Is PTI the BJP of Pakistan and Imran Khan, Modi

To be honest to compare the political cultures of Pakistan and India is insulting to the latter.

For instance the condemnable lynching of the Muslim cowherd has been loudly and clearly condemned by the Indian political and media establishment whereas Aasia Bibi is still in jail.

It is furthermore arguable that the more right wing parties in India are still more liberal than the left wing parties in Pakistan since the Indian Right, by and large, accepts the Nehruvian settlement whereas the Pakistani left accepts the Islamic Republic.

Notwithstanding these caveats (after commentators complained of the anti-Indian bias on BP I want to make sure I check myself); if we are to map the Indian and Pakistan political scenes I do see some symmetry between IK & Modi.

One striking one is that they both have rather weird sex lives and haven’t been able to make marriage work for them individually.

Tough times ahead for Pakistan if Imran Khan does get to power. However I will say this that like Modi he does seem rather incorruptible perhaps because he doesn’t have a dynasty.

I would never accept Jemima’s sons in a dynastic setting; Pakistan has a hard enough time dealing with Benazir’s brood. The advantage the Sharifs have with their children is that their children (Maryam et al) exude a Pakistaniness that only comes from being immersed in the environment. Bilawal suffers from the Rahul syndrome (to make another Indo-Pak comparison).

75 thoughts on “Is PTI the BJP of Pakistan and Imran Khan, Modi”

  1. Good points. Add to that IM has been helicoptered by ISI whose tool he is while Modi has come up beating his rivals within BJP and at national level in fairly democratic way.

  2. IM is feudal through and through while Modi has seen harshness of life and incorruptible in spite of that. Actually he wanted to become a Ramakrishna Mission monk and he was told by the head monk his destiny lies in politics .

    1. Modi has some Inner Wordly Asceticism a described by Max Weber (innerweltische askese) while Taliban Khan has been a hedonist and easy tool for Movers and Shakers in Pakistan. Nothing wrong with hedonism (or nothing very good about asceticism) , his politics is bad that is all .

      His background and politics is deeply entrenched in Feudalism- that is why he sucks upto Taliban

      1. Modi is an Ambani puppet so not exactly sure where you’re getting this picture of him being some mystical incorruptible saint. You can easily see how shallow of a person he is when he’s on stage thumping his chest.

        Also lol @ IK, feudalism and Taliban. Love the buzzword soups Indians come up with every day.

        1. ‘Modi is an Ambani puppet’ is an over-statement. Leftists say any government -except those run by themselves – is a puppet of the capitalist class. That is an ideological statement

          1. No it isn’t. You can accept there’s cronyism and nepotism in involved in a ruling party without being a leftist, as BJP used to do all the time with Vadra and Congress. The BJP’s whole shtick before the 2013 elections was railing against the Congress and media and business elite conspiring against them.

        2. Modi is the one who wore a suit with his name sewn into it in gold. So certainly not a saint.

          1. The guy spends half his time flying around the world in fancy outfits attending flashy public events and there are people claiming he’s the fully clothed version of Gandhi.

        3. He is nobody’s stooge. He is shrewd enough to take money from them but keeps his own counsel Many buisness leaders were disappointed due to his attitude.

    2. IK is a former playboy who has become a born-again Muslim. He has a huge estate in Bani Gala (which someone else allegedly pays the expenses of).

  3. “The Indian Right accepts the Nehruvian Settlement while the Pakistani left accepts the Islamic Republic.”

    I don’t think it is quite that simple. Mr. Modi does not miss a chance to demonize Pandit Nehru. Voices within the BJP talk about a “Hindu Rashtra” (which is totally against the spirit of what Nehru stood for). The RSS has a very troubling relationship with the Indian Constitution. Until recently, they even refused to recognize India’s national flag. Members of the government or its affiliates tell Indian citizens to “go to Pakistan”.

