and the display of a ready and alert intelligence in middle age. The people who say that they have not time to attend to politics are simply saying that they are unfit to live in a free community.” -Theodore Roosevelt, the “Duties of American Citizenship” in 1883.
By calling off a long and successful dharna in the wake of the nation’s most tragic hour, Khan has not only shown his ability to make bold and fearless decisions in the better interest of the country but has also, as a result, successfully established himself at the pinnacle of country’s politics.
Pakistan is in need of a true leader more than ever before in its history. The country has never been this divided before; be it on the bases of the racial and class differences observed in inner Sindh or southern Punjab, language, customs, place of birth or any factor that supposedly reveals the basic nature of that person, this country has it all. Even after watching a heinous crime committed against the tender youth of the nation, we are divided over the identity of our true enemy. Is it the Talibans, the Mullahs, America, India, Israel, the whole wide world or is it “ourselves”?
The right answer is somewhere out there and we as a nation need someone to help us figure it out quickly!
“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” – Winston S. Churchill
During his arduously protracted dharna, Khan made multiple trips all over the country with one basic message for the people: unite against those who have deprived you of your basic rights and rise above the various differences that have lurked in .He was criticized for using aggressive language against his counterparts and sometimes ridiculed for being too audacious and aboveboard in front of people. But, has he been the only one adopting that approach? May be not, if we look into the yesteryears, various great leaders embraced a similar approach.
Franklin D. Roosevelt is credited with leading the American nation through the great depression in 1930s.After a landslide victory in the 1932 presidential elections, he was quick to advocate the need for gaining public trust though sincerity and forthrightness. In his inaugural address in 1933 he asserted,
“This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself-nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.”
This country is looking towards their “so called” democratically elected leaders in this hour of despair and Khan, despite his flaws seems to be the most likely, of all, to come good. Unfortunately, merely calling off the “dharna”, sitting besides the PM and smiling at his offensively “ill timed” quip and taking a back seat while the other bigwigs try to conjure up a miracle, are steps far shy of what’s expected of him. Over obsession with perfection, lack of political acumen, paucity of tactical military warfare knowledge, dearth of relationship with global forces and over reliance on some of his close disciples are some of the contentious issues that can substantiate into major impediments to his success. Now that he has shown his support for the government in this war against terror, Khan needs to overcome his frailties quickly and mount inexorable pressure on the current government to ensure a glorious culmination of this bloodshed which has plagued this nation for over a decade.
“With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”– Martin Luther King, August 28, 1963; Washington, D.C.
This nation is desperately in need of “hope” from its proudest son.