The courtesy call of Mian Nawaz Sharif on
Imran Khan and to offer him playing friendly match raises the possibility that
Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) could become
coalition partners in the federal government. These seem to be more natural allies.
Such a coalition can also be formed with the runner-up party PPP that won 31
National Assembly seats. Nevertheless, keeping in view the abysmal and accusations-ridden
track record of the PPP, Nawaz Sharif may not consider this option. The PMLN by
itself is in a position to form a government independently.
Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan both are centrist
nationalists and have profound passion to serve the country in right earnest. Both
are deeply aware of the rot and bad governance that has caved into the
foundations of Pakistan.
The chronic corruption that was unworthy hallmark of
the last PPP government should be the first priority for the new government to
bridle. It ought to be probed that how such a large scale swindling was taking
place to rob the national wealth.
Mian Nawaz Sharif is a seasoned leader who has
learnt a lot by remaining for years in obscurity and aloofness. He must be
extremely mindful of his temperamental shortcomings and arrogance of power that
were the fundamental catalysts for his downfall.
This should be his last chance
to rebuild a debilitated and mauled Pakistan by making it a model modern
country with a vibrant civil society. He should be tolerant towards criticism
from his own party cadres and outside either from the media or the political
Imran Khan who not long ago looked flamboyant
and temperamental is new Imran Khan and is talking a lot of sense. He looks
sober, prudent and cool while expressing or explaining his point of view. It is
a reincarnated and rather reinvigorated Mr. Khan who has made giant strides in
the realm of politics in Pakistan.
As a journalist I had been holding a specific
perception of Mr. Khan ever since he made his debut in politics, that he is a
non-starter. He has been fretting, fuming, and flexing his body muscles and
then disappearing with lightening speed from the political scene of Pakistan.
He has been aggressive and petulant.
For many years, his party PTI has been a one
man show. He was docile and energetic at the same time. During his political
journey of fits and starts, he has been changing his opinions and recipes about
fixing Pakistan’s perennial and multitudinous problems.
But, of late, he has come of age. He spells
out his programs for changing the nauseating status quo in Pakistan with
exceptional candor, absolute conviction and amazing poise. He is no more overly fuzzy or ambivalent
about grave issues and monumental challenges that one witnesses on the
unpredictable political chess-board of Pakistan. And incidentally he is in a
position to translate his ideals into concrete results as a coalition partner
He vehemently talks of changing the loathsome
status-quo which means shaking the society upside down not in the physical
sense but in cultural, economic and political connotations. And that is what
Pakistan needs squarely.
He is determined to launch a merciless blitz upon the
self-serving, greedy and exploitative, privileged
classes whose ugly face is manifest in the centuries old feudalism and the so
called abominable elitism or aristocracy. He aims at upholding the supremacy of
law, the writ of the state and the dignity for the denizens of Pakistan.
Mr. Khan stood by his pledge not to allow ant
one to contest elections from his party’s platform unless he or she declares
his assets and comes clean in matter of paying income or property taxes. If he
can succeed in forcing everyone in the county to declare assets without
exception, he can change the economic destiny of Pakistan.
Another redeeming feature and rather
fascinating aspect of PTI is the elections within the party. It is a worthy democratic
tradition that has been seldom practiced by any other mainstream political
party. It demonstrates that if a party can hold on to the democratic principles
within its own party, it would certainly enforce it on the countrywide level as
There is a plethora and huge pile-up of the emergent
and pressing issues for the new regime to address and move fast to bring the
derailed country back on tracks. The rampant lawlessness and killing sprees for
money or to settle mutual scores have to be put down with iron hand. Let the
harassed people be liberated from the blood-dripping clutches of assassins,
robbers, rogues extortionists and the ilk.
There should be a team of honest, daring,
strict and uncompromising checkers and inspectors in every public department to
enforce the codes, rules and regulations and ensure their compliance in letter
and spirit. Such a system would be a part of rule of law that is inevitable for
clean, efficient and good governance in Pakistan.
A paradigm shift is indispensable with regard
to our foreign policy and external commitments to figure out if these were
beneficial for the country or not. The refashioning of Pakistan’s foreign
policy with hallmarks of dignity, territorial integrity, independence as well
as self reliance in economy should be the cornerstones for both these leaders
in uplifting a fallen Pakistan.
friendly and harmonious relations with our neighboring countries should be central
in our foreign policy portfolio. The foreign relations with other countries
should not be allowed to impinge upon our sovereignty or to be baneful to our economy.
Pakistan should get out of the imbroglio of Afghanistan. It would be in the supreme
interest of Pakistan to withdraw the combatant army from the tribal regions.
The Baluchistan inferno with leaping flames of
breakaway movements must be doused through dialogue
with all the political
stakeholders in that troubled province. The inter-provincial harmony and unity
among the federating units must be built up for a stable Pakistan. For
devolution of power more provinces should be carved out of the existing four.
