The fateful day of July, the 25th, 2018, which made the histories tilt in favour of the christened and famed cricketer, Imran Khan, emerging victorious in the National Assembly elections of Pakistan, will be a day that will find mention in the history of the contemporary world.
Not to forget, that Pakistan, has been that nation which has received flak on international forums for its bonhomie with anti-social elements, including those who ravage not only just India and Afghanistan but the world (Osama in an army camp in Abbottabad). The world has also echoed the need for Pakistan to work on its mismanaged agencies like ISI and military which hamper the civilian governments from running the administration. The force that the Right-wing fringe elements wield is also popularly known to the world, the military gave the people of Pakistan a wide array of options this time to chose from and vote for.
A)THE POLITICAL PITCH
The Pakistan Army, since the decline of Gen. Parvez Musharraf’s regime, has been controlling the governments from behind the scenes, and Sharif’s open brigadier against the Army’s nepotism, saw him put behind the bars on the Panama Leaks, accusing him of siphoning off money. His daughter too, Maryam Sharif is in prison in Rawalpindi with him. The brother Shahbaz Sharif tried his best to bring the Army to their favour but the Army chose a different track instead because the executive was not in favour of the Sharifs.
The elections saw a host of Right Wing parties including Allah-O-Akbar Tehreek partronised by Haafiz Saeed,
contesting the elections. The military brought new parties in the Balochistan, Sindh and NWFP to contest on the anti-incumbency.
The Pakistani voters, where 60% of them are between the ages of 18-35, are neo-liberals believing in mild conservatism, and expecting reforms. They have no memories of the years under military rule and autocrats, but they recall the corrupt years under Zardari-Sharif parties. The only choice that they had was a new face, which was more promising in its approach.
The PPP and the PML(N) have just managed to retain their strongholds, while the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf of Imran Khan has made inroads into the territories. The wise in the electorate, have seen him as one who is conservative and is not pro-West in his approach, which made him the favourite even in the MQM stronghold- Karachi.
The Open support that Imran Khan had shown for Taliban, earned him the name of ‘Taliban Khan’ which even saw him arbiter-ring the deal between the Sharifs and the Taliban, but it failed when Taliban persecuted school children in Peshawar. Thus, he grew to become a face of the middle-class part modern, part conservatist people.
He propagated ‘Naya Pakistan’ which meant a greater deal to the young who witnessed their nation being branded as a Failed State or a Rogue Nation at international forums.
There are allegations that the military chased the polling agents of other parties while the counting had to commence under the Form-45, which is a memo of the polls polled at each booth, ensuring transparency, but the mandate cannot be denied because Imran Khan was the popular choice, through digital media and TV channels like BOL TV and GEO News that featured him round the clock.
The mandate today, also rejected all the hardliner-Islamist parties, altogether where they all are looking at getting their securities forfeited, which means the people did not want to pick up extremism at all, thus wiping off the Right-Wing in one election.
C)Imran’s Take on Issues
Though, his followers might reject that he married thrice, and his second wife revealed his anti-Islamic habits, including cocaine, moreover, his last marriage which was with a married woman, all took a back-foot when the electorate was looking at a guardian for the nation-state of Pakistan.
His critiques who have been following his activities declared him to be confused regarding national policies and political narratives, also saw him towing before the line narrated by the military, have not found any echo with the resented voters, who wanted change.
Imran talked about affordable housing, education for all and affordable health services for all. The take on health issues has received appreciation from observers from all corners from the delivery he had given in the province of Khyber-Pakhtunwa, which have also received appreciation from the WHO.
i) CHINA & CPEC- He openly challenged the CPEC, and later on clarified to the Chinese that what he wants is more inclusiveness in the CPEC, and transparency. He said he needs to build good relations with China, and has to keep trade intact with China.
ii) INDIA & KASHMIR- BALOCHISTAN- Having acknowledged India’s ‘thaanedaari’ like that in the case of Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan, he said that he will not acknowledge anything of that sort for Pakistan. Though Indian mandarins have been in close touch with the managers of Imran, yet they found very little echo from the managers to the point where they could find Imran being the ‘Agent of India’ that he accused Nawaz Sharif of.
With the issues pertaining to Kashmir and Balochistan, he said both the issues can be settled through dialogue, and India must stop accusing Pakistan of any kind of wrong-doing, and commence negotiations. He assured if India took a step in the right direction, he will take two.
Earlier he had been found to be advocating decrease in trade ties with India, but now he seems to be following the line laid down by the business elites, when he said that he needs to improve trade-ties with India.
iii) US & Afghanistan- He declared that Americans must stop blaming the small nations for their policy failures, and must Pakistan must improve ties with Afghanistan and support the Afghans for their rehabilitation, which will benefit Pakistan.
Though, there may be a plot as alleged by the opposition parties, and the leader must be indecisive, and may have heeded to the military, there is ample proof against all the parties in the fray for cheating the people of Pakistan, in terms of money, ideology or policies. The military has been trying to offer the people every possible choice, while it remains the guardian of the nation, yet this time, people voted for someone who had a clean image, and a definitive set of ideas to focus upon.
Imran Khan may be perceived as an agent of the Army, but he will be in a position to negotiate with the army more freely because of the blunt rejection the people of Pakistan offered to the Right Wing parties that espoused the causes of proxy war and terrorism.
There is a saying, politics divides, while economics unites, Imran has acknowledged both the factors and may be a good partner for India in the shaping up of regional growth.
Team IndianNewsTalks congratulates the people of Pakistan and Mr. Imran Khan for his victory, and would appreciate to live a day of enjoying the streets of Lahore, while people from across the border enjoy the Imambara in Lucknow.