In the 2013 general elections, I wholeheartedly and proudly voted for Imran Khan. It was the first time that I was eligible to vote and my excitement was beyond measure. Alongside this, I was smitten by Imran’s passionate speeches and lively rhetoric. I was too young to understand that his words were just that – mere words. And even though many people asked me to reconsider my decision, I still went ahead and stamped the bat symbol on the ballot paper.
Today, I regret making that decision.
On Wednesday, July 22, 2015, Imran lauded the Afghan government’s efforts to start a dialogue with the Taliban faction of their country and implied that Pakistan too should follow the same path – something that he has been advocating ever since he became part of the government. Now, the grotesque irony is that he made all these statements while attending a meeting with members of the Army Public School (APS) Shuhada Forum; the very people whose children were slaughtered on December 16, 2015, by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a sister branch of the Afghan Taliban.
I, for one, was appalled to read his statements – and I haven’t even lost anyone to terrorist attacks, thankfully. Can we even imagine the pain and rage the people who have seen their loved ones shredded to pieces by these barbarians must have felt after listening to Imran? Can we imagine their sense of loss when they would have heard about how their leader was willing to sit down and chat with the same people who murdered their children, husbands, wives, parents, and siblings?
We can’t – because the pain is too much.
I can’t even bring myself to entertain Imran’s logic; who in their right mind would make such a statement, after all that the TTP has done? Wasn’t the APS attack testimony enough that animals cannot be negotiated with? They have killed so many innocent people, and now Imran wants us to go, cap in hand, and sit with them over a cup of tea to plan a future with them and forget all that has happened.
Would Imran have made the same statement had one of his own family members been killed by the TTP?
I doubt that.
I have always been a staunch supporter of dialogue and I despise the use of brute force, but after all that has happened, I thought that people would want to fight the ideology that the TTP encourages and that our leaders would stand by us in promoting ideals of liberty and tolerance, and a hatred for murder, bigotry and terrorism. Yet here we are, being egged by Imran to have a little tête-à-tête with the very group that symbolises intolerance in Pakistan.
If I say that I have nothing against Imran, then that would be wrong. My problems with Imran are on a personal level. Because he was my leader; he was the one politician whom I trusted and gave a very valuable part of my democratic right – my vote. So this is me, and many others like me, questioning Imran as to why I should vote for him in the coming elections.
Because as of right now, Imran and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) have lost their credibility for me and, like many others, I have started looking for other candidates who might be able to voice my concerns in a better way.
from The Express Tribune Blog http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/28717/why-i-have-lost-all-respect-for-imran-khan-and-pti/