That can be a sure recipe to mitigate the internal friction and blame game
between the provinces.
The institutional reforms for efficiency or proper
functioning should be undertaken without loss of time. Far-reaching and radical
changes are inevitable in the income tax regime for obviating the slimmest
chances for the tax collecting staff or the tax payers to dodge or swindle the
The existing tax collection system in Pakistan needs to be thoroughly
overhauled and computerized for proper and correct record keeping as is being
done round the world. Secondly, it should be made simple and easy to follow.
The people should be encouraged to solicit help from the professional tax
specialists to prepare proper tax returns.
Those who falsify their assets and submit
wrong information should be heavily penalized both by fines and jail terms. The
assets that they would conceal should be confiscated by the government. Thus a
true and transparent picture would emerge and the national exchequer would be
filled to brims by way of income tax and property tax.
One of the principle revenue generating
sources for America’s federal administration, local governments and counties is
the property tax. There is no way that anyone can evade payment of property tax
for which the invoice or their bill is sent well in advance. The property and
income tax staff is always skeleton in counties here in America. In Pakistan
there are excessive and surplus tax inspectors who mostly remain in unholy
league with the tax payers.
If along with these momentous tax and property
reforms, the civic and municipal system is transformed into city and country
governments, Pakistan can have a real grass-root democratic system that would
ensure people’s participation in decision making from the lowest rung to the
With that if the independent school districts are created to be
run and administrated by cities or the counties, the schools and colleges in
Pakistan would never be starved of funds as a portion of each county and city’s
income would be allocated to the educational institutions.
The civic system in America is mostly run by
the cities and can be effectively replicated in Pakistan. The greatest outcome
of that change would be that cities would become clean and there will be order
in traffic and more roads would be correspondingly built at the city or county
level with the increase in traffic.
Then the people would get water round the
clock as each city would have plenty of funds to have water reservoirs and a
reliable water supply system, without reaching out to the central or the
provincial governments for help or to beseech the parliamentarians from their
areas to provide such facilities which they seldom do.
The department of land administration and
revenue merits emergent transformation. This is one department where bribe and
graft are the order of the day and exchange in broad day light like drawing
buckets out of water well.
There are touts that operate between the needy
citizens and the officials. The vacation of the land or house grabbed by mafia
or influential individuals is one of the most hazardous and impossible tasks in
countless instances unless a demanded price is paid to the rogue occupiers.
The existing land department must be
computerized for record and data saving systems and transfer of properties. The
obsolete legacies of the past, Patwari, Girdawar,
the Tehsildar, and other minions that
present a chain of corrupt command have got be replaced with a small section of
professional officials that we find in the United States, in West Europe or
even in China.
A separate cell needs to be created with utmost urgency to deal with the cases pertaining to the illegal occupation of properties . The owners with genuine documents should be restored
their grabbed properties and liberated from the powerful land mafias and fearsome
grabbers. Those so called land mafias that are behind forcible occupation of land
and properties either of government or of the private citizens must be dealt
Without further delay, a plan for creating a network of highways and motorways between major cities should be unraveled. The
funds that would come by the reformed revenue system and bolstering of industrial
sector should be channeled towards constructing these over- delayed yet most indispensable modes of traveling.
To overcome power shortage the abandoned power
projects should be completed as fast as possible. Construction of Kalabagh dam
needs to be started without further delay. There is a huge potential of
building small or big dams to overcome the chronic and swelling electric power
shortage in Pakistan.
Free and compulsory education in Pakistan up
to matriculation or senior schooling level is one of those vital decisions that
can raise the literacy level in Pakistan. All children until the age of
maturity or adulthood that is 16 years must go to school depending upon the age
They should get free lunches and the building must be built that no one
can enter at free will or encroach upon the internal class rooms. One can pick
up a model of a school from any developed country and build replica of that
gradually replacing or remodeling the existing ones.
No child should be seen alone in parks or in
restaurants serving as a waiter or in auto workshops as trainee mechanic. This
should be punishable by law. These young boys and girls should be getting at
least the technical education and not wasting time at work places before the
The roving teams should check the bazaars and
markets if adulterated products were being sold. Such surprise raids should
also be conducted on hospitals if spurious and outdated drugs were being used
or the patients overcharged or the staffs were absent or derelict in their
duties. This strict checking and accountability should be enforced both in the
public and private sectors.
codes of conduct and standards should be implemented and there should be no
exception or leniency for the government hospitals or private clinics to bypass
or infringe those codes and guidelines.
The reforms for rebuilding Pakistan cannot be
The tempo and continuance of overhauling Pakistan from every aspect
and dimension must be kept unabated. Perhaps this is one those rare occasions
when Pakistan can be resurrected on firm
and lasting footing foundations.
These are some of the hints that
could contribute towards the nation building through a paradigm change
for prosperity, economic uplift, stability, dignity of life,social revolution. Let our new leadership initiate a
journey towards a great destiny