On October 30, 2011 at Minar-e-Pakistan, Kaptaan was the only known force on the stage. It was the peak of his solo flight, standing next to him was Comrade Ahsan Rashid who with his team had built the organisational structure to deliver change. Leaders who deliver change are required to take solo flights. Iqbal’s legendary ‘shaheen’ is known for its solo flight. Allama Iqbal claimed that this is how the shaheen keeps its blood flowing, and rises to great heights much above the minarets of the palaces. The low flying vulture and the high flying shaheen live and operate in different worlds. For them to interact or co-exist the ‘shaheen’ has to lower its flight, as the vulture cannot attain heights.

Till the massive October 2011 gathering Kaptaan and his party was not taken seriously. That day political tremors were felt by all the parties. The first breakaway splinter group came from PML-Q followed by PPP and then PML-N. Instead of a clean solo flight it turned into a collective activity of the good, bad and the ugly. This unholy alliance has failed to deliver and is seriously hampering the flight of the Kaptaan. Inter-party elections (IPE) were tried to screen the undesirables but they cheated their way through. The results had to be annulled. It did not stop here, now the party election commission has been disbanded. Kaptaan’s solo flight for a democratic party has been seriously hampered by the political vultures in the party.

The recent victory of Donald Trump in the US Presidential elections is mainly because of his solo flight. He revolted against the establishment of his own party and the country and finally prevailed. People voted for change as they were fed up with the status-quo. He highlighted the dismal state of his country and its flawed policies worldwide. When Hillary Clinton talked about her public sector experience he called it bad experience, the voters understood the difference and voted for him. A fresh start has been made in one of the largest democracies of the world.

The bad experience players of past have no political future in the corruption laden politics of Pakistan, solo flight is the only viable option for a party of change. The splinter groups from other parties (PML-Q, PPP, PML-N) should be allowed to disintegrate while Kaptaan takes his solo flight on the strength of his party organisation and policies.

In 2011 Kaptaan’s solo flight was hampered by bad experience of the players of the past. In 2014 Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) was an embarrassment for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). PAT worked on its own agenda and then withdrew from the protest leaving PTI hanging in the lurch. While PPP came to the rescue of PML-N, its partner in corruption, the ‘Khakis’ and the ‘Qazis’ looked the other way. Javed Hashmi, the newly inducted President of PTI, went against his own party.

After the recent knock-out of the PTI lockdown campaign, a lot has been written about it. The corrupt political parties and individuals have eventually come together to save their ill-gotten wealth while the Khakis follow their own interests and agreed approach. It is called the ‘Kiyani Doctrine’ according to which the ‘khakis’ closely watch the misdeeds of the party in power and express their displeasure but do not directly intervene. In the end, Kaptaan finds himself alone fighting the menace of corruption while others conveniently walk away unscathed. As his party does not have an organisational structure for a solo flight, Kaptaan is made to rely on the efforts of the “bad experience” players and their misinformation. This halfway approach is not working. It is often remarked, “One cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hound”. This is why Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) made a complete break with the past and decided on solo flight. Like Donald Trump he too highlighted the differences in his approach, which the voters understood and then voted for him.

Only viable option for the Kaptaan is to prepare for a solo flight with the strength of his party organisation and the young and energetic wings of a untainted and high-flying youth that respond to his call. No experience is far superior to bad experience in this case. For change to happen a fresh start has to be made. Old players who already have bad experience cannot deliver. They have to be weeded out.

Change is inevitable and cannot be stalled. So far Kaptaan is the only political leader in the arena who can spearhead this movement. As a leader he does not need crutches of the old and bad experience players, in fact he should keep away from them to retain his credibility and charm.

People usually ask this question, how can Kaptaan survive so many u-turns and politically poor decisions? The answer is plain and simple, in the muddled political arena of the country he stands out as the only clean leader who people can trust. He can stand tall and offer himself for accountability which is a rare trait in our politics.

The blame of solo flights is in fact his strength on which he can build. As originally envisioned by the founding fathers, PTI was created to deliver change. The name of Comrade Ahsan Rashid (Late) stands out, as he was the Chou-en Lai of the movement. His efforts of converting the party into an institution should not go waste. Party think tanks generated implementable policies after thorough analysis and debate by experts. There were full time Secretary Generals and Provincial Presidents together with a Shadow Cabinet consisting of ablest minds in the country. The party had a culture of giving not taking. It is time to restore the original structure and game plan for a Phoenix like solo flight from the ashes of bad experience. These old players hijacked the party after the October 2011 grand show of party strength based on its solo flight. It is all about the flight of ‘Shaheen’ and ‘Phoenix’ while getting rid of the political vultures (Kargas) who cannot fly high.