Different nationalities, different stories, and different rhetoric yet Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkish Republic, and Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, share a similar direction. The direction that brings prosperity to their people. While this direction may be similar, the selection of methodology to reach the destination, is the real question.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) was founded on 2001 and in less than 2 years, AKP won majority in the 2002 Turkish General elections. On the contrary, Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) was founded in 1996 and took 22 years of struggle to win majority in the 2018 Pakistan elections.
From selling sesame rings (Simit), playing football at semiprofessional level to Schooling and University, Tayyip Erdogan did not take long to know his path to Politics. At the age of 40, he was elected as the Mayor of Istanbul and silently in pursuit of the highest office in Turkey.
While Erdogan's political endurance was silence, for Imran Khan, the political journey began with a cocktail of flamboyant popularity and categorical denial to join politics. This was the 'self' explanation and evolution of an Oxford graduate, World class cricketer, Philanthropist, turned successful Politician.
Tayyip Erdogan has served as the Prime Minister of Turkey from 2003 to 2014, Khan has just began, a chase of 11 years. A chase in one way and complexity of comparison in another. Complexity of differences in political scenarios, voting methods, and mind set of societies.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) was founded in 2001 and in less than 2 years, AKP won a majority in the 2002 Turkish General elections. On the contrary, Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) was founded in 1996 and took 22 years of struggle to win majority in the 2018 Pakistan elections
Imran Khan did not had the luxury of inheriting proportional representation voting method for allocating national assembly members like Turkey. However he also did not had a better gradient of change and political acumen.
If Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, founded Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in 1967 and rose to power on the 1970 Pakistan General Elections, a 3 years' time, Why did Khan took 22 years to do so?
It was not difficult to understand that given the direct voting representation (as opposed to proportional voting representation in Turkey), the feudal landlords and industrialists as members of the National Assembly in the Parliament of Pakistan, have indeed a monopolistic withhold of almost every province and region of Pakistan.
The following words of Khan said prior to winning the 2018 Elections, are not the same words of the Imran Khan of 1996, when PTI was founded, or the words of the man who supported the 2002 Pakistan Referendum, allowing Former President General Pervez Musharraf to continue as President for five years. These are words of a seasoned politician
"You contest elections to win. You don't contest elections to be a good boy. I want to win. I am fighting elections in Pakistan, not Europe. I can't import European politicians"
"This is not Europe, where all you need to do is tell people what you stand for and they will go out and vote for you. In Pakistan, you need money and thousands of trained polling agents who can bring out people on the day of election. If you do not have those workers, you cannot contest the election."
Imran Khan, 66 years old, and Erdogan, 65 years old. Mr. Erdogan was 50 years of age, when he first become the Prime Minister of Turkey, while Mr. Khan just recently joined the office in 2018, at the age of 65.While Khan's seniority in age is negligible, Erdogan's superiority in Politics is not, and remains a mountain of an obstacle for Khan.
The article was first published in Daily Times