What a fall for PM Imran Khan!
Islamabad (TP) January 9, 2021: Make no mistake, in this Machh episode, Imran Khan has emerged as a big time loser. It does not matter what he attempts or his minders and minions do now for damage-control. The time for one has passed. There are reports of an “agreement” between the parties to bury the dead and of Khan flying out to be with the mourners.
Of all the challenges of governance and leadership, winning hearts and minds is the easiest one to start, and given some commitment, accomplish. It begins and ends with KINDNESS. It is hard to fathom why he sat home to not only fail them (whilst admitting they were at the receiving end of a cruel fate), but himself, too, since so much in this episode betrayed his narcissism.
Whilst at a complete loss to understand what could hold a man in his position from doing the easily doable, one heard that it was probably down to some superstition surrounding being around the dead and so woe betide — a decision premised, someone said, in strict advice from the Peerni at Banigala . If that indeed is the case, then good luck to the hapless nation!
He is often poor in his choice of words but the description of ‘blackmail’ was not only terrible but horrendous given the emotional zeitgeist that the nation, not just the Hazaras, were enveloped in. No matter what, you do not ever undermine the pain of the grieving. His critics often deride him for his bravado, my own view after observing all his political life is that he has still not learnt what not to say in politics. THAT has been his undoing all along. This time, he managed to kick “my own people” in the gut.
Am not sure if he realises that his ill-conceived reaction and failure to even respond to that fundamental call of a politician — timing — has the potential of burying his image in the public court irreparably. Maryam Nawaz and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari proved far more adept, even allowing for the criticism that it was a carpe diem because while they drew mileage from Khan’s absence they never embraced the same spirit for Model Town massacre or even the same Hazaras during the time their parties were in power. This criticism may be fodder for party trolls, but it is little more than a deviation from the issue at hand: the uncompromised responsibility of the ruler to look after the wellbeing of the ruled. Period.
Imran Khan will have to live down the ignominy of this. In one fell swoop, he fell from grace, and at his own feet.
This write up has been taken from the Facebook wall of senior journalist Kamran Rehmat with his permission.