Muhammad Omar Iftikhar
Chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was leading the sit-in in Islamabad in
2015, he was also envisioning himself as the next Prime Minister of Pakistan.
His party members and supporters from across the country were also expecting
him to win the 2018 general elections. Once Imran Khan took oath as the 22nd
Prime Minister of Pakistan, he promised to take Pakistan into a new direction and
emphasized on the term ‘Naya Pakistan’ (New Pakistan) which he coined during
the days leading to the 2018 elections. He opined that people from the world
will come to Pakistan for jobs and that the country will become a model for the
past nine months, Imran Khan’s pledges have either become false promises or his
statements have been termed as invalid. Moreover, Imran Khan’s assurance of
never to take financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
was also sent down the drain when his government received a $6 billion relief
fund from the IMF.
took command of Pakistan at a time when the country was going through its
absolute worst socio-economic period. This, however, has been a result of the
former government’s policies and strategies and with a number of military rules
that hampered the true growth of democracy. And if Imran Khan had taken the
trust of the people of Pakistan by making all those promises during the
post-election campaigns ahead of the 2018 elections, it is now time he started
delivering them. What Imran Khan did was take his followers and the country at
large towards a state of illusion where every field was green, the sky was blue
and everyone was in bliss. This bubble of illusion burst and during the last
nine months, the financial conditions have worsened at an alarming rate.
Khan’s case is similar to that of US President Donald Trump. Both came to power
without any experience of handling political offices and therefore do not have
the appropriate acumen to lead the country. Imran Khan, however, delivers
speeches backed by facts and figures but a country does not move forward on
mere speeches but on actions that bring positive results affecting the sectors
of a country. Being a populist leader most of Imran Khan’s supporters follow
him because of his one-time action of winning the Cricket World Cup in 1992.
Politics is not and can never be like cricket. Politics demands maturity,
seriousness and dedication to think, act and deliver. However, credit must be
given to Imran Khan for his philanthropic activities and for not involving
himself in corruption. He did achieve a superstar status both in cricket and in
politics, which speaks volumes of his die-hard and often times cult-following.
He is charming and elegant, he talks sense and he is a people’s man. Yet, the
pledge that he has taken to bring Pakistan out of its many predicaments is
nothing short of an impossible task.
election as the premier, the country wondered if he would become the Prime
Minister. Now that he is, they wonder if he can effectively lead the country.
Perhaps Imran Khan can lead Pakistan. However, does he possess his
predecessors’ shrewdness and cleverness, sharpness and acuity, perspicacity and
sagacity? While his predecessors saw and capitalized on loopholes and twisted
the rules to get the nasty work done that tarnished the country’s
socio-economic, political and financial state-of-affairs, Imran Khan too needs
to develop such traits to undo what has been done.
inflation and petrol prices have reached sky high, the lower-middle class has
not much to do but to survive and if the same trend continues, the middle class
would also need to rethink their personal budgets and enter into the survival
mode. In May 2019, Imran Khan said that the next two months will be difficult
and assured that the economic conditions will improve and the world will cite
our example. I humbly beg to differ. We, as a nation, have been brought into
this mess because we elected an inexperienced yet an honest man as the Prime
Minister who is fond of taking U-turns and will need one complete term in
office just to pinpoint the challenges that must be addressed so that the
repair work can begin. Until then, hope is our only friend and the 2019-2020
budget will be nothing short of another economic nightmare for the masses.
Muhammad Omar Iftikhar is an independent
researcher, author and columnist