Q 1: Sir, you have always maintained that militants are taking innocent Pakistani lives because the militants are being attacked by American drones. But the militants insist that they would “kill everyone and anyone who stands against the imposition” of their version of Islam. In essence, the militants are convinced that they are fighting for ‘Islam’ while you continue to maintain that militant actions are actually reactions to American drones.
Q 2: Sir, if anyone wishes to negotiate with the PML-N, he would naturally have Mian Nawaz Sharif, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan or Senator Pervez Rasheed in mind. You have always favoured negotiating peace with the militants. Please name just four names representing the militants that are in your mind with whom you will negotiate peace.
Q 3: Sir, you have promised that Prime Minister Imran Khan shall wipe off militancy from the face of the country. Can you please name just two militant organisations that you plan to wipe off?
Q 4: Sir, you have been rightly pointing out that more than 40,000 innocent Pakistani lives have been lost in what you say is ‘America’s war’. Can you please identify by name the forces and groups responsible for the loss?
Q 5: Sir, a state cannot be called a state unless it has ‘monopoly of violence’ within its geographically defined physical terrain. The State of Pakistan must, therefore, have ‘monopoly of violence’ within our 796,095 square km. But Pakistani militants in a recent message sent to Reuters have stated: “We have a clear-cut stance. Anyone who takes the side of the government against us will have to die at our hands.” Sir, are you willing to surrender ‘monopoly of violence’ to the militants?
Q 6: Sir, if Prime Minister Imran Khan decides to end all disputes with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the militants oppose that decision. What would PM Imran Khan do? Would Pakistan’s foreign policy, under Imran Khan, be made by the State of Pakistan or the militants?
Q 7: Sir, you have rightly demanded from the Americans to stop their drone attacks. You have also asked the Pakistan Army to stop their operations. But, sir, you have never asked the militants to stop their murderous assaults.
Q 8: Sir, in your worldview Pakistani militants are the victims and America is the victimiser. How would you apply your victim-victimiser theory to the Malala tragedy?
Q 9: Sir, your official spokesperson, Mr Shafqat Mahmood, has said that an ‘end to drones will end the war’. Sir, isn’t that being a demagogue par excellence? Isn’t that overly simplistic? As you know, sir, our war began in 1994 when Sufi Mohammad took over Swat exactly 10 years before the first American drone showed up.
Q 10: Sir, has the Malala tragedy had any impact on your train of thought?
Albert Einstein: “The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad. Email: farrukh firstname.lastname@example.org
10 questions for Imran Khan - Farrukh Saleem