Kaptaan's Appeal.

The extent and entrenchment of Imran Khan's appeal, across the political diaspora of Pakistan, has surprised even the most experienced of the political pundits. It has certainly sent shock waves across the inert fabric of a disintegrating status-quo, which had become all too sure of its unchallenged dominion over the political landscape.

Whether you agree with Imran Khan or not, whether you ascribe to his narrative or not, whether you believe in his possibilities or not, there is no real way to deny the public appeal and resonance that Kaptaan enjoys from the snow peaked mountains of KP, to the flooded plains of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan. Even amidst lack of resources, natural disasters, and unprecedented use of force by the likes of Rana Sanaullah, Kaptaan has been thronged by adoring supporters at each step.

So what, at its core, is the reason, for such broad and growing appeal of Imran Khan? This fundamental question, which rests at the heart of Pakistan's on-going political drama requires a deeper analysis. Political systems-authoritarian or constitutional-govern the constituents through one of three mechanisms: through fear and force, through apathy and, through respect and leadership.

The first of these-governance through fear and force-is easy to recognise, once it manifests itself. Despite sympathetic narratives, misdirection, and empty slogans, the governance of fear and force is impossible to disguise. It did not work for the colonisers. It is not working for the kingdoms. And it has never worked for self-proclaimed democrats or would-be saviors, who assume and retain political power through the might of the state machinery. What happened on the May 25, 2022, across of the blood-stained fiefdom of Rana Sanaullah, was governance through fear and force. In the lead-up to Imran Khan's planned march, the (un)worthy Interior Minister used force through the state machinery to instill fear among the citizenry, and prevent them from joining Kaptaan's cause. That worked, momentarily. And Rana Sanaullah, along with the likes of Maryam Aurangzeb, concluded that Imran Khan 'could not' mobilise people in his favour. However, as has been apparent, in the after math of May 25, 2022, you can rule the people through an iron-fist; but you cannot win them.

The second mechanism for governance-through apathy of the constituents-is often the toughest nut to crack. It is often imperceptible for the viewer. For this method, you construct a governance...

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