It’s the year 1993. Imran Khan a recent hero being the Captain of the Pakistan Cricket team was rallying the whole nation behind him to support his dream of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital. The whole nation got on the feet including the then government of Nawaz Sharif who even let PTV telecast auctions. Everyone stepped up to chip in. At that time his vision was that he would build similar hospitals all over Pakistan. When I contributed along with many others to raise the funds; I hoped to see that the next edition of the Hospital coming up at least somewhere else in Pakistan if not Karachi. 20 years on; the wait is on…..
Year 2000, when I graduated out of my Engineering University and picked up a job maintaining Cancer equipment. I always wondered that since the SKMT in Lahore is up and running. The next one in line is going to be up very soon. But no fervor ; no noise and no efforts took place. Maybe priorities changed for the great Khan or maybe he forgot his promise or may be he achieved of what he wanted to achieve and beginning to en-cash the same by building his own political party. No problem with that but I am sure that the nation waited; the Great Khan who was a champion in such a feat to extend the same to other cities. Sometimes I wonder why he couldn’t just build Cancer therapy centers containing only radiation therapy equipments across the country which is one of the most expensive treatments and due to lack of machines across Pakistan turns out to be a strenuous exercise for the already suffering patients. Trust me he could have done it in less than a 10th of the cost of what he incurred to built the hospital; with lesser space and resources. I am sure he raises more money in his trips abroad to build these centers and if he would have made noise could have raised more in Pakistan. Announcing building these now like in Peshawar and talking about Karachi means one thing only. Election Mileage with all due respect….
Year 2002, moments before my mother died of Cancer. We tried to reach out to SKMT but realized that going to Lahore and putting up there would have doubled the expenditure. Nevertheless; no comparable facility existed anywhere else in Pakistan. Now people might say that why not some other party may be MQM built it in Karachi. Well MQM has built Khidmat e Khalq Foundation with running hospitals, ambulances, relief etc but not a Cancer Hospital but bigger structure and support without any glory taken to ask for vote. Even Nawaz Sharif has one running in Lahore for all diseases. Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) is a more comprehensive facility under Aga Khan foundation but only for a cause and they don’t want to cash it but serve people only. Abdul Sattar Edhi has given the nation the greatest network of Ambulances, Orphanages and god knows what else? But did he tried to convert it into votes though he claims that Imran tries to coerce him back in 1996 to kick start his vision. But the Great Khan who claimed to have championed the art of Cancer Hospital has kept quiet on going beyond Lahore. Now its good that it took care of people there. Free or not I don’t know. But it never moved beyond. I hear a lot of times that political parties in Karachi and Sind do not allow him to built another one here. For a moment even if I agree with this tainted argument; why did it took him almost 20 years to announce one in Peshawar where there was no MQM. Why not in Central Punjab or in Sindh?
Now I am seeing the Great Khan running around committing stars and moons. And pushing for Anti Nawaz vote or Anti PPP vote but I wonder how much of this is going to be original Imran vote. He is offering them jobs, he is offering power, he is offering heavens and he is offering to make this nation an independent nation. I even heard him saying that he would never beg once he comes into power but I always thought; begging for a good cause was his forte what changes when he becomes the Prime Minister if by any chance. Does he know any another way to do it?
As for him coming to power is concerned . Like he promised the dream back in 1992 . I fear that how much would he be able to deliver on his newer set of commitments. Some people say that we want to vote for PTI because we do not want to see PMLN and PPP back in power. So when I ask them if he does fumble what then? Their answers are interesting than we wont vote for him next time. Means either a new pawn would be presented by the Game Masters before the next elections if this one fails or either people would come back to vote for the same lot. But the question is whether we as a nation can afford to take that type of a chance.
Till now, Imran has played to the gallery and definitely has gained momentum. How much that transpires into votes to win a constituency is yet to be seen. What if he fails to trigger the Tsumani he promises ? Would it leave his supporters disheveled ? What if the Naya Pakistan he promises which I personally don’t agree as we already built a new one after loosing Bangladesh in 1971 becomes a nightmare? With all the insurgency going around I hope that the separatists do not get any smart ideas? What if Taliban who are pro Imran or Nawaz envisages the Naya Pakistan as their version of Danda Bardar Islam?
Anyways, if Imran and his PTI who in my view can get 30-40 seats at the max. In alliance with collision partners lets say PPP and MQM . Since he is getting vote on anti PMLN sentiment and it would be hard to form a coalition with them. So lets say PPP gets 60 seats and MQM 28-30 seats . With ANP another 10 due to their proximity with PPP and maybe MQM side with PTI and Imran becomes a Prime Minister. It would be interesting to see first for him to take oath from President Zardari. Than handling PMLN since the CM Punjab would be definitely theirs and also they being opposition leaders. Would he stand up to the promises on which he has built his rhetoric that would he able to stop Drone Strikes? Would he be able to negotiate with animal minded Taliban and get them to ceasefire? Would he be able to rule without any IMF aid? Would he be able to create the billions of jobs in his tenure if he stays for it? Would he be able to implement the utopian economic policies he has been promising the masses? Would he be able to get the nation rid of feudal system? Would he be able to use his famous bat to punish the 500 or so politicians ? Would he be able to wade of corruption and I am sure that when says getting rid of corruption in 90 days; he doesn’t mean only politicians but bureaucrats, judiciary and army? Would he be able to prosecute Arsalan Iftikhar for his ill gotten wealth? Would he be able to bring peace with India with keeping Taliban , ASWJ and Lashkar e Taiba happy? More importantly would he be able to stop his elected and those who failed from trying to recover the Billions of rupees that they have donated or spent on his election campaigns?
Sitting at a dinner. Someone commented that Imran is arrogant . Hmm so he refers to Holy Prophet (PBUH) in all his speeches and yet forget Prophet’s views on arrogance. The quintessential question is what role his kids who are half jewish would play once he comes in power. Lets not forget half Indian Sonia Gandhi and kids next door.
I feel that Imran has over committed . I feel that the Great Khan has gone to great lengths to touch sensitive subjects with every one to get their votes. I feel that the Great Khan has transformed from a great cricketer to a great actor. I feel that the Great Khan as he failed to spread the network of cancer hospitals across Pakistan would fail again this nation . I feel that the Great Khan has risen the expectations so high that when he fails the fall would be from much higher ground and the damage immense. I feel and infact hopes that the Great Khan’s Naya Pakistan is limited to rhetoric and doesn’t become a nightmare for the nation due to frustration. I feel that in case if he loose he is not going to derail the democratic process more. On the contrary if he achieves I would be a happy man for Pakistan and may be vote for him in next elections if and when happens. But meanwhile I would just tell him this Imran Khan Hum bhi Dekhein Gey … Pakistan Zindabad!