Thursday, November 24, 2011

A little bit of Politics is all I need...

Kazim:
I'm a little disturbed by your recent idealistic reverence of Imran Khan.

Amin:
To be completely honest, so am I. I've been reassessing it since the day after the jalsa - what with the recent flow of turncoat politicians into the PTI and with his spokesman for Religious Affairs allegedly showing up at Jamaat ud Dawa rallies. But I'm sitting waiting for it to all make sense some time in the near future.


So, I wrote off Imran Khan as an idealist and basically an idiot for most of the time he's been in politics. This went on up until a few years ago, when, while trying to analyse why Pakistanis are inherently so aggressive and confrontational, I came to the conclusion it was because there was a lack of basic social justice in our society. Then I started looking around and realised that this was at the heart of a wide range of our other problems as well - Social, Political, Economic... the whole gamut. And that's when it hit me - Imran Khan's being saying this for 12 years. So that's when I started listening to what he was saying.


Around that time, I also read this book called Flight of the Falcon by Sajjad Haider who was a PAF pilot during 1965 and 1971, and I realised how spectacularly the various governments have been screwing up over the years. Quite apart from the history in that book what was even more interesting was what he wrote in the epilogue. Basically talking about Asghar Khan, he said the problems with Pakistan were the faults of it citizens because there were always honest people around, but nobody ever voted for them. So I started thinking about honest politicians in our time... guess who came to mind!


I think the root of all evil in Pakistan lies in an obsession with money and power and the ensuing corruption. This needs to be tackled head on, without pussyfooting around the issue. A lot of good people went into the PPP as well, thinking that it was okay to give the devil his due if the overall good was being achieved. But it doesnt work like that. Pretty soon, they found themselves either having to leave or having to justify the outrageously immoral. The system starts changing them and incorporating them into itself. This is the part that's worrying me now. So far, Imran Khan had been trying not to compromise on this issue. Recently, it seems he might be considering selling out a little bit, probably hoping he can still keep a handle on things. Let's see how that works out for him.


I know there are issues with him and I'm not sure I agree with his strategy, but I think he'll give it all he's got. And although a lot of our issues are complex ones without simple answers, I think a greater number are not too complex and simply require someone with the determination to take them on. I think he could be the one to do that. One thing I've learnt so far is that obsessives generally trump prodigies. Remember Gattaca?


I could go on and on and on... as you well know... perhaps you could highlight what exactly it is that's troubling you.



Kazim:


How do you know he'll deliver? I'm not saying he's dishonest, and I understand that he's hit the button on the nose (social injustice) and has been on the money for quite some time now. But at this time, I am willing to cast my vote for Imran as a protest vote against the establishment parties. I don't see how I or anyone else can go beyond that.


Yes, he is leading the country to the right discussion against corruption, but how do you take the next step? Faith? He has no policy or any vision in place beyond winning the election. You seem to be ignoring all that.


On a side note, here's an idea for Imran Khan. He should declare all his and his immediate family's personal assets and sources of income before taking power. He should make a show of being audited by an independent accounting firm, and for every year he remains in power. A statement of transparency. And he should require every PTI MP to do the same. Let's see how many of the old guard join. (I'm sure they will find a way around, but that's where an auditor can step in and stake their reputation when giving a clean bill to an MP.)


Question is... if he hears of this idea, do you think he will consider it?



Amin:


Well, I am very worried by the fact that there is no detailed plan yet. I'm hoping that it will be presented at some point before the election, once he's got the team he wants. Bear in mind, among the controversial entries there is an influx of people who previously didn't want to waste their time with a lost cause.


And when I say plans, or policies, I'm not talking about anti-corruption measures. I think that's going to be a very slow process that is essentially going to flow from having an honest man at the top, who is not immersed in moneymaking himself. I'm worried about security policy, economic policy etc etc.


Like you said, even in a worst case scenario Imran Khan is still the best option in a bad lot.


As for your idea. The Election Commission is supposed to be doing just that. And actually does. Imran Khan has been arguing for it to be made an autonomous body for a long time. His assets, that he declared to them before he contested the last election, are already doing the rounds and are already the subject of some controversy as well.


I think he's already playing around with a similar idea. The trouble is, I don't really understand what he's playing at at the moment. Obviously a lot many of the old guard would never join a party that was so anal about their finances. And, of course, creating the perception that you're going to win is half the battle. So one can only hope he's hoping to hit that critical mass before he starts pruning his party.

2 comments:

  1. I cant believe you told your wife about our little affair.

    ReplyDelete