PTI Government May Not Survive for Five Years
By Saeed Qureshi
If Pakistan Tehrik Insaf (PTI) does not fulfil it pledges and agenda of reforms, it may have to leave the power for three reasons. First, the opposition parties might launch a nationwide agitation for the ouster of the PTI from power echelons. Secondly, there could be turning of tables within the National Assembly if the majority of PTI is overtaken by the other political parties. Such a possibility exists by viewing the latest overtures of the two main political parties PPP and PMNL to come together. It could as well be joined by Maulana Fazalur-Rehman, the President of the Religious party, “Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam”. The third possibility is the masses’ agitation if PTI doesn’t stand by its commitments of changing Pakistan into a modern welfare state, with hallmarks of honesty and fair play.
Imran Khan the 22nd elected Prime Minister of Pakistan with an overwhelming mandate offers a great hope for a prosperous and modern Pakistan. He wants to erect and build a new Pakistan on the pattern of the State of Medina that the Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad founded after migrating from Mecca to Madina in 622 A.D., along with his closest companion and the first Caliph Hazrat Abu Bakr, who later also had the honor of being his father-in-law.
On August 19, in his inaugural victory speech, he spelled out his vision and heavily promising mandate to restructure Pakistan and bring it in the comity of developed nations and earn international support, respect and dignity for Pakistan. It would be fruitful for the people of Pakistan to go through his charter of reforms and ponder how groundbreaking and revolutionary these are.
His agenda for a new Pakistan consists mainly 27 programs or reforms that are essentially far-reaching and innovative. Even if a part of this agenda is implemented, a new economically prosperous, truly democratic and stable Pakistan is believed to emerge that may earn respect in the comity of nations and have peaceful and friendly relations with neighbors mainly India, Iran and Afghanistan.
While Prime Minister Imran’s mission and mandate are noble and essential for the uplift of Pakistan, one may wonder as to how, in a short span of five years, he would be able to fashion Pakistan on the pattern of the Islamic State of Medina or Khilafat-e-Rashida.
The example of Saudi Arabia is not relevant as it is a monarchy while Pakistan is a democratic country where unlike Saudi tribal establishment, the will and mandate of the people decide about the leadership. Here in Pakistan, the government like Saudi Arabia cannot hang any one upside down till the usurpers cough out the stolen money. In Pakistan, the decision making is carried out with the will and support of the elected representatives, judiciary and the people of Pakistan. As such, hanging upside down of countless people is simply impossible and rather a barbaric tribal custom.
As such Information Minister, Fawad Hussain is living with a mindset which doesn’t go along with the political and social culture of Pakistan and its society and for that matter any civilized society. While speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, Fawad Hussain, the robust, emotional, youthful, and hawkish Information Minister of the PTI government lashed out at the opposition members and blatantly castigated some of the opposition members as the dacoits. Loudly, and an in degrading tone, he accused the opposition leaders most notably Asif Ali Zardari and Mian Nawaz Sharif for looting the national wealth and depositing that money in the foreign banks.
By calling them swindlers, he suggested the most condign punishment of public hangings to these people who are charged with decamping with the national wealth of Pakistan and put that money in foreign banks. He informed the august house that he would recommend to the prime minister Imran Khan to follow the Saudi example by nabbing these corrupt looters and thugs to be hanged upside down until they promise to bring back the stolen national wealth.
The overall reaction to Information Minister’s speech from the prominent leaders of the main political parties namely PPP and PMNL was stunning, Khurshid Shah, the National Assembly member from the PPP, rebutted the charges of the Fawad Chaudhry in the strongest possible words. He called upon Fawad Chaudhry to apologize and take back his sleazy words and shady allegations uttered on the floor of the National Assembly against fellow politicians.
At the same time, the house members from PPP and PMNL staged a walkout in protest against the sleazy language and pile of allegations hulred by Fawad Chaudhry who has emerged a diehard hawk on behalf of PTI. He is known for excelling in the distasteful art of bitter and hard-hitting tongue lashing against the opponents of PTI and Imran Khan. Apart from Fawad Chaudhry, the PTI chairman and newly elected prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan too has a propensity and attitude of being hawkish and for degrading and demeaning utterances against the political opponents. His poignant opposition and rivalry are aimed at PMLN president Mian Nawaz Sharif, followed by the stalwarts of the PPP including Asif Ali Zardari and Maulana Fazlur Rehman: a noted religious yet political leader of Pakistan.
