I have heard Imran’s critics expatiate extensively on his flaws as a person and a politician, and if I don’t agree with what they say literally, I cannot deny the fact that flaws do exist like they do in all of us. Yet, he has my complete support because of two simple facts: One, he is sincere to Pakistan and two, he is not corrupt. After that the ball falls in my court. I do not believe Imran can work miracles, but I do believe all Pakistanis united can. I do not believe Imran can eradicate corruption, poverty, illiteracy or injustice on his own, but I do believe he can initiate a system in which all Pakistanis will get a chance to work towards this end. We, as a nation, have lost direction and worse still for most part, hope. This has led to such a devastating desensitisation of our soul that nothing jars us into action any more. Such is the necessity of survival that our first and foremost instinct is about protecting ourselves and our loved ones. How to provide for our families with basic necessities when we are battling increasing electricity tariffs with no electricity, mounting gas bills with no gas, and basic mobility with sky high petroleum prices. Barely able to manage day-to-day expenditures, how are we to provide quality education or healthcare? On top of all this, coping with the prevailing law and order situation is nothing short of juggling glass balls with one hand tied behind our backs. So, its small wonder that we have become incapable of empathising with anyone else’s problem besides our own. Such are the entrapments of this vicious cycle that we have started to believe most emphatically that there is nothing we can do to make a difference and anyone, who says otherwise, is simply demented. Neither can we aspire to make an honest living in a system riddled with corruption, nor can we expect decency or honesty from our fellow Pakistanis because that is what we have basically become - a nation of selfish and dishonest individuals. Thus, has started our downfall because the inevitability of becoming powerless arises with the assumption of being so.
Imran, over the course of his political career, has emerged as a challenger to this deplorable state of affairs. It is not that he is going to turn us around - we are. He just seems to be the best option to facilitate that end, rather than sabotage it. Once we are assured of a God-fearing, honest head of government, we can all do our bit. Then, perhaps, the common man will follow suit - my dhoodh wallah will not mix water in his milk; my kaam wali will not need supervision while working in my house; we’ll start respecting the law again; my children will not think it is okay for them to cheat or plagiarise; we will stop misusing our job authority or facilities for personal use; we won’t stand gaping as two kids are beaten to death in front of us or make videos of another dying of blood loss after being shot; we will stop giving bribery as a matter of course because we will stop demanding it; we will stop evading taxes because that money will be utilised for developing infrastructure all over Pakistan without discrimination, instead of being squandered in maintaining a fleet of cars for countless ministers, secretaries, generals, etc. The magnitude of all that we can achieve in our own circle of influence is incredibly overwhelming; all that is required is the realisation of it. So every time someone tells me Imran has given rise to hopes he cannot possibly fulfil, I tell them you are absolutely right, only I can. Imran Khan is simply my choice for the next Prime Minister!
n The writer is a freelance columnist based in the US.