What are Imran Khan's chances of becoming Prime Minister? [Imran Khan on Times Cover]

shah_1

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opinion polls in Pakistan consistently show that Imran Khan, the former captain of his country’s cricket team, is by far the most popular politician in Pakistan. Frustratingly for Khan and his supporters, it is not popular support that matters in Pakistan’s political system but patronage and feudal power. But even though most political analysts say Khan’s popularity will be almost impossible to turn into real political power, the charismatic leader of a party that currently has no seats in parliament believes his populist message and appeal to middle-class and young voters will help him and his party overcome entrenched voting blocs. He is convinced that he will win a parliamentary majority—and the position of Prime Minister—in next year’s elections.

TIME’s Middle East bureau chief Aryn Baker, who covers both Pakistan and Afghanistan, interviewed Khan for her magazine story on the sporting hero who believes his greatest glories lie ahead of him. TIME spoke with Baker to get the story behind the story.



If Imran Khan is, as you say in the article, a “long shot,” what drew you to profiling him?
He is a long shot but he is also pretty compelling–he has international stature as a cricket star and was married to this drop-dead gorgeous socialite. There is that side of him, and then there is that part of why he is a long shot that is so revealing about the way the Pakistani political system works. It is not based on popularity. He would win by a landslide if it were based on his popularity. He is an unmitigated hero because he brought Pakistan the Cricket World Cup in 1992. Politics in Pakistan does not work that way, however; it is much more of a “what can you get for me” culture, what you can do for individuals in each village. He is also one of those people as a journalist you want to talk to because he is so quotable, he is likely to say something off-kilter.

He seems very willing to engage with international media, but what about with the local media, many of whom have derided or openly mocked him?
When I interviewed him the first time, earlier this year, there were journalists lined up behind me and there were three or four photographers trying to take his photo. He likes attention. Even back in 2007 and 2008 when I saw him he had a kind of open house; anyone could go to his office and speak to him. He likes to have his voice heard, he is very active on Twitter, more so than any other Pakistani politician.

However, a lot of the English-language media see him as a kind of dumb jock. He’s similar to Reagan in that way; Reagan was kind of a dumb jock too but he was an effective politician partly because he seems to have known his weaknesses and surrounded himself with competent people. Khan has good technocrats for dealing with the media, his economic policies, his energy policy and so on. He has street smarts, but you cannot be an intellectual and an idealist at the same time.


How does his international reputation–for example he made the TIME 100 list this year–play out in Pakistan? Does that work in his favor?
I think Pakistanis like that they are getting attention for something other than terrorism and corrupt politics. He doesn’t appeal to the English-speaking class–they are terrified of him and regard him as somewhat of an apologist for the Taliban. The middle-class voters love him however because of his rhetoric about wanting to take America to an international tribune for drone attacks; they want politicians to stand up to the U.S. He is quite popular in the Urdu media, which is more representative of the middle class.

Given his many statements against U.S. drone strikes and his criticism of U.S. policy in Pakistan, what kind of relationship does he envisage he will have with the United States if he did come to power?
I don’t get the sense that he’s really thought that through. He uses very populist sentiments. I was sitting on a conference call with him and a moderator suggested that he sounded anti-American, to which he responded, no, you can’t be anti-geography. He said he is anti-drone-strikes. But he never takes these arguments further; he never takes it a step beyond to address the complexity of what is involved.

He once said to me that he believes Pakistan needs to stop receiving U.S. aid, that it is a crutch. It stood out to me as a clear illustration of the extent to which he does not think things through. There is no way Pakistan could survive at the moment without American aid, but he just thinks it is getting in the way of figuring out how they will stand up on their own.

Have you been to any of his rallies? What is the atmosphere like?
It’s like a pop concert; people are thrilled and energized to be there. A lot of political parties traditionally bus in supporters; they give them a little lunch box, and it’s all part of the political theater. But at Imran Khan’s rallies people seem to show up on their own, they want to be there. These aren’t the people you usually see at rallies—from the countryside—they are well dressed and have come there to have a good time, to talk to people of the same mind-set. There’s a different kind of energy there.

What struck you most about the supporters of his that you met?
I think there is such a hunger in Pakistan for a hero, for a new face. People believe it will bring in a new political system. They have a hunger for change and believe in the idea that change in itself will fix the country. When I asked his supporters about this, asking what they thought of his undeveloped policies, their response was that it didn’t matter, what’s most important is change.



