Tuesday, October 9, 2018


October 9, 2018

By Saeed Qureshi

As the scenario both political and administrative in Pakistan is unfolding, it is becoming evident that the PTI dispensation is getting paralyzed and directionless. There seems to be a mayhem of diverse challenges and intricate and cumbersome issues that are staring right in the face of the new establishment under the inimitable yet rabble-rouser; Imran Khan as the Prime Minister.

The people of Pakistan, on the whole, had pinned enormous hopes and expectations in PTI’s election victory for a gubernatorial revolution to make Pakistan a politically and economically robust country.  Besides, it was believed that Pakistan would earn a renewed dignified status and image in the comity of nations and the world around.

These hopes and aspirations have yet to see the light of the day. The fiscal and economic mayhem persists with cost of living and commodities skyrocketing by the day. The loans that the incumbent government aimed at procuring from the foreign lenders have fallen flat because of the harsh and unacceptable conditions attached. The IMF that the PTI leadership detested is now being approached to lend money for buoying up the sinking economy of a politically fractured Pakistan.

With inane slogan of harnessing the runaway economy of Pakistan and exhibiting the urge of beefing up the shortfall of revenue by selling a few buffaloes, a fleet of luxury cars and telling the people to be patient with the heightening cost of living is simply agonizing and speaks for the failure of the recently installed revolutionary government of PTI.

The PTI has been treating the other political outfits with disdain and contempt as evidenced during the campaigning and sloganeering of the 2018 General Elections and even thereafter. Imran Khan and PTI were looked upon by the expectant people to be Messiah endowed with magic and miracles to turn Pakistan into a politically and institutionally vibrant state with hallmarks of honesty and rule of law and Economic uplift. Well the intention to straighten the bureaucracy was sincere and much welcomed. But to replace most of the bureaucratic order replete with thieves and dacoits with angels and morally upright individuals is still to happen. In my reckoning the replacement of corrupt and discredited bureaucracy and officialdom with legions of absolutely honest righteous individuals is asking for the moon.

The latest spree of dismissal and sacking of a horde of the high and low bureaucrats is causing more dents in the smooth working of the ministries and departments and to implement PTI’s far reaching and revolutionary agenda. The pick and choose dismissals as well hiring of the bureaucrats and senior government officials is based upon the criteria as to who was loyal to the PMNL or PTI. Several high-ranking officials and senior bureaucrats have been sent home not because they were dishonest or incompetent but they were perceived to be loyal to the former political set up. The Election Commission of Pakistan has reversed the decision of sacking of at one senior bureaucrat.

The promise of breaking the begging bowl has been set aside by the PTI.  The freshly incumbent government has decided, after much dithering, to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for $8 to 10 billion loan to overcome the acute financial deficits and improve Pakistan’s fiscal credibility at the international level.

On the domestic front, I feel that the propensity of antagonizing and degrading the rival parties and the politicians especially the Sharif family, should be called off.  Instead Prime Minister Imran Khan should unfurl a revolutionary yet workable agenda for rebuilding a great Pakistan. This agenda should aim at eliminating poverty degradations, bribery and mal-functioning of the institutions and uplifting the administrative network. The consent and cooperation of the opposition parties should be sought before launching it in order to avoid political tussle and brinkmanship.

With a meagre coterie of the honest and efficient workers, with lofty slogans of creating a corruption-free Pakistan and streamlining the governance, seem to be nullified by the way the situation is emerging. The PTI had claimed that Pakistan would be turned into a debt free country and that no loans would be taken from the IMF. That claim has been now thrown to the winds although it is the only yet temporary way to buoy up Pakistan’s fragile economy.

My hunch is that by prosecuting and imprisoning the rival politicians and humiliating them wouldn’t be fruitful for the incumbent government. Such an exercise and policy are counterproductive and wastage of time on a non-issue. The real issue is to refurbish the institutional framework and embark upon streamlining the judicial, governmental and institutional network, promotion of democratic culture and taking along the opposition parties to achieve these far-reaching goals. By calling Zardari, Nawaz Sharif and other political stalwarts as scoundrels and forcing them to gorge out the money sent abroad might take years and by that time the PTI tenure in government would be over. While these efforts and mission can continue, the PTI government should generate income by increasing the domestic production, enhancing the agricultural sectors’ output and setting up more industries.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and his garrulous and warrior Information minister Fawad Ahmed Chaudhry should learn to keep their tempers down and shake hands and consult with their political contenders. They should stop referring their cases to the courts and transferring or removing the non-compliant or rival government officials and appoint their cohorts and supporters in their posts. Such pursuits finally prove to be counterproductive as well.

With a positive and reconciliatory approach and outlook towards all the political parties and politicians, the country can be served positively and in a much better manner. Otherwise, when the PTI government is out after the end of its tenure, its leaders would be exposed to the same rancorous treatment with their cases referred to the NAB and Accountability courts and arrested as happening currently. It would be the same vicious policy of giving hard time to the political adversaries.

Let PTI buoy up the economy by increasing exports, easing and streamlining the imports and exports procedures, building educational institutions, making the justice system honest and economically less burdensome for the common people. The government should create jobs, build more hospitals. Its leaders should focus on enhancing the industrial and agricultural output building more roads, highways and refining and modernizing the civic system. These tasks ought to be the priorities of the PTI government and Prime Minister Imran Khan. The PTI should shun the underhand tactics to browbeat the political opponents. On the contrary, it should prove its worth by results and reforming Pakistan and bringing it at par or near to the developed countries. This ought to be the priorities with it.

If Pakistan becomes economically strong and its civic, judicial, courts and educational systems at par or near, per say, to the Scandinavian countries, the people would be enormously relieved and delighted. Thus, the country would be refined and political system well stabilized. Just by way of suggestion, if the cities, counties and the local government systems as being run in the United States, are even marginally established in Pakistan, our people and country would enter into a new era of a welfare, civically modern state and clean society.


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