Imran Khan and Arvind Kejriwal | Nayanika Chatterjee/ThePrint
Imran Khan and Arvind Kejriwal | Nayanika Chatterjee/ThePrint
Text Size:

Nobody in their wildest dreams can claim to control Arvind Kejriwal. But Imran Khan is being called Pakistan army’s ‘puppet’.

Soon after Aam Aadmi Party swept Delhi, I was in Dubai to attend a seminar and met Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed, the leader of the opposition in the provincial assembly of Punjab. A senior leader in Imran Khan’s party, he was curious to know the reason for our massive success. I told him that people in India were angry with traditional dirty politics and wanted a change.

“In Pakistan, we have been looking at the AAP with inspiration,” he said, “but we made the mistake of admitting old traditional politicians, defectors and rejects of other parties. Therefore, we lost our uniqueness.”

Today, the PTI has swept the election in Pakistan and Imran Khan is set to be the prime minister. Questions are being asked if Imran Khan is the Arvind Kejriwal of Pakistan.

Positioning himself as an honest crusader against corruption, Khan had even said that he was an outsider like Arvind Kejriwal. To his credit, he created a party from nowhere and challenged Pakistan’s deeply entrenched ‘establishment’. It was easy for some to see the PTI as a prototype of the AAP here in India.

When the PTI formed the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it took path-breaking initiatives in health and education sectors like the AAP government did in Delhi.

Unfortunately, the comparison ends there. Today Imran Khan is not the same man. He has become the establishment.

The 2018 elections could be a turning point in Pakistan’s history. These elections can be seen as the beginning of the decimation of the two political parties, which had dominated the politics of Pakistan for more than three decades. Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is disintegrating, and Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is facing an existential crisis. Both had to bear the wrath of the army. Sharif was the original blue-eyed boy of the army who was roped in by General Zia-ul-Haq. But times have changed and now Imran Khan has taken his place.

There are already serious allegations that the army has rigged the 2018 elections in favour of Khan, and that the Supreme Court and the Election Commission contributed. Prestigious media groups like Daily Jang and Dawn were forced to tone down their criticism of Khan. Independent and fearless TV channels were left with no option but to kneel. It is no surprise that Khan is called the ‘puppet’ of the army.

But, nobody in their wildest dreams can claim to control Arvind Kejriwal. Since winning the elections, he, his government and his party have been subjected to all kinds of threats, intimidation, coercion, humiliation, insult, arrests, allegation, misinformation and propaganda. But Kejriwal and his team have refused to bow down. In fact, the establishment does not know how to handle him. He is branded an anarchist and a Naxalite. But he will always be a rebel.

Despite his Oxford-education, Imran Khan has collaborated with obscurantist forces and religious fanatics to win. He has rubbished feminism as a Western concept, supported blasphemy law, favoured the continuance of the second amendment that declares Ahmadiyya as un-Islamic, flirted with the Taliban, asked for support from extremist elements like the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and the anti-Shia Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat. His proximity to the Taliban was so pronounced that he was once called Taliban Khan.

In contrast, Kejriwal has always opposed communal, obscurantist and extremist forces.

Khan started his career as a politician raising issues of accountability and transparency in governance like Kejriwal. His advocacy of clean politics made him the darling of the middle class and youth. He was seen in Pakistan as a breath of fresh air but the rigours of politics have changed him. Now he is more comfortable with electable candidates.

Khan the cricketer has finally turned into a politician. Kejriwal is still a raw activist. He still loves to fight and for people’s issues, he can sit on a dharna in the L-G’s office. He knows that a new India can be built by bringing accountability and transparency to the system, and corruption can be rid only through modern, liberal politics.

Khan can become the Prime Minister but then he won’t be the reformer that Pakistan has been waiting for. This is why he is not Pakistan’s Arvind Kejriwal.

Ashutosh is the spokesperson of Aam Aadmi Party.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

33 Comments Share Your Views

33 COMMENTS

  1. True sir. Though Imran Khan’s intentions are good, it will be hard for him to act and take proactive and revolutionary decisions.For him to act like Kejariwal sir will be hard considering the assumed intervention of Pakistan army.He will have a tightrope walk being the Prime minister of Pakistan.However,good luck to him and let’s hope he takes certain meaningful steps to improve relations with India.

  2. Imran khan is far better than Kejriwal. He cannot be controlled by anyone and yet he was practical enough to intelligently position his party to the winning stand. His performance and delivery in one province increased his partys popularity all over Pakistan.

  3. Do you have to write such long to say imran Khan is not Arvind Kejriwal. Everybody knows it.
    Given a choice imran Khan never want to become Arvind Kejriwal either.
    I think we can spare Pakistan for not give a hoot about why imran and Arvind. This much favour we owe to our padosis.