    On the Pakistani left, I would say that the “left” is too weak to do anything about the Islamic Republic. If you consider the PPP to be a “left” party (it is really center-left), it was ZAB who coined “Islamic Socialism”. There are people like Jibran Nasir who are trying to keep religion out of politics. However, it is a given that in a religiously-based state, religion is going to play a big role in political life. Also it is the Pakistan Army that is the guardian of the “ideology of Pakistan”. There is not much leftists can do about that.

    Whatever you have against Imran, he has not had a massive pogrom occur on his watch. And I’m saying that as someone who cannot stand the guy. I also think we should keep his marriages out of our assessment of his politics.

    Imran has shown no interest in getting his sons involved in Pakistani politics. So at least he cannot be charged with trying to create a dynasty. I also don’t think Pakistanis would accept his sons as leaders (given that their mother is English and I don’t think the boys have been raised Muslim). But PPP and PML-N are definitely dynastic parties, there is no doubt about that. I can’t think of a case other than Bilawal Bhutto Zardari where leadership of a political party is given to someone in a will. BBZ does say sensible things and he is more progressive than the rest of the lot. But he barely speaks Urdu and his Sindhi is non-existent. I don’t think its fair to compare BBZ with Rahul. Rahul has just attained leadership of the Congress in his 4os and he has actually been a member of the Lok Sabha. BBZ is fighting his first election and he has supposedly been the PPP chairman for years (we all know he does what daddy tells him).

      1. Well then they can technically become Prime Minister of Pakistan. Though if they are not Pakistani citizens, then they cannot.

        I still doubt that many people would accept them given Jemima’s Christian descent and supposed “Zionist” background.

        Also, is it just me but isn’t it weird that Jemima still uses the “Khan” name even though they’ve been divorced for a really long time and Imran is remarried?

        1. Jemima’s father was a Jew., who founded the UK Independence Party which has been the driving force behind Brexit

          1. According to Wiki, Jemima was raised Anglican, prior to her conversion to Islam

            “Khan stated that prior to her conversion to Islam she was technically Anglican but ‘was made familiar with Jewish traditions’, since her paternal grandfather Frank Goldsmith was German Jewish.”.

            You should really confirm facts before commenting.

          2. “You should really confirm facts before commenting.”

            So you should.
            I mentioned her father (Sir James Goldsmith) was a Jew
            Sir James Michael Goldsmith (26 February 1933 – 18 July 1997), a member of the prominent Jewish Goldsmith family, was an Anglo-French[1] financier, tycoon[2] and politician.

            Actually , for antisemitism religious inclinations don’t matter ; Jewish ‘raceness’ does not go away by religious orientations.

          3. James’s mother was a Gentile though; there is of course the famous narrative when Sir Goldsmith was wooing his first wife, a Bolivian heiress.

            Her father told him, “we are not in the habit of marrying Jews.”

            James shot back, “we are not in the habit of marrying Indians.”

            All game full circle when Jemima became Mrs. Khan and they say there is no such thing as karma haha..

          4. Again, according to Wiki, her grandfather was a Jew. Her father was not. It doesn’t really matter to me, but let’s be factually correct.

            Judaism is inherited through the mother by the way (unlike Islam which is inherited through the father).

        2. Given the extreme and violent nature of antisemitism in Pakistan, anyone with Jewish ancestry would be rejected immediately. Perhaps Jew hatred is stronger than Hindu hatred.

          1. Antisemitism in Pakistan only exists because of Israel’s Occupation of Palestinian land. Otherwise, I doubt most Pakistanis have ever met a Jew.

            Our “enemy” is India, the Hindu majority country next door. I don’t think Pakistani Hindus should be held responsible for India’s actions though. They are just as Pakistani as I am and have no influence over the actions of the Indian government. Just as Indian Muslims should not be held responsible for what happens in Pakistan.

            If Imran’s children wanted to become Pakistani politicians, they could say they are Muslim because their father is a Muslim and their mother converted before they were born.

        3. Antisemitism in Pakistan is wholly unnatural and uncalled for since Pakistan does not have border with Israel or no other contact with Jews. Still , due to Pakistan Ideology , Jews must also bear the brunt of popular fury.