If that questionable and irrational statement has been given for the peoples’ consumption then it is tantamount to outright hoodwinking, chicanery and dishonesty. If not then it ought to be withdrawn and a public apology should be tendered by the youthful yet goofy Information Minister.
As a matter of fact, the PTI won the 2018 general elections on the basis of a full-blown campaigning of castigation and drumming up the colossal corruption of his predecessors with PMNL and his family in the lead. This blame game should have discontinued after the elections. Instead the PTI, its prime minister and other leaders should have unfurled their construction agenda and launching of the pile of the reforms to build a new Pakistan which they have been pledging since the formation of PTI.
Now when they have the political power and clout, they should focus on launching their grandiose program of rebuilding a new developed, progressive economically strong Pakistan, besides, rebuilding national institutions, creating an enlightened and prosperous society. After attaining power and forming the government, the time for hurling accusations on the political opponents and continuation of blame game is over. On the contrary they should invite other politicians to join the PTI in the monumental task of building a new prosperous Pakistan and creating an enlightened society, culture and traditions.
Yet as a matter of fact, the grandiose agenda that PTI professed during the elections would take a long time in turning Pakistan from a poor, backward and mismanaged country to a developed nation. Imran Khan is not a juggler nor a magician to bring about radical changes and transformation in a short tenure of five years. Pakistan is plagued with a plethora of grave diversity of problems most notably poverty, degradation of life sectarianism, religious bigotry, mismanagement of institutions, financial corruption and so on. It cannot be brought in the fold of the developed nations merely by slogans and continuation of blaming the predecessors. Now is the time to move ahead and produce results by implementing the agenda that PTI has been dishing out all these years as the political contender.
By selling scores of the vehicles and buffaloes being used in the prime minister’s house by his predecessor Nawaz Sharif is a flimsy and funny gesture. It is patently ridiculous and shouldn’t be drummed up as a monumental breakthrough that would move Pakistan towards a moral and fiscal zenith.
As earlier stated, Pakistan is beset with a host of most fundamental and serious problems. As such, the superficial and flimsy announcements and measures can be laughed at but cannot be taken as milestones for putting Pakistan on the road to progress, prosperity, economic uplift, cultural openness, religious freedom and renovating nation building institutions.
Also, every homeless Pakistani citizen cannot be provided a house and clean water for every household. Absolute elimination of corruption and moral crimes such as kidnappings, illicit sex, degrading of womenfolk and children and building health institutes and schools and educational institutions allover Pakistan and cleaning of the government departments of corruption and the mismanagement in five years is simply a dream that might not come true.
Even if these commendable tasks and laudable goals are to be initiated, the support and cooperation of other political parties and national institutions would be indispensable. The impression that Imran Kahn is dynamic and an honest person is not helpful nor enough for the nation building and putting bedeviled Pakistan onto a truly democratic course, militarily robustness, economic prosperity and so one.
As a matter of fact, there is such a huge agenda and countless pledges and commitment by the newly installed government of PTI with Imran Khan as the prime minister, that it looks improbable that in a short period of five years Pakistan would join the fold of developed and advanced nations. It is an unrealistic notion that it would turn into a garden of bliss and happiness. It is indeed, a long-drawn process and if PTI doesn’t return to the power, their achievements and initiatives might be nullified by the new government. It might not be possible, for instance to resolve all the contentious issues with India and other countries during the tenure of PTI. Who knows if PTI would stay in the saddle of power for five years or leave the throne for other political party. The PTI and its leaders may receive the same venomous propaganda blitz that it heaped on the other political opponents all this time. However, a beginning can be made and a course can be set out towards a better future for Pakistan as well as its citizens.
The taste of the pudding is in its eating. If PTI fails in realizing its dream, plans and pledges of rebuilding a prosperous, stable and ecumenically viable and strong Pakistan, there is going to be a mayhem in Pakistan. If PTI somehow fails to deliver on its pledges, then the opposition political parties might bring the people in the streets and whip up agitational protest against the incompetence of the PTI. It would a sort of return compliment of what PTI has been doing against the PMNS establishment for a long period of time. That bizarre situation might tempt or force the army to step in and there could be another spell of military rule imposed on Pakistan. Thus, Pakistan would be back to square one.
The writer is a senior journalist, former editor of Diplomatic Times and a former diplomat.
This and other articles by the writer can also be read at his blog www.uprightopinion.com