EXCEPT Imran Khan’s compulsive detractors, majority of the people acknowledge that Imran Khan is honest, upright, exudes confidence and determination, and that he will not compromise on principles. Corruption was also a main theme of his recent campaign. Imran Khan’s anti-corruption position has been a constant, and this is the reason corrupt elements, whether in politics or bureaucracy, are afraid of him. Imran Khan’s election-victory received a hostile reaction in U.S. and British media; the headlines were generally negative, as his opposition to the U.S. war of terror never changed. Indian leadership and media were alarmed on his party’s victory, and leading Indian newspapers launched a malicious campaign against him. Seeing the anxiety in Indian leadership and media, former India’s career diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar in his recently published treatise titled “Who is afraid of Imran Khan” in The Tribune (India) has exposed Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Among other things, the author was critical of Modi for his decision to cancel foreign ministers meeting in New York at the sidelines of UNGA. He observed: “Three things must be noted at the outset. First, this is a failure of the ruling party to redeem its 2014 electoral pledge to make India ‘secure’. Second, the breakdown in India’s relations with Pakistan is a manifestation of the spectacular failure of the Modi government’s neighbourhood policies in general. Third, looking ahead, such a somber legacy becomes a serious handicap for Indian diplomacy. Take the latest histrionic. In our selective amnesia, we forget the disparaging personal remarks made by Junior Minister for External Affairs VK Singh regarding PM Imran Khan.” He also referred to instructions to the UGC to direct the country’s universities and higher educational institutions to observe September 29 as the Surgical Strike Day.
He raised the question whether any civilised country celebrated cross-border violence? And went on to state: “The Modi government is leaving behind an appalling legacy in its failure to engage with Pakistan constructively. And at the root of it all has been the cynical misuse of India’s Pakistan policy as an instinctual impulse and tool of Hindutva politics.” The problem is that India is facing insurgencies and turmoil in many of the states. The community of country’s 250 million Dalits still remains abysmally impoverished and oppressed. In the western Maharashtra state, four members of a land-owning Dalit family were lynched by a mob of upper-caste Hindus after they were paraded naked in their village and two women were raped. Anger over the killings of Dalits and their social boycott were causes of many a riot, when trains, buses and cars in India’s financial capital were attacked and burned.
Immediately after winning elections, Imran Khan had extended an olive branch to India. Then after assuming the office, Prime Minister Imran Khan invited India for a dialogue on all conflicts with a view to normalizing relations between the two countries. In fact, he has more than once declared that Pakistan would like to have cordial relations with all its neighbors. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also expressed similar views, as war between two nuclear states was not an option. Although the contents of Narendra Modi’s letter to Imran Khan were not known except his message of congratulations on his election as PM; however, he did not respond to Imran Khan’s overtures for dialogue to resolve all disputes. Modi’s intents are not hidden, as India continues with malicious campaign against Pakistan and its institutions and has been using different tactics to malign Pakistan at international level.
Imran Khan has the habit of defying predictions. Many had presaged that he won’t be able to win the world cup with that side. But he won it. As regards Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital (SKMCH), many in Pakistan were of the view that it would be difficult for Imran Khan to complete a gigantic project like the SKMCH. However, he completed the only project of its kind in Pakistan in a record time. The hospital is successfully running and serving humanity. Endowed as he is with leadership qualities, Imran Khan has made his mark in the political field as well, and today he is reckoned as the most popular leader of Pakistan. The fact remains that the destiny of a nation depends on the determination of its people, but there has to be a leader with vision, courage and wisdom to inspire them.
It is too early to pass any judgment, but given his past record, Imran Khan could unite the people in their struggle for safeguarding the sovereignty and independence of their country, and put it on the path of progress and prosperity. Pakistan is endowed with enormous resources, but inept leaders have brought it to the present pass. Imran Khan is honest, shuns nepotism and believes in leading from the front. By making appointments on merit and delivering to the masses, he would have the moral authority to rule. Today, Pakistan’s economy is in dire straits and Imran Khan could extricate the country from the multi-faceted crisis. Imran Khan vows to end corruption and bring about a basic change in the system, for which struggled during the last 22 years. He has been able to build his party, which is the largest national party. Of course, it was only when the two major parties stood exposed that people started taking Imran Khan seriously.