So, this is ‘Change’?

I want to believe, Mr Khan. I honestly do. But seeing you speak in person this evening has left me immensely disappointed.  You see, it takes more than utopian dreams of a ‘better tomorrow’ and incessant calls for ‘tabdeeli’ (change), to convince me. Thank you for your 50 minute motivational speech, but I would have much preferred hearing what your ‘grand strategies’ actually entail.

In the entire span of time you spent manning the dais and swinging your clenched fists in the air, not once did you give any detail of how your visionary ‘Naya Pakistan’ (New Pakistan) would function. It’s very easy to throw around catchy buzzwords like ‘increased revenue’, and ‘taxes’ to get the mindless masses clapping like circus monkeys at your every full stop. But why not elucidate a little and explain just HOW you hope to achieve this ‘Naya Pakistan’ ? You were, after all, speaking to a large group of university students. We are not as dim as you might take us to be; we would have indeed understood. And don’t worry, your major opponents would not have ‘stolen’ your ideas; the Nawaz League is neither intelligent nor willing enough to ‘heavily tax the rich’ by any means.

We (as the Awaam) would also be grateful if you could please refrain from being so heavily reliant on the term ‘main’ (I/me)? It reduces your entire argument to just you and your personality, giving the impression of a cultish attitude. Undeniably, nations require strong, capable leadership, but real populism stems from the group efforts of MANY people not just a single person. Perhaps once in a while, it would be advisable to include the term ‘hum’ (we), to highlight the commendable teamwork of the PTI (the party you represent). For, when a ‘leader’ uses the term ‘I/me’ almost 13 times in one sentence, the pompousness of their rhetoric can become painful to hear.

Perhaps you could also do with keeping up-to-date on current affairs. Not once did you mention the plight of the Palestinian people in the entirety of your speech. I understand that you are a Pakistani politician, but you are also an international political actor. The least you could have done was pay your respects, or condemned the acts of barbarism employed by Israel in its massacring of innocent civilians in Gaza. There were many points at which to slip this in. We did discuss drones and their impact quite a bit- surely Israeli airstrikes served a useful comparison?

Your audience comprised predominantly of first and second generation British Pakistanis, whom you called upon to ‘be the change’. How do you suggest we do this? From my understanding of your talk, it seems that the only purpose we serve is fueling your party with foreign currency. For many of the students you addressed this evening, life is far from lavish. They cannot afford the luxuries that have been so readily available to you. The reality is, many of them come from humble abodes; their parents work hard day and night paying heavy taxes on their hard-earned incomes. Sadly, the same cannot be said of the clans and cronies that have recently hopped onto the PTI bandwagon.

I would never have liked to question a leader’s personal life but since you said yourself that a ‘leader must be the example for his nation to follow,’ do you regularly tell your own half-English sons to favor the use of Urdu over English, as you so forthrightly asserted to your audience this evening? Do you sit them down, as you did us, and tell them that in doing so we are putting an end to old ‘Colonial’ ways? I am sorry Mr Khan, I will not digress from the main issue; I take no pleasure in discussing your personal life. But what separates you from the likes of Maududi, who once claimed that ‘Jihaad is a poison to sell outside my home’?

But what’s the use in talking sense? A leader only emerges from amongst his/her people. I guess this is what our ignorant masses rightfully deserve. After all, most of the audience seemed all too happy chanting and raving, resembling hooligans at a cricket match than concerned and ambitious university students that they ought to be.

I am a huge admirer of your charity work, Mr Khan. I highly commend you and take nothing away from your efforts. But this is an entire nation you speak of. Whilst I appreciate your efforts to ‘dream big’ we must remain realistic.

All that said, we look forward to your promised ‘90 day revolution’, which would hail a ‘Naya Pakistan’, inshAllah.

[The above is a piece I wrote right after hearing Imran Khan speak in person for the first time, yesterday (19/11/12), at King's College, London].

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14 thoughts on “So, this is ‘Change’?

  1. I don’t think u know mr khan closely…he can do what he says..people in pak believe him…people like u used to give same arguments when he was building cancer hospital.or even when he said he would win world cup for pak…don’t judge any person until he betrays u…

  2. ummm maybe use your brains and go the the pti website and read their policies they have launched so far?
    coz in a gathering a leader motivates and give a few quick hints what do u want ? him to read to u all his policies in 50 mins?:)
    you used many fancy words to cover the obvious lack of brain department:) but before that you should have gone and checked the policies:)
    about ghaza he was the first to condemn about it about the using i he shares his own experiences and lets face it pti is imran khan:)
    and then u went on and asked about his sons maybe u missed the interview in which he told his elder son follows pakistani politics but younger is not interested and he wont force it on them coz the r under their mothers custody and lets b realistic all my cousins here n none of them even speak urdu or punjabi they prefer english when u r british born u chose or mayb prefer english..
    and now their u go and u said it passing your judgement on the masses that all are without brain and you r the most righteous and holy and oh yeah intelligent so before you raise yours points and pass the judgement please keep yourself updated

    and if you are so disappointed please try yourself and make a pkaistan better place to be:)

  3. Marium , i think you have not visited or attended policy seminars of PTI. I think you should get thorough knowledge of the work PTI has done and doing before pointing allegations. For more information about PTI policies please visit http://insaf.pk/Policies/Economy/tabid/317/Default.aspx#.UKvD8OTqkvg

    http://insaf.pk/Policies/LocalGovernment/tabid/316/Default.aspx

    http://insaf.pk/Policies/Energy/tabid/314/Default.aspx

    and you will find the approach of PTI to lead our country and transform it into visionary country dreamed by ALLAMA IQBAL…

    THANKS IN ANTICIPATION

  4. See…he can not explain each and every thing in detail in every speech. if you really wanted to know about PTI’s vision that how will PTI bring change in Pakistan and how will PTI build new Pakistan, you should visit PTI’s website. Go to http://www.insaf.pk, => Policies => Economy, Energy, Local Bodies, Youth, Health etc.
    In various talk shows in Pakistani Media, PTI leaders have explained these policies in much detail. And see PTI is now in a process of Intra-party elections which in itself is a change because no political party of Indo-Pak has done this till yet.
    I think you need to frequently visit PTI’s website.

