"Because of the nature of his expertise, the Statesman is intimately connected with everyone engaged in the care of humans: the truest mark (horos) of the Statesman, says the Stranger, is that by which the wise and good man manages the affairs of the ruled for the benefit of the ruled." PLATO
Synopsis: To be the change he wants to see in the world, 31-year-old Australian Pakistani, Farhan, having quit his job, travels back to Pakistan among thousands of overseas Pakistanis, on 'a call of duty' to support leader Imran Khan, the unstoppable political force on the final weeks of his campaign trail before Pakistan's general elections in a political crescendo that would challenge the western imagination. Pakistan's upcoming general election is the first and historic transition between democratically elected civilian governments in a country with a history of military coups.
This critical intersection will have wider implications as to how the world perceives and engages with Pakistan in the future and moreover, how Pakistanis perceive themselves.
In Pakistan's recent history, the stakes have never been higher. In 2011, Pakistan ranked #2 amongst 158 countries, at the top of the Global Terrorism Index and ranked #149 (of 158) at the bottom of the 2012 Global Peace Index. The large number of ongoing internal conflicts, high level of militarisation and economic downturn contributing to its low ranking. Imran Khan has been fighting this status quo since 1996.
For Imran Khan, Chairman of the 16-year-old political party and 'movement for justice', Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, giving up on Pakistan was never an option. He believes the youth and overseas Pakistanis (OPs) are the nation's greatest assets. Khan's signature jalsa rallies crafted in the language of peace with justice, have galvanised the youth and turned the political tides, winning hearts and minds on a wavelength throughout the country, realising his uncompromising vision for a 'new Pakistan'.
The anticipation is palpable amongst the emerging politically conscious youth, the opposition on tenterhooks—and the revolution is irreversible. Meanwhile, analysts grapple with the unpredictable dynamics, characteristic of Pakistani politics and speculate how much of this heightened socio-political consciousness will translate into votes on Election Day scheduled 11 May. Pakistan's youth bulge has altered the electoral landscape. 47.5 per cent of registered voters are under 35 and 19.77 per cent, under 25. The youth vote is a potential game-changer.
As political actors enter and exit stage, a backdrop of multi-dimensional conflicts bleed into one another and threaten the prospect of peaceful elections. Beyond the selective media gaze, smoke and mirrors -- there is much more at stake for Pakistan in the long term, and for both regional and international peace and security.
The Nobel laureate Willy Brandt once said, 'if the situation and the man meet, then the machinery is set off by which history takes one direction instead of another.' At this critical juncture -- Pakistan's destiny now depends on the people, free, fair, transparent and timely elections -- and a constellation of unseen forces as Pakistanis throughout the world hope beyond hope to create the conditions to build a new Pakistan.
© Copyright. Brave Media 2013. All rights reserved
Inspired by the essay 'Why Pakistan Needs Imran Khan' (2009) insaf.pk/News/tabid/60/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/2525/Why-Pakistan-needs-Imran-Khan-Article-by-Karen-Collier-Centre-of-peace-and-conflict-studies-Sydney-Australia.aspx
Inspired by the Policy Brief: Rakisits, Claude, 'Engaging Pakistan' Policy Brief, Australia (2008) lowyinstitute.org/publications/engaging-pakistan
Researcher/Editor Karen Collier
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