Any corporate leader will tell you that diversity in a leadership team and across any organisation is vital for it to succeed, and a political party is no different. I predict that Imran understands this, whether thoughtfully or instinctively (and his leadership instinct is phenomenal, as is his ability to trust his gut and back himself), and he will ultimately succeed in putting together a great mix of individuals, from diverse backgrounds and with diverse ideas, that will ultimately form his candidate pool. Common sense will tell you that if he chooses only from the group of conventional politicians, Imran will lose credibility, and if he chooses only new candidates, with no experience of constituency politics whatsoever, he will damage his chances of winning any seats. And in the end, it is common sense that will prevail and there will be a good mix of the old and the new who finally file their nomination papers to represent PTI and the Pakistani public.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Imran is unable to put together an appropriate mix and ends up relying on career politicians, who are attracted to him because of his popularity instead of his policies (and there will be many like that, who will be contacting him even as I write this), and who have vested local interests closer to their hearts. Even in that situation, we will be no worse off than we would be with any other party. In fact, we would at least have some assurance that Imran will: (a) do some due-diligence to ensure that they are relatively clean and don’t have a history of overt corruption; and (b) build a core leadership team made of passionate, honest, competent and patriotic individuals, which will ultimately set the direction for the party and for the nation. Oh, and another thing… we also know that neither Zardari nor Sharif, neither Hussain nor Chaudhry, will do anything other than what they have always done in the past: deceive, betray and let us down.