Students hung on to Imran Khan’s every word as the former cricket captain spoke of the problems facing Pakistan at the Foundation for Advancement of Science and Technology – National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences on Saturday.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief urged students to fight for their future and to be more responsible.
However, an awkward silence greeted his announcement, “Jihad is the best possible way to fight for your dreams, interests and visions.” Noticing the crowd’s discomfort, he hastily clarified that though the word jihad has become almost synonymous with terrorism in our minds, it simply means fight against injustice.
“To keep a society intact during a crisis is a jihad. To fight against oppression is also the same thing. When you see oppression and remain silent you are a part of the injustice,” he explained.
In London, two million people took to the streets to protest against the US invasion in Iraq. “But here in Pakistan, I have been trying to hold demonstrations against the drone strikes and no one participates,” he said, spreading his hands out appealingly. The prime minister openly admits that we cannot speak against the drone strikes in South Waziristan since the country is incapable of fighting a potential American backlash. “Then how can I influence the common man?”
The PTI chief fumed as he spoke on the war against terrorism that Pakistan has been a part of for ten years. “Our nation is bleeding profusely. Women and children are being killed while our leaders are being reimbursed for the bloodshed.”
Imran Khan said that a police officer at a seminar had told him 60 per cent of our jail inmates are innocent. “Trust me, I have seen more criminals in the National Assembly than in jail,” he quipped.
“Maybe God has taken a suo motu notice of the country’s situation and presented us with the youth who can start a revolution,” he said, just before wrapping up his talk. He rounded it off by telling a member of the audience, “If anyone wants to bring about change, join our party.”