Is Imran Khan a good leader?

A good ruler is supposed to have many good qualities. He should, above all, be humble and honest. He should be truthful. In the west, there have been many instances of ministers and politicians being disqualified for telling lies. Can the great Imran Khan be called a good leader? Let’s see.
Machiavelli said: “The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.” Among the Dear Leader’s ministers are some who make you wonder if they’re living in the twenty-first century. There is the water minister who publicly said he would like to hang five thousand people to rid the country of corruption. And not to forget, he’s the same person who predicted that in a couple of weeks there would be so many jobs there wouldn’t be enough candidates to fill the posts. He was seen prancing about when the Chinese Consulate was under attack, pretending that he was leading the counter-attack against the terrorists. And who can forget him near the downed Indian plane in February, apparently trying to convey the impression that he had shot it down?

Another of the Great Khan’s ministers is supposed to be running the railways, but he often says what should be said by others (if at all). Consider, for example, his statement that the country has small atom bombs that can be carried in one’s pockets. One could understand an illiterate person threatening to use atom bombs, but anyone can see it’s not the railway minister’s job to do it. Such statements, by the way, give a bad name to the country. We have enough problems already without being labelled a trigger-happy people who wouldn’t think twice before dropping atom bombs here and there.

The chief minister of Punjab is another example. People have often wondered why the Dear Leader has so much faith in him. Perhaps he wants an absolutely compliant man running the largest province, as in the past, some chief ministers of Punjab have challenged the prime minister. Whatever the reason, the Punjab that was ruled so efficiently in the past no longer exists.

Then there is the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister for Information, the very able and learned Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan. We got some idea of the poor state of medical education in the country when she claimed that the fall in Nawaz Sharif’s platelets was due to ingestion of blood thinning medication (aspirin). Even a layman like me knows there is no connection between the two.

Again, a good leader is supposed to be humble. From his utterances on the container, where he frequently spewed venom against the previous government, we know that the Dear Leader is anything but humble.

In fact, he distinctly comes across as arrogant. The other day, even though his ministers were trying to persuade the JUI-F to postpone their long march, he used the word ‘Diesel’ while referring to the JUI-F chief. At this point, it was vitally necessary to refrain but apparently, he did not have the vision to foresee that it would further inflame the situation.

We also saw him sacking one of his able lieutenants, Justice Wajihuddin, when the latter pointed out irregularities in intra-party elections. A really humble man would have ordered an inquiry to determine the truth.

Integrity is another quality that separates a good leader from the masses. But Imran Khan takes pride in making U-turns. He has frequently done the opposite of what he said he would do to turn Pakistan into a welfare state like Madina.

He boastfully announced many times that he would soon sack those of his ministers who are not performing well, only to forget about it the next day. Doesn’t it remind one of the boy who cried ‘wolf, wolf’?

A person of integrity would not have Jehangir Tareen around him, as the latter has been disqualified from holding public office due to corruption. In fact, one wonders why no PTI politician is being tried by NAB and accountability courts despite there being enough evidence of corruption.

The foreign funding case is proceeding at a snail’s pace, and his request to hold the hearings in camera make people suspect that he has something to hide.
So how should we judge Imran Khan? Is he a good leader? I leave it to my readers to decide.
The writer is an engineer, a former visiting lecturer at NED Engineering College