Imran Khan certainly has a lot to say about water pots. Yes, I’m talking about those ever useful lotas that we like to use in this part of the world. But Mr. Khan certainly isn’t talking about all the people who have recently joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). He’s talking about the people who left his party and went the other way. After all, people join PTI for Imran Khan’s vision. They go to other political parties because they are morally deficient and lack basic human decency. But what exactly is Mr. Khan’s melodic vision that is suddenly attracting all these famous parliamentarians to his side? These days, his vision is simple: defeat the Pakistan Muslim League — Noon (PML-N.) The much publicised 11-point agenda has fallen by the way side. The agenda now, is all about Mr. Sharif and his cohorts. And how exactly does he plan to achieve this? He could follow the democratic way where a political party lays out its vision and tries to convince the electorate that this is the best way forward for the country. Like-minded individuals are attracted to the vision rather than to the individual candidates. It’s what our old friend, Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto did in the 1970 election when people voted for “Roti, Kapra, Makaan” and not individual candidates. To a certain extent, Mr Khan did something similar in the 2013 elections when unknown candidates like Murad Saeed and Ali Mohammad Khan won seats in the NA because of Mr Khan’s narrative for change. Or Mr. Khan could use the traditional Pakistani siasi way where a political party tries to win an election at any cost, even if it means sacrificing some (or all) of its ideals along the way. Case in point, Mr. Nawaz Sharif, Mr Asif Zardari, and Mr. Altaf Hussain in 2013, 2008, and pretty much every other election they’ve ever contested. So, what will Mr. Khan do for the 2018 elections? He’ll choose the siasi way, of course. PML-N must be defeated at any cost. That’s the vision. That’s the plan. Five years ago, I would’ve been surprised to hear that. After all, five years ago, Mr. Khan promised change. And for a simple Pakistani like myself, I thought that change meant a complete overhaul of the current political system: no more rigging, no more electable candidates, no more lies, no more corruption, no more hypocrisy. I liked Mr. Khan’s vision. He seemed honest. His team seemed competent. I wanted to vote for Imran Khan because his vision made sense to me. New faces, more accountability, and finally a PM who would be able to speak with foreign dignitaries without the help of chits, (I’m looking at you, Mr. Sharif). But this is a different Imran Khan than the one we knew five years ago. This is siasi Khan and he wants to make a new house using the same old, termite-infested wood; a new Pakistan with expired ingredients. I guess Imran Khan has finally become a politician. The legendary cricketer, philanthropist, and social worker is now a siasatdan that even Machiavelli would be proud of. This is a different Imran Khan from the one we knew five years ago. This is siasi Khan and he wants to make a new house using the same old, termite-infested wood; a new Pakistan with expired ingredients. I guess Imran Khan has finally become a politician. The legendary cricketer, philanthropist, and social worker is now a siasatdan that even Machiavelli would be proud of So hooray for Pakistan. Or maybe it’s a bit sad. Either way, the transformation is complete. Fans of the movie, Star Wars, will lament that Mr. Khan has joined the Dark Side much like the naïve Anakin Skywalker did in Episode 3. Or maybe Shakespeare’s Hamlet bears resemblance too. But here we are in 2018 with naya Imran Khan and his nayee vision. And how will new Imran Khan’s new vision be implemented, you ask? That part includes making seat adjustments with General Musharraf’s PML-Q and it includes shunning decade old loyalists in favour of so-called “electable” candidates that have only been in Mr. Khan’s PTI for a few months. So what, if most of the newcomers are tainted with allegations of severe corruption and have NAB cases filed against them? So what, if these newcomers were state and federal ministers in the previous PML-N government and bashed Mr. Khan for fun? So what, if a lot of them are opportunists riding the next wave to power? The new and improved Imran Khan has Pope-like powers. He can offer forgiveness. But what about the relatively older candidates in PTI, the ones that joined a few years ago? They’re pretty clean, right? Aleem Khan’s NAB references are yet to be proven. The fact that the 3 housing societies he’s developed in Lahore are all considered illegal by the LDA and the one he’s currently marketing in Islamabad is also on disputed land means nothing. Innocent until proven guilty. That’s how it works, (for PTI members at least). So it doesn’t apply to Mr. Sharif and Mr Zardari. Oh no, no, no. Everyone knows those two are corrupt. They don’t need due process. This whole NAB trial of Mr. Sharif is a tremendous waste of resources. Just throw him in jail already. If Mr. Khan says someone is corrupt, that’s all I need to hear. Imagine how swift NAB trials would be if only Mr. Khan told the judges who is corrupt and who isn’t. Similarly, Jahangir Tareen’s disqualification by the Supreme Court for being dishonest and hiding his assets is different to that of Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification. Why? Because Mr. Tareen is associated with Mr. Khan. And the new Imran Khan is like Harpic; he cleans everything he touches. But hold your horses, Mr. Khan might actually have a point there. Mr. Sharif was Prime Minister of Pakistan and Mr. Khan has told us numerous times that being dishonest whilst in power is different to being dishonest otherwise. It doesn’t matter if you’ve illegally acquired hundreds of acres of land in Islamabad’s Green Zone or have offshore companies. (Hello Aleem Khan!). It’s only wrong if did it whilst being an elected leader. So go on kiddos, loot and pillage to your heart’s content… just don’t do it while you’re in power. Or join PTI right after you do it. If PML-N builds a metro, it’s a Jangla Bus and a gimmick that’s against the nation’s interest. That money would have been better spent on schools and clean water. But if Imran Khan builds a metro it’s the best thing to happen to Pakistan. After all, Mr. Khan’s metro bus project was cheaper wasn’t it? “Was” being the key word there because the cost of Peshawar’s metro bus system has skyrocketed from an initial US$390 million to US530 million, making it the most expensive metro bus project in Pakistan’s history. Compare that to the Islamabad metro US$260 million and the Lahore metro US$430 million and you get the idea. But that’s just part of Mr. Khan’s charm. Everything he does is bigger and better. Eat that, PML-N, PTI has the most expensive metro in Pakistan! So, here we are less than a month away from the 2018 elections. Being the savvy leader, Mr. Khan has analysed the political landscape and decided that his vision is not enough to sway voters. He needs electables. He needs seat adjustments. He needs judicial disqualifications. He needs NAB to be focused on the PML-N. He needs generous benefactors. He needs expensive trips to Saudi Arabia. He needs bulletproof cars and helicopters. He needs his flunkies to be taken off exit control lists. He needs the third umpire. Basically, the new and improved Imran Khan needs all the toys Mr Sharif and Mr Zardari have been playing with for all these years. His vision is not enough. The writer is a freelance columnist Published in Daily Times, July 10th 2018.