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This article was originally submitted by Ahmed Suleman
So what if
1. 22 years of political roaring and never did it actually occur to him that he ought to have a candid team; with a realistic policy so he can hit the road running once allowed to do so. The gap was adequately filled with dozens of fresh un-elected SAPMs; that either know very less or old faces from the past; that know copy/pasting alone from the past won’t work so they remain silent.
2. the Swiss model, the Turkish model, the Chinese model, the Malaysian model were all ‘rhetoric’; that were constantly chanted by him yet never researched by him let alone realistically discussed, but let us appreciate; that the only model he could ever offer to the nation was himself i.e. a celebrity model.
3. Well, so what if he has ruined what was left of the debt-driven economy?
The Establishment achieved a major political outcome; allegedly in the best of public interest, and the nation doesn’t mind as long as he wears a green Ralph Lauren shirt; or a red kurta shalwar with the added smile that melts hearts. On top of it, you have some viral video of him surfacing; where he is allegedly crying for the nation then nothing like it!
4. So what if PTI is constantly buying more time on one pretext or the other; be it the delay of the BRT/its stay order, or its foreign funding case, or completion of its full tenure – the respectable institutions are more than happy to defend him; not only in these matters but even beyond; to the extent of the premier defending his cronies in the wheat/sugar crisis as well as the massive illegal profiteering; in the power sector report.
Obstruction to justice is a federal count in the USA – but not in Pakistan so we shouldn’t worry because the Hon’ SC continues; to criticize PTI verbally, but only grills PPP in Sindh in effect.
5. So what if ‘Naya Pakistan’ miserably failed and all the corruption ending was just rhetoric? At least we had media coverage of all the events and the twice sit-in protests; which caused the national economy billions of losses and parallelized the entire country for months. This is an act of heroism and a great act of patriotism if you have the backing of the Establishment; in these matters. It also provided free of cost entertainment to the entire country especially the residents of the twin cities!
6. So what if the premier is a perpetual liar and lied to the nation about the 1 crore jobs, 50 million housing units?
Let us not forget that his party has provided ‘home” to all the lurking ‘syasi lotas” out there; by incorporating him into PTI in these difficult times. And he has at least provided jobs to all the ‘corrupt anasir” by inducting them into his Cabinet – He did score a half a century there and will even go on to make a 100; unless the Selectors cancel the match due to ‘rain” or call him in by declaring him “retired-hurt”.
Getting him run-out via 3rd Empire is also another option on the table – this shouldn’t be much of a fuss to cover it up since the powers-that-be have developed a major stake; in the media industry too. Furthermore, the appointment of ‘soft’ Gen. Asim Bajwa as SAPM would enable the powers-that-be to deal with all the media pressure in a nice diplomatic way; if things head south on the political front.
Again, I am giving him benefit of the doubt here, because it would be naive to expect such a service from him – but you got to appreciate the sanity behind this change in communication strategy. At least he can synchronize all the conflicting multiple rants/statements/rhetoric; from the premier/PTI’s Ministers into a meaningful, coherent dialogue for the Media; to quote/public to understand whilst reinforcing the Establishment’s viewpoint on key matters.
7. It is constantly alleged that he and his ministers still remain in opposition mind-set?
If you fact-check this allegation – not only have they smoothly transitioned into their respective roles like a child; who constantly finds comfort behind his mother every time a crisis emerges, (read Establishment to the rescue), yet roar like lions (read tigers) on social media; every time something good out of the blue happens (which they had nothing to do with in the first place – a case, in instance, is the rescheduling of debt by G20/IMF), and they are ‘smart’ enough to claim credit for it! I don’t know why on earth this ‘smartness’ fails to reflect in their ‘smart’ lock-down methodology.
Besides, instead of playing the public directly, they have stepped it up a notch, realizing they are in the government; playing to the tune of the ‘Famous Five’ stakeholders of Pakistan in a manner which is directly proportional to the ‘zero sum’ game in this model. That too whilst keeping the interests of their party well-above Pakistan, preferring ‘strengthening of institutions’ at the cost of the State, and investing in youthiaz over the nation, keeping the bureaucracy happy at the cost of the provinces, and remain spineless when it comes to dealing with the religious/extremist forces.
