Yesterday will be remembered by Imran Khan and PTI fans for a long time because it was the first major, mega crowd gathering event ever pulled by PTI in its 16 years long career. Some analysts even claimed it to be bigger than the 1986 rally by PPP, known to be one of the biggest public gathering in Pakistani Politics.

Does that really mean anything? Only time can tell. And as General Elections are not too far away, the answer to that question will dawn upon us soon. We need to wait and see whether the revelation will come to haunt or validate Imran Khan. In the past Jamat-e-Islami also a good crowd puller, failed miserably to convert the floods of people on street into floods of votes in the polling boxes. People normally associate PTI with Jamat-e-Islami because of some similarities, along with presumed alliance, in these two parties. A lot of anti-PTI users started twitting about how Imran (like Jamat-e-Islami) owned Armed Jihadis and offered to take on America, slammed Indian Army on Kashmir etc.

But what did Imran say yesterday that makes him a tad different from Jamat-e-Islami? Apart from the usual good things that go along with all political speeches, he highlighted the importance of paying Taxes, highlighted the natural resources available to the nation and stressed on differentiating tribal people from Terrorists. He did not attack USA like other right-wing leaders would do to flame the crowd’s anti USA sentiments. In fact, He said we want to be friends with the USA, not their slaves. (Reminds me of video message to Pres Regan from a Martyred Afghan Warlord during the Afghan/USSR War, regrettably forgot his name). The point here nevertheless was that not every bearded, Pashtun tribal Pakistani is a Taliban terrorist. He also mentioned the Kashmir and the Indian Army, said that the Indian Army cannot bring peace by force comparing it the US army in Afghanistan. Some reject this notion as an invalid comparison and argue that USA is an occupier and India controlled Kashmir is actually a part of India. Well, that being another topic of debate, but if the Indians really claim ownership of the land, then why there is need to explicitly control it? You dont “occupy” your own land, unless the people there are really not happy with you.

So everything was quite in order at the rally, the crowd, the national anthem and the huge national flag at the backdrop. Huge public icon, speaking on the nation’s true problems and resolving to eradicate them all. The only disappointment which I take from PTI’s rally, was that it was a missed opportunity. An opportunity for a genuine leader to instill great self-confidence and self belief in his followers. An opportunity to shun the icon worshipping, messiah awaiting mindset of a great nation, waiting to be tested to its true potential. We don’t need a Messiah. We need to believe in ourselves and start working for ourselves. Leaders come and go, for better or for worse, but there will be no us, if there is no Pakistan.

Another political gathering yesterday, slightly overshadowed by the PTI jalsa, was that of MQM in support of the ruling Party PPP and the President of Pakistan against some objectionable language used by Shahbaz Shareef of PML(N).

So yesterday apparently, it was PML(N) against the World. MQM bashing them in Karachi and PTI bashing them in Lahore. MQM always manages to pull maximum crowd in Karachi. MQM came out for a display of strong support to the PPP and is taking legal advice against PML(N) for using objectionable language against the President of Pakistan. Looking at MQM’s numerous U turns after severing ties with the ruling party PPP, this massive display of loyalty adds to the enigmatic MQM. They are claiming to protect the “Democracy” in Pakistan. That’s what the banners everywhere in Karachi tell us. That would imply that they believe Democracy in Pakistan is on the right tracks, and there are threats to its derailing. Bad strategy; it is alienating followers. In my humble opinion, the only possible threat to this democracy is its sanitation. It can’t get much worse than it is today.

Have they being played at the hands of PPP by unleashing Zulfiqar Mirza on them? Maybe.

Have they adopted a more apologetic attitude towards the PPP after the Zulfiqar Mirza Fiasco? Apparently.

Has Zulfiqar Mirza has turned out to be a trump card for PPP? Certainly.


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