Sunday, May 12, 2013

Imran Khan loses big battle with matured voters

Nawaz Sheriff

The shocking defeat of Imran Khan in the historic Pak election shows he is yet to win the hearts of common man in Pakistan. The message is clear, Imran has to prove his credentials as a politician to make a tryst with the destiny of Pakistan.

The election result vehemently says all the hype over the former cricketer becoming a savior of a country battling extremism and military might has found an attraction only with the urban population, that too among the youth. The election result prediction by TV channels and newspapers became farce with Nawaz Sheriff, the former prime minister, returning to power with a majority, dismissing all speculations about Imran entering to an alliance with Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party to form a secular government with a modern approach.

At a time when the world considers Pakistan as a haven for terrorists, the new generation, catalysts of change, earnestly wished to see Imran at the helm of the corridors of power.  But the pre-election fall during a campaign became fatal for the Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) party leader. The rally tragedy did not stop him and he campaigned from the hospital bed. But the people decided to keep in waiting for five more years. In fact it was a more mature approach from the masses than the vote rigging allegation from Imran.

When given a chance to bring a strong government between PPP, PMN (L) and PTI, obviously the voters chose Sheriff for his experience in parliamentary politics. With PPP nowhere in the election scene, from the beginning, it was written as a close fight between PMN (L) and PTI along with other Islamist parties. It is not difficult to see in the post-polls scenario that when the media and political analysts speculated on a possible alliance between PPP and PTI or PTI and PMN (L), the voters who realised their huge responsibility to keep away PPP from the parliament, preferred Sheriff to less-experienced Imran. 

So the polloutcome is a rejection of PPP than PTI from the politically-motivated voters, an unprecedented move from the common people.  If the people voted out Imran to prevent PPP making a post-poll tie-up, it shows the country has something to be hoped for. The voters, largely illiterates and not-so politically motivated, have rise up to the situation to build up a democratic nation with the help of somewhat reliable Sheriff than socialist Imran, a novice in parliamentary affairs. 

But whether the ruling class of Pakistan has grown up to the aspiration-level of people still hangs in doubt. Sheriff’s declaration of his victory much before the election commission announcement showed a hasty move to grab power; not even given a spit second of time for PTI or PPP even to think about the next step in government formation.

Imran, thus, left with no option, but to make rigging allegation in an election marred by violence, bomb blasts and abductions. The inability and helplessness of Pak authorities to make necessary arrangements for a violence-free election was revealed, substantiating all the allegations against Pakistan as a country without adequate security measures. If planned in advance, and gone for phased-election, it could have curbed the violence and saved many innocent lives. But the country once again proved it is yet to learn to learn the basics of democracy.

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