Prime Minister Imran Khan is not the first person who dreamed of a change or Naya Pakistan. In the course of Pakistan’s 73-year history, there have been different attempts radically to change Pakistan by several civilian and three military regimes. Since it’s independence Pakistan has spent 33 years under the military statute. General Ayyub Khan and Pervez Musharraf, military rulers in 1958-69 and 1999-2008 respectively, both of these imitated Mustafa Kamal Ataturk the secular modernizing nationalist also a founder of the Turkish republic. Whereas General Zia ul Haq, Pakistan’s military ruler from 1977 to 1988 had a different perception of ruling he tried to unite and create Pakistan along to sterner and more moralistic form of Islam including Pakistani nationalism.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, founder of the Pakistan People’s Party and civilian ruler of Pakistan in the 1970s, for his part, tried to rally the Pakistani masses behind Him with a program of anti-elitist economic populism, also mixed with Pakistani nationalism. Unfortunately, they all failed. Every single one of them found their government ruled by the elites they had hoped to displace and engaged in the same patronage politics as the regimes that they had overthrown. None was able to found new mass party crewed by professional politicians and ideologically committed activists rather than local feudal and urban bosses and their followers. Indeed, with exception of Bhutto none tried seriously to do so, and after a short, while Bhutto’s PPP too had concluded to be the radical party of its early years had become dependent on the same old clans and local patronage.
The Military government which took power promising to sweep away political elites and their corruption also found themselves governing through them, Partly because no military regime has been strong enough to govern for a long without parliament, and parliament is drawn from the same old political elites and reflects the society which the military regimes wish in principle to change.
In the year 1958 when Ayyub Khan imposed martial law and in the same year the revolution in Iran was introduced by Abdul Kareem Qasim and in miser 1952 Jamal Abdul Nasir came as a revolutionary, in 1960 Ba’th party revolution in Iraq was introduced later in 1969 the Qazafi introduced the revolution. These were the military rule that changed the whole old system and structure of state ruling. The difference between Pakistan’s military rule and others was that our state heads relied on old structure, system and also relied upon the political powers of local leaders to continue their rule. But others turned the system upside down and introduces a new political system.
Before heading towards “Naya Pakistan” let’s analyze the background. Subsequently winning the world cup of 1992 Imran khan turned to politics instead of the most known and valid public figure yet could not secure a single seat in the national assembly in the elections of 1997. With-it 2002 PTI only secured a single-seat, later in 2008 PTI boycotted elections. In the year of 2013, PTI was able to secure 35 seats in the National assembly, then Imran khan thought that “If he wants to rule National assembly, he must shake hands with so-called electable”. The PTI started grabbing electable who already remain part of the national assembly and with help of electable PTI clean-swept and secured the highest number of seats in the national assembly in the election of 2018 by making federal government.
In his election campaign, he was screaming, yelling, and vowing for “Naya Pakistan”. Not nay Pakistan but Khan ended up ruling with majority electable of the old system. Presently Imran Khan is crushed between old electable. Imran Khan can make great change and can only revolutionize the whole system if he stops consulting with old electable. Imran Khan and his team thought a different way of ruling as they wanted to change everything, but Imran khan and the team is not fully confident to take decisions, as they have never been in the PM office before and the way of rule they imagined did not work. Now khan’s electives are the same who either were chieftains, kinship leaders and landlords, or its products. The roots of the old system but with a new tag of “electives”. Somehow every dictator imagined a new system and “Naya Pakistan” but in between introducing of reforms they failed and no change was reported.
If Imran khan continues with old electives, keep roaming in the same tier then there will be no “Naya Pakistan” but definitely old Pakistan with a faltering economy, massive corruption, and flagging democracy. There is no doubt that Imran khan’s charisma has impressed the urban, middle class, and Pakistan’s diaspora across the world. He is a true leader keen to do a lot but limited authorities are a hurdle in between him. Imran Khan as Prime minister is emerging more energetic and successful after every crisis. The only thing that can change Pakistan’s system is to create a radical national movement for change like that of Ataturk and that is a strong nationalism which in ethnically divided Pakistan does not have.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Dunya News’ editorial stance.