Reforming The Political System Needs Working With All Parties
When I was a member of PTI we made countless efforts to inform Imran Khan and Central Executive Committee that using derogatory and uncivilized language as well as false allegations against other parties is not a good practice. They were reminded that the chances are that they will have to form a coalition government with these parties and it will be embarrassing as the media will replay all those video statements. But PTI bigwigs were so blinded by their arrogance and elitist approach that all this fell on deaf ears. This behavior is termed as a God Complex. In this attitude, a person or a group believes they are the best while all others are corrupt. They believe that only they have solutions to all social problems.
The reality is that there is no difference between PTI, PPP, and PML N. They are stuffed with cronies and funded by corrupt oligarchs.
Now we are facing the same dilemma in our movement for the creation of a second republic. In public statements, I have repeatedly suggested that dialogue should be initiated among all political parties. In response to this many of our supporters suggest that we should not engage with status quo political parties. In other words, our supporters expect us to exhibit the God Complex. I don’t think this is a good approach and through this piece, I want to address these concerns.
I agree that status quo parties especially PML N and PPP have failed Pakistan because of their political errors and narrow focus on self-interest. But the undeniable reality is that PML N and PPP enjoy the support of a substantial number of Pakistanis and we can’t ignore these citizens. A reform movement does not divide people rather unite them around a common purpose. We are confident that the concerned members of these parties will work with us in the development of a new republic.
The heads of political parties especially Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Bilawal, Asif Zardari, Asfandyar Wali Khan, and Maulana Fazlur Rehman have been working for their narrow family gains. This does not mean that these political parties do not have capable people that have demonstrated commitment to democracy and serving the larger national interest. They have decades of experience that cannot be wasted. It is, for this reason, we have also repeatedly suggested that we will only hold dialogue with those that are not enslaved to their party heads.
We have to also learn from the reform movements in other countries. Nelson Mandela sat with those apartheid politicians that committed gross atrocities to develop a new republic. Abraham Lincoln welcome slave-owning southerners back in the fold after the bloody civil war. Deng Xiaoping united the country on the path of progress and economic growth. We have to exhibit a similar attitude to develop a second republic. One of the reasons I never considered Imran Khan a reformist leader is because he divides people rather than unites them.
We exhibit unethical and corrupt behavior collectively which means we have to make a collective effort, to be honest, responsible and loyal to the nation. All of us have to focus on our behavior rather than act as moral police to fix others while ignoring our actions.