Wednesday Jun 13, 2018
It has become a national pastime of sorts to accuse your opponent of being a person of dubious means or non-religious or untrustworthy. Governance has taken a back seat. We, as a nation, seem to be fixated on Article 62 and 63 of the constitution.
Anyone who wishes to contest national polls must have a clean personal slate. There is no knowing what part of your life, from what time in your life, will be taken to court.
But what about those who are making the accusations? Remember the ‘every time you point a finger there are three fingers pointing back at you’ rule? Let’s see how that applies to Reham Khan, a former journalist and ex-wife of Imran Khan. Her forthcoming book has become a topic of gossip in and out of drawing rooms. There are two camps: the believers, who are enthusiastically lapping up every bit of purported information and the deniers, who are eager to reject every piece of information without verifying.
Imran Khan’s political journey is now 25-years-old. He has probably not faced such a plethora of allegations, all at once, ever before. Political wonks predict that leaks from the book are likely to affect Khan’s vote bank.
In television interviews Reham Khan has insisted that her ex spouse does not met the criteria set in Article 62 and 63 and is hence a dishonest man. One of her arguments is that he hid their marriage for over two months before making it public. And did the same after his recent marriage to Bushra Maneka. Agreed. But then, so did Reham Khan. Does the same rule not apply to her? No law of the state can force a person to disclose details of a marriage, since it is a personal matter. However, if he/she chooses not to mention it in their poll nomination forms, then that is a wholly different matter. But that was not the case here. So, keeping a marriage a secret and Article 62 and 63 do not equate in this case.
Now, on to the other allegations in the unpublished book against businessmen, sportsmen and entertainment stars. Troublingly, none, if the manuscript leaks are indeed authentic, are backed by evidence. They are based on hearsay and devoid of context. One wonders how much will be cut out by a publisher when it is indeed fact checked.
In another instance she casts aspersions on Khan’s ability to rule a country when he had trouble selecting a caretaker chief minister for his province and played yo-yo with the name of another for Punjab. What does that say about him, she asks? Well, nothing. If Khan was to become the prime minister he would have a horde of advisors, ministers and specialists who would guide his policies.
That said, it is also important to remember who brought the debate of Article 62 and 63 into the limelight again. The same party and leader, who had earlier sounded the drums of doom, are now slowly being pulled into the quicksand as well. And if Imran Khan indeed wins the national poll in July, we can be sure of one thing, there is more of the same to come.
- Ansari is Geo News' Lahore Bureau Chief
Note: The views expressed in the article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geo News or the Jang Group.