    1. Jinnah was responsible for much more massive pogrom in india. He disowned his own daughter for marrying a parsi.He is considered liberal by Pakistanis. Benajir bhutto, mother of taliban, called for pogrom of kashmiri hindus by muslim ghazis openly on stage is considered liberal. She also showed how she would cut jagmohan, then governor of kashmir, in 6 pieces. That says it all. Whatever you say, imran isn’t a reformed rake as he still indulges himself in hedonistic lifestyle. And unlike imran, modi can actually win elections throughout India without being anyone’s stooge. Imran constantly calls for khatm e nabuwat which is much more dangerous than whatever modi has uttered throughout his life. Pakistan has merely 3%minorities, still they don’t let them live in peace and kidnap their daughters for conversion. And they have the audacity to sermonise India. God knows how many temples pakistanis broke after babri masjid demolition if 308 temples were destroyed in kashmir alone. They destroyed 2 mosques of ahmeddiya community in this month alone.

      1. Liberal Jinnah, himself an old man, married a girl barely in teens and made her accept islam. He openly advocated for blasphemy. Even ‘radical’ modi condems cow terrorists and doesn’t justify tgeir actions. He can always say that cow smugglers are killing villagers and security forces which is factually true. In india, muslims also lynch hindus while reverse isn’t possible in Pakistan.

        1. Ruttie was in love with Jinnah. Can you at least leave Quaid-e-Azam’s personal life alone? We get that you hate Pakistan.

      2. I really shouldn’t respond to this anti-Pakistan drivel but how is Benazir the “mother of the Taliban”?

        1. Google ‘Benazir mother of taliban’ and u will get relevant links. Here

          And more

          And she is considered liberal
          ??. She demonstrated on stage amidst massive crowd, how she will cut Jagmohan into six pieces. And encouraged ‘muslm ghazis’ to kill kaffirs. Here in radical India, adityanath was arrested for saying, if they kidnap 1 hindu girl, we will kidnap 10 muslim girls. In pak, they openly kill ahmeddiyas, abuse minorities and what not.

          1. Benazir was not running security policy. Security policy in Pakistan has always been run by the Army and not by civilian Prime Ministers. Not only was Benazir a civilian, she was also a woman. The Army was really not going to let her make sensitive decisions.

            I’m not really interested in India-Pakistan comparisons. Like I said, if your standard is that you are more liberal than Pakistan, it’s a very low standard.

          2. The point here is not finding out who is responsible for security in Pakistan. Benazir’s utterances are being contrasted here with her liberal reputation.
            The “high bits” of Pakistani social consensus are so far to the right in comparison to India that the “low bits” of left and right pretensions pale into insignificance.

          3. Benazir may have said whatever. I have no way of verifying. She may have needed to play to the gallery at times. She had no real power.

            But she never presided over any pogroms unlike your Prime Minister. Don’t try to tarnish the reputation of one of Pakistan’s most progressive leaders. Your leaders are Mr. Modi and the Yogi. If you have any shame you will keep quiet.

        2. That’s the difference. For Indians shame may (or may not) be the cause of silence. By your own admission, Pakistanis keep quiet out of a sense of “self preservation”. So, their utterances cannot be taken seriously. Maybe you should blink if you want to signal something else.

          1. OK, whatever. People whose country is being governed by Mr. Modi–the butcher of Gujarat– have no room to criticize others.

            But I’ll let you have the last word. I’m getting bored of this particular India-Pakistan pissing contest.

            By the way, I like Indians and Indian culture. But only Congress voting Indians. I have no patience for Hindutva types. They are just as bad as Islamists.

    2. Mr. Modi does not miss a chance to demonize Pandit Nehru

      Bashing Nehru is in fashion in India. He’s the favourite whipping boy of both the economic liberal and socially conservative.

      He is (wrongly) seen as the originator of the dynasty, when actually he was succeeded by Shastry (who couldn’t complete term because of his death in office), too Westernized by culture, a smooth-talking womanizer and an icon of the privileged upper-class English-spouting Urdu-speaking elite that dominated North India during the British period. Besides he is held responsible for the Chinese debacle in 1962, pointless third-worldism (NAM), Muslim-appeasement (opposition to UCC), and the specific brand of Fabian Socialism that led to the “Hindu rate of growth” until the 80s. Basically an entitled anti-Hindu twit with a guilt complex.

