By Agha Iqrar Haroon
I do not write about domestic issues since 2014 except diplomatic and security-related ones that are directly linked with Pakistan. I have a candid view that space for traditional and classical journalism has vanished away already and today’s journalism is the place occupied by paratroopers and politically aligned journalists. Today I am writing to express my viewpoint that majority of us must understand that Prime Minister Imran Khan is a visionary person rather than a political philosopher and his views must not be taken candidly.
Covering Pakistani politics since 1988, I understood that no martial law whatsoever denied journalistic space in Pakistan in a way that arrived post-Musharraf era and balanced reporting would not be accepted because the world at large is going through “either you are with us or against us” narrative.
Many friends had been asking for my decision of not writing about domestic politics and my answer is simple—- what for? Who wishes to read facts? And facts are understood as “manipulation” by those who do not like facts against them. Anyhow there is no space left for professional journalists unless they align with someone.
Senior journalists who have been vomited out from the system and had been faded away claim that political parties and apolitical groups hired thousands of social media experts and game of “headshot” started at social media sphere that was allegedly backed by state institutions like the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for and victims are people like Asad Munir who committed suicide and recently he had been acquitted after years of his death from cases NAB registered against him. Some of the decayed journalists like me claim that the national media scene had been a bloodbath room where it was written on the main door that Chali hay Rasm Kay kohi na Saar Utha kay Chalay (Nobody is allowed to live with honored head). God knows for how long this scenario would be around.
Some of us believe that today everything is Fake News that does not come from state institutions like official statements of public officeholders. They claim that space for balanced reporting is not squeezed rather completely invaded and Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance (PECA) that was introduced in 2016 was the ultimate step to strangulate journalism and the recent Prevention of Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Act ordinance 2022 is the pinnacle of what politicians and institutions wished to place against journalism. New dictions had been introduced and new stylesheets for reporting have been provided to journalists.
The recent inclusion of this dictionary is the phrase that “only animals are neutral”. This phrase refers to the vision of visionary Prime Minister Imran Khan has believed that one has to stand with justice otherwise he is an animal. We must understand that the connotation and denotation of “Justice” are what he thinks and believes in and he has every right to do so to whatever he believes because democracy gives a right to everybody to have his viewpoints. Why are we not ready to accept the basic right of freedom of expression when it comes from Imran Khan? People blame that he believes that everybody is corrupt except those who are with him and even a previously corrupt can become innocent if supports his version of “justice” and just cause. I always believe he is a straightforward, honest, and visionary personality and a political philosopher who has coined new phrases and a new political philosophy.
I am of the view that his latest statement that “only animals are neutral” didn’t refer to any institution of Pakistan and his statement had nothing to do with a statement of an institution that said the institution must not be dragged into politics and expressed its neutrality. I know his statement was metaphorical rather than a revelation of a mystical man. For five years, we have had so many new definitions of justice, fair play, honesty, corruption, etc and now we need to revisit and revise and then republish our dictionaries because thousands of new phrases have been introduced by the philosopher of this era — Prime Minister Imran Khan. He has given a new philosophy of tolerance, coexistence, and social harmony for society and his vision is being transformed in the behavior of our youth because he is the most popular political leader among the masses and the youth in particular.
Every honest and selfless person believes that just cause is what he or she believes and we must not call this vision wrong or contrary to facts because wrong is also subjective and his or her wrong can be different than what we read in today’s dictionaries. Actually, the problem does not lie with Prime Minister Imran Khan rather with social education and dictionaries we did have in past. Knowledge cannot be stagnant and dictionaries cannot live without including new emerging definitions. Being a student of history and political philosophy I remember that Greek and Roman kings had been “Philosopher Kings” so why can we not have one in our era?
I suggest all those who cannot understand the vision of PM Khan try should read his statements with reference to his political philosophy and you know every era failed to understand philosophers of that era and following eras appreciated their philosophical works. Moreover, we should also understand that whatever he says, has logic and a common man cannot understand his message unless he/she has a background of logical thinking. For example, if he says that Germany is a neighbor of Japan, he does not mean their geographical locations rather their visions and their relationship as both are NATO’s global partners. This is very unfortunate that the majority of people take his statements at surface level. To understand his vision, the government should introduce the subject of analytical thinking and Logic at the school level. This would not only help the country to reach a promising future of country rather it would benefit people like me who got their degrees in Logic but failed to get jobs. This step would provide job opportunities to people like me as well as a visionary youth to Pakistan that would represent Khan’s vision to fight challenges of the future.
I strongly believe today that the voter’s choice in the 2018 general election was excellent and they have brought a great personality that is leading Pakistan to become a haven for tolerance, coexistence, harmony and would surely produce a cadre of political philosophers. We must stand with him in the tiring and blue time of his political career and I am sure he would bring a New Pakistan once he is out of the political crisis created by those who do not want to see a better future of Pakistan where everybody will stand and work for “just cause”.
The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk News Agency.