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  1. #1
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    First the World, now Pakistan: Imran Khan seeks election glory

    Clad in a tracksuit and ankle weights, Imran Khan lounges in a plush chair and announces this is his political moment: the World Cup cricket champion believes power in Pakistan is his for the taking.

    After years in the wilderness the former allrounder is riding a wave of populism as rival parties stumble, decrying the venality of Pakistan's political elite and promising an end to rampant corruption if he can win a general election due this year.

    Often likened to US President Donald Trump for his populist flair and Twitter tirades, he prefers to draw parallels with former US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders or British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.

    "It is one of the most ridiculous comparisons," he sighs, when asked about Trump during an interview with AFP at his hillside home near Islamabad.

    But despite once describing a potential meeting with the US president as a "bitter pill", Khan says he would be prepared to work with Trump to stop the "insanity" in Afghanistan.

    "This war will only end through talks," he says. "The solution does not lie in more bombs and guns."

    In the West, the man who led Pakistan's 1992 World Cup champion cricket team is typically seen through the prism of celebrity, with memories of his headline-grabbing romances and playboy reputation standing out.

    Back home, the 65-year-old cuts a more conservative persona as a devout Muslim, often carrying prayer beads and nurturing beliefs in living saints.

    To his legions of fans, Khan is uncorrupted and generous, spending his years off the pitch building hospitals and a university.

    "(He) deserves a chance over all the other leeches," says supporter Shahid Khan, a 26-year-old engineer.

    But Khan is also described as impulsive and brash, too tolerant of militancy and fostering close links to Islamists, amid speculation over his ties to Pakistan's powerful military establishment.

    - 'Take the knocks' -

    Khan entered Pakistan's chaotic politics more than two decades ago promising to fight graft and build a welfare state in the nation of over 200 million.

    But for his first 15 years as a politician he sputtered, his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party never securing more than a few seats in the national assembly.

    "Sports teaches you that life is not in a straight line," he says.

    "You take the knocks. You learn from your mistakes."

    In 2012 PTI's popularity surged with hordes of young Pakistanis who grew up idolising Khan as a cricket icon reaching voting age.

    The wave of youth support accompanied festering dissatisfaction among the middle class with the country's corrupt and dynastic political elite.

    Khan admits his party was ill-prepared to capitalise on the gains in time for the 2013 election.

    But that was then. "For the first time, we'll be going into elections prepared," he says of 2018.

    He points to his party's governance of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province as a blueprint for nationwide programmes focusing on human development.

    Rahimullah Yusufzai, a veteran journalist based in KP's capital Peshawar, says the party has done well on legislation -- but implementation has been slow, as PTI grapples with inexperienced political newcomers and indiscipline.

    "He has been there for more than four and half years," Yusufzai says. "People are trying to figure out, what change did he bring?"

    - Unsettling links -

    Others fear Khan's mercurial nature is unsuited to being prime minister.

    Last month he made headlines after asking his supporters in a tweet to pray he finds "personal happiness which, except for a few years, I have been deprived of", following still unverified claims he had married his spiritual advisor.

    "Imran Khan is very, very impulsive -- a trait leaders score low on," says Harris Chaudhry, a 23-year-old student.

    Detractors have also attacked Khan for his repeated calls to hold talks with militants and for his party's alliance with Sami ul Haq, the so-called Father of the Taliban whose madrassas once educated militant supremos Mullah Omar and Jalaluddin Haqqani.

    Khan defends the partnership, saying Haq is instrumental to reform and helping poor students at risk of being radicalised in Pakistan's long war on extremism.

    To his opponents, he is merely latching on to a groundswell of naked populism.

    "Imran Khan is right now the beneficiary of a wave of celebrity politicians who are anti-politicians," explains Husain Haqqani from the Washington-based Hudson Institute, suggesting Khan has also benefited from ties with the military, whose penchant for meddling in Pakistani politics is well known.

