By Ahson Saeed Hasan
Dear Imran Khan,
I know you’ve been flooded with advice in the recent weeks and that your ears are sore listening all the noise around you. I understand that it’s quite crazy keeping tabs on each and every development that happens, especially when you are in the middle of all the dharnas and politicking that you’ve been involved over the past few weeks.
I know you have a powerful, intriguing and inspiring message. I’m equally aware that the message comes from your heart that wants to do wonders for the Pakistani nation. I’m not sure if you know but I have known and studied you since I was a young man. I followed you as a cricket fan, covered your exploits on the cricket field as well as off it (volunteered for several SKMH related events back in the 90s) as a journalist and was one of the first members of PTI.
I lost touch with you but have followed your progression from a distance. I can’t say that I’m your supporter anymore. In fact, your political judgment and leadership have left me rather flabbergasted at times.
Many of us don’t really know even at an advance age what we want from life when we grow up. I think that’s what your ideological issue is. I can’t really figure out if you’re a conservative, a liberal, center of right, center of left or just someone who wants to exploit people’s emotions and grab power.
Dear Khan, I believe, for now, you should just focus on the one province that your party was able to form government, play a patient game, work on the betterment of the people, introduce effective reforms and put into practice the ideals that you’ve been talking about in the recent months. There’s tremendous amount of opportunity to do good in KP. Why not take a step back and count on your blessings? While you are occupied in carrying out the reforms, standby, keep your head down, wait for the next elections and let the people judge you.
In the meantime, if the Sharif’s mess up even further, let history take its own course. Things in Pakistan are different now. Unlike the 80s and the 90s, the public is much more aware and conscious. One doesn’t expect anything but worse for the prime minister if he falters or ignores the will of the people. The paradigm of expression has definitely gone through a dynamic transformation.
Patience and discipline are the hallmarks of success. No one knows that better than you yourself. All your cricketing career you were expected to play the role of a sheet anchor. This is a real life opportunity to build a long innings. Please stop embarrassing yourself and get rid of this phenomenal anxiety that seems to have engulfed you. You’ve gotten himself entangled in a terrible mess. These dharnas aren’t working out too well. It is highly doubtful if such tactics will help getting rid of the Sharifs or change anything.
Your swagger, demeanors and leadership on the cricket field and charity work were an eye opener and a lesson for all of us. I remember, as a cricketer, you spent thousands of hours running countless number of laps, perfecting your outswingers, accuracy, yorkers and strategy to outthink your opponents. I also remember the time when you were struggling with your shin injury, you applied himself, wrestled with the problem and fought back hard to herald the most successful phase of your career. You are gifted with incredible values. You are the chip of the old block. You know what it takes to work hard and achieve success.
Politics is an unforgiving business. Your day to run Pakistan will come but that day is certainly not today or tomorrow or the day after. You’ve got to fight this out, stay steady and stabilize yourself and his party. In the meantime, here’s what you can do: (a) focus your efforts on streamlining and improving KP; (b) windup the dharna peacefully; (c) regroup and reconfigure your future line of action; (d) act as a honorable opposition leader in the parliament; (e) announce your support for the flood victims and the IDPs; (f) stop criticizing countries like the US in a blatant manner; (g) be a facilitator of the constitutional process; (h) don’t tell people to stop paying their bills; (i) help the youth find a better direction to channelize their energies in an effective and productive manner. They believe in you and they trust you.
Is this too much to ask? I don’t think so. You have the spirit of a tiger and tigers always prey in a calm and calculated manner. You got to slowdown and maintain your grace and coolness knowing which we all grew up. You can do it, Mr. Khan!