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Imran Khan's Problem: Stay Alive in Media

Talking about corruption has proved a formula for political success for Sharif brothers in the past in Pakistan.

During Musharraf regime both brothers spoke about military dictatorship, democracy and human rights in the country. They fought back Musharraf by highlighting the imposition of martial law, lack of democracy thus depriving peoples' fundamental right to control the decision making process in the country. They lead pro judiciary movement by support justice Ifthikhar Hussain Chaudhary's movement for restoration of democracy.

When general Musharraf departed from the scene by resigning as president under political duress and Mr. Zardari replaced him, Sharif brothers changed their political stance from dictatorship to Zardari corruption. Until the end of PPP government, Sharif brothers continued harping on the issue of corruption in the country. Eventually, they succeeded in next elections to form their government both at federal and provincial levels. Mian Nawaz Sharif, as expected, became the Prime Minister of Pakistan whereas  Mian Shahbaz Sharif took over as the Chief Minister of the largest province of Punjab.

With Sharifs' control at federal and provincial level a new dynamics emerged in shape of  Imran Khan  in KPK . It was Imran Khan's first major political victory. It put him in new limelight which was different than being the former captain of Pakistan Cricket team.

This new reality should have changed Imran Khan and he should have become a politician by walking and talking like a politician he remained a cricketer throughout these years. He ran KPK government as a cricketer and conducted his political affairs in cricket's fashion.

However, during all these years he learned from Sharif brothers that talking about corruption at high pitch can not only make one win election it can also move someone at a key political level to become a prime minister and form the government.

He declared his opposition to Mr. Nawaz Sharif. He ignored all other corrupt politicians in the country. He even ignored Asif Zardari who has been known as Mr. 10% for all these years. He knew his political battle ground was Punjab not Sindh. Therefore, it was important for him to take Nawaz Sharif on task instead of Asif Zardari.  Moreover, he did not want to alienate a small province of Sindh by targeting Zardari.

It was a tough choice. it was easy for him to depose Zardari in Sindh. No matter how weak was PPP, but still it was not easy to overthrow people's party in Sindh. Therefore, he started targeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Nawaz Sharif criticism ha opened many new doors for him. By challenging Nawaz Sharif he emerged as a politician. Although he still does not behave like a politicians, but newly emerged Pakistani media has accommodated him as an opposition leader. He had nothing to lose, but gain everything.

Since then, he has not looked back. He is shooting Mr. Nawaz Sharif day in and day out relentlessly. At least by doing so he is remaining visible in Pakistani media. That is what he is trying to do for now. If he keeps generating lead stories in Pakistani media until next elections he may benefit from this free propaganda.

With all this, if Mian Nawaz Sharif out beats Imran Khan on fundamental issues that Pakistanis have been facing for a while now, this media circus is not going to help Imran Khan. He may lose even KPK. He needs a new strategy. He should know unnecessary media hype is a two way sword. It can cut his neck as well.




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