    • imran Khan is not Arvind Kejriwal. Everybody knows it.
      Given a choice imran Khan never want to become Arvind Kejriwal either.
      I think we can spare Pakistan for not give a hoot about why imran is not Arvind. This much favour we owe to our padosis.

  4. So you’re whole concept lies on the idea of the Opposition hue and cry? that’s your proof, who are these so called journalists basing their whole articles and opinions based on a hunch rather than solid evidence, but then again you’re merely a writer for the print, I guess I’ll leave you with a proof of what real journalism looks like:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cswj8p

    In this article he talks about how a journalist shouldn’t follow hunch and rather talk based on solid evidence and facts from the books.

    oh btw Khan is very much against status quo, ask your Kejriwal to start acting up and put himself in a position to make a difference like Khan did.

  5. That is why I don’t like to read The Print. Who is Kejriwal to compare to anyone? In this article, he is made out to be a hero, which he is not. He is a CM of a small state Delhi and has no power beyond Delhi.

  6. I think the real question is whether Kejriwal can be the Khan of India. Khan has actually put himself in the position of making good on his promises, let’s see if Kejriwal can rally enough countrywide support to do the same.

  7. AJ was is was and will be my only hope for indian politics. Why? Cause he is like sub TV between many star plus/colours channels. He is different. In a mall u must have all the choices. And once nasuurridin shah said in one movie ” Aag Ko Paani ka dar hona hi chahiye”. So Modi/Congress has to think him or Janta.

  8. Most absurd article I have read. Kejriwal is being made out a hero, which he is not. There seems to be personal interest in writing this article.

  9. Have you ever seen anyone changing his character at the age of 65, and that too person like Imran Khan. He has always proven skeptics wrong and you will face it. Be brave then too to accept.

    • Changing characters is also a virtue of chameleon, mind you!

      Yeah, the very same creature which is despised by Muslim ‘conservad@#ks’, primarily rural ones — over some folk tale“Theology”.

      And about Mr cricketer-turned-politician-turned-aspiring-lawmaker Khan, we’ll see how he’ll perform. And what will he do in the cases where the interests of the armed-forces don’t align with that of general-public (read not only his vocal supporters/voters), which we anticipate to be many. At last, let’s see how much of a Democratic Republic Pakistan will be — rather a pure Democracy (dysmephise Majoritarian state) 5 years from now, hopefully assuming he’s allowed to properly finish his tenure at first place [unlike all of his predecessors, as long as the incumbent and his successor President don’t turn-out to Army proxies] despite of not getting into any political-scam.

  10. Typical fawning article, as would be expected of a journalist who was given a Lok Sabha ticket without doing any work. I wonder if it was Ashutosh who paid The Print for this article, rather than the other way around!

  11. U r right sir,Imran Khan wants Insaf with the help of NaInsafi,as it said now,that Imran khan throw pakitan’s democracy 32 years back

  12. It is like Tel maalis of Kejriwal by Asutosh. If the same issue of Ahmadiya and Taliban here, Kejriwal will do the same as Imran. They are power hungry and may to go any extent to get votes. Kejriwal was seen celebrating Iftar but how many time he opposed triple talaq and equality of muslim women? Recently 3 children died of starvation. Where are u all idiots of AAP? You are Shraap of Delhi. Feku log.

  13. There is no comparison between the two and the difference is clear. Imran Khan now succeeded to become the priminister and Kejriwal still Kejriwal. Two exist in two different world and both are different cases and they will remain different as Pakistan and India in any sense are different and will remain different.

  14. Kejriwal is man of astonishing mysterious quality instead of fighting an election against Rahul Gandhi or Sonia he faught it with Narinder Modi. Only the reason that he had an idea that in case Modi wins than he can not think the return of congress in his life time and before this he hizacted the Anna movement for ever by conniving and conspiracy with congress. What a masterstroke.

  15. Pretty superficial. Taliban movement was helped by B.B. through Gen Babar, reportedly OBL financed NS campaigns. IK and PTI are the party most committed to women empowerment after PPP. Qadiani’s were declared non Muslim by the ‘enlightened’ Govr of ZAB in 70s. It’s strange that the writer admits that PTI did pathbreaking changes in KPK in health and education and than allege on conjectures that they won’t do it for whole of Pakistan

  16. Mr Ashutosh conditions in the two countries are totally different like apple and oranges. Imran Khan can’t survive a minute w/o army support while in India AK doesn’t have to contend with a controlling army. Agreed current BJP regime of Modiji is confrontational but that is not the same as control by army.

