Pakistan’s historic elections are taking place this weekend. This is the first time around that the country, formed in 1947, is transferring the reins of power democratically, to what is hoped to be another democratically elected government. Pakistan elections 2013, are going to be not just very significant for the country, but for the region itself.
Imran Khan, one of the candidates for the elections in Pakistan, promises to end corruption from the country within 90 days. He also promises to end the country’s involvement in America’s war on terror and wants to institute an Islamic welfare state.
Time and again he has aired his extreme right wing thoughts and opinions, giving a glimpse to his true self and what the years under him (if it ever happened would be like).
He is a propagator of Sharia, the code of conduct for Muslims, practiced by the Taliban across the border in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. The debonair Khan also believes the American war in Afghanistan stoked extremism in Pakistan and that knowing from firsthand experience of being one, he knew the Pashtun tribes would never be vanquished. In his opinion, the Musharraf years were ‘shameful’ when the ‘Westoxified Pakistanis’ sold their souls and killing their own people.
His media coordinator, Anila Khawaja seems to dread being overwhelmed by her continuous struggle with the P.T.I.’s frustratingly inefficient, all-male organization.
But he is the only hope for people who do not want to get trapped between voting for what many call either Tweedledum or Tweedledee. – as apparent by several previous years of the reigns of the country swinging to and fro Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Group. Both the parties have been in power before and despite their repeated tenures have failed to deliver what they have promised. The country is still plagued by lack of education, health facilities, employment and even energy resources the only things on the rise have been inflation, corruption, terrorism and the leaders’ apathy!
You may watch: Kaptaan PTI Imran Khan’s Karachi Inning VIDEO
In such a scenario Imran Khan seems at least the ’untested’ candidate, whose promises haven’t fallen flat time and again in the past.
His long and inflexible opposition to American presence in the region not only puts him in favor of many Islamic radicals, but also makes him a favorite among people who are repeatedly told everything wrong is America’s fault.
And why wouldn’t it be? Imran believes Taliban's 'holy war' in Afghanistan is justified by Islamic law. He is also unwilling to take a stand against minorities in the country, including the Ahmedis, who are declared non Muslims in Pakistan’s constitution and are prohibited from posing as Muslims and even calling their faith Islam.
"Non-Muslim" means a person who is not a Muslim and includes a person belonging to the Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist or Parsi community, a person of the Quadiani Group or the Lahori Group who call themselves 'Ahmadis' or by any other name or a Bahai, and a person belonging to any of the Scheduled Castes,” declares the constitution of Pakistan under Article – 260 – (3).
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Just a little while ago, a video went viral which showed the head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Mirza Masroor Ahmad saying when Imran Khan had sent one of his emissaries to him asking for Ahmadiyya community’s support. As the Ahmaddiyya leader said, no one had the courage to withdraw the law declaring Ahmadis non-Muslims for fear of Pakistan’s religious right, the furor the video caused had Imran Khan denying having passed on any such instructions to anyone on the party’s behalf. In a press release published on PTI’s official website, Imran Khan declared his intentions clear when the criticism from Mullahs and right-wing parties rose and not only distanced himself from Ahmeadiyya Muslims (an off-shoot of Sunni Islam) but also spoken contemptuously about them repeatedly using the Takfiri pejorative term ‘Qadiyani’ to refer to them.
There are also controversies in what Imran khan preaches and what he believes. Decrying status quo, he himself is a part of it. He talks about drones being counter-productive and bringing the Taliban on reconciliation table; and is labeled as ‘Taliban Khan’ on the other hand, he faces death threats from the Taliban. He has not offered a comprehensive economic plan to counter the economic meltdown of the country. He promises a lot but seems to have no workable solutions and plans. Most of all, he asks Americans to stop their drone attacks and the Pakistan Army to stop their operations, but never the militants to stop their murderous assaults?
Unfortunately he has a great tendency to be a conservative extreme who has more in common with the hard line extremists of Pakistan than the young, moderate, fashionable youth who support him in droves.
However, at the moment, there are no big chances of Imran Khan coming in power as there are more corrupt people in his own party who have joined from various political parties of the country and people really have no trust in them. He also has a great competition in the form of Nawaz Sharif who has been tried and failed but has massive support from the people of Punjab, the most populous province of Pakistan.
If he gets elected, by any chance, fear is that the thousands following him and believing him to be the savior, may have a lot of disappointment lying in wait.