From Mandela to Khan: Extracting Peace in the face of Adversity

Imran Khan with Nelson MandelaWith all the condolences messages being sent hailing Nelson Mandela as a symbol for Peace. What people forget is this same “liberated world” used to call Nelson Mandela – TERRORIST MANDELA. All because he fought for peace and worked to end  Apartheid rule in South Africa.

The struggle to resolve any conflict through a peace is a long drawn battle. It does not end with just the signing of the peace accord – it needs to slowly change peoples sentiments and may take years, if not decades. The apartheid ended in ~1990, but ironically Mandela remained on the Terrorist watch list till 2008

SOWETAN: In 2008 just before his 90th birthday, the United States gave Nelson Mandela a special present, striking him from a decades-old terror watch list and ending what US officials called “a rather embarrassing matter.” In past years, US officials have beaten a path to his door in his family village hoping some of his almost saint-like aura would rub off on them. On Thursday, when Mandela died at age 95, President Barack Obama hailed him as belonging “to the ages”

Yet decades ago many in America did not share in the adulation of Mandela and his African National Congress, which had been billed a terrorist organization by both South Africa and the United States. His severest right-wing critics painted him as an unrepentant terrorist and a communist sympathizer.

I do not like to draw correlations – but I see a similar situation in Pakistan – most Pakistanis want peace, but at the same time there is a lobby that castigates against any attempt to further the peace process – their justifications, in part, are understandable – they kill us, so we must kill them – but that itself is a vengeance driven mindset which is bound to lead to more blood shed and the loss of even more innocent lives

At the same time I see a leader in Imran Khan who continues his commitment towards Peace in Pakistan – despite all the thrashing handed to him in the media and by his political opponents, day-in & day-out.  Any other  leader would have succumbed to the constant assault and back tracked, but Imran Khan remains committed to his vision for a prosperous Pakistan, and the dream is an exercise in futility, without Peace

Surprisingly as similar to Mandela being labelled by his right-wingers as Terrorist Mandela, Khan is similarly painted as Taliban Khan mostly by his opponents, predominantly settled on the left-wing.  Such resistance, is in my opinion, merely because driven by his opponents who see these “peace talks” attempts to disrupt their own established control on Pakistan.  The name calling will never stop true genuine leaders, in fact, it is in the face of such adversity that actually drives them harder to continue their struggle for whats best for their country – Peace

Salute to Nelson Mandela for showing the world that Peace is an entity that is worth fighting for, Salute to Nelson Mandela for picking up South Africa from the ashes to show that this nation can rise up from the oppressive Apartheid to transform into a dynamic progressive country that it is today.

Let us take lessons from a visionary leader like Nelson Mandela, and Let us do something similar for Pakistan .. Peace is definitely possible in Pakistan 



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9 responses to “From Mandela to Khan: Extracting Peace in the face of Adversity”

  1. Samson Simon Sharaf Avatar
    Samson Simon Sharaf

    Good. Wait for my OPED in Nation tomorrow

  2. @mxcaltrz Avatar

    Well said, Awab (Y)

  3. Naima Alvi Bawany Avatar

    Very true!!! Hope we can learn from history and move forward.

  4. Fraz Avatar

    Very simplistic analogy. To complicate things, would Mandela have gone on air on the eve of elections and adamantly declared that he supported the legalized persecution of Ahmedis through the 2nd Amendment? Please don't perpetuate this narrative of peace-talking Khan as being equivalent to peace-loving Mandela. Khan's peace-loving antics only go so long as it pleases the populist rabble. IK has time and again shied away from taking any egalitarian stance if it antagonizes the fascist majority. I still support Khan and wish the best for PTI – but consider it demeaning to Mandela to see IK being compared to Mandela. Mandela took the hardest decision there was and made peace with those who dehumanized him and people of his ethnicity. Khan has made it very clear he will never take away the most vile amendment out of the Pakistan constitution, and whatsmore made it clear he wholeheartedly supports it. This is the only comparison you should be making but conveniently will not be.

  5. Usman Masood Avatar
    Usman Masood

    Ahmadis being declared a minority with full rights is persecution?
    Who am I to declare someone Muslim or not, however when you go about claiming someone named Mirza is a messiah, I'm sorry, but you aren't a Muslim.

    Ahmadis should be treated like any other Pakistani. If any Govt run institution has treated them unfairly, the courts should ensure justice to them.

    The similarity is how Mandela does not opt for bloodshed and war. And neither does Imran Khan. Bother are interested in forgiving the oppressors. To teach them a lesson in humanity and to perhaps educate and rehabilitate them.

  6. ann Avatar

    as someone already said, this is a rather simplistic approach ..
    Mendela was something IK has to prove himself to be. he isnt there yet but he sure shares the same vision.
    as for the ahmedi issue – pti didnt put it there in the constitution and if u do a public poll in pakistan you will find that alot of ppl do believe that ahmedis are not muslims howvever its for Allah to decide – (just like the matter of who is shaheed and who is not )
    i wouldVE agreeD with u IF IK HAD said that ahmedis were some kind of second grade citizens who should be treated like crap and prohibited from practicing their version of islam.
    but thats not the case.

    what needs to be learnt from mandela is his open heartedness and policy of non venegence and the convincing way he propagated his message of love and peace.

    however i do feel divides on racial grounds can be eliminated but divides on religious grounds are a whole different story and a much more sensitive issue.

  7. Guest Avatar

    Please dont make me throw up by comparing IK to Mandela. Mandela would never pamper to the right wing extremist or sit by quietly as the minorities get massacred.

  8. Khan Avatar

    lol. Yeah IK believes peace.

    That's why his eyes light up when talking about Mula Omar's Jihad.

    He is against violence only if committed by the Pakistani state; will roll out a long list of justifications for Taliban's violence though.

    An idea: How about a correlation with the Jumat-e-Islami ? I am sure the results would be astounding, and know what, the JI is non-violent too 😉

  9. Dr Jawwad Khan Avatar
    Dr Jawwad Khan

    Your sarcastic remarks about JI proves that you need a therapist for JI Phobia..