Aren’t You Tired of the Bullshit?
The excrement floweth over and we’ve more than happy to just sit around and declare the faecal matter that covers everything around us to be the source of Hope and Change in this country.
As they’d say in French: Actually, I’m not sure what they’d say in French but it would be along the lines of old wine in a new bottle, or the same old excrement in a fancy Japanese toilet that reads out the news of the day to you while keeping your bottom warm. At the end of the unfortunate day that we call home, or those outside of it call the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, we are left with an excess of effluence.
I really have tried to give Imran Khan a chance. I have actively tried to convince myself that he will be our source of Hope and Change. I thought him speaking on women’s education (mind you, that was the only aspect of women’s rights he spoke of – as though education alone will help defeat patriarchy. Please, for the love of all that is holy Imran Khan, read.), the rights of domestic staff, and the expansion of the tax base was wonderful. For a moment I tossed my cynicism out the window and basked in the Hope & Change on display at Minto Park.
Didn’t take long to snap out of it though. How is Imran Khan truly evocative of change given the recent developments in his party?
Let’s begin with the ‘fresh and clean’ faces that have joined his party. You know, like Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who just joined his party in the biggest debutante ball known to mankind. Imran Khan will of course rid us of the scourge of inherited privilege and feudalism by aligning with a Gaddi Nasheen. Not just any Gaddi Nasheen, but one who has now been involved with three parties over the course of his political career. (For those who’re just joining in the conversation SMQ has been in the PMLN, the PPP, and now the PTI.)
While we’re talking about SMQ let’s also talk about his referring to himself as Mahmud Ghaznavi. The same Ghaznavi who attacked India numerous times to, uh, rid them of idolatry? By which I mean rob the riches of Somnath for his own personal empire.
And SMQ, while declaring someone a ‘Firaun’, like you did that crook Zardari, it’s always better to not have sat with them so closely in power for three years.
There’s that other group of fresh faces joining Imran Khan too. I am referring to Jahangir Tareen and his ‘Clean Party’. The ‘Clean Party’ ‘s slogan is quite clearly ‘Clean Since 2008’ ™. So what if Jahangir Tareen is the human embodiment of big business in Pakistan? The same big business that along with our feudal and bureaucratic system is responsible for numerous hardships on the Pakistani people. Oh, and did I mention that they all used to be in the PMLQ? That’s right, the same PMLQ that was Musharraf’s King’s Party.
Three years since Musharraf’s capitulation, we’re meant to believe that his supporters are now ardent supporters of democracy? Give me a fucking break. This is the same ‘tola’ of people that changes allegiances depending on the direction that the wind blows.
Almost everyone following Pakistani politics predicted that the ‘Clean Party’ would join the PTI at some time or another. And lo and behold, they’ve proven all us skeptics wrongs by, uh, joining the PTI.
While on the matter of lotas allow me to congratulate Shafqat Mehmood for joining the PTI. He has been in so many parties at this point in time that Sunday Magazine should devote an entire segment to him.
I would like to dedicate an entire paragraph to Mian Azhar, but I’m afraid the man is so boring that I can’t. I’ll just leave it at this: the man couldn’t win a rigged election when he was in the PMLQ. Rigged. PMLQ. MIAN AZHAR.
HOPE AND CHANGE.
Anyone truly sincere to Pakistan would at least pay some credence to the Civilian-Military relationship in our country. The military is partially or entirely responsible for the morass we find ourselves in (And no, Christine Fair, innocent Pakistanis should not have to pay for the sins of our establishment over which we have nearly no control. And FYI, we already had our great anti-ISI / MIL demonstration. It was called 2007-2008. Look it up.)
Allow me to clarify, when I criticize the role of our military I speak of the Generals and Corps Commanders who set our military and foreign policy. The soldiers in the military are as much pawns in the wicked games of our establishment as all of us civilians are. Just wait five or six days. The wanton murder of 26 or more soldiers at the checkpost at the hands of NATO will be used to negotiate a better trucking deal.
Bhai, money makes the world go round. Our khaki lords and masters adhere very closely to this view.
Imran Khan’s talking points are directly reflective of that of the military. While I believe that the Haqqani resignation was the right way to move ahead from the Memogate scandal*, Imran Khan bringing up the accusation prior to it being on anyone’s radar should cause everyone to prick their ears.
In my last post I made a reference to Imran Khan’s close team of advisors which caused me pause. This group of advisers has been so closely associated with the military, and has been so supportive of its hegemony over us that it now makes me shudder. Not a single member of his party has spoken out to condemn the role of the military in Pakistani politics.
In fact, Umar Cheema, the spokesperson of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf went to lengths avoiding criticism of the military or the PTI’s association with the military when posed the question by Sana Bucha on GEO’s Leikin. Daal mein kuchh kaala tau hai.
CHANGE. CHANGE. CHANGE. MY ASS.
There is this last point I’d like to make, which I must admit, is still somewhat half baked. Imran Khan himself would be considered an ‘elite’ of Pakistani society. The upper-middle and upper classes that serve as the source of his power are also an ‘elite’ of our society. What Imran Khan represents is not real change but the replacement of an elite superstructure (feudal, old money), with a new one (urban, newer money).
Of course, many of Imran Khan’s supporters stem from this class. Their argument would be that they’ve never had a chance to voice their opinion. Except for the 80s, and the 00s up until 2008. In short, what I’d like to say is the following, “Dear Upper Middle and Upper Classes, You have had a chance in the past. And we’re still in the same pool of shit that we’ve always been in. Just let real democracy work out. If IK wins, I will accept it wholeheartedly.”
I just hope he doesn’t.
* Husain Haqqani’s guilt is still unproven. His resignation, according to the PM and his office, was to ensure that the inquiry into the memogate scandal was fair and partial. Replacing him with Sherry Rehman was a stroke of genius though. Whoever came up with that decision has my begrudging respect.