Published in Pakistan Today on the 4th of December, 2011.
True that Imran Khan appears to be the cleanest of the available lot. Also true that he appears to be the most honest and true to his word as well. Owing to this repute and the desperate desire of the nation for a ‘change’, Mr Khan has become immensely popular. Crowds in large numbers at his rallies are a clear sign of his growing popularity, regardless of what his opponents have to say regarding the said numbers.
However, there is one concern that needs to be immediately addressed by Mr Khan; the free for all entry to his party. Despite tall claims of making PTI a party of honest and clean politicians, Mr Khan suddenly seems to be open to any and all politicians regardless of their repute in their respective districts and their past record of corruption. The reason for this lenient policy appears to be the fact that Mr Khan knows that entering an election with a team of unknown candidates might not bring him the desired number of seats in the assemblies and so PTI needs people who are seasoned politicians or have at least won or contested in an election. But is it worth it?
Even if PTI gains a large number of seats in the next elections at the cost of compromising its policy of entertaining only clean and honest people, what good would those seats do? Who would then stop these ‘seasoned’ politicians from manipulating Mr Khan who is clearly not even close to being as shrewd a politician yet, his honesty and integrity may have something to do with that. Wasn’t it the idea in the beginning to take only the educated and honest taxpayers, including the youth, onboard as candidates by the PTI?
People have very high hopes from Mr Khan now and it scares me to see them being disappointed yet again. I am almost certain Mr Khan has no intentions of doing that but if this pre-election leniency results in a post election disaster, it will certainly be the final blow for us. If at all the people have found a sincere leader whose intentions are not doubted, they ought not to suffer at the hands of his negligence or any erroneous policy or decision.