  17. Dear Writer:
    I think a professional writer would have done some research on the subject. One Imran does not take dictation from anyone but his own people.
    and you have leveled an allegation against my countries PM Imran Khan with out a proof. I expect a proof to be shown in the update of the article or an apology.
    its like me saying that Modi is a criminal who massacred many innocents in Gujarat. but The thing is that it seems you want to build an image that suits your employer.

    • Yeah, his employer is crystal-clearly Mr Kejriwal. So dunno whether you got it right or confusing him with the likes of BJP. (No need to clarify if you can’t muster the courage to be honest.)

      And in any case, it’s an op-ed for Goodness’ sake. Opeds generally don’t back-up their claims by merely referring to the previous general-news, let alone fetching some “investigative report” as you seem to be imagining.

      And you’re clearly a “fan[atic]” so it’s futile to try making you understand that howsoever practically implausible to not get things without befriending the armed-forces, there are countless of case-studies throughout the history and pan-globe that armies are for maintaining security (read sovereignty) and peace at best, they can’t ever be trusted to champion the free-society.
      Simply, because their training breaks them down to be warriors — which shapes their perspective to look at the general civilization as feeble, inferior inhabitants who can’t stand the ground on their own.

  18. There are many other small differences also. PTI has won a national election while Kejriwal’s writ ends slightly beyond his nose and has unenviable record of loosing deposit in every seat outside Delhi. Party started with IAC as the main agenda is itself mired in all sorts of scandles of corruption. Being a rebel against religious extremists and Pak army is not as easy as AK did in India accusing other politicians of corruption and then rendering apologies. In Pak they don’t drag you to courts but give you a burst another AK which is not Arvind Kejriwal but Avtomat Kalashnikova 47 which sends you to another world to RIP. So no! No one is in a hurry to compare him with anyone.

  19. Kejriwal is definitely power crazy politician who wanted to annexe power by any means. Imran Khan waited for 20 years for this opportunity. Kejriwal and his clan were in hurry and used props like Anna, Muslim appeasement and mud slinging ( later apologies unlimited) to gain power. Imran may make a difference but AAP definitely has not

  20. Few things from a common, neutral Pakistani.

    1. Army right now is the only institution sincere with the nation (despite its flaws). We all have seen how all the political parties over 4-5 decades have robbed our rights to become more powerful. Imran alone cant do anything against them, he needs to join hands with army to establish a proper order in Pakistan. Right now, all the laws are twisted to safe the corrupt leaders. No one can rise above them without blunt force backing him.

    2. Ahmadis are factual non-Muslims. They were created by Brtish empire to deviate the Muslims resisting against them in early 1900s. Even if they follow most of Islamic elements, the fundamental element that makes Islam a complete religion for Muslims is its finality which is ruined by Ahmedis. Its like someone rising from India to claim that Gandhi wanted to gift Half of India to Pakistan. Would he be a true Indian then? No! Same goes for Ahmedis. However they should be given their rights as a non-Muslim. This is what most of the Pakistani believe from heart. Imran is only promising them what they want. Its not a minority will.

    3. Terror groups are only rent a gang. Imran is against that. He is only supporting those who are resisting against US/NATO to save Afghanistan from west backed ISIS and co.

    4. I dont know what will happen now, but among all the leaders, Imran is our best shot to bet over a better future. He got his flaws, but atleast he is honest at heart about the people of Pakistan and even this region.

  21. There are many other small differences also. PTI has won a national election while Kejriwal’s writ ends slightly beyond his nose and has unenviable record of loosing deposit in every seat outside Delhi. Party started with IAC as the main agenda is itself mired in all sorts of scandles of corruption. Being a rebel against religious extremists and Pak army is not as easy as AK did in India accusing other politicians of corruption and then rendering apologies. In Pak they don’t drag you to courts but give you a burst of deadlier AK which stands for Avtomat Kalashnikov the AK47 that sends you to another world to RIP. So no! No one is in a hurry to compare him to anyone.

  22. He is not a puppet, it’s the status quo parties who they r doing propaganda day and night coz they looted pakistan with both hands it’s there time to go in jails , that’s why the crying.

  23. An expert in blaming tactics and later seeking apology is the characteristics of Kejriwal ji. For every problem he chooses anarchism as the best way.

  24. Kejriwal has been a ray of hope in this highly corrupt and communalized atmasphere in India. The communal and corrupt politicians of the established parties will not allow him to do anything good. What is happening recently clearly indicates the extent to which these heavy weights will go to eliminate him from the political scene. The non corrupt and non communalized Indians still admire him for what he has achieved in education and health field.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here