The relationship between a smaller and a larger neighbourly state, as also between a weaker and stronger one, is often tricky on both sides. Though not always, it requires greater dexterity on the smaller protagonist. This is because more “power” tends to reside with the larger, which is also usually the stronger partner.
Shakespeare had once observed, through his character Marcellus addressing Horatio in the drama Hamlet, that there was something rotten in the State of Denmark. Thereafter, he sought to analyse those remarks by weaving an incredibly complex scenario that focussed on the woefully morbid persona of his brooding and indecisive hero, Prince Hamlet. Were the English bard to return to the present times and be asked on his view as to what ails contemporary Pakistan, he would perhaps respond, with incontrovertible logic and certitude, that it is the economy. Prime Minister-elect Imran Khan would agree. Mr Khan would also conclude that the indecisiveness of the young Dane would be a luxury that he could ill afford.
A fundamental law of physics, also applicable to the social sciences, is that everything in nature is in a state of flux. The sage Heraclitus had said we never step into the same river twice. The flow of the river of life today has remarkably gained a momentum that is torrential. It gushes ahead washing away old values, norms, and the societal architecture that human mind and endeavour had conceived and created over a long period of time. As it leads us into the digital post-modern era dominated by big data, cloud-computing, and artificial intelligence, it also impacts on the politics, economics and sociology of how we organise our lives.
As one heads towards the elections in Pakistan on July 25, the main question in concerned minds is whether Imran Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), is going to be Pakistan's next prime minister. Mr Khan has much going for him. He is a refreshingly fresh face in high political office untainted by corruption with rivals whose reputations stand in stark contrast. He is the blue-eyed boy of Pakistan's “angels”—also known as the military establishment—who see themselves as the “mirror image” of the Pakistani society with scant respect for civilian political leaders drawn from feudal and business backgrounds, most of whom they accuse of having exploited the people. And finally, for a nation that thirsts for glory that has generally eluded it, Mr Khan is someone who earned huge admiration by winning for his people the World Cup in cricket, the holy grail of recognition in South Asia. Undeniably, Mr Khan has also toiled long and hard for victory at the polls. Is he going to get it? The question merits analysis.