Monday, June 13, 2005

Thinking Beyond Imran Khan by Tarek Fatah


What strikes me as juvenile is the fact that despite the clich├ęd condemnation of the feudal, so many of us cannot shed the feudal cult of personalities.

We grew up with our middle class parents praising, Ayub Khan as good for the country, then we had otherwise educated and sensible people making six figure salaries sing accolades for Zia.

Now, after having lived and and experienced the folly of personality cults, Pakistanis who live in democratic societies, are presenting Imran Khan as the panacea to our ills!

Unless this is tongue-in-cheek attempt, I am astonished that people can seriously discuss 'personalities' instead of policies. And what distresses me is that this is coming, not from the streets in Karachi or Lahore, but from the suburbia of the US!

As far as I am concerned, any country that has seen three civil wars; the separation of its majority (bizarre concept unheard of in human history); destruction of its indigenous cultures, languages and customs, and is on a threshold of another brewing insurgency by the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), needs a serous introspection, rather than a discussion of which personality is better suited to sort the mess.

We grew up with stories of shahazadas and khalifas of the past and it seems we cannot get rid of the simplistic analysis that is the hallmark of Pakistanis.

The country was created as confederation of Muslim States and was stolen, not by Military or Feudal lords, but a civil beurecarcy that turned it into their private club from the days of Aziz Ahmad onwards.

It is probably the only post-colonial nation that honoured as its heroes those who worked for the Colonial power.

Tariq Fatah


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