I wouldn’t call this governance, but this definitely is “political management” that eventually pays off in the long run. The premier has perfected the narrative of Nawaz shareef in a practical way: i.e Vote ko Izzat do” by implementing, ” Establishment ko resources do”, ‘Adlia ko lollylop do’, ‘Media ko danda do’, ‘Awaam ko theenga/dhoka do’, ‘Idaron ko khulli azadi do’, ‘India ko Kashmir do’, ‘Mazhabi tanzeemon ko naam-nihad Madina ki riyasat do’, “syasi lauton ko shamoliyat do’, “bureaucracy ko Soobay do’, ‘corrupt anasir ko tahafuz do’, “gareebon ko langar-khanay per khana aur 12 hazaar ropay do, opposition ko saza do, lifafi sahifiyon ko galiyaan do, aur youthiaz ko tiger force ka laqab/t-shirts do”.4
Truly we don’t deserve a man like Imran in office, do we?
If this simple approach of keeping “everyone happy by giving them what they need/want is not the hallmark of a great Leader which according to MTJ is also ‘Sadiq-n-Ameen” as well (allegedly because the last time I checked – this title belonged to Muhammad (peace be upon him) and anyone who attributes it to someone else is a liar too), what else is?
8. So what if not only we lost occupied Kashmir physically, but also our case in the global conscience? At least we fought according to our then D.G ISPR i.e” till the last soldier to the last bullet”, and made human-chains every Friday till this reality settled down within all of us that Kashmir is gone forever. Besides, we have more important matters to deal with here as to how to sustain/maintain the “Maqbooza Pakistan” in the long-run amid the financial crunch due to Corona alongside the poor performance of PTI.
Yet another grand NRO in the making with NAB amendments and forgiveness of cases in return for a structural change in the Federation through constitutional amendments. Mussarraf regretted the NRO he had given, but never do we learn from our historical mistakes, do we? We always lose a strategic advantage by winning over a tactical maneuver, and then wonder why we keep heading back to square one?
9. So what if the Premier and his legal team made a national ‘scene’ out of the extension of the COAS and our Armed forces were humiliated in the India media for it?
Let us not forget that he did bring in the world cup 1992 for us. So what if the PTI government sought the largest public debt in its first year, and went to the IMF vulnerable – only after exhausting all ‘friendly’ options first, we now have at least IMF representatives running the SBP on similar lines as IMF had done in Egypt.
10. Inadequate economic policies of the government long before Corona had sent 40 million people below the poverty line and rendered many jobless – let us not forget that he gave us Shaukat Khanum Hospital. So what if billions of dollars as anticipated had not poured in, and revenue collection took a big shortfall, at least we have a premier who can offer a renowned journalist ( alleged to be Muhammad Malick) a slot in the Cabinet after he roasted him in a live press conference on economic issues.
So what if he threatened the world to use the nuclear option in terms of any foreign aggression in a global audience? Turns out that we fear our nuclear weapons more so than the world really does and he wanted to change that notion. So what if he blamed the creation of the Taliban on our forces who were working for the USA back-then whilst sitting with Donald Trump.
It’s the truth, and the premier has always maintained that we should have never fought someone else’s war
But how to explain it to him that Musharraf resisted the American pressurizing narrative for years, ” Do it or else we shall (come in and do it for you)” for as long as he could, but circumstances made him weaker, and he had to eventually succumb! The moral justification that was used to side with the Americans in their war on terror was, “the lives of the many matter more than the lives of the few” when coupled with debt-rescheduling, defense modernization, and influx of dollars.
We paid the price of a total investment of 25 billion dollars with over 115 Billion dollars of economic losses over the years that followed, alongside paying a hefty price in political, social, and religious terms. Over 65,000 martyred and millions of IDPs with the already present afghan refugees. Only ‘forced peace’ was achieved in FATA, and a forced annexation followed subsequently in PTI’s tenure which has backfired in PTM’s form.
So what if the PTI government could have easily withdrawn the petition regarding Musharraf’s abrogation of the Constitution and given a lot of face-saving to the military regime, but it didn’t?
At least it made the “Selectors’ re-evaluate their selection from a very serious point of view behind closed doors!
11. So what if the conflicting stances/statements of the premier; with regard to Corona, not only caused nation-wide confusion; putting the entire country and millions of lives at stake, but also allowed him to take credit for a timely lock-down that saved many lives – a lock-down that was still imposed despite he was against it all the time; yet he made the decision in consultation with all stakeholders to implement it on time.
I protest against those that call the premier schizophrenic/joker on social media – you can’t be both besides being the premier! But if you are, either we have a national security problem or it’s a complicated world; out there in the premier’s office/mind.
12. So what if the majority of people are asking one simple question. “What will kill us first/more? The premier/PTI government, Corona or the alarming financial situation; before/during/after Corona?” The nation has an ‘honest” prime minister according to the statement of the Attorney General in the SC. But let me dilate upon that statement further; because our national stupidity stands in the way of realizing the depth of this statement.
Here’s the truth!
