By: Yasmeen Ali
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf(PTI) upstaged Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Group(PML -- N), in Lahore. A remarkable feat in the hometown of the once stronghold of PML N. Who would have thought that PML N will hear the death knell by none other than Imran Khan's fledgling party? A Death Knell it is. By a rough estimate, near to fifty thousand or more are seen on Live TV. The numbers swell as I write.
However, parties clamoring for removal of the current political dispensation are playing in the hands of vested interests, bent to destabilize Pakistan. Are not the political parties doing exactly what they have accused the Army of doing? Removing governments in power? One forgets the number of times, one hears these very politicians stating that governments MUST be allowed to complete their tenures & only then, with time, the "system will cleanse itself".
PML-N, today demanding an end to the government, has been as much a part of government as the PPP. They have unfortunately, nothing to show for their years in power in this tenure. Even when they have chosen to be not a part of government, as Opposition, they have failed to play a positive role. The years of incompetence will be tough to erase from the public's memory by crying "wolf", at the twilight of the 5 year span of mandate awarded by them.
Accepted, Imran Khan's party, has so far not been able to come forth with any strategy to deal with the multidimensional issues facing Pakistan. A failing that hounds most main stream parties in Pakistan.
What is, however, happening in front of our eyes, is the birth of a new phenomenon. The coming of age of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf. Unfortunately, the cause it chose, is all wrong. Pointing a finger is easy. Suggesting well thought out actions to resolve issues is not.
Those at the rally on the 30th of October, are not just members of the party, they are people hailing from all walks of life, young and old, people of both genders. Shahzad Roy's performance on the rally had people clapping, waving flags, on their feet. As night falls, my TV screen is lit with multitudes refusing to move, listening to leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf in spite of having been on their feet for many, many hours.
What does this show of strength prove?
It proves one and one thing only.
It proves that a new contender is born for PML N in it's once impregnable fort. It shows that PML N has failed it's people, leaving them to turn to the first option that comes their way. The advantage is on PTI's side. Most of her supporters argue that Imran must be given a chance to replace the jaded and corrupt politicians. This, is exactly the disadvantage of PML N. Too much corruption, too much bad governance. The fight in the next elections will not be, in Punjab, between PML N & PPP, where traditionally PML N has won, but between PML N & PTI. In the ensuing fight, it will not be surprising to see PML N being beaten at their home turf.
It leaves PPP stronger, if anything with PML N vote bank eroding in her very hometown, leaving the latter fighting for their survival. Division of vote bank between Pakistan Muslim League(Nawaz Group) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf. There are 11 urban seats for Lahore,3 from Faisalabad,1 from Gujranwala and 1 from Islamabad. Will Imran be able to convert this support into votes?
That PTI just conducted a coup against the PML N, of that there is no doubt. The question which is to be answered is; Is Imran Khan the New Deal for Punjab?The writer is a lawyer & university professor based in Lahore.