    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/first-worl...043651619.html

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by AssassinatedDevil View Post
    Clad in a tracksuit and ankle weights, Imran Khan lounges in a plush chair and announces this is his political moment: the World Cup cricket champion believes power in Pakistan is his for the taking.

    After years in the wilderness the former allrounder is riding a wave of populism as rival parties stumble, decrying the venality of Pakistan's political elite and promising an end to rampant corruption if he can win a general election due this year.

    Often likened to US President Donald Trump for his populist flair and Twitter tirades, he prefers to draw parallels with former US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders or British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.

    "It is one of the most ridiculous comparisons," he sighs, when asked about Trump during an interview with AFP at his hillside home near Islamabad.

    But despite once describing a potential meeting with the US president as a "bitter pill", Khan says he would be prepared to work with Trump to stop the "insanity" in Afghanistan.

    "This war will only end through talks," he says. "The solution does not lie in more bombs and guns."

    In the West, the man who led Pakistan's 1992 World Cup champion cricket team is typically seen through the prism of celebrity, with memories of his headline-grabbing romances and playboy reputation standing out.

    Back home, the 65-year-old cuts a more conservative persona as a devout Muslim, often carrying prayer beads and nurturing beliefs in living saints.

    To his legions of fans, Khan is uncorrupted and generous, spending his years off the pitch building hospitals and a university.

    "(He) deserves a chance over all the other leeches," says supporter Shahid Khan, a 26-year-old engineer.

    But Khan is also described as impulsive and brash, too tolerant of militancy and fostering close links to Islamists, amid speculation over his ties to Pakistan's powerful military establishment.

    - 'Take the knocks' -

    Khan entered Pakistan's chaotic politics more than two decades ago promising to fight graft and build a welfare state in the nation of over 200 million.

    But for his first 15 years as a politician he sputtered, his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party never securing more than a few seats in the national assembly.

    "Sports teaches you that life is not in a straight line," he says.

    "You take the knocks. You learn from your mistakes."

    In 2012 PTI's popularity surged with hordes of young Pakistanis who grew up idolising Khan as a cricket icon reaching voting age.

    The wave of youth support accompanied festering dissatisfaction among the middle class with the country's corrupt and dynastic political elite.

    Khan admits his party was ill-prepared to capitalise on the gains in time for the 2013 election.

    But that was then. "For the first time, we'll be going into elections prepared," he says of 2018.

    He points to his party's governance of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province as a blueprint for nationwide programmes focusing on human development.

    Rahimullah Yusufzai, a veteran journalist based in KP's capital Peshawar, says the party has done well on legislation -- but implementation has been slow, as PTI grapples with inexperienced political newcomers and indiscipline.

    "He has been there for more than four and half years," Yusufzai says. "People are trying to figure out, what change did he bring?"

    - Unsettling links -

    Others fear Khan's mercurial nature is unsuited to being prime minister.

    Last month he made headlines after asking his supporters in a tweet to pray he finds "personal happiness which, except for a few years, I have been deprived of", following still unverified claims he had married his spiritual advisor.

    "Imran Khan is very, very impulsive -- a trait leaders score low on," says Harris Chaudhry, a 23-year-old student.

    Detractors have also attacked Khan for his repeated calls to hold talks with militants and for his party's alliance with Sami ul Haq, the so-called Father of the Taliban whose madrassas once educated militant supremos Mullah Omar and Jalaluddin Haqqani.

    Khan defends the partnership, saying Haq is instrumental to reform and helping poor students at risk of being radicalised in Pakistan's long war on extremism.

    To his opponents, he is merely latching on to a groundswell of naked populism.

    "Imran Khan is right now the beneficiary of a wave of celebrity politicians who are anti-politicians," explains Husain Haqqani from the Washington-based Hudson Institute, suggesting Khan has also benefited from ties with the military, whose penchant for meddling in Pakistani politics is well known.

    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/first-worl...043651619.html
    Hussain Haqqani, totally killed the article.