What do you think his chances are in the elections next year?
He is very charismatic—that is something that should be remarked on. He is the only politician in Pakistan who has the ability to engage with voters on a personal level. There are no other politicians there who are able to do that. But the system is stacked against him. There are two or three parties who have entrenched themselves in power. If he does well he could get enough seats to build some momentum, which could eventually bring enough representatives who are then able to put in the elbow grease to deliver at the village level. Once his party has been in parliament in significant numbers for long enough, maybe in a few years, then he can perhaps do well in the next election.


http://world.time.com/2012/12/07/behind-the-story-times-aryn-baker-discusses-imran-khans-chances-of-becoming-pakistans-prime-minister/#ixzz2EPMBNMQT
 
Wow, time will tell if he wins or looses (And he will succeed Insha'Allah)

As for foreign policies (regarding war), at least he is bringing some new ideas.
 
Quaid Azam was on Times cover in 1946 and 1947 A new country was born "Pakistan".

Imran Khan on Times Cover in 2012 and 2013 A new pakistan?

Maybe I am expecting too much from him but I can hope for best, which I clearly can not expect from other leagues
 
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Cool pic. Slightly misleading headline. He was a long shot last election or ones before that but not anymore.
 
Quaid Azam was on Times cover in 1946 and 1947 A new country was born "Pakistan".

Imran Khan on Times Cover in 2012 and 2013 A new pakistan?

Maybe I am expecting too much from him but I can hope for best, which I clearly can not expect from other leagues

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^^

This James Walter Thompson survey about Pakistani Youth Was published in Express Tribune today.

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Insaftar, this is avtually worse than I thought.

In Youth atleast, I thought PTI, would kill it everywhere but it is not so
 
62% of youth say their religious identity is more important to them than national identity. Shocking !
 
62% of youth say their religious identity is more important to them than national identity. Shocking !

91% are anxious and nervous. the thing they are most worried about is cost of living and political leaders.

The thing we should really be concerned about is 20-25% advocating armed rebellion/Civil disobedience...
 
Today’s youth are starting to feel a greater sense of connection to their religion and
disillusionment with their own country: the majority of respondents feel their religious
identity is more important than their national identity – and the majority would also
rather live abroad than in Pakistan. This reflects their desire to pursue a better life in a
country that offers more stability and opportunity.

To escape from everyday anxieties, youth spend their “me time” watching TV, listening to
music and spending time with family and friends. They broadly prefer entertainment, and
advertisements, that leverage humor or star power to offer an escape from the daily
stress of life in Pakistan
.

From JWT website
 
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it's now or never for imran, if he doesn't win these elections then he never will. i don't see PTI winning more than 2 seats.
 
other interesting stuff from the survey

75% EXPECT THEIR FRIENDS TO BE
RELIGIOUS, ALTHOUGH ALMOST HALF
ARE FINE IF THEIR FRIENDS DON’T
ADHERE TO ALL TRADITIONS.

73% THINK YOUNG ADULTS
SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO CHOOSE
THEIR OWN SPOUSE.

Traditional in clothing

Materialistic in terms of
money

Liberal in terms of
women and men
working/studying
together

75% of young Pakistanis Do not
use Internet.

Internet usage lowest amongst 26-
29 years.

56% of the youth claimed to have listened to music in the last 7 days

32% of the youngsters chose Imran Khan as their favorite local personality, followed by Jinnah @ 15% and Allama Iqbal @ 11% and Afridi at 10%
 
^O no! That has totally killed it for Imran. Just the ME and SA cover. That's it, life is over for him.

BZ pollutes another thread. Just like malik, another solid performance
 
^O no! That has totally killed it for Imran. Just the ME and SA cover. That's it, life is over for him.

BZ pollutes another thread. Just like malik, another solid performance

anyway, i provided the true picture...

:ik is no one for the world...
 
Another shocking number for me. 87% of youth say the current political system is working correctly in Pakistan. Wow. That's unbelievable. Looks like status quo is here to stay.
 
Our youth, what a confused mess. Lots of contradictions.
 
Our youth, what a confused mess. Lots of contradictions.

