This is not a political blog and never will be. This is just what I experienced in Imran Khan’s Lahore Rally.
Pakistan’s democratic affairs are like Pakistan’s cricket: unexpected. One day everything is fine and dandy but then a politician comes, makes a wild statement, gets ridiculed, makes another statement defending him and ends up with less dignity then he had to begin with. In Pakistan, politics is a never-ending battle. The cause seems to have been lost many eons ago but of course, I’m exaggerating. For as long as I can remember the political parties have been responsible for any disappointments this country has had to suffer like PML-N, PPP, Awami League, MQM just to name a few. You might have noticed that I did not mention one particular party, the Tehreek-e-Insaf. All political parties have their bases either in corruption, mismanagement or just plain stupidity. Not the Tehreek-e-Insaf though. I don’t need to tell you of the great achievements that this party has to their name, I don’t need to tell you how devoid from corruption this party is (I will, though), all I need to tell any Pakistani person is the name of the leader of this party. He is perhaps one of the most recognizable people in Pakistan. He is the one and only: Imran Khan.
Yes, this cricketer turned politician, who would lead Pakistan’s uncorrupted Hall of Fame if there ever was one, is the foremost runner in this marathon for Pakistan’s power. For long, he has stayed the underdog of Pakistani politics. Not anymore, though, recently he has begun to rise in the ranks of politics. Recently, a rally was held in Islamabad on Pakistan’s Independence Day, which me and my family attended with great pride. A point to be noted is that at the event, a rough estimate would suggest that 6000-8000 Pakistani citizens showed up. It should also be noted that this event was during Ramadan. After breaking their fasts the people hopped into their cars supporting colors of green, red and white emblazoned onto their cars, clothes and faces. The event started late and Imran Khan’s speech was to be coordinated with midnight on 13th August so that the Pakistani Flag could be drawn up in front of thousands of people, amidst cheers of ‘PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!’ What more could you ask for from a party promising Pakistani Democracy? The event lasted late after 3 AM but this did not deter the determined people as the number of supporters in no way reduced.
I must say that I know less than I would like to admit about politics. However, I do know that Imran Khan is the person to turn Pakistan into a better and important country. This proved to be true in the rally held in Lahore yesterday which turned out to be a revolutionary event in Tehreek-e-Insaf’s history. I live in Rawalpindi, approximately 300 km from Lahore. Were we to miss an opportunity to show our support for the party we were convinced would be in power soon? So what if it was a five hours drive? So what if we would have to travel 600 km in one day? This was a small price to pay in order to bring about change in our country. And we went all the way, even stuck Tehreek-e-Insaf’s flag onto our car:
Once we entered the city we were almost certain that we would be stuck in traffic. This assumption proved to be true but this was good. One of our major fears was that there were not going to be enough people but, fortunately, this fear was easily erased from our minds courtesy of the thousands of people who showed up. This traffic jam had been turned into a party not just a boring old procession. People were blasting music, drums were being loudly beaten and people were dancing on the tops of busses and cars beautifully covered with the flag of Tehreek-e-Insaf. That day all hatred, all differences had been resolved just for Imran Khan. As one supporter rightly proclaimed: “Thieves and beggars alike have gathered here to support Imran Khan” On 30th October there were no poor people, there were no middle-class people, there were no rich people, there was just a flurry of support for the one man who was going to make Pakistan a better place.
It felt like there was a unifying bond among all Lahoris that day, even though I know that not all of them supported Imran Khan. There was just this sort of connection between us, not meaning to be all mystical and but that’s how it was. People never met before were taking pictures of each other and pedestrians were walking by hand in hand, flags holstered up high and chanting different slogans of Tehreek-e-Insaf. Cries of ‘AAJ NAHI TOH KAB, HUM NAH TOH KON?’ could be heard from afar. Translated into English it is, ‘If not today then when, if not us then who?’The rally was to be held at Iqbal Park where the historic Minar-e-Pakistan had been constructed. A better place for Imran Khan’s rally, I cannot think of.
Imran Khan is not new to making history as he was the captain under which we won our only cricket World Cup and as I write this his already-elevated status just keeps on increasing. Imran Khan will bring change to Pakistan.