Understanding The Factors Work For Imran Khan Right Now - And Those That Don't

Understanding The Factors Work For Imran Khan Right Now - And Those That Don't
Back in 1977, at the Sydney test, it is reported that Imran bowled for a continuous four hours and in the process even tore his shirt. To him, that match and win was very important, as it established him into a genuine fast bowler. In cricket, he later became known as a workhorse. A horse who never got tired.

On the political front, Imran Khan is also not showing any signs of fatigue. He seems to be making a very strong comeback. Before being ousted from power back in April this year he did mention on television that he would be an even greater threat to his political opponents which seems to be coming true. Imran Khan has undoubtedly become a populist leader on the lines of the once very populist Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He just needs to give one call to his huge following of supporters and they will throng the streets within a couple of hours. His popularity is not just based on rhetoric but on the results of the recent by-polls as well.

The populist leader and his political party PTI bagged six out eight NA seats and won two out of three Punjab Assembly seats, leaving the ruling government clueless about their defeat. One of the real reasons for PTI’s success as a political party is because they have tapped into the youth of the country. The majority of Pakistan's population comprises of the youth, with the largest voter base comprising between the ages of 18-29. The PTI has captured the hearts and minds of this youth through its strategic and targeted social media campaigns. Such an approach is lagging from other political parties as the PTI has certainly won the battle on the digital front. The sole reason for this is because of the boldness and charisma of one man who is committed to his beliefs and ideals.

With PTI gaining so much momentum through their largely successful political rallies and their victories in by-elections, it does seem as though the stage is set for PTI to win the next general elections. The only question which seems to be haunting the PTI is to when elections will take place. Logically speaking, as per the constitution, the elections are to be held after every five years, which means elections are sometime next year – irrespective of the regime change back in April, as the PTI government back then was removed through a vote of no confidence and not through the polls.

However, in Pakistan, such logic does not seem to be given importance as arrangements or deals have to be made so that the country does not fall into further destabilization – which Imran Khan could do with his proposed long march if he does not get his wish for elections this year. The situation right now in Pakistan, like much of its 75-year existence, is troubling. Rising inflation and a recession looming over the world has made the World Bank predict only 2-3% GDP growth for Pakistan in the coming year. 33 million people have absolutely no idea how they will rebuild their lives after the devastating floods as Pakistan once again has to go to the international community seeking billions and billions of dollars for the rehabilitation of flood victims. There is no sign of relations being mended with India and the United States does not seem to have faith over the security concerning our nuclear stockpile which seems to be rather subjective.

Amongst all these problems, the Sharif family has received respite in being acquitted in their money-laundering cases. For about six to seven years, the family was in anguish regarding uncertainty surrounding their wealth and property. However, they too, like Imran, seem to make a strong comeback whenever the chips are down on their side. Along with being a business family they are also politicians who have learnt the art of politics over the span of many years – an element missing from Imran Khan’s profile. The acquittal will certainly be a welcome sign for the family as now governance and how to recapture Punjab will be their top priority.

The weather will soon change in Pakistan and winter will be upon us. It will be a time when the mist at night and the haze during the day gives Punjab a calm and picturesque vibe. The coming winter does seem to be all calm and serene on the political front, however. The amount of uncertainty gripping Pakistan will be worrisome and concerning. The uncertainty of a long march coming through or the uncertainty of elections taking place can leave even the best-informed commentators guessing as to what will happen.

One can just hope and pray that all the important stakeholders in Pakistan can just let basic good sense and logic prevail.