Born under Zia's Islamization and grew up under Musharaf's Enlightened moderation :facepalm:

I don't blame Pakistani Youth for being so confused ::dav
 
Every 3 months tis kind of thread comes up and I have to say every 3 months it seems that he is in a weaker position..
I am disappointed that people chose religious identity as more imprtant. Religion is personal thing. Keep it to yourself. You choose it and you can change it so no chest thumping needed. Nationality is something you are born with and is forever. So in my eyes it is more important. Till we have this outlook we can never rid ourselves of the shackles and get out of this rut
 
wow young Pakistanis really are a confused lot going by that survey, just like the country as a whole, a mass of contradictions.
 
^^

This James Walter Thompson survey about Pakistani Youth Was published in Express Tribune today.

0424.jpg
Situation is grim for the PTI. Not very encouraging news tbh.
Non existent support in Hyderabad. And Karachi is almost out of the equation due to the large scale rigging that is to be expected.
Not doing good in Faisalabad either.

With big cities comes greater seats :p

But then I have no doubt the scales will tip in their favour near the election Insh'Allah.
Emphasis on local elections has hurt the support they managed to garner since Oct 2011.
 
Youth is obviously confused. And they should be. Current 'system' is pure garbage. If :imran looses this time then Pakistan will need French Revolution style uprising.

And only way this country can thrive is if we get rid of:
i)Political Hierarchies (literally kill/or throw in sea these politicians who rule people generation after generation)
ii)Taliban scum
iii)Molvi parties (So called 'defenders' of Islam only stain its purity)

^ When above 3 things achieved Pak will rise as the greatest country on earth. Mark my words!!

Actions must be taken.

Allahu Akbar
 
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i hope and wish in sha allah IMRAN khan wins the elections and changes PAK for good and make this country Corrupt Free
 
Our youth, what a confused mess. Lots of contradictions.


I have seen girls wearing the hijab and next minute, you would find them dancing them in the parties.

The society is clearly lacking the direction.

The only way to move forward is making the country more secular and liberal, religion has not solved any problem anywhere in the world, in fact, it has created more problems. Religion should be a personal choice.

This is why you see the best places to live in the world are the places which are more liberal, secular and religion has little role ( Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, ...)
 
I have seen girls wearing the hijab and next minute, you would find them dancing them in the parties.

The society is clearly lacking the direction.

The only way to move forward is making the country more secular and liberal, religion has not solved any problem anywhere in the world, in fact, it has created more problems. Religion should be a personal choice.

This is why you see the best places to live in the world are the places which are more liberal, secular and religion has little role ( Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, ...)

So does that mean one who don't wear hijabs are all slu*ts?
This 'religion argument' is a flawed argument. There are all kind of people all around world.
I say... Is there anything more 'secular' than Islam? Heck you can't impose Islam on anyone, If you are a Muslim you are Muslim by choice. It is between you and Allah whether you are a Muslim or not. Religion IS a personal choice. Our problem is corruption and Islam contradicts it more than any framework Secularism/Liberalism has ever offered.
 
So does that mean one who don't wear hijabs are all slu*ts?
This 'religion argument' is a flawed argument. There are all kind of people all around world.
Our problem is corruption and Islam contradicts it more than any framework Secularism/Liberalism has ever offered.

Extremely poor understanding of my remarks.

My remarks were based on the confusion among the youth. I said, on one hand, our your wear Hijab and next minute, you are found dancing in the parties. It is a clear contradiction.

I personally dont see dancing as an issue.
I say... Is there anything more 'secular' than Islam? Heck you can't impose Islam on anyone, If you are a Muslim you are Muslim by choice. It is between you and Allah whether you are a Muslim or not. Religion IS a personal choice.

Which Islam, Sunni, Shia and in Sunni, Wahabi Islam or Brelvi Islam? who will decide which Islam is right?

By the way, I also said the same thing that religion should be a personal choice.
 
The only way IK is going to come anywhere near a majority position in Parliament or even Opposition leader forget about being Prime Minister is if he stops fighting an unwinnable war against the system, status quo and actually does some compromising.
 
PTI's one-dimensional attack on NS has back fired. There is no doubt that their popularity has come down a lot in last one year.

Attacking Zardari clan was left exclusively for NS who capitalised big time. I guess PTI needs some people who have a thinking head also. In addition to emotional cult followers..

At the moment there is a big anti Zardari sentiment in Punjab. What people want to hear is someone telling them that Zardari is the cause of their miseries. With 3-4 months to election day, PTI has slipped at a very bad moment. Moreover boycotting all the by-elections was a very bad idea.

