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The Mirage that could very well be “Naya Pakistan”

The current air it seems these days is engulfed by the echoes of an imminent and an impending “revolution” of sorts. It has become increasingly difficult for anyone to be apolitical and apathetic in this combustible and charged up environment.Without going into the merits of choosing one side over the other, let us foresee what might this “Naya Pakistan” will have in store for the common Pakistani.

Why can’t it be a “Behtar Pakistan” instead, why must it be deemed obligatory that we need to completely and drastically change many aspects of the country we live in now. Agreed, lot of corrective measures ought to be taken & soon but pragmatically speaking incremental changes can be much more concrete and time withstanding  instead of radical and abrupt ones for the sake of taking everyone on board. This will enable people to acclimatize themselves.

My version of “Naya Pakistan” does include all those factors which PTI talks about in its manifesto – swift, timely and inexpensive access to justice for all, equal opportunities for all of its inhabitants (not just the privileged ones), a dynamic and a burgeoning economy, a country free from ethnic, social, linguistic and religious bias and then some. But it also means taking along the “Purana Pakistan” on board alongside with it as well. Where not “supporting” one specific party doesn’t necessarily means that one is inapt and lacks political acumen.Naya Pakistan should also include “waiting”, waiting patiently for their turn. Those parties that have grievances against the system or electoral process, should not be hell bent upon the removal of “one person” or one party.

PTI had the golden opportunity to give us its version of Naya Pakistan that we so often hear about in Khyber Pakhtaunkhuwa. Instead they embroiled themselves in this current state of affairs. KPK could’ve proved a fertile ground for incubation & trial and error purposes. After having completed 5 years and by bringing unprecedented growth and prosperity to KPK  , people themselves nationally have seen the fruits of PTI’s labor & elected them in office. If only they could’ve been more wiser, more patient!

While the optimist in all of us wants, prays and hopes that potentially what has been promised will be delivered and sees the light of day. That the status quo will be broken but the pessimist and the naysayer in all of us sees these promises with a pinch of salt. For, we Pakistanis have been shown this same scintillating road paved with gold bricks many a times before. Maybe it was not associated with the title of a “Naya Pakistan” but the promises made were more or less the same and yet here we are chasing the dream yet again. Who is to say God forbid that this dream won’t turn sour as well?

When one sees the faces of individuals standing next to PTI’s charismatic leader Imran Khan, we are again bitterly reminded by the fact that these same faces were in different political parties during different time frames. What has made them so different now? Have they undergone some sort of political baptism that made them absolved of those past mistakes and political sins (case in point: supporting dictatorial regimes) that they’d made when they were in those parties? ; How’s this fathomable to a layman that those people that were termed as “personae non grate” when they were not in PTI have suddenly became righteous and celestial beings again so much so that they will deliver us from all of our current miseries and suffering?

Even if PTI along with their newly founded political cousins PAT do manage to come in power in future, both of their ideologies are 360 degrees opposite and poles a part, their alliance can be only seen as nothing but a marriage of convenience.

PTI even still represents a large populace of Pakistan and managed to emerge as one of the largest political parties in 2013’s general election. PAT however talks about repealing the constitution altogether and to establish People’s Parliament. How will both of these parties see eye to eye pertaining to the setup of a basic democratic process when they can’t even agree on the basic building blocks of it?

PTI today, is what PPP was in the 70’s, a maverick party with a nonconformist political ideology and doctrine coupled with an enigmatic leader. Similarly, PPP in its infant years was seen a party of the youth and the educated class, same holds true for PTI today. Perhaps, they will become successful in bringing out true grass level change in Pakistan, but they need to distance themselves from the politics of PAT & its leadership.  With all due respect, there’s a wide gulf between what Mr. Tahir-ul-Qadri says and does. At times he can only be seen as playing to the gallery, valiantly showing one’s chest to prove that one is not wearing a bulletproof jacket during fiery speeches is another thing but during the same speech getting scared like a new born baby due to a minor bursting of a short circuit in a close by speaker is an entirely different affair altogether.

Additionally, Mr. Qadri said time and time again that if push comes to shove, he’ll be leading the march,  that he will be taking the first bullet and when things went out of control during their march towards the PM house, we saw Mr. Qadri comfortably cocooned in his bulletproof fortress of an SUV. The blood of all those innocent civilians that lost their lives on that gloomy day is as much on the Government’s hand as it is on Mr. Qadri’s that incited violence and emotionally charged his crowd and followers.

PTI should play all of their remaining cards right now to bring their promise of Naya Pakistan to fruition soon. Lest, we see another leader emerged in our national politics in the next 10 years or so that is pointing the fingers towards Bani Galla as Mr. Khan is doing now on Raiwand.

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