Wednesday, June 19, 2019


March 28, 2019

By Saeed Qureshi

The incumbent prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan is demonstrating to be much better and more efficient and honest leader than a whole flock of politicians. One can conceive that such a head of the federal government and administration was direly needed. The coming time would unfold how substantially he has contributed towards a better, enlightened, corruption and crime-free Pakistan with institutional and departmental efficiency and role for turning Pakistan into a modern state of 19th century.

It would be certainly naive to expect of him to turn into an angel and to be immune and free of mistakes and pitfalls.  Yet, thus far, despite being a non-traditional and relatively new comer into the thorny arena of politics, he has excelled by taking remarkable and ground-breaking decisions and reforms that make Pakistan a better state with hallmarks of service to the people and streamlining the nation-building institutions, bureaucracy and the administrative network. Personally, he is undaunted and riveted on his charter of reformation in Pakistan and upgrading the lives of the masses and rooting out or diminishing the miseries and poverty of the people of Pakistan.  

The incumbent government of Pakistan Tehrik-Insaf (PTI) has taken three marvelous decisions that can be rated as commendable and far reaching. These three reforms or initiatives if you may call these are, elimination of the illegal, clumsy, unwanted and rather unlawful encroachments on the busy bazaars, lanes and footpaths in Pakistan. These encroachments in the form of houses, kiosks or makeshift shops are spread all over in Karachi, Lahore and every big city in Pakistan.

These makeshift selling cabins have been turned into permanent selling places for ages without any initiative by the local municipal authorities. In this illegal and unwanted occupation of the public places there has been tacit understanding and cooperation between the local bodies and municipalities, the main shoppers and the middlemen who act as go in between all these parties.

While patently these business cabins make the environment ugly, these are an irritant and crude hurdle in the way of smooth movements and flow of the pedestrians, shoppers and the vehicles.  These ugly and makeshift shops have been there since the creation of Pakistan and behind these are also the local political figures who not only seek cooperation and votes from these violators of the public places but share the booty that is given by the occupants as rent or bribe.

One would expect that the incumbent dispensation would enlarge and spread this commendable initiative and drive the rest of Pakistan with specific focus on large and crowded cities where the pedestrians are exposed to the risk of being hit by rickshaw, vehicle or even a motor cycle.

However, correspond the people and the parties from whom these public thoroughfares, streets and footpaths would be released should be provided an alternate place for which they should have the option to buy it or rent it.

I have seen in many cities in foreign countries that there are allocated and specified places for the kiosk sellers and servicemen that are cordoned by walls and properly arranged and provided all the basic facilities such as water, power and access roads and security. The sweeping and maintenance of cleanliness is strictly maintained in such locations. The buyers and visitors’ throng to such locations and mini shopping centers in droves because the prices at these business locations is relatively much lower than a full-fledged shop in a busy and well-maintained business enclosures.

The second commendable action and mission that has been launched by the incumbent PTI dispensation is to curb the robberies, looting of the citizens, snatching the money, the ornaments and even cars by callous thugs and organized gangs headed and protected by powerful groups and individuals. In case of resistance from the targets, these offenders brook no mercy or reluctance in using force, arms and injury and even killing their targets. We have seen such gory images on the television screen of these criminals manhandling, beating and even shooting at their targets. We have also seen the glimpses of cars being taken over and running away these daredevil individuals equipped with arms and lethal weapons.

Besides, the despicable crime of kidnapping is rampant all over Pakistan. The targets are young children, women folks and students. Even the new born babies are snatched and stolen from the hospitals in collusion with a nurse or woman who help and serve in hospital wards of deliveries of the new born babies. The PTI government has mobilized the concerned agencies to catch the criminals involved in carjacking, robbing and snatching motorcycles and decamping with pouches and purses.

The PTI government seems to be coming with a heavy hand on these heavily armed groups and individual lawbreakers, criminals and many groups and individuals have been nabbed. It would be in order if fast system of justice is put in place on permanent foundations so that the enemies of public and heartless thugs are awarded condign and quick sentences by the courts without any support from their political supports and the powerful parties and groups. Thus, the people of Pakistan would be able to travel and move around freely and without any fear of waylaying and looting by the rogues and rascals of the society.

The third mega action by the incumbent PTI government is to expose and punish the perpetrators of illicit money laundering by an unspecified number of politicians, business tycoons and public figures. Several cases have been initiated and are in the courts and relevant accountability institutions such as JIT.

The reports and statistics are harrowing as to how the money was earned through fair or foul means and was later sent abroad to escape the net of wealth tax and the duties imposed on such dealings. A large number of clandestine transactions and sending of huge chunks of money by the politicians, men in power and robber baron business individuals, importers and exporters have been unearthed.

One can imagine the interest of prime minister Imran Khan in promoting and firming up relations with foreign countries to the extent that thus far, he made nine foreign visits to Saudi Arabia (2), UAE (3), China one, Malaysia one, Turkey one and Qatar one. Likewise, quite a few foreign leaders came to Pakistan to meet prime minister Imran Khan and offer cooperation in diverse ways.  These high-profile visits include Saudi Crown prince Muhammad Bin Suleman (Feb 16-17) during which Eight MOUs were signed between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

The second-high profile visit was that of Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad three-day official visit to Pakistan from March 21 to 24 to be the chief guest at Pakistan Day celebration function. During prime minister Mahathir’s visit, Memorandum of Understanding worth $800 to $900 million of investment would be signed with the Malaysian investors on Friday.

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