Aryn Baker's is a realistic assessment of Imran Khan's political chances imo. I support IK but don't expect him to get more than 10-15 seats in the next election (even that is a big if). He might do well after 5 years

PML-N seem like likely winners at the moment
 
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^^ Agreed...blunder on Captain's part...it's almost cringe worthy watching the PPP/MQM reps on the talk show grinning and gloating ear to ear while the Noon and PTI's are at each other's throat...

Aglee baari phir Zardari...Noon and PTI will cancel each other and American dream team will continue ruling over Pakistani utopia...
 
^^ Agreed...blunder on Captain's part...it's almost cringe worthy watching the PPP/MQM reps on the talk show grinning and gloating ear to ear while the Noon and PTI's are at each other's throat...

Aglee baari phir Zardari...Noon and PTI will cancel each other and American dream team will continue ruling over Pakistani utopia...

Too soon to make any prediction regarding Pakistani politics.

We are full of surprises, at the moment, people in Pakistan knows everything and once election process will start and all the players comes to the ground, picture will get more clear.
 
^True. Closer to the elections, all gloves will be off, and campaigning will be in full swing. I believe that will be the most important time in terms of voters picking sides.

Zaid bhai, do you see candidates switching alliances closer to the elections?
 
it's now or never for imran, if he doesn't win these elections then he never will. i don't see PTI winning more than 2 seats.

Why do you think that?

It takes time to build political parties - how many political parties actually go from zero seats to 100s in one go? Isn't it more likely that it will take PTI the upcoming election + another one or two before they are in a position to take power.

So another 15ish years?
 
^True. Closer to the elections, all gloves will be off, and campaigning will be in full swing. I believe that will be the most important time in terms of voters picking sides.

Zaid bhai, do you see candidates switching alliances closer to the elections?

The biggest issue at the moment is uncertainty of the elections. All the politicians , diplomats and high officials are not sure what is going to happen in next few months.

But if election happens, PPP appears to have no chance to win the election, for them the issue is not about winning ot loosing the elections, they are more concerned about the accountability after the elections, for that they are trying to get the green light from the outside.

The major contender if elections takes place are obviously PMLN and PTI, Nawaz has showed almost all his cards and Imran is hiding his cards. Me being an optimistic ( and biased) have a feeling, if election takes place, it will all 70's trend and people will bring change and will give chance to Imran khan.
 
^^^

Biased opinion is always flawed ;-) you should know that better than me.
 
PTI's one-dimensional attack on NS has back fired. There is no doubt that their popularity has come down a lot in last one year.

Attacking Zardari clan was left exclusively for NS who capitalised big time. I guess PTI needs some people who have a thinking head also. In addition to emotional cult followers..

At the moment there is a big anti Zardari sentiment in Punjab. What people want to hear is someone telling them that Zardari is the cause of their miseries. With 3-4 months to election day, PTI has slipped at a very bad moment. Moreover boycotting all the by-elections was a very bad idea.

Aryn Baker's is a realistic assessment of Imran Khan's political chances imo. I support IK but don't expect him to get more than 10-15 seats in the next election (even that is a big if). He might do well after 5 years

PML-N seem like likely winners at the moment

Agree with this. PPP will capitalise on PTI/PML-N dividing the Punjab vote bank.

On a side note, obviously one thing at a time and all the rest of it but thinking long-term, what is PTI's strategy for the Presidential elections which will take place a couple of months after the Parliamentary elections next year ? Are they going to put up a candidate ?
 
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Imran Khan all set to launch campaign from South Punjab...

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Will be in Lahore on 14th, in Wazirabad/Gujranwal 15th, Back to Lahore on 16th, Sahiwal, Okara and Kasur on 17th, 18th, 22nd to 24th Karachi & Interior Sindh, 27-28th Mianwali and Surrounding areas.
 
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Focusing on a selected region
 

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So Tsunami Struck District Lodhran Today :)

Imran Khan stopped and held meetings at 11 different places today...

Galewal...

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Nice pics!

Couldnt help noticing Bhakkar in that map. I think that's where Shahbaz won the election from. Not gonna be easy
 
Layyah Tomorrow!

District Lodhran has two National assembly seats and 5 provincial assembly seats.
 
