Kaptaan–I salute you…

Rallies cancelled. Allegiances forgotten. In a shocking moment the entire nation united (albeit for a couple of hours, but united nonetheless) in prayer. It was not politics. It was not noora kushti. It wasn’t anything other than concern and hope for the well being of one of Pakistan’s most favorite sons. Imran Khan.

I was on the way from work when I saw a friend’s message that Imran Khan had fallen from the 20 ft high rally stage in Lahore and was rushed to a hospital with severe bleeding and head injuries. Given that we are 5 days away from the election and anything is possible my first thoughts went to a conspiracy theory. They were however quickly dismissed from my mind given that Khan fell from the stage and not attacked or anything of the sort. Rationality had prevailed thankfully. That said however I did immediately think of a passage I had written while writing my previous post. I kept it aside as I didn’t want to mix up two different thoughts in the last post. As fate would have it that passage becomes quite relevant for now.

Let’s get one thing straight thou: as much as I am sure that I am giving my vote to PTI (let there be no doubt in that) I am still not a supporter of PTI per say. I am giving the vote to Imran Khan. Not PTI. To be honest if God Forbid something does happen to Mr. Khan, then I am not sure if I would vote for PTI. Let’s be honest- most of us would not. Therein lies the reason why I am not a supporter of PTI. Right now everyone’s hopes are pinned on one individual. Not on the entire Party as the right party and the one for the future. We are all hoping for a one man show miracle to take place and pull Pakistan out of all its sinkholes. That hope in itself is flawed

That is what I had written yesterday. Those thoughts had dawned upon me yesterday and they were very much on the floor for debate after today’s incident. Till the channels actually reported that Imran Khan is out of danger and that there are minor fractures I kept racing through the various possibilities to come. What is PTI without Imran Khan? Not from an entity in existence point of view but rather character and vision point of view. As mentioned above I would have a hard time casting my vote for PTI without Imran Khan in the mix.

In the last one and half years of PTI’s meteoric rise to the battlefield of politics I have always stated that I am merely giving them the vote because I lack choice. While that is still true let me now add to it. I am now not only voting for PTI but I am convinced that as long as Imran Khan is there (and hopefully this will flow through the party ideology as well) they are our only sane hope. Yes they have their flaws. Khan has his flaws. But he is for now our only sane choice and hope.

Why? Is it because of the manifesto? Is it because they have been able to present us a plan which will bring the country out of it’s current state? Is it because they have been able to solidly state why diplomatic means are the only way to end the terrorism in the country and rid ourselves of the extremists? No. In fact one of the flaws that IK and PTI do have is that they tend to at times come out as TTP apologists. That they don’t condemn out rightly that which should be condemned. But as a colleague put it – he may just be playing the game for now.

But that wasn’t it. Was it the 23rd Jalsa in Lahore? A little bit. It did get me excited that yes we are seeing a change. But at that time the excitement was at the perceived change in the attitude of the nation, of the youth. Voter turn out increase must be credited to Khan / PTI. Getting the youth more involved in the electoral process of the country must be credited to Khan / PTI.

Was it the fact that IK has been rally hopping like mad in the last couple of weeks? (62 jalsas in the last 10 days is not a joke and certainly no small thing at his age – regardless of how fit he is). Not really – I mean yes the dedication was fantastic to see but that still wasn’t enough for me to say anything beyond the fact that I vote for PTI purely as a lack of choice.

After today’s dreaded accident PTI supporters were of course in prayers. For the health and recovery of IK. I haven’t seen the genuine concern I saw on those supporters for any other Political leader (apart from when BB was assassinated). And ever more than that was the defining moment. What could very well be the defining moment of the elections. Especially for the optimistic, romantic fools in all of us. When Imran Khan, Kaptaan, addressed the nation from the hospital bed of the ICU ward of Shaukat Khannam. The look on Kaptaan’s face showed nothing other than sincere dedication for the country. Nothing else. The emotion in his voice was real as he spoke ‘I have done all I could for this country. Allah has given me a lot and I have done all that I could. But this isn’t my war. This is your war. This is the war for your country. Don’t look at the candidate while voting, look at the party and the vision, the ideology of the party. Allah says that he helps those who help themselves. We all must take responsibility of changing our fortunes. Take that responsibility. Bring the change on the 11th’ – I might have some of the words here or there. But that is more or less what he said. Maybe it was heartbreak at not being able to see it through to the finish line himself (The doctors having said that he has injured his lower back and needs absolute rest). Maybe it was a realization that if something would have happened to me then perhaps all the hard work would have gone to waste if people don’t trust the party and just me. Maybe it was just a desperate hope of a man who loves this country and is really dedicated in wanting to change it’s fortunes for the better.

Whatever it was Kaptaan, that emotion, that sincerity and that genuine appeal for Pakistanis to take the responsibility of their own fate was nothing but pure. I salute you Kaptaan. You truly have been a great ambassador for this country. From a mere cricketer to a philanthropist to a man on the mission for the people, for this country, I salute you. I remember hearing this in a movie dialogue but so apt People show you who they really are when in their most dire circumstances like facing death. That’s when all the true emotion comes through and that’s when you know who they really are. Given IK wasn’t facing death, but in that condition of pain and from the ICU ward I saw nothing but pure sincerity and passion for Pakistan.

People might call me emotionally irrational but hey that’s what our entire lot of a nation is. Kaptaan, you have my complete support. As long as you believe in your party then I will back them as well. I will still ask for them to prove themselves but hell they can’t do it unless they win. So you not only have my vote, but I will try in what little time that is left in the election, to convince people above all to use their power to vote. Not to let it go to waste. Anghuta chalay gaa, dekh mulk badlay gaa.

So for everyone reading this – my Vote is for Imran Khan & PTI. I suggest you also vote for PTI because I sincerely feel that is our best option. That is hope. Rest is up to you. But please do Vote. Do not let it go to waste. Come out of being a non-voter.




  1. As much as I would like to argue on most of the things said, it is still a well written article. I do feel really bad for him, and it was an unfortunate incident. But sorry he may be a hero for the country as a sportsman, be he is not a leader.

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