Imran Khan, As I write these lines, the country finds you drowning in the quagmire of controversy and opposition. Both valid and invalid criticism is being leveled against you. This newspaper in front of me dismisses you in your endeared cricket jargon – Kaptaan Bowled Out. Seasoned analysts blow you up to bits in Taliban-ocabulary – Suicide Attack by Taliban Khan. In fact, just a couple of ago, the joint session of parliament stood in unison for the first time in last 14 months, that too against you, in the name of sacred democracy (or perhaps vested interests).
So, is this true? Have you lost it? Is this the umpire you were speaking about who has raised his finger but only to send you back to the pavilion?
No. Not yet!
If anything, you have come out as a strong opponent. While the current political crisis can be likened to madness and we would rather it end now, you have surfaced as a force to be reckoned with.
Had you lost it, the government would not have rushed to accept all of your conditions barring one. Today Aitezaz Ahsan cemented your allegations of rigging in elections, and Hashmi, deserting you a couple of days ago, vouched for your moral, character and integrity. Had you really lost this game, this parliament would not have taken you seriously.
Imran, none of your voters and supporters wanted you to hit the roads like you have, but we have seen you left no stone unturned. Sickening as what may be happening right now, this was the last resort. We understand.
I am an educated and mature person who supported you when very few did. I still stand with you when very few do. I will support you even if you stand alone. I am not “bowled over” by your charisma, I am “bowled over” by your fearlessness, honesty, patriotism and moral footing to settle for nothing less than best for Pakistan.
And although I stand with you, I disagree with your careless choice of words and oye-loaded referrals to the elected head of the country. True that you have shown us what it means to stand for your belief, principle and dream, but at the same time your strength is your weakness, your plus is your minus. You appeal us with your truth and courage, yet you push us away with your sloppy and careless political discourse.
Yes, election in some constituencies, not all, was rigged. I am from NA-125 and I witnessed it first-hand. Saad Rafiq entered the women polling station along with a few goons as he roughly pushed us out. What ensued is history. Is it not very very sad that while Aitezaz Ahsan and others firmly believe that rigging happened, they want this fake and crippled mandate to thrive?
I ask my nation, who is better; one who sees wrong, accepts wrong but maintains silence or the other who stands up to right the wrong without fearing the failure and fierce denigration?
And there you stand, Imran, fearless, resolute and firm as ever. Nobody wants the government to go but nobody wants you to fail either.
Some accuse you of megalomania. Rubbish! You are 61 years of age and you need not waste these years of your life in country where you have no stake. Are your boys to enter politics and rule us? No. If you want, you can pack your bag and leave to live with your family in the UK.
You are fighting for a cause and you have been on road for more than 20 days – all for insaf. While an overwhelming majority responds to your call, some of us sit back and find it convenient to criticize everything you do or say. How could you leave container? How could you breakfast? How could you… and the list goes on.
You may not succeed what with a lot of chaos and criticism hailing from all over but one thing is sure, next time, we won’t see such massive rigging. Politicians and government will have to deliver and fear accountability at the same time. You have set a standard. If this is not success, then what is?
There will come a day when I will tell my children that Progressive Pakistan they are breathing in has not been good all along. For decades, we roamed in darkness where we were tired of load shedding, corruption and injustice but chose to suffer in silence. No one stood up except for one man who was driven by his love for Pakistan. He lived up to his word and commitment and battled for Naya Pakistan amid criticism and immense opposition. Critics criticized as usual but I believed in him for I strongly believe;
“When you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” ― Paulo Coelho
I ask you readers, who is better; a polite but hypocritical and selfish person or a brash but honest man?
Make up your mind. Take your side. I have taken mine.