Imran Khan, the would be Prime Minister of Pakistan has repeatedly presented himself as a bold politician promising to clean up corruption from the political system of Pakistan. He believes in taxing the rich and investing heavily in health, education and uplifting the poor sections of the country. He believes in social justice, economic justice. And he is also clear about his foreign policy with other countries of the world. The world may no longer see Imran Khan as merely a former Test cricketer and may look at him seriously as a potential leader of Pakistan who can project his country onto the world stage. He may become Pakistan's most popular leader like Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, capable of mobilizing a mass movement and articulating a fresh political vision.
Imran Khan, the charismatic cricket star turned politician addressed media and talked about high morality and principled based Politics and Governance in Pakistan. He briefed media and his nation on television, outlining what he would do as prime minister. He said he would fight corruption at the highest levels, improve relations with China, seek a "mutually beneficial" relationship with the United States and create a just welfare state along the lines of what the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) did centuries ago. He said that they are going to run Pakistan in a way it was never been run before. For more than two decades, Imran had tried but failed to take the reins of the Islamic republic, which has struggled with poverty, economic stagnation and instability and which is increasingly torn between its two biggest allies: China and the United States.
The important declaration which he made during his speech was that he will not live in the official residence of the prime minister and the "lavish" house will be converted into a public space like an educational institution. The chief of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party promised to promote justice, bring change from the top and make Pakistan free of the perpetual rich-getting-richer and poor-getting-poorer cycle. He said that he would live humbly and end the VIP culture. He believes that power cannot change and corrupt him. It is pertinent to mention that he had joined politics 22 years back when he witnessed collapse of governance system and rise of corruption in Pakistan. And therefore he invariably criticized politicians of Pakistan in his addresses. He believes that he entered politics because he wanted Pakistan to become the country that Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had dreamed of. To pursue his mission, he would like to make official residences of Governors part of the sweeping austerity measure and those will be turned into hotels or any other revenue-generating venture which can help in lifting the economy. He pledges that his policies will not be for the elite but for the oppressed, the underprivileged and the minorities. The economy, he believes, is the biggest challenge Pakistan faces. As the head of the government, he he would improve governance, improve on the ease of doing business and get Pakistani nationals living overseas to invest in the country. Holding up the example of closest ally China, he said the country has managed to drag enormous numbers of people out of poverty over the last 30 years.
Imran wants to rule Pakistan on moral principles which is appreciable in the present circumstances. But it has been experienced and seen that morality and politics do not go together usually and are separate entities. In today's political order values are least bothered and the symbols of goodness and righteousness, have undergone a radical change and it is witnessed that values and principles are being sacrificed for the sake of expediency and selfish gains. The current political atmosphere and scene in most parts of the world is devoid of moral ardour where as opportunism has become a matter of faith with politicians or with those having even a slight bent of mind towards politics.
The question of relationship between morality and politics has been argued from the age of Plato. The ancient Greek Philosopher did not take long to be disillusioned and disgusted with politics. Centuries ago, Machiavelli passed the judgment that politics needs men who know nothing of morality. Kautilya, said that morality and politics are different spheres, having no relation or affinity with each other. In politics, morality and truth is miles away and cannot be friends but exceptions are there. We scarcely come across any politician who speaks truth. The Politicians like Washington, Luther, Lincoln, Gandhi and others have shown that morality and politics can be agreeable and harmonizing.
Can Imran Khan keep his promise and prove a different politician than those which Pakistan has produced so for? The time will prove whether his probity and politics would go together or not.