  5. Marryum Mehmood, would you mind to write a comparative study piece on all available leader in Pakistan, like NS, AZ, AH, and IK? you wrote nothing but stunt to get trolled, I am sure yo are wana be Kid who wants to be a critic of IK :)

  6. Firstly, when you say he did not give you the detail policies, the reason is very obvious when you yourself wrote ‘in his 50 min speech’. In this span of time one cannot give their detailed policies and reform papers. They can only present a gist of them.
    Secondly, as for the Palestine/Israel situation he heavily condemned them. Maybe during just the 50 minutes of his time with you people he could not fit it into his speech
    Lastly when you said “do you regularly tell your own half-English sons to favor the use of Urdu over English”, well….he DOES(trust me, i know). Jumping to such biased conclusions clearly show some sort of irritation(hence the biasness) that you have for him. He infact instructs me and my fellow siblings to talk to them(his children) in urdu as much as possible. AND they had a private urdu tutor for a year in England. But he can only do so much with such limited time spent with his children.

  7. your comment about Mr. Khan may attention-able but the people of Pakistan have no option other than pti. we have hope that this party may bring change in Pakistan.so we pray to ALLAH that Imran will be the next pm of Pakistan.

  8. Hi Maryyum , I really appreciate what u have written especially the following sentence ” You see, it takes more than utopian dreams of a ‘better tomorrow’ and incessant calls for ‘tabdeeli’ (change), to convince me”.
    One of the reasons that people are politically exploited is because they allow their emotions prevail the logic.
    For bringing change or revolution, one need not to be a celebrity.
    The leaders who brought revolutions in different parts of the world were not celebrities but common men with a solid vision and dream to drive them.

    Also people having even a little bit of awareness can not be attracted towards PTI mainly because of her apparent contradictions.

    The party talks of bringing land reforms but her her vice-chairman is a landlord and peer.

    The party talks of increasing tax network and punishing tax-chors but the main party leaders are involved in tax-theft for example the chairman neither paid any tax till 2001 nor had NTN according to FBR and PTI’s youth wing president Abrar ul Haq has been declared tax evader by FBR recently but is still working on the president post (no accountability).

    May be you still have hope but in my view party is over.
    But people like you who can think and see without any type of emotional or some other prejudice are really an asset and voters for the real change to come.

  9. I do not agree with you whatever you describe about the Imran Khan. Why everyone wants Imran Khan tell in every speech what are his economical, terrorism, elimiting of corruption, Law and order, Health policies. Where he has already announced his policies in Pakistan and you can easily access them on the internet.

    When there is a short time of the speech how do you expect that Imran Khan give his full policy of Economic, youth policy, education policy, Law and order and corruption elimation policy. For this he has already given policies in a very details. You need to study those.

    Can you tell me which other party Leader has any program regarding these things. I have heard lots of time from Imran when he explained how he will manage all programs.

    Imran Khan already condemned so many times Israel killing of Phaletinian people including Women and children.

    I also dare you to ask same questions to other Paksitani Leaders if they have any policy. Those Leaders want to run Paksitan with the same way as they ahe been running it for the last 65 years.

    Ignorant people are who still thinks that those corrupt leaders who have been in power for the last 65 years will do better next time.

    Mostly your blog is your own wishful criticism against Imran Khan but is not actually.

    You also need to check how he is giving youth a chance to give conuntry a new leadership by electing them from their own areas of Pakistan.

    Imran Khan deserve atleast one chance. If he does not do better job and do not fulfill his promises then we will not try him again.

  10. Lady you have just decided on Mr Imran speech which he delivered during fund raising campaign in King College London that he has not much known about his future planning because he is living in utopia. he cannot bring any change in the country, I want to ask you a question now tell me who is the person in your view can bring the change in the Pakistan either Mr Nawaz Sharif or Zardari, Altaf Hussain etc we must thankful to ALMIGHTY ALLAH Who has given us such kind of honest, patriotic,trustworthy person. Now i will say to you ask vote for him to others for new Pakistan. Pakistani.

  11. oye yarr PTI Brothers ! bat suno ye sab drame baz hain N league ke log hain ave drame bazi lagayi hui hai gumrah kar rahe hain awam ko , in ke fazool articals me time waist nayi karo ye koi student nahi hai

  12. Bibiii, with due respect, You really have freedom of speech. And I appreciate that you did write what you did think. And you seems to me we are educated and highly sophisticated in writing but as you said You heard him for first time, and then you set up your opinion about him. I think this is immaturity. He speaks the words every where that’s why people are getting bore but to me he is doing a great job. And you Said the student are monkeys. The aint monkeys but they trust him too much that what ever he said he will do it because he has done it before.

  13. Ms. Mehmood. It is an accurate picture you have painted of Mr. Khan. He was an excellent cricketer, and contributed in shape of a hospital and university to the nation. But unfortunately, I don’t seem to understand where is he heading politically. He has no understanding of the ground realities. I was also disappointed hear him speak at Karachi. He was invited by Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry. He had nothing to say related to economic issues which should have been the most important issue to address. But he contributed actively towards inefficiency of others. A little mudslinging is joyful for a few, but for like of myself, I would have appreciated if he could explain how he intends to achieve what he suggests. Also his stance that he is honest and every other politician in Pakistan is corrupt is self centered and biased.

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