Imran Khan forecasts “a revolution” in Pakistani politics in 2011

Addressing 100,000 people at a gathering in Lahore, former national cricket captain Imran khan promises to combat corruption and negotiate with the Taliban.

Imran Khan would see himself winning, elevating the trophy high above his head, and leading Pakistan to victory at the height of his cricketing prowess. In front of a sea of supporters last weekend in Lahore, he experienced a similar epiphany regarding his political future.

Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party leader Imran Khan remarked, “As I stood there, observing them, I felt the moment had arrived.” “Nothing can stop us anymore.” This transformation is like a wave. We will not just win the upcoming elections; they will be swept. “

Whether the former cricket captain can turn rhetoric into reality is widely contested. However, few examine that last weekend’s demonstration shook Pakistan’s sluggish political establishment.

The Imran Khan Revolution starts.

A famous Lahore park was overcrowded with almost 100,000 people. Many of them were young, urban, and educated middle-class Pakistanis attracted to Khan’s speech by their resentment of traditional politicians.

“A new force is becoming active at this time.” The call for change is echoing throughout Pakistan, “said Ayaz Amir, a lawmaker from the opposition Nawaz Sharif party, who was present.” “I’ve never seen such people at a public meeting in Pakistan before,” a participant said. “Young, old, professionals, women.”

Others, though, doubt that Imran Khan represents change. The editor of Herald magazine, Badar Alam, remarked, “We’ve heard similar speeches many times before.” I’m being cautious. I’m not sure what agenda he is pushing. “

Imran Khan seems energized. He has run for office on a platform of severe condemnation of the corruption and cronyism permeating Pakistani politics, which some call “anti-politics.” Now, he claims he is correct.

He pointed across the city at the presidential palace while perched on the porch of his high farmhouse outside Islamabad. He proclaimed, “[President Asif Ali] Zardari is a criminal, nothing more.” “We’ve broken all corruption records,”

His economic strategy is to “inspire” Pakistanis to pay taxes; currently, barely 2% of the population does so. “Just basic fiscal restraint and tax collection will do.” We can balance our budgets if we do that, “said he.

When in charge, Imran Khan vowed to stop providing help to America. I don’t want to be the Americans’ lackey; I want to be their friend. Aid is a scourge for a developing country because it prevents you from enacting the necessary changes and supports criminals. “

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However, Imran Khan’s declaration that he would talk with rather than combat the Taliban insurgents bombing Pakistani towns may be the most concerning for Pakistan’s western friends and some Pakistanis.

Anyone who believes the Taliban will conquer this nation is an idiot. Over the previous 1,400 years, the idea of a theocracy has never existed anywhere in the Muslim world. I could guarantee that I could stop this dispute in 90 days if elected.

Imran Khan’s selection of allies, many of whom are veterans of prior political regimes, has also generated debate. Shireen Mazari, Imran Khan’s foreign policy adviser, is well known for her hatred of India. At the same time, she was the editor of a prominent daily, and she published articles calling American, British, and Australian journalists “CIA spies.”

“She and I don’t always agree on everything.” “We berate her for holding certain beliefs,” he claims.

Although wealthy, English-speaking Pakistanis, whom Imran Khan refers to as the “liberal, westernized elite” and believe are out of touch with the realities of their own country,
Imran Khan is obstinately pleased that his newfound prosperity is proof against them. I refer to them as coconuts because they are westernized and perceive Pakistan via a brown exterior and a white interior, he says.

His political beliefs are indelibly anchored in a specific interpretation of Islam. He opposes amendments to the infamous blasphemy legislation, which was the subject of a heated discussion and resulted in the murder of his friend Salmaan Taseer in January. “It’s not the proper moment.” Bloodshed would result. We should be concerned about other things, “he claims.

He also avoids criticizing the powerful military, which oversees ties with India, the US, and the war against the Taliban. The head of the army, General Ashfaq Kayani, receives no criticism from Imran Khan, even though he is vehemently critical of the exiled [previous president] Pervez Musharraf.

I’ve already criticized the generals. I informed them they were exchanging our blood for money, “he claims.” ” However, this is not martial law. “Our dishonest government must accept accountability.” He claims that he would step down if he were in charge and the army meddled. We would return to the populace.

Imran Khan has a solid reputation for integrity thanks to the cancer hospital he founded in memory of his mother, who passed away from an illness. He occasionally flashes some glitz. His ex-wife, Jemima Khan, attended a recent press conference in Islamabad to voice her opposition to CIA-led drone operations in the tribal region. Last week’s gathering began with Strings, a well-known Pakistani pop band.

Some Pakistanis believe that Imran Khan merely serves as a symbol of protest against a failing political system. “He’s kind of stupid,” observed a Lahore architect. “He is superior to the others, though. I’d cast my vote for him. “

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Imran Khan calls himself a “revolutionary,” yet his views are nothing like the agitated streets of the Arab Spring. The critical distinction is democracy; although opposition groups around the Muslim world are battling for the right to vote, Pakistanis already enjoy this freedom. But many people don’t like those elections’ leaders, which is why there is currently unrest.

President Asif Ali Zardari is an unintentional politician who was thrust into office following the murder of his wife, Benazir Bhutto, in December 2007. (Police indicted seven people, including two police officers, for her slaying last month, although the specifics are still unclear.) Zardari has struggled to shake the moniker “Mr. 10%,” which refers to alleged corruption. His poll numbers have dropped into the low teens as the economy and security situation has deteriorated.

Nawaz Sharif, the primary opposition contender, hasn’t been able to take advantage of this bad luck. His N-league party, which runs the Punjab government, has lost support due to its recent failure to control a dengue virus outbreak. Due to his long-standing feud with Pervez Musharraf, the general who deposed Sharif from power in 1999, Sharif is also distant from the powerful military, which gave him his start in politics in the 1980s.

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