POLITICAL ISLAM AND POPULISM IN PAKISTAN’S POLITICS: A STUDY OF PAKISTAN TAHREEK-I-INSAF’S LEADERSHIP
The term "political Islam," is being taken as political idiom rather than as a religious or theological construct to bring people into the fold of moral obligation to achieve political objectives. At the most basic level, adherents of political Islam believe that "Islam as a body of faith has something important to say about how politics and society should be ordered.” The challenge of political Islam as part of the other factors to the state of Pakistan is a formidable in a sense when state is struggling hard to poise itself as moderate entity in the age of modernity. Pakistan’s polity is riddled with ethnic, linguistic, and severe sectarian differences that has posed persistent challenges to the state and its fundamental national identity. This enigma is persistent in the polity of Pakistan and parallel to it acceptance of Islam as raison d,etre of the state confounded the situation. So the kind of political Islam, raised in Pakistan, has been used by political ideologues off and on to create a space for their influence. Leadership of PTI in its period of three years and nine months was not exceptional in using the Islam as political idiom to parry the burgeoning pressure of economy and on the other hand charisma of populism was used to put pressure on political opponents to be accepted as justified leadership with unblemished character. The construct of political Islam was irreconcilable to modern democratic values but was used as force of counter-cultural hegemony before partition of subcontinent. The ideological determination of the party was to unite the divergent elements on the basis of new morality and new type of man having populist appeal.