THE reasons given by Imran Khan for not participating in Dr Tahirul Qadri’s long march and sit-in at Islamabad are not very convincing. He says his party has always resisted any unconstitutional move to change the present status quo as a change is in the offing and will come through force of ballot if free and fair elections are held under a neutral caretaker government.
Mr Khan forgets that the 2008 election was also free and fair, which was even certified by foreign observers. I do not agree with Imran Khan that it is possible to replace political mafia without undertaking reforms in the prevalent electoral system and without implementation of Articles 62 and 63 that demand that only honest and competent people are eligible for contesting the election.
It is only by changing the electoral system that ordinary Pakistanis can become members of assemblies. The present system of election, with the ECP without judicial power, is not able to disqualify corrupt, incompetent, feudal lords and pirs from participating in the election.
Imran Khan by remaining a bystander and not joining the long march has missed another opportunity of bringing about a real change which he has been propagating since his rally in Lahore on Oct 30 last.
Dr Qadri may have fallen well short of achieving his objectives, but he has exposed all politicians who are defenders of the status quo and against any change in the political status quo.
Unfortunately, Imran Khan is seen standing among them to many of his supporters and voters.