Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Imran Khan Najam Sethi Aapis Ki Baat - My take

This is a non-law related post.

Imran Khan's appearance on Najam Sethi's show shattered some of the in-vogue myths about the great man and only anchor as suave and a commentator as shrewd as Najam Sethi could have brought out the very essence of the man- a liberal progressive man who nonetheless derives his inspiration from Islam, a man who is patriotic but is not a war-monger, a man who wants Pakistan to co-exist with the rest of the world with honour, dignity and on the basis of mutual respect and a man who wants all citizens of Pakistan to live honorably regardless of their creed or personal background. For those of us who are inspired by Jinnah and Jinnah's idea of a progressive democratic egalitarian and inclusive Pakistan, this was the stuff of dreams.

Some kind of mental barrier - not to mention a group of reactionaries misguiding Imran Khan - separated Imran and Najam from each other. That mental barrier was cracked and broken down by this interview - which according to Najam Sethi- was made possible by Shaukat Mahmood. For this all of us need to thank Shaukat Mahmood.

This two-part interview gave Imran an opportunity to state clearly his vision. He told Najam that he did not believe people should be subjected to arbitrary tests of good Muslimness. He spoke of a democratic and progressive country that would be a beacon of light for the rest of the world. He laid down in clear terms that he believed in peace with India at all costs and a relationship with the US based on long term pro-people interest rather than US' calculations of its tactical interests.  This is the Imran Khan all his fans, including those like me who have been alienated by Tehreek-e-Insaf always wanted to see. It may also be stated same day PTI also became the first party to formulate a comprehensive gender policy in Pakistan prepared by none other than Muneeza Hashmi - a feminist force and also Faiz's daughter-  and Aisha Sarwari, activist, author, writer and blogger of women's issues.

As someone who has always looked upto both Najam Sethi and Imran Khan, I now hope and pray that this chemistry that has developed between one of the smartest Pakistani anlysts and one of the greatest Pakistanis will bring about great things.  I have never felt as hopeful about Pakistan in a long time. May providence help Imran Khan achieve all that he has set out to achieve.

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