      As one of the Jan Sangh critics called him: “English by education, Muslim by culture and Hindu by an accident of birth”.

      1. How was he “Muslim by culture”?

        I assume that you don’t share this opinion.

        It’s OK not to like someone but to blame him and Congress for everything that one perceives is wrong in India is also not very intelligent.

          1. Vidhi’s grandmother could write Nastaliq so I would hazard the “Indus Valley” Hindus and Sikhs were the same..

            Of course I see it as tragic but I don’t want to be accused of anti-India Mughalophilia!

          2. Moghalophilia isn’t anti-India (at least I don’t think so).

            Moghalophilia is a little elitist though. They were a decadent, self-serving ruling class of Indians, who squandered hard earned (and hard taxed) money on commissioning art and building harems rather than improving the water-supply of cities, or funding science and technology academies, or outlawing terrible practices of sati etc. In the run up to Nader Shah’s army raping and pillaging Delhi, Moghals had already lost the bloody plot.

        1. Nehrus were a feudal family quite enmeshed with the Moghal elite since Farrokhsiyar. So, quite Islamicate/Persianate in many ways, quite unlike the local Brahmins of UP. Hence seen as “accidental Hindus”.

          No, I do not share the opinion for the record. I can read and write Urdu/Nastaliq and see it as a part of my culture in sharp contrast to the RSS view. However, I do think much of the criticism of Nehru on the economic front was well deserved.

          1. This Nastaliq/Devanagri thing is really stupid. Hindustani is the same language no matter what script you choose to write it in. So what if Pandit Nehru wrote Urdu? If I were to write Hindustani in Nagari it wouldn’t make me a Hindu.

            Criticizing someone’s economic policy is valid. Demonizing him is not. That is the difference between your criticism and Mr. Modi’s.

          2. It is more than his writing Urdu. It is the wholesale buying-into the Moghal culture that pissed the Sangh off about Nehru. And there’s also a sense of, almost leftist, anti-elitism to the RSS position. So it is a reversion from (what they see as effete) philosophical Hinduism to more nuts and bolts, temples and idols, trishuls and saffron Hinduism – wearing it on the sleeve as it were.

        2. If your leaders had any minorities to commit genocide upon, you would have done it multiple times. You did not keave your own bangladeshi muslim brethren, then what r kaffirs?Your minorities r not visible in mainstream and they don’t dare to raise their voice. We had to face islamic terrorism when the whole world had never heard of it. Our temples, schools, trains were destroyed in bomb blast. And Gujarat riots r not genocide. Both side killed each other, though more muslims died. 1984 was genocide because it was one sided killing.

          1. The Gujarat “riots” was a pogrom against Muslims. And the man under whose watch it occurred is now running your country.

            I am not interested in having you prove how great India is and how much Pakistan sucks. If you had any shame, you would not be defending Mr. Modi.

            You can keep commenting but I’m going to ignore you from now on.

      2. There is a nasty edge to identity politics . But those vilified JN on ‘identity issues’ have done zilch to change his policies which drew criticism when they are in power . Economic Liberalization was done mostly in Narasimha Rao era. I don’t think much liberalization has taken place in the last few years. Changing road or town names is not substantial and does not add to the economy.

      3. Slpstik, and the Mughals and Nawabs were very extractive (hard taxing). One reason that Bengal, the province that was a export powerhouse in the ancient and medieval ages until 19th century, nevertheless was not rich (general wealth of population) because the cloth weavers, the farmers never tried to be highly productive and accumulate wealth. Since the more you produce the more you are taxed, they just produced enough to go by and please the local tax-farmer.

    1. Do you agree with her thesis that Pakistan was a bargaining chip and he did not want Pakistan. How much acceptability is of her theory in Pakistan(even among intellectuals)?

