Imran Khan Deserves To Lead: By Air Marshal(Retd) Ayaz Ahmed Khan !!!
Imran Khan Deserves to Lead
By Air Marshal (Retd.) Ayaz Ahmed Khan
Los Angeles, CA
Imran Khan has emerged as a flag-bearer of morals, ethics, honesty and rule of law in Pakistan. He laments the corruption, nepotism, the fallen morality, lack of commitment, inaptitude, lack of will and obligation among the politicians to redress the plight of the poor. Shoddy governance, gross financial mismanagement and corruption at all levels are the hallmarks of the present setup.
The hyper inflation and the $54 billion foreign debt have created bankruptcy and near insolvency thanks to the financial lunacy of the dgovernment. Pakistan needs educated and committed leadership at federal and provincial levels, which is missing. Media and Imran’s pleas for good governance, less corruption, justice for the poor and the minorities get drowned in the flood of selfishness and prejudice. Good advice is falling on deaf ears of the mafia godfathers, communal and regional saber rattlers. The rulers, smug on carved and cushioned chairs in air conditioned rooms, have no intention to do better, or to mend their ways. The mullahs want to block education and progress. They have not said a word against brainwashed terrorists engaged in suicide bombings and blasting of girls schools. They support the blasphemy laws, which corner the minority Christians. The politicians are sitting in glass houses, unaware of the misery and plight of the poor. They are incapable of turning Pakistan around towards a bright future. They have failed to extricate the poor from the mire of poverty and destitution.
Pakistan needs another Qaid-i-Azam like Jinnah. But that is unlikely to happen. Air Marshal Asghar emerged with a bang on the political scene in 1968. He addressed and led rallies of millions of people urging integrity, justice and corruption-free governance. He warned that religious and sectarian intolerance will destroy the fabric of our society. His pleas for united Pakistan and sanity became a mirage in the emotional rhetoric and nationalistic politics of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shiekh Mujib-ur-Rehman. They both created mob hysteria, which led to the axing of united Pakistan.
Asghar Khan tried to keep the country one, by urging General Yahya Khan to stop genocide in East Pakistan, hand over power to Mujib-ur-Rehman, the leader of the Awami League, the majority party in the parliament. He advised Bhutto to follow the path of democracy. But influenced by ZAB, the incompetent General unleashed the Pakistan Army against the unarmed men and women of East Pakistan. What followed is recent history.
In the shriveled Pakistan that emerged fascist and dictatorial forces took over. The tormented people of this blighted county became voiceless. An elected prime minister was hanged by a military usurper. Air Marshal Asghar Khan kept protesting, but was jailed and interned during that dark period. His books “Generals in Politics,” “We have Learnt Nothing from History,” and “My Political Struggle,” vividly describe what went wrong, how power was manipulated by generals and politicians He has highlighted the intrigues and dubious role of the religious parties who always sided with dictators, preached communalism, urged military action in East Pakistan, and said nothing when the Bengalis were slaughtered. The landlords and big industrialists, ethnic mafia godfathers and the maulvis polluted politics. Pakistan was denied genuine democracy and rule of law. Asghar Khan did not succeed in the money-driven, dishonesty-based Pakistani politics.
Imran Khan and Army chief General Ishfaq Pervez Kayani have the leadership qualities to put the country back on track. Kayani is loyal to the elected government, is fighting the war on terror, and is keen to ensure that the Army is a professional fighting oufit. Wisely he has kept himself out of politics.
Given a chance Imran Khan could pull Pakistan out of the present political mire of corruption, nepotism and irresponsible governance. Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital and Lab’s, Namal University in the backward and barren area of Mianwali District, and efforts to spread education in far flung areas, and rehabilitation of flood victims are evidence of his concern for the 40% poor living below the poverty line in the country.
Imran Khan’s conduct and commitment to Pakistan are above board. His secular education - BA from Oxford, marriage to a rich English lady - was a prop for the mullahs to tarnish his image in the public eye. It did not work. Will Tahreek-e-Insaf emerge as the victorious party in the next general elections?
Imran has earned a good name for himself through sheer hard work to improve the lot of the poor people, and eradicate corruption. During his recent one-week stay in America, he collected one million dollars , i.e. Rs nine crores for building thousands of one-room, rain-proof huts for the shelterless poor, whose mud houses were washed away by floods. He is a humanitarian politician, who needs to do well at the next polls.
A leader of the Pakistani nation must be above blemish, which Imran Khan is. He is a person who abhors ostentation and lives like a simple Pakistani. He is inspired by the leadership qualities of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and should walk the path to Jinnah and Iqbal. Imran Khan is upright and honest, and being a pious and practicing Muslim which Imran Khan is not, should not be a road block in his efforts to lead Pakistan to a better future. It will be a valuable attribute, if he could be pious. But piousness has many definitions; in my opinion he is as pious and upright as a person can be.
While we wish Imran Khan well, and many people discern a ray of hope in Imran Khan’s above-board character and resolve to uproot corruption and poverty, the political challenge is uphill, but not impossible. His commitment to recreate a just order, and empower the marginalized and exploited classes must be intensified.
Air Marshal (Retd.) Ayaz Ahmed Khan