What Kind Leadership Can Save Pakistan From Implosion?

What Kind Leadership Can Save Pakistan From Implosion?
Recent history is witness to the fact that many nations have imploded and divided into parts or simply ended up on the dust heap of history. The most notable examples are the USSR, Yugoslavia, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania. Pakistan, too, is in danger of imploding. Pakistani society today is an extremely polarised. The head of the state and the Prime Minister are at loggerheads, the Supreme Court stands divided and politicised, the Election Commission is not afraid of challenging the Constitution and the orders of the apex court, the Prime Minister is critical of the Chief Justice, the political elite threaten each other and are not ashamed of using unparliamentarily language – and it appears we are again reviving the doctrine of necessity for short sighted political gains. The power of the government and the law of the land stand opposed to each other. This appears to be the final act in this gory drama of betraying the people of Pakistan. The stench of decay is all-pervasive and it appears that the battle lines are drawn for a final clash. The vultures are circling overhead waiting to move in for the kill. This generation could prove to be the one responsible for hammering in the last nail in the coffin of an independent Pakistan, or possibly some idealistic and patriotic forces may emerge to save this country for our future generations.

The eyes of the nation are on the Supreme Court of Pakistan and hoping against hope that the apex court will be successful in defending the constitution and saving the country from irreparable damage, ensuring the rule of law. The judgments and orders of the Supreme Court could still prevent an implosion and put Pakistan back on the track to peace prosperity and success. Politics today is a viper’s nest of hate, ridicule and mistrust. The former Prime Minister has managed to introduce extreme hatred, enmity and toxic discourse in our political discourse. The nation is divided into anti-Imran forces and fanatical pro-Imran groups. All national issues like the economy, terrorism, climate change, unemployment, rising dollar and many other problems have been put on the back burner and have no place in our ridiculous political discourse. The country stands divided and is not moving forward: the sole discussion is that only Imran Khan can provide good leadership, better governance and can lead the nation to peace prosperity and economic recovery.

The last regime of the PTI was a sorry spectacle of incompetence, U-turns, poor governance, being lackeys of the establishment, anti-media. The government exhibited narcissism, misogyny and weakness or collusion in the face of religious extremist forces. The fanatic followers of the cult of Imran Khan just refuse to see reality and insist that there is no other leader except him who can lead this country. And they will go to any extent to bring him back in the driving seat.

The educated youth and the poorer segments of society compare the small misdeeds of Imran Khan and the extremely corrupt and unethical behavior of our past rulers like the Sharif family and Zardari. This makes Imran Khan stand out as a saviour in their eyes. All the opponents and critics of Imran Khan are now reduced to the status of traitors and enemies of the state, and this way of thinking helps to jack up the popularity ratings of the PTI and their leader. The fanatic followers of Imran Khan just refuse to see beyond the tip of their nose and refuse to hold him accountable for his promises and the performance of his party.

Those who wish to see their hero back in the driving seat should be aware that if he is brought back again with absolute majority and without the blessings of the military establishment, he will surely face an enormous burden of responsibilities. He will either meet the challenges bravely or his fate will be to end up in the dustbin of history as a failed and discredited politician. Imran Khan’s relentless political struggle has taken him to dizzying heights but he has yet to prove if he can be counted as a true leader and messiah of the people. If he has the courage of his convictions, he will have to prove his leadership qualities without the use of the crutches of his former benefactors, the military establishment. He owes this to his supporters and to his nation at large.

Imran Khan could take a look at the giants of recent history such as Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Mao Zedong, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Mohandas Gandhi, Lee Kuan Yew and Zhou Enlai. Why are they icons of human history? They served their people and their nations without any personal objectives and worked for the betterment of their society tirelessly. They had very strong moral character were competent and committed to their cause. They did not make cynical use of religion for the promotion of a political agenda. Mr Khan has yet to prove whether he possesses even a fraction of the qualities displayed by the great leaders of recent history.

Chairman Mao completed a long march of over 6,000 kilometers and he shared all the hardships of the march with his followers. He ate the same food and had the same facilities as any common soldier. Gandhi adopted a lifestyle of poverty and simplicity and stood shoulder to shoulder with the downtrodden people of his land. We are not led by a leader like Mao, but his example is most relevant here: he did not engage in car cavalcades and rallies. He marched, fought and suffered with his followers.

We need a leader with the political vision to launch a comprehensive social and economic revolution. Imran Khan has been colluding with the military establishment and the religious extremists – as we have already mentioned. The second time around, he will have to change his old strategy and rethink his future options – if his project is to survive.