    And when you ask them how he benefited from military? Has he ever become a PM or a CM or even a minister?
    Getting 8/148 seats in Punjab at height of popularity was help he received from military?
    All PMLQ electables joining PMLN, was that sign of military helping PTI?

    Obviously these are questions that they have no answers for so don't expect any logical argument over this.

  3. #3
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    theres a sense of deja-vu for me and Im sure a lot of folks who do read articles and follow international media

    You could simply copy-paste article relating to Imran Khan from 2012-2013 period and you would get articles with the same tone and narrative minus a few minor changes.


    #MPGA

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waseem View Post
    Hussain Haqqani, totally killed the article.

    And when you ask them how he benefited from military? Has he ever become a PM or a CM or even a minister?
    Getting 8/148 seats in Punjab at height of popularity was help he received from military?
    All PMLQ electables joining PMLN, was that sign of military helping PTI?

    Obviously these are questions that they have no answers for so don't expect any logical argument over this.
    I guess its a good sign there

    The military and ISI no longer has that much control over the direction of the country if they can no longer engineer election victories for their blue-eyed boy.

    In the past they would deliver victories for their men with no stone left unturned. Case in point - PML-N in 1997. Lol they won everywhere including Sindh back then


    #MPGA

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    theres a sense of deja-vu for me and Im sure a lot of folks who do read articles and follow international media

    You could simply copy-paste article relating to Imran Khan from 2012-2013 period and you would get articles with the same tone and narrative minus a few minor changes.
    Except that there is no opposition this time around: Nawaz Sharif has been deposed, and nobody takes Bilawal Bhutto seriously.

    It's Imran Khan all the way IMO, looking from the outside in. Looking forward to its (positive) ramifications for India - Pakistan relations.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varun View Post
    Except that there is no opposition this time around: Nawaz Sharif has been deposed, and nobody takes Bilawal Bhutto seriously.

    It's Imran Khan all the way IMO, looking from the outside in. Looking forward to its (positive) ramifications for India - Pakistan relations.
    You got that wrong as it will be PMLN and not PTI - Imran Khan.

    As for the Indo-Pak relations, there won't be any (positive) ramifications until Modi is in power and Hindu extremism on the rise.
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 14th February 2018 at 14:01.

  7. #7
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    Unfortunately, PLMN to win once again.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    I guess its a good sign there

    The military and ISI no longer has that much control over the direction of the country if they can no longer engineer election victories for their blue-eyed boy.

    In the past they would deliver victories for their men with no stone left unturned. Case in point - PML-N in 1997. Lol they won everywhere including Sindh back then
    And i am so glad ISI doesn't have that control, they should not be dictating things at political level.

    This is the point i am trying to make as well, they are not as strong to change things due to media and international pressure, there is nothing to suggest that they have manipulated anything recently and even Hamid Mir (who blames fauj for everything) said multiple times in his shows that many PMLN leaders confirmed they have not received any calls from anyone which means no one is forcing them to change loyalties.

    PMLN is using these excuses to save themselves from Panama damage and people are happily falling for their propaganda.

  9. #9
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    Unfortunately Imran Khan might never be PM of Pakistan because for vast majority of Pakistanis corruption or stolen wealth isn't a big enough issue.


    #Mein inko rolaonga

  10. #10
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    The global media is desperately trying to liken Khan to Trumo when they're nothing alike.


    "Be the best version of yourself"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pakistanian View Post
    The global media is desperately trying to liken Khan to Trumo when they're nothing alike.
    Bilawal's interviews to international media indicates PPP is appealing to global community to give them chance as they are liberal and progressive.

    What they did to Pakistan won't be forgotten anytime soon. There is a reason why PPP got 3000 votes as opposed to 113000 and 91000 by other 2 candidates.

  12. #12
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    There will be no election this year in my opinion. IK is a good man but I just don't see him as Pak's PM. We need a caretaker government for a year or so to punish the guilty before any election takes place.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

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