Somewhere in Lodhran... Standing on a Bus and Delivering Speech :)))

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and have picked up ex Tehsil Nazim from there too :))... We need to finish these intra party elections.... they are hampering our progress big time :(
 
@Saadibaba

If you reading this...Just want your take on it.

Hey what's up with the fake libs like Najam Sethi and Razi Rumi throwing their support behind PMLN. Surely PTI is more progressive party than the PMLN?
 
Basti Maluk

<iframe width="650" height="360" src="http://tune.pk/player/embed_player.php?vid=15865&width=650&height=360&autoplay=no" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen scrolling="no"></iframe>
 
@Saadibaba

If you reading this...Just want your take on it.

Hey what's up with the fake libs like Najam Sethi and Razi Rumi throwing their support behind PMLN. Surely PTI is more progressive party than the PMLN?

Honestly don't know what's up with them. Even though it was during Nawaz's govt. when Najam got thrown in jail and ridiculous cases were made against him by the NAB. I think their has been some kind of under hand deal, not some money or plot type but the "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" kind. Nawaz and his people give Najam a lot of importance esp. compared to IK and PTI people, they ask him for his advice, they make him feel big etc. plus, because of his views on Taliban, he has to have very strict security at his house in Lahore, which is provided by Shahbaz. Not trying to defend what he does but I think all this makes it hard for him to be tough on PML-N. Kind of sad to see that but what can you do. What I have learned to do when I watch his show is to take Najam's opinion with regards to PTI/IK/PML-N/Nawaz/Shahbaz etc. with a grain of salt. Its biased and cannot be trusted upon. Don't follow Raza Rumi that much but I think he has become pro-establishment. Since establishment has gotten behind PML-N, so has their stooges.
 
Honestly don't know what's up with them. Even though it was during Nawaz's govt. when Najam got thrown in jail and ridiculous cases were made against him by the NAB. I think their has been some kind of under hand deal, not some money or plot type but the "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" kind. Nawaz and his people give Najam a lot of importance esp. compared to IK and PTI people, they ask him for his advice, they make him feel big etc. plus, because of his views on Taliban, he has to have very strict security at his house in Lahore, which is provided by Shahbaz. Not trying to defend what he does but I think all this makes it hard for him to be tough on PML-N. Kind of sad to see that but what can you do. What I have learned to do when I watch his show is to take Najam's opinion with regards to PTI/IK/PML-N/Nawaz/Shahbaz etc. with a grain of salt. Its biased and cannot be trusted upon. Don't follow Raza Rumi that much but I think he has become pro-establishment. Since establishment has gotten behind PML-N, so has their stooges.

Good post. Sethi was never an independent analyst. I just watched his shows (very rarely) for some of his predictions, that were not party based. His comments of parties have always been biased. His analysis of PTI's economic policy had schoolboy mistakes in it. Anyone could see he was just criticizing them coz of he is biased.

Glad you see are beginning to see the light now saadi ;-)
 
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Imran Khan has totally lost it.He has intellectually degenerated & morally deteriorated in the last few years so rapidly that now I doubt that he has any chance of a come back.Just to become PM,he’s now ready to go to any length of lying, deceit,hypocrisy & religious exploitation</p>— Jawad Ahmad (@jawadahmadone) <a href="https://twitter.com/jawadahmadone/status/1012635831180414976?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 29, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
 
Insaafians are defending Imran's decision to redefine the term electables and give them party tickets, since it is a necessary compromise because you cannot win election without them. However, once he is in power, he will ensure that these electables stay in line because when the leader is not corrupt and is dedicated to the goodwill of the country, everything else falls in place.

However, what these people do not realize is that this is the only beginning - this is not the only "compromise" that Imran Khan will make. Four years ago, Insaafiyans were adamant that PTI will not become a lota party and the same old faces will not be given party tickets.

However, now that Imran has taken a U-turn on this issue, they have no choice but to defend the double-faced politics and hypocrisy of their savior.

In the future, when he will continue to make compromises that go against PTI's manifesto, the insaafians will continue to defend him to the hilt. Ultimately, they will be left two with choices: accept the fact that Imran is nothing more than a liar and a hypocrite or to keep defending the un-defendable and become a laughing stock.

Those who are insisting that he will not settle for compromises in the future, why should we believe them? They said the same four years ago, when Imran insisted that PTI will never do lota politics and will not welcome electables into the fold. What happened?
 
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