Imran Khan and Shades of Grey Reality

"Well, when mainstream parties misgovern, the people will make a shift to reactionary but financially credible politicians (Individuals). No matter what spin I try to give, the fact is that mainstream parties, namely PPP and PML-N have misgoverned. When crisis of governance becomes very acute, the ideological orientation does not hold the same sway....

When all of this is happening then who can blame those who are liberals to start looking towards Imran Khan? For most of them, their political support for Imran is the extension of their respect for his services to Pakistan. While I severely disagree with Imran on political grounds, I would be dishonest if I deny that he has rendered outstanding services to Pakistan.

During the floods, it was reactionary Imran who was trying to collect money (And he was successful also). Yes, he is a reactionary but people don’t care about these definitions in desperate times.

Yes, you will be correct to argue that ideologically there is a difference between PTI and liberal parties. But in practice, everyone is behaving the same. And when that happens, you will find liberals crying at Minar-e-Pakistan while waving a PTI flag.

I don’t agree with their decision but I don’t blame them for taking it. I don’t agree with reactionaries who take over mainstream politics but I understand why they do it. Now that some of them have joined PTI, I can only hope that Imran starts softening his rhetoric on some critical issues. These are strange times."

Raza H, Why some liberals are supporting Imran Khan

The question of supporting this or that political party is a highly pragmatic decision given that in reality no political party is perfect, and no political party in Pakistan has a particularly liberal track-record, regardless of what they say in theory. Given this background, it is a mistake to think that the mere act of supporting PTI is a delusional betrayal of liberalism. My sentiments are echoed very well by Raza here.

Sane people understand that political realities exist in shades of grey, but when it comes to Imran Khan and PTI, suddenly everyone has the urge to see it as black and white. This applies not just to the liberal critics of Imran Khan, but even more to the hordes of PTI trolls who insist on proclaiming their kaptaan as the one and only messiah, and any criticism against him as an act of blasphemy.


Nabeel Ahmad said…
Very good article! I agree that many of Imran Khan's supporters tend to see things in black and white.
But I dont understand why Imran khan is being considered anti-liberal?
Salman Latif said…
Very well said! Like you said, Pakistan's liberals, en masse, are on the search for the 'perfectly liberal/humanist/etc' political party which they can support and vote for. What they forget is that availability of alternates and growth of less conservative(compares to many and in many ways) and change-pushing agents such as PTI will only facilitate the process towards a general liberal outlook of Pakistan.