We, Pakistanis, are romantics like no other. We love and hate with no holds barred. Here, heroes are created out of thin air and loved to the point of worship. Though it also doesn’t take much to turn the same into villains. Since the beginning in 1947, we have been dreaming, waiting, and maneuvering for our “Cinderella story”, but the “ happily ever after” has always been elusive. In the process, many heroes have risen, dazzled, disappointed, and diminished. Yet, our obsession remains intact. When we are shown a dream, we dream along. When we are asked to believe, we oblige. So when Imran Khan promised the change, we believed.
It all started in 2011. A Tsunami is what they called it. There was this incredible ‘Imran Khan wave’ and the country was engulfed in a matter of weeks. There was so much hope, it was almost tangible. Here was this incredible man oozing with charisma, with feats no less than fiction. The man has risen from the ashes time and again. He changed the impossible by changing his bowling action in the middle of his career to become one of the game’s deadliest fast bowlers. He lead a flawed team to the epitome of world cricket when no one gave them a chance. Then he said he was going to build a cancer hospital and he did. If he could do all of it in one life, running a country shouldn’t be much of a task for him? In short, the outrageously handsome, honest, and straight forward, with a never-say-die attitude, Imran Khan was the embodiment of a savior and we fell in love like never before.
Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf, emerged as the second most voted party in the 2013 general elections. For most, it was a near miss. Never the less, the PTI was able to take charge of the KP province and the ‘change’ was finally here. What followed were five years of chaotic and pointless governance. The leadership never looked like they belonged and were short of ideas. However, despite PTI’s miserable performance at the provincial level, Imran Khan’s popularity was only on the rise. “how can decades of corruption, mismanagement, and incompetence be undone in five years?” one thought. So when Imran Khan asked the nation to believe in him again, the nation did.
The results of the 2018 elections put Imran Khan at the helm. Now, with the man himself at the driver’s seat, a great ride was expected. But things began to go haywire before one could blink. However, the captain asked us nonchalantly not to panic and the nation obliged. Its been two years since. While Mr. Khan and his team are longing for direction, the nation is trying desperately hard not to panic. Hoping against hope that this comedy of errors in the name of governance will result in something good. That this chaos is paving the way for long-lasting stability and order. For now, Imran Khan’s antics resemble that of a child in an amusement park. He is confused between which rides to take, lay down and have a snack or try his hand at the wending machine. Let’s hope he figures it out before its too late.
Despite all this, millions still believe in him. They went against the status quo and the system to vote him into power. They deserve their fairytale. Imran Khan can not fail them, he simply can’t.
*About the Author: Muhammad Yasir Ali is an independent researcher and public administration scholar, specializing in social policy studies.