      1. She is the expert on the Muslim League. “Sole Spokesman” is the definitive work on this subject. I trust what she has to say.

        “Pakistan” was a vague concept. The Lahore Resolution of 1940 did not envision a separate nation-state. As late as 1946, Quaid-e-Azam accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan. All these facts seem to suggest that he did not want Partition until the choice was forced on him. Perhaps he should have seen the logical consequences of the Two-nation Theory, but he was a lawyer arguing the best case he could for his client.

        We were taught her theory in our History courses at LUMS. I think the average person thinks that we needed freedom from the Hindus. But educated people know it’s a lot more complicated than that.

        1. Anyways, always felt that it was a very weak theory, the objective was to rehabilitate Jinnah’s image in the left -liberal mind space(mostly in English speaking audience), that much it achieved.

          1. Dr. Jalal is the foremost expert in this field. You can disagree with her but you would have to have some substantive reasons and credentials for doing so.

            Quaid-e-Azam was a lawyer fighting a case. He used everything he had to win the case. I don’t believe he ever intended on a separate nation-state, which is why Pakistan was not really thought through. It was only on June 3, 1947, that Lord Mountbatten told the Congress and the League that he had decided Partition was the only solution.

    2. Great Interview. I am big fan Dr Jalal. The critical point is – “Power in Pakistan does not flow from any constitutional amendment but from the actual functioning balance between elected and non-elected institutions. ” and also “The difference between India and Pakistan is the structural balance between elected and non-elected institutions.”

      The same thing is 100% applicable to Bangladesh also. It always surprise me how many so called ‘experts’ ignore or fail to understand balance of power among institutions and instead talk about constitutions, formal institutions, democratic norms etc etc.

      1. We are agreed on Dr. Jalal. She is a wonderful scholar. I thought her point that Pakistan inherited 17% of United India’s resources and 1/3 of its military was a very important one.

        Also the point that Pakistan was not supposed to survive and the price of survival has been the out-sized role of the military.

  4. “They were a decadent, self-serving ruling class of Indians, who squandered hard earned (and hard taxed) money on commissioning art and building harems rather than improving the water-supply of cities, or funding science and technology academies, or outlawing terrible practices of sati etc.”

    These are all the hallmarks of a modern state that emerged in post-enlightenment Europe, dont think its fair to compare the Mughal dynasty to such states. Few pre-enlightenment medieval European monarchies did these things, and certainly neither did any of the other Indian kingdoms like the Ahoms, Marathas or Wodeyars till they got exposed to the Europeans.

    The Mughals did play a major role in connecting India to lucrative markets in Central Asia from which we earned a handsome trade surplus. They also played a major role in settling Eastern Bengal, although they were helped by a fortuitous change in the course of the Ganga.

    I think their main failings were political rather than economic, but thats another debate.

    1. Trade surplus with C Asia?? No shit.

      The place always had a tiny fraction of the population of (undivided) Punjab, let alone the Moghal Empire. No wonder they came to India to seek fortunes not the other way round.

      The Enlightenment argument doesn’t cut it. The Enlightenment was a *result* of political resolutions – Westphalian Treaty, Bill of Rights after the Glorious Revolution etc contemporaneous with Shah Jahan’s reign.

      The fact that the primary commodity driving trade between the early Moghals and Europeans was alcohol, copious amounts of expensive wine being imported at the exchequer’s expense tells me that ruling class’ priorities. No wonder the Brits made short work of them.

      1. Hi Slapstik, maybe Razib can start an open thread for this discussion to continue.

        Indian rulers whether Hindu or Muslim, did attempt modernization once properly exposed to European progress. There are plenty of examples here like Gaekwads in south Gujarat, Nizams in Telangana and Wodeyars in Mysore. In fact some of India’s best, non-centrally funded universities are found in these areas, all established by these kingdoms.

        I see no specific reason why Mughal rulers would not have attempted the same if they had the opportunity. Their trade with Central Asia was not just about importing wine using tax revenue. India was manufacturing world class brassware (Moradabad), glassware (Firozabad), luxury pottery (Jaipur) and carpets (Varanasi, Amritsar, Jaipur), all of which became possible thanks to sustained trade and contact with Central Asia.