What he implied indirectly was that the nation can not only eat the honesty of the premier, pay their utility bills; with his charismatic leadership, use his “speeches” to test/treat the Corona, retain their jobs; with the world cup that he won for us, and if nothing works for you; as a replacement in terms of resources/jobs/food/health, then you may as well tune in to the latest Turkish Drama; ‘Dirilis Ertugrul’ to ease your relentless worries – or just read the book “the lost Islamic history”.
Again – the premier and his team are in charge of “creation/implementation of a standardized syllabus; for Pakistan, ought to realize that majority of Pakistanis can’t even write their name in Urdu. How can you expect them to watch a drama in Turkish or read a book in English? I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here; that they might know that the majority isn’t capable of doing so – that is why you have the premier on social media in his “killer red kurta shalwar”.
But there is another catch – most Pakistanis can’t read in between the lines of all the symbolism; that PTI has had to offer, starting right from their austerity drive; in the first month, to bulldozing of the illegal occupancies in Karachi, to all the policy jokes; in the name of governance, and all the rhetoric in the name of; various economic models, mere sloganeering, ending of corruption etc. So I’ll explain this picture of the premier in his “red kurta shalwar”.
Someone commented on social media, ” the premier is killing with his looks”.
Let me reiterate with a ground-reality check. “The P.M is killing us all with his policies/decisions or lack of it thereof, and the redness in the kurta shalwar symbolizes all the blood of the Pakistanis that he has mass-murdered with his inadequate policies, perpetual lies, institutional manipulation, and national exploitation.”
But I am contradicting myself here, as this para began with the people asking one simple question: ” What will kill us first/more, IK-premier/PTI government, the financial situation or the Corona” – so the majority of people do get this! And this Turkish drama/book recommendation would only work for/on the Youthiaz; as a charm to move away attention from core areas!
13. So what if the premier is helpless in bringing those to justice in the sugar and wheat crisis, and hold the sugar mafiaz and the IPPs accountable? The masses don’t realize all the sensitivities, like ” they know too much” in the first case, and ” Is hamaam mein sab nangey hain” in the Sugar/Power Sector.
14. So what if the premier failed miserably in office, at least he tried, at least he put up a good act and had many of us fooled right from the masses to the institutions that he really is a saviour, a hero that we had been waiting for, a solution to all our problems.
So what if when put to the test – he has come out as the destroyer; of our social values and economic lifeline?
The best part is – while doing so he made us laugh/smile/cry all along the way, kept us engaged emotionally and mentally incapacitated; to figure out his reality, kept taking credit for the hard work of others, and kept blaming others; for his inefficiencies, satisfied us with all the painful pleasures; by hurting the entire nation in every position. He played his dual roles of going 180 degrees in decisions vs his statements; and pulled it off really well.
I nominate the premier for the ‘best actor’, Establishment ” best direction/screen-play”, and ‘Naya Pakistan’ as ‘best movie’ in the Oscars this year since I heard that they are also accepting social media movies this year. The question remains – ” Kia picture abhi baqi hai”? After all, entire Pakistan wants to see this ‘soap opera’ till the end!
15. Since he was a ‘player’ in cricket and has come out to be an ‘actor’ in politics; may I also suggest keeping in view our national delusional psyche, that Minar-e-Pakistan should be replaced; with his tool so the entire nation; along with those in uniforms, can salute him even after he is gone? This entire episode of Naya Pakistan had one fundamental flaw; during the script-writing stage, there was never any back-up plan made; so what should we expect in the final scenes?
Resorting back to the basics with the Mantra, “Left Left Left Right Left”? Circumstantial historical evidence suggests that though it provides; better administration, the mantra is itself flawed in its basic slogan; mentioned above i.e. with 4 left(s) and one “right” – this mantra can never be right, can it?
Be it in the form of direct rule or indirect management.
And resorting to the who-is-who of human crap once again; consolidating them under a presidential system through a constitutional amendment driven; by a larger national interest, is again not going to work.
A system is made up of stakeholders and beneficiaries/actors – incorporating all the present actors in a new system will not work. However, incorporating better actors in the present system might work, and to get best of both worlds – retaining the best of old actors, bringing in new ones; where possible/necessary, and then putting together a smart combination of rational intelligence; in the driving seat and experienced lot in the back seat with the mantra; of the new system: ‘for the citizens, by the state, of the stakeholders’ might work!
PS: So I hope now you are more clear on as to why and on what grounds; I want the masses as well as the institutions to leave the premier ‘alone’ and do away with the system; that brings-about actors like him (and his predecessors) to the public office; in the first place and rather, find/design/create/incorporate/invest/nurture; in better alternatives in terms of actors/sponsors/producers/writers/directors/audience.