Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Curious Case of Shireen Mazari

Curious Case Of Shireen Mazari

By: Taqveem Ahsan Siddiqui

Maturity is not at all linked with your age. Time and again people have proven this with their actions. It is common to have a relative in our social gatherings who demands the highest degree of attention and even a single instance of unintentionally ignoring them is enough for them to create fuss. Neighbourly disputes are common, rooting from a mere children quarreling with each other. Wise people do not take these incidents personally and in most cases our elders and parents would do a "light treatment" of both children and move on. 

Then in a bigger picture, there are examples of political immaturity. The classic and most recent one is of the Mazari family, well Ms Shireen and her daughter Iman to be specific. Ms Shireen Mazari’s contribution and hard work over the years is no doubt an asset and equally one cannot question her credibility. So one can only attribute her current resignation (which was on the cards for about a couple of weeks) to immaturity and to an extent a contradiction of her own statement of Principles and commitment to the cause.  Mixing family affairs with politics often ends up in a mess.

Holding a grudge just because her daughter threw her toys out of the pram due to some  fake trolls is not only surprising but at the same time seems unfortunate.

The knee jerk reaction of some of the respected names of our country, on her resignation was not only funny but at the same time spurious. Questioning policies on the basis of a resignation, which is broadly linked to personal circumstances, and that too within minutes after Ms Mazari's tweet is the least that you could expect from a person who is perceived as a professional. I am not going to go in details but I would at least ask those individuals to please come up with your specific questions and criticism on policies with evidence please. As they are perceived wise, please provide an alternative and explain what more can be done to improve them. after all, these documents are laid out to the public for the first time in our political history and PTI is open to debate and will welcome any constructive advice. PTI is the only party to come out with policies on Economy, Energy, Health and education.

It was unfortunate that Ms Mazari reacted on some condemnable tweets to her daughter and the fact that Khan could not make it to Rajan pur on his tour of flood affected areas.

It all started with Ms Mazari's beloved child Iman, who is of course young and passionate but at the same time loves to throw her toys off the pram if ignored. I believe she was expecting a royal treatment in the party just based on the fact that she was the daughter of Ms Mazari. Looking at her "Journey", just less than a year ago she was critical of IK and the party. Her tweets were a clear reflection of her thoughts, and time and again she mentioned that although her mother supported PTI, she remains critical and not supportive of the party. Then all of a sudden one fine day, Miss Iman, tweeted to the world to tell that she now understands PTI ideology and is convinced that this is the only party with clear goals that can bring change. If one would like to see her "journey" then they can easily read her tweets on 24, 26 August, 7th September, 8th September and 9th September and countless others in support and love of PTI, Imran khan and indeed their vision and policies. Her last comment was "I wasted so much time before deciding to join PTI, just to ensure that whatever I am doing is according to my "Great Goal" or in actual words "Azeem Maqsad kay mutabiq". Then within a space of a week all those talks of "Azeem Maqsad" and "Commitment" disappeared and she decided to leave the party and her "well thought" and "ensured" decision took a U turn. All based on some tweets from some fake trolls. I can only call it immature and childish. 

The more I read Shireen Mazari’s tweets on her resignation, the more it gets clear that she left the party for 2 main reasons.

1) Iman Mazari
2) Imran khan unable to get to Rajan pur on the 17th of September.

I would not have commented on this but since she has come out in the media then it is open to critical analysis.

From Point 1-6 they all seem space fillers. The only points she seem to come out with her heart felt words are the ones where she mentioned her daughter and Rajan pur, for the other points, I simply cannot understand the sweeping generalisation. She needs to elaborate a bit more and be specific. About the rumours she touched upon, I would expect a bit better from 1st or 2nd tier leadership. They should actually be looking into these rumours and dig out the facts. 

The point about intra party elections she made, sorry to say, is again a space filler. PTI is implementing something that has never happened in Pakistan. The scale of intra party elections is Huge. Imagine the party has the highest in Pakistan and 2nd highest number of registered members for any political party anywhere in the world. Some over 10 million registered members. This is huge, and the system being implemented is one of the most robust systems and at the same time cost effective. 

