Yasin Malik vs. Imran Khan
Yasin Malik criticizes those who take domestic politics and take it overseas in other countries. Compares the unity among overseas Hindus who while critical of each other inside India, do not distinguish between themselves when they are overseas and lobby for India.
This seems to catch Imran Khan in his tracks as he is in the middle of a tirade against our leaders and taking it overseas.
This is one of the weaknesses of Imran Khan, that while railing (correctly) against the (usually nonthinking) Pakistanis who start acting like they are Western themselves and take their case to the West, he himself allows himself to succumb to that. Taking the domestic politics of Pakistan and taking it to the U.K. “advising” them about the unsuitability of such and such candidate in Pakistan. All the while being unthinking about the impression this creates in people in Pakistan. The “going to London” to advise outsiders is not much different from the behaviour he has criticized earlier.
While it maybe borne of frustration as local power centers – feudals and others create very little space for someone like Imran Khan in Pakistani (and esp. non-Karachi) politics, but then he makes the mistake of taking his complaints to the U.K. as if they are his masters. In addition he makes the foolish mistake of going against the MQM – which while flawed in some respects – is the closest thing to a middle class oriented party, and which has in recent years taken pains to bring itself out from the cold (mainly thanks to Musharraf who allowed them the space to conduct themselves with honour and legitimacy in Karachi as opposed to the “choron ki tarha” they had to operate when Nawaz Sharif started military operations in Karachi, or Benazir refused to accept them as a major player in Sindhi politics as a challenge to her heriditary feudal-on-the-inside/populist-on-the-outside “jaagir” of politics in Sindh).
Imran Khan has similarly played his cards incorrectly by going with the Tehreek-e-Taliban when it was becoming clear to the public that the Tehreek-e-Taliban were more like a criminal organization than anything remotely religious (let alone Sufi-like, although they did have someone named Sufi Muhammed in their ranks).
Imran Khan has played the pro-FATA and “Jirga system” card for a number of years, and it may have seemed fine prior to Musharraf when the “bay zaabtagian” of Nawaz Sharif and Benazir were for all to see. However what he fails to account for is the bulk of the middle class in Pakistan which fails to have ANY sympathy for the “with you but apart” system of FATA which seems very close to mini-feudalism, which has been responsible for their car thefts and all sorts of illegal activity. In addition the wiser among the population may have started to see just how anachronistic the FATA system is in this day and age and how full of potential problems it has always been – some of which have been glaringly exposed in the inability of the existing system in FATA to demonstrate any type of people power that can rise against criminal elements who take up residence there. This is because this type of activity was prevalent in FATA – i.e. “sanctuary for money” and all sorts of other activity that would be illegal in other parts of Pakistan. So ordinary citizens of Pakistan would naturally ask “what distinguishes FATA to have rights to do illegal activity that are denied to those living in our cities” ?
Imran Khan is standing on the wrong side of the fence, as public opinion increasingly sees the realities emerging as the existing setup faces the stresses which is exposing it’s weaknesses.