“The PTI Breed”
(First article of the series after the Judicial Commission decision)
After the results came in for General Elections 2013, few members of the PTI Social Media Team (Imran Ghazali, Atta-ur-Rehman, Faheem Chaudhry and myself) went for late night juice run. I was about to head back to Chicago soon so I asked all the pressing questions I had. One of them was “What now?”
After being on the campaign trail for a few months and seeing the “Tabdeeli” first hand in Pakistan, I just wanted to understand how we make a comeback after seeing the unfavorable results. The answer to my question came instantly from Atta-ur-Rehman, the man who is credited with PTI’s first Live Stream. He said “Phir se shuroo karain gey, aur kia, yeh pehli baar thori ho raha hai”. He reminded the early days of PTI when they didn’t even have half the success for GE 2013 to celebrate, but the supporters still believed in the mission and didn’t give up.
I knew then that PTI supporters are a special breed. They won’t quit the mission just because of few road bumps. The character building of PTI supporter done by Kaptaan was pretty solid. They had fallen with Kaptaan before but had come back even stronger the next time. The Cornered Tiger generation of Pakistan was just getting started.
The Dharna brought back the hopeful times for Pakistan. The Election Rigging issue is core to the Justice system and Imran Khan gave it all he had to ensure the integrity of people’s mandate. How else can the people of Pakistan change their Destiny? And how else can a common man hope to win Elections in Pakistan? Above all, Imran Khan and PTI motivated the whole country (not to mention Overseas Pakistanis) to come out to vote in GE 2013. As a result, we saw a historic turnout in Pakistan on Election Day. The amount of first time voters in last elections was likely the highest in the history of Pakistan. The Dharna was to tell all those voters that PTI will do all it can to protect their vote. It turned out to be one of the most celebrated movements of Pakistan as seen in the brilliant compilation by Faisal Javed Khan:
The Judicial Commission was formed as a result of the Dharna which was a major victory for Pakistan as it was the first time Election Rigging was investigated by the Judiciary. Waleed Iqbal (Grandson of Allama Iqbal) put it perfectly in his Reflection for the formation of Judicial Commission: “Nine out 10 Elections in Pakistan (exception being 1970) have been a failure. At last, one party stood up and said that we will take no more of it. Our Dharna, the JC and its eventual report (irrespective of the result), all represent a Great Service to Democracy in Pakistan.” The tangible proofs and a highly level summary of what PTI was able to prove in the Judicial Commission can be seen here:
The Judicial Commission’s decision came just like the decision of GE2013 came. PMLN got the report much before PTI and they started claiming victory for a day and a half on media. Though Judicial Commission concluded that the Elections were “largely” Free & Fair, the content in the report suggested otherwise. Full explanation of the Rigging PTI was able to prove in GE2013 can be seen here:
The immediate thought that came to mind after reading the full Judicial Commission report: “If the Judicial Commission report was graded by my English teacher, she would have given me an “F” for a contradicting conclusion”. It may seem harsh, but there are at least 41 points in the report that may make this sentiment entirely justified. Please see here:
If you are on a time crunch, just read this point “An Election could potentially be organized in an unfair manner but may still represent the overall mandate of the electorate and vice versa”
Anyhow, the point of this article is not to express the contradictions of the Judicial Commission report. The goal is to highlight the PTI Breed, who could have just thrown the towel and given up on the struggle. Instead, their goal of bringing Justice to Pakistan have never been stronger. Most of the comments on Social Media were not expressing disappointment but they were for “checking up” on Imran Khan and making sure that he is not depressed about the decision.
What we have to realize is that the Kaptaan went through these dejections by the “system” alone for so many years but never gave up. He will NOT give up especially now that he sees Pakistanis standing right with him. He will not rest until the mission of Naya Pakistan is accomplished and neither will the PTI supporters. You’d think that PTI supporters would go in a shell, but they are already celebrating the results of the Dharna i.e. in a few days, Pakistan will celebrate its first ever Biometric elections in KPK (NA-19 Haripur By-Elections). Looks like “Abhi tou Party Shuroo Hui hai!”
Graphics credits: Salman Raza
Special thanks: Ali Malhi (Kaptaan Times Editor)