By Raja G Mujtaba
Life is full of uncertainties and opportunities; some incidents apparently give a negative message but it pulls out a surprise and turns into a big advantage like a jackpot. On Tuesday the 7th May what happened at Lahore where Imran Khan was to address has raised many questions? Imran Khan fell from close to 20 feet and fell cartwheeling along with the three security guards. When the TV channels were showing it repeatedly and in slow motion, it showed all the details of the fall. Imran sustained multiple injuries but his spine was saved else he could have been paralyzed. Had that happened, then that would have meant end of Imran Khan Era before it could even see the light. This could have left the field wide open for those who have believed in status quo, bluffed and played with the destiny of the nation, but that was not to be so; Allah saved Imran Khan from a fatal accident that could have taken his life.
When an event of such a magnitude is being staged and the electioneering is in the closing phase, tempos go high, at times hype goes so high pitched that any untoward incident can happen. More so, terrorist threats and activities are on the rise, it warrants that the provincial government should have ensured all possible arrangements for public safety and security. Here it must be said in no uncertain words that it has been the failure of Najam Sethi, the care taker Chief Minister who should have resigned forthwith. In western countries, when any public event is held which is out of routine, the county ensures to have all equipment and people there to meet any untoward happening. They would have the police, ambulance and a fire truck on the spot there so as to meet any emergency that may arise. Here in Gulberg, a posh area of Lahore everything was left to be desired and at the mercy of the nature.
His injury and his blood covered face drew lot of attention. A sudden soft corner developed for him even in his ardent opponents. Women were the most to be moved who showed very emotional side of theirs. Then the statement that he made from his bed was very impressive. It was very much statesman like; full control over his voice, focused and committed with complete disregard to himself. It was a strong message to his party followers who have decided to stand behind him. Some of the 2nd tier leadership of other parties more so from PML-N has resorted to mean tactics which is highly unbecoming that leave much to be desired.
The news of Imran’s fall went viral in no time; even the foreign media picked it and splashed it around the globe. Someone may like it or not, Imran is a world celebrity who is followed even by world leaders. To endorse this, below are some of the remarks and comments of the dignitaries how they feel about him.
“If Imran khan gets elected through next general elections then Pakistani nation will find a 2nd Jinnah in the shape of Imran khan.” US Congress
“South Asia and middle east countries should have leaders like Imran khan who can talk to America face to face and Pakistani people should vote him.” Ahmedinejad
Going over this sorry episode, it has certainly kicked a sympathy wave all over the country but more so in the Punjab and KPK where has a strong base. Rahimullah Yousafzai, a senior columnist had said a few days earlier that PTI would bag 32 out of the 35 seats of KPK though I did not agree with it but maybe its possible now. According to various estimates, PTI is likely to get an advantage of 20 to 50 percent. If it so happens then it would be a sweeping election for which the entire credit would go to Imran Khan alone. The electable that he has taken in his party have nothing new to offer, they all came from other parties mostly from PML-Q where they all made hay have found a safe haven here; they have become more of a baggage for Imran Khan and the party. Now Here Imran Khan is answering for them. Had he gone ahead with clean people who had no political baggage, Imran would have fared much better, his voter turnout would have been much better.
As of now, apparently the entire fight is going on between Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan but knowing the capabilities and character of Asif Ali Zardari, there may be some surprise awaiting everyone. PPP has abandoned any field campaigning, all its campaigning is through the media. There are no rallies, no speeches or anything like that. Asif Ali Zardari is likely to secure about 40 seats through directly through PPP, most of which would come from Sindh and few from the Punjab. The Zardari doctrine is very simple and realistic. He knows the worth of all those who are likely to get elected as independents, he will go on a shopping spree and buy them at a price that they fix for themselves. The next line of action would be to pick the independents from the market that are available for money without any shame.
Depending on how many independents get elected and if buying them over Zardari can manage to form a government or come in a strong bargaining position only then he is likely to do so; he is a shrewd manipulator of his time. But his first priority would be to get his second lease in office.
After the injury of Imran Khan, there is definitely going to be a rise in graph of PTI vote bank, at this point it’s very difficult to assess how much. Any surge for Imran Khan will dent PML-N the most, how much dent he makes in PPP vote bank will have to be seen on 11th May but there would be some dent there too. No analyst is prepared to make a prediction but what they are saying is that it could be anything from nominal to phenomenal. If it gets to be phenomenal, then it would be a sweep of the history. That would place Imran Khan in a comfortable position to form governments in the Punjab and KPK provinces. If it so happens, then inviting him to form the government in the center would be his genuine right.
I would like to clarify here, that my loyalties are not with any party, but with Pakistan, its ideology and the people of Pakistan. All I want is that the best interest of Pakistan is served at any and all cost.