Point 4 is also a sweeping generalisation that one cannot expect from a 1st or 2nd tier leader. This is a political party, not a members’ club. Is it not what we have fought for the last 16 years? To be recognised as a political force, taken seriously and bring about the change that we all dreamed of. Intra party elections are the best possible way of vetting out people in a party that has now more than 10 ticket hopefuls in each constituency. How can you say that an old supporter is more able and honest than a new entrant? We are all fighting for a greater cause and personal grudges should not come in our way. PTI is a democratic party and whoever is best for a job gets that. Take for example Umer Cheema, I admire his courage, commitment and selflessness. When he was replaced by Shafqat Saab, we all felt strongly. But time proved that Shafqat Mehmood was better suited for the job. Ideological supporters don’t take these things personally; after all, this is what Umar saab was working so hard for. On Feudals’ issue, with more than 3000 acres of land and "Jageers" aren’t you a feudal with hoards of money as well? Having money and land is not a crime; all that matters is how one has achieved this. 

Talking about policy formulation, she seems more disconnected than a simple member. She forgot the names of Feroz Khan, Dr Farid Malik, Asad umar and a number of others whose input actually formulated the policies. it’s a collective effort and hence you cannot force one individual’s views in a political party and on top of everything, its not necessary for one person to be correct all the time and jack of all. I, for a fact, know that PTI was open to suggestions on policy and I can see a number of initiatives in the policies that were suggested by colleagues in various meetings and seminars.

For Shireen Mazari, I really hope that sense will prevail as I have no doubt about her credibility. She was given a show cause from the party due to her irresponsible statements in Rajan pur. I believe she was well aware of the extremely bad weather during IKs DG Khan and Rajan Pur Visit. We were all in loop through Twitter and of course madam Mazari was kept in loop as well by the leadership. How can she forget that Imran Khan was tirelessly on tour throughout Pakistan. The flight to Gilgit was cancelled so he had to take the 9 hour Road trip which is dangerous as well, if you have been to Gilgit you would agree to this fact. Then he went all the way to Islamabad, then on the same day to Karachi victims, then to the interior and to the flood affected areas in Baluchistan as well.  Was Rajan Pur the only disaster stricken area? Was he sitting in his drawing room? Did he not make every effort after you refused to accept his proposal for the next morning due to the circumstances? Was it not the duty of the local leadership to handle the situation? Imran khan has devolved leadership to the Tehseel level so that local leaders take up the ownership of the areas and this is how political parties should work. This is how Imran is developing systems in a party that has exploded from thousands to millions in the space of months. Imran cannot be everywhere all the time and certainly this party is not a one man show like other parties.

So the party had every right to ask for explanation to her statement. And being woman of principles, she should have responded and set an example for all others that no one is above party discipline. Remember when you instigated a show cause for a party member in interior Sindh on breach of party discipline? How is that individual inferior than you? One’s commitment to the cause is tested in these times and that is where one has to prove their words. the party did not immediately suspend her or terminate her membership. Instead as per party rules and the norms of any democratic organization, she was asked to explain herself. She chose not to reply and instead widened her scope of attack on the party while resigning. Looking at available facts, one can say that this may not have hurt Madam Mazari if Imaan's childish behaviour had not affected her decision making. 

All I know is that Quaid e Azam once said think 100 times before making a decision and once done, then stick to it. So Madam Shireen, you thought well and hard before joining the party so stick to it if you believe in your analytical skills. This one to leave the party was not a thought over decision and I am sure she will realise the mistake soon.  Political parties are voluntary organizations and everyone has a right to join them or leave. She has decided to leave. This is her prerogative and should be respected. But at the same time I have tried hard to substantiate her allegations, only to find them baseless and stemming from personal grudges. These could have been resolved easily.

It is unfair to hold the party to ransom just because your children "thought" that they were mistreated. This is not PML or PPP where children of the leaders get royal treatment. For me this is another reassurance of the principals that the party stands for. Sad to see you go Shireen, you were an asset, but sorry you have to re assess your position. As someone said earlier, PTI is about passion not position and Leadership is action, not position.


  1. A very nice article indeed, it's a long journey we must learn how to behave as apolitical worker. No one should be marginalised just because he is new supporter. Actually this new old discussion is insane. Every one wants progressive pakistan for what pti is working for. Who is this iman mizari? we dn't know what's her contribution for pti. Pti must no be defensive about this social media abuse issue, no one knows who is doing it. If it happens on some official page of pti then we can say these are pti supporters.

    1. Farhan. You have really touched the right nerve. That new and old thing should now end. Everyone is the same and working for one Goal. Leaving of Madam Shireen was unfortunate but at the same time a testament to PTIs committment that no on is above the descipline and party cannot be held hostage by anyone. I believe Shireen will realise her mistake soon as she is also an ideolog and should now understand that this is not a party of thousands, but a party of masses supported by 10s of millions. We are all working for the same goal.

  2. Very well elucidated article written by you. Hope,she will realize her mistakes soon and without wasting any time,she will re-join the party with lot of passion and goals which the PTI have for the future of Pakistan.