        Virtually all of these industries persist in North India to this day, in fact, Yogi Adityanath has started a nice program to expand them to entire districts.

  5. Never understood this whole value judgement of Mughals. Either their praising to the stars (culture, art) or scrutinizing them( didn’t build science stuff) to zenith. They mostly did what their other counterparts were doing in Europe/Asia. When the native kingdoms in India themselves didn’t do much or mostly did stuff on arts and culture themselves, why are we expecting some guy from Turkmenistan to discover gravity for us ?

    1. I don’t want to make this comment thread about Moghals. So my final comment:

      Moghals were not from Turkmenistan. Babur was from Ferghana in Uzbekistan, but Akbar was born in an Indian household and spoke Punjabi and Marwari. Later Moghals were even genetically Indian. You may want to check what Bahadur Shah looked like – as photos are available of him online. So their contrast with “native” kingdoms is silly.

      Secondly, no empire or kingdom in India from at least 6c CE had access to trade routes, taxable resources and political unity that the Moghal period enjoyed. They could have done wonders with it but it was all v quickly squandered for a variety of reasons that I might do a detailed post on later.

      1. “So their contrast with “native” kingdoms is silly.”

        I contrasted mughals with any native kingdom as i would with say the Kushans or white huns with the Guptas. To each his own.

        1. I agree with Slapstik. Jahangir’s mother was a Rajput so he and his descendants were at least part genetically “Indian”.

          1. Shah Jahan was Jehangir’s son. So by that point, the Mughals were already genetically part “Indian”.

    2. Europe has had universities from before the time of the Mughals. Even pre-Islamic India had world class universities and research.
      In a way you are right. The Mughals were no worse than other Islamic royal houses of their time. Science and secular knowledge enjoyed a brief high point during the Abbasid dynasty but then there was a very deliberate turning away.

  6. Lol, benazir needed to play for the gallery. ???otherwise she was quite liberal. All parties in Pakistan r extremely right. Only difference between them is extent of their rightness. Pakistanis r not ashamed of persecuting tgeir own minorities and making them flee to india even today. But they have the gall to lecture India.

    1. 400,000 kashmiri hindus had to flee the valley due to her ‘playing for the gallery’.Kashmiri women were gangraped and their dead bodies mutilated.She buttressed taliban along with isi. Taliban is quute liberal, u know. It also plays for the gallery.

      1. This is a ridiculous argument. Benazir cannot be held responsible for the Pandit Exodus. If you want to hold someone responsible, a better target would be Jagmohan and the violent Kashmiri separatists. I am not defending the Pandit Exodus, simply saying that attributing it to Benazir is flawed.

        We get that you hate Pakistan and Pakistanis. But at least you should keep some perspective while making arguments. Benazir fought against the Zia Regime and was in jail or house arrest for years. She represented the forces of democracy against the military and Islamization. The PPP is one of the most progressive parties in Pakistan.

        1. Lol, jinnah isn’t responsible for direct action day, benazir wasn’t responsible for kashmiri exodus and taliban, no Pakistani was responsible for genocide on bangladesh, but modi was responsible for riots between twoo communities which began when one community burned 60 pilgrims of other community in a train.

          1. And i dont hate every Pakistani. As far as i know omar ali is also a Pakistani. I like him and respect him. And Zachary too. If he remains on burkha dutt spectrum and not Arundhati roy’s.

          2. Good to know you don’t hate every Pakistani. Only the ones who actually like Pakistan? By the way, liking Pakistan doesn’t mean I agree with every single action of the Pakistan government or establishment.

            I don’t hate Indians either. I don’t particularly care for Hindutvadis. But 70% of voters didn’t vote for the BJP, so one can’t generalize about an entire country.

          3. That comment was for Karan.

            You can criticize Pakistan, since you are a Pakistani. We criticize our own country all the time. It doesn’t mean that we want it to disappear from the face of the earth.

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