Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf spent quite a lot of time talking up its democratic and revolutionary party structure before the elections. It was hailed as a party that holds inter-party elections, takes decisions based on comprehensive meetings, and involves all stakeholders in its deliberations; a model party for a new Pakistan. Yet the party’s elected President, Javed Hashmi, has unleashed a deluge of accusations against the Chairman which cast serious doubts on these cherished notions. The party that is crusading against the Sharif ‘monarchy’ is looking increasingly like Imran Khan’s personal fiefdom.

‘I don’t take dictations from anybody and Mr. Hashmi knows it,’ thundered Imran Khan as he announced that Mr Hashmi is part of the party no more. It would appear he doesn’t take non-aggressive dictation (also known as advice or dissent) from his party members either. This comes on the back of the report that three MNAs have been kicked out of the party for hesitating to give their resignations; elected representatives simply discarded for dissenting with the Captain without proper due process. The party has a constitution that promises a fair hearing and a cause to be established before members can be removed. Imran Khan, whose grievance with the government stems from denial of due process in the election tribunals, himself treats the concept with little regard. This doesn’t end here; reservations about the march in the party were bulldozed over, the coalition partner, JI, was similarly sidelined when it protested. His speeches refer to himself, to ‘Prime Minister Imran Khan’. His narrative is built around a spectacular battle between himself and Nawaz Sharif. The party has become a vehicle for Imran Khan; you’re either with him, or you’re against him. When he is unwilling to allow for a democratic party, how can we expect him to formulate a democratic government?

A democracy is built on compromise; a word detested by Khan. The basic idea of democracy is that the whole nation contributes its ideas, morals and policies through its representatives, and then we debate, and compromise to reach a single notion that is known as the ‘collective conscience’ of the nation. The final outcome usually doesn’t resemble the original election mandate, but a negotiated version; an acceptable version, a fair version. That is the essence of democracy; that we cater to everyone, not only to ourselves or those who sound just like us. Imran Khan’s behaviour contradicts everything he claims to stand for. It’s quite a simple question in the end: how will he change the system, if he can’t change himself?