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From hope to disaster; What happened to Tehreek-i-Insaf in just two years?

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From hope to disaster; What happened to Tehreek-i-Insaf in just two years?


Back in 2014, Jon Boone, a senior analyst at The Guardian, wrote an article about Imran Khan and Haqani exposé

The article states, 

The political party led by the former cricket star Imran Khan claims to have blown the cover of the CIA’s most senior officer in Pakistan as part of an increasingly high-stakes campaign against US drone strikes. If his identity is confirmed it will be the second time anti-drone campaigners have unmasked a top US spy in Pakistan.

Though then interior minister  Ch. Nisar denied the drone strikes incidents but this call out of government officials sent a message to the general public about PTI political positionality. 

After experimenting with political dynasties like Bhutto and Shareef, Pakistani public was ready to give a chance to budding secular liberal Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf but within just two year, we witnessed absolute ignorance, violence by PTI leadership and it’s policies. 

Where it all began: Imran Khan founded his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in 1996, and stood for social justice and accountability on the model set by Hazrat Omar (RA), the second of the four Rightly Guided Caliphs of Islam. Until 2011, he despised the politics of ‘electables’. According to him, these opportunists lead parties and governments to the politics of patronage and corruption. Thus he was initially joined by upright and respectable politicians, such as Mairaj Muhammad Khan. Despite all that PTI was seen only on the fringes of Pakistani politics.

Climax: Things changed for PTI’s political image dramatically after Imran Khan held his Lahore rally on October 30, 2011. As Dawn  put it then, “Imran Khan’s ‘tsunami’ sweeps Lahore”

Many believed he was supported by the country’s powerful military establishment after it was unable to fully rope in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to overthrow the then PPP-led government following an acute split between the PPP government and the military over the ‘Memogate’ scandal. Nevertheless, Khan was for the first time, a serious contender.

2013 elections didn’t bring any good luck for PTI in center but they did score majority seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly. Throughout PML-N tenure PTI continued with his unrelenting rigging narrative, agitating against the alleged injustice.

Within Khan’s cult of personality is a parallel to other crisis moments in Pakistan’s history. In Khan’s Rhetoric, one finds echoes of roti, kapra aur makaan (“food, clothing and shelter,”a central PPP slogan during the PPP’srise) and the mass support for the Islamic socialism of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in the 1970s. Khan’s own populism is most evident in his promise to eliminate corruption within 90 days as part of his vision to make Pakistan an Islamic Welfare State.

Resolution: Things changed for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf when they scored the 2018 election with landslide victory. Imran Khan, a populist leader with some state backening is leading the seventh nuclear power in the world. Over the years, Khan’s attitudes have diametrically shifted. From being an international playboy to ultimate savior of Sunni Islam in Pakitan. He has embraced conservative Islam, recently marrying a spiritual teacher etc. Imran and his party promised to be a solution to political anarchy in Pakistan, spoiler alert we are nowhere near that. 

Our society is more divided than ever, we have mobs who can end up killing you if you disagree with them, Sunni supremacist leaders who have lost dignity and tolerance for others, powerful rich men who will get away with literally any crime prohibited in the constitution. We’re becoming more of an extremist regime with weak accountability institutions. 

In short PTI is an alt-right political party with a charming leader who has a thing for fascism and taliban. 

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