Imran and Jinnah

Sir: With reference to the article “Imran Khan is no Jinnah” (Daily Times, October 10, 2014), I’m amazed that the writer could even think of comparing a power-hungry person like our ex-cricketer Imran Khan with the founder of our nation, Jinnah. If at all there is a need to compare this Taliban sympathiser to any leader; it should be Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was so eager to become the prime minister of the country that he refused to acknowledge the winner of the 1970s elections and to hand over power to Mujeebur Rehman. We know what happened as a result of this stubborn and arrogant attitude; the country was dismembered. Imran Khan’s attitude is similar to Bhutto’s. The country be damned as long as he gets to be the prime minister.

Printed in Daily Times, October 14, 2014

Provincial games

This refers to the article, ‘Demanding more provinces’’ (September 27) by Sikander Ali Hullio. If the provincial government spent taxpayers’ money where it really mattered (not siphoning it away to foreign bank accounts), there would be no demand for more provinces. However, the people of the urban areas have a right to ask why they should pay any taxes, considering no one knows how our taxes are spent. Even if there had been visible progress in rural areas, we would not have been aggrieved. 

Unfortunately we do not know what is being done with our tax money, so it is time to devolve power to the cities and hold local bodies elections without delay. Otherwise people would not be satisfied unless the present divisions are made provinces. It is worth mentioning that the entire country of Switzerland is divided into twenty six provinces, even though that country’s population is less than half that of Karachi.

Shakir Lakhani

Printed in The News, September 30, 2014

Like a puppet on a string

This refers to your editorial ‘In the wilderness’ (September 16). I think you’re being rather harsh on Imran Khan. Please wait for him to grow up. After all, he is only 61 or 62; he needs many more years before he learns to think before speaking. 

Let him go on hurling false allegations against practically everyone in the country. It will take a very long time, but I’m sure one day he will realise that people have grown sick of him and want him to behave like a mature adult. Until then, let him do what his advisers tell him to do. He is like a puppet on a string, saying and doing what he’s ordered to say and do.

Shakir Lakhani
Printed in The News, September 19, 2014

Going, going, gone?
Both Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri must be very dejected. They thought that the government would fall perhaps even before they reached Islamabad. When the government did not budge, they incited their followers to indulge in violence, probably expecting that hundreds would die in the resulting police action and the army would be compelled to intervene and overthrow the government. 
The most astonishing thing was that their men calmly beat up policemen while other men in uniform looked on indifferently. We had no idea our police are so helpless. One of the first things to be investigated is why the police are not trained to deal with demonstrators attacking state and private property. The two leaders have also shown the way to others how to effectively paralyze the government. With such people in our midst, do we need external enemies? Both Imran and Qadri should retire immediately from politics and leave the country. As for those in power, the PML-N, one hopes they've seen the writing on the wall and will perform in accordance with people's expectations. If they had allowed local bodies elections to be held, perhaps things would never have come to such a sorry pass.

Shakir Lakhani
Printed in The News, September 05, 2014 

Imran insanities

Sir: With reference to the editorial “Dialogue and flexibility” (Daily Times, August 25, 2014), we should no longer be surprised by anything Imran Khan says, even if he demands that he should take over the country without elections being held. Those of us (including myself) who voted for his party are bitterly disillusioned. Mr Khan appears to be a megalomaniac, and has scant regard for the damage he is causing the country. Comparisons are being made with the massive rigging that took place in 1977 but the situation then was very different. At that time, all opposition parties were deadly against the government while today the entire opposition is against Mr Khan. As for the ex-cricketer being advised wrongly by his aides, I doubt if he even listens to them. He is an autocrat by nature, a characteristic that he may have found useful when he was the cricket team’s captain. If he had listened to sane voices within his party (like, for instance, Asad Umar), he would not have asked his followers to stop paying taxes and utility bills, which would be considered an offence in all civilized countries. As for asking Pakistanis not to remit money through banks, but to use the hundi/havala (an alternative system that operates parallel to traditional banking channels.) route, it is a violation not only of our laws but also of international laws. How can world leaders trust such a man who speaks without thinking? I don’t think he can be trusted to be the chief executive of a country that has nuclear weapons. In my opinion, Imran Khan badly needs a psychiatrist.

Printed in Daily Times, August 27, 2014

Just not his game

This refers to your editorial ‘Hyper isolation?’ (August 22). It should now be apparent to most people that Imran Khan is doing irreparable damage to his party. 

As his well-wisher and former admirer, I sincerely advise him to retire from politics. He should leave the country after handing over his party to capable people like Asad Umar or Shafqat Mahmood. If he can't do that, he should at least get rid of people like Javed Hashmi, Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Shireen Mazari, whose antics have distressed his followers and made his party so unpopular.

Shakir Lakhani
Printed in The News, August 25, 2014

Nine reasons I no longer support Imran Khan

 Published: August 23, 2014


I had always admired Imran Khan. Even though I knew his party would not win in my constituency, I stood in line and voted for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate. But what has happened recently in the country has convinced me that Imran Khan is not suitable to be the country’s top leader and I have my reasons to believe so:
1. He is not consistent. He first accepted the results of the general elections, and then a year later claimed they were massively rigged.
2. He continues to backtrack. First he wanted elections only in four Punjab constituencies (one of which was not won by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz – PML-N), ignoring the fact that even if his party had won the four seats, they would still have been in the opposition.
Each day he raised new demands, until finally he claimed the prime minister should resign. Even if the prime minister does resign, his replacement will also be from PML-N, so how would that change the situation?
3. Even though all other political parties (including his allies, the Jamaat-e-Islami – JI) have not supported his stance, he continues to rant and rave, like a kid who has been deprived of his candy. Surely no one can respect such a politician?
4. He continues making wild allegations against the former chief justice, former chief election commissioner (both of whom he admired even after the elections). He also claimed that a brigadier was involved in the rigging, yet he has refused to name him. Mature politicians, in civilised countries, measure their words carefully before making such accusations.
5. His antics have only served to make his party very unpopular. No politician the world over would ever ask people not to pay taxes or utility bills, in a quest for civil disobedience. In all countries, such an act would be considered treasonable. Thankfully, most people have disregarded his request and even one of his own close confidants paid the due sales tax this month. Imran Khan fails to comprehend that if people in PTI-run province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) stopped paying taxes, the government there would collapse in no time.
6. Imran Khan even said that if his party came to power it would not pay its debts to international donors. This immediately led to the cancellation of the IMF delegation’s visit to Pakistan. How will world leaders ever trust such a man who does not care a damn for the country’s interests? Two world leaders have already cancelled their trips to Pakistan, and it is doubtful if the Chinese president will want to come if the dharnas continue.
7. A couple of times he has hinted that he wants to become the next prime minister. That, of course, let the cat out of the bag. If your only interest is to become prime minister, Mr Khan, why have you held the country hostage for the past 10 days? Why have you caused irreparable damage to Pakistan just because you want power? Why can’t you wait until the next elections? Or do you think if you continue damaging the country, the army will intervene and put you in the driver’s seat?
8. He and his party members have sent resignations to the National Assembly speaker, but strangely, they refuse to resign from the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) assembly. Why? Is it because remaining in power in one province gives them perks and privileges they would rather continue to enjoy?
9. And lastly, will his National Assembly members return the millions they took from the government during the past 16 months? I would be very surprised if they do!

Shakir Lakhani

Shakir Lakhani

Engineer, teacher, industrialist, associated with petroleum/chemical industries for many years. Loves writing, and (in the opinion of most of those who know him), mentally unbalanced. He tweets @shakirlakhani (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

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