In Greek mythology, Icarus is famed for having built a pair of wings to allow him to fly. His father warned him to follow a path of moderation, but due to his excessive arrogance and ambition, he flew too high and the sun melted his wings causing him to crash into the Earth.
Recent news reveals the melting of Imran Khan’s wings, Pakistan’s own Icarus. After a month of sensational claims about leading a revolution, the latest PTI ‘Tsunami’ has once again proven to be little more than a trickle, and now things are starting to quickly unravel. This morning Javed Hashmi has been suspended as PTI president, and Akbar Babar has termed intra-party elections as ‘a farce‘.
It should be noted that the PTI of today is a very new party. Yes, there has been a PTI since 1996, but that was little more than a one man party for long. It wasn’t until the lead up to 2013 elections that PTI expanded to the publicity machine it is today. Remember, most of the best known PTI officials such as Javed Hashmi and Shah Mehmood Qureshi, were actually members of other parties as recently as 2008 elections. SMQ was even a Minister in the PPP government! Now even Imran’s “electables” are reevaluating their options and looking for new ways to revive their political careers. Don’t be surprised to see multiple PTI MNAs running on different tickets in future elections.
The rapid rise and fall of Imran Khan will present an interesting question for historians. Was the cricket legend too eager to believe in his own greatness? Or was he, as some are saying, unable to see the way that he was played as a pawn in a greater game by more established powers?
Whatever future academics are able to learn, it looks like 2014 will go down in history as a year that an upstart political party took a long march that toppled not the government, but themselves.