‘Naya Pakistan’ – from dreams to reality
Like me, every Pakistani wanted change in existing political status quo in hope that lives of poor and marginalized people would improve. Everyone was sick of PPP or PML-N because their performance was not poor-friendly. Elections of 25 July 2018, despite all criticism/flaws/ “rigging” whatever were welcomed by marginalized and perished people. They were certain that things would ameliorate. Imran Khan was a hope. People trusted him. Supported him. Welcomed him.
Nobody had ever thought, nobody knew that rather than prosperity, their lives would be pushed towards misery. Everyone waited. Initially, everyone accepted temporary pains and misery in hope of longer and durable pleasure and prosperity. One year passed. Another year is only two months away. After all the government would step into third year. Nothing has improved. Literally nothing. I swear, lives of poor people have become so hard. People are befooled as they were made during previous governments. I am not talking of the post-pandemic miseries of people. Two months have hardly passed when lockdown was announced. Though the pandemic has further added insult to injuries of people but honestly, their lives were never better.
I am not writing this as a personal critic/opponent of Imran Khan or PTI. I have sympathy with no party whether it is PPP or PML-N whatever. My sympathy and support is for a party or a government (whatever its name may be) which works for improving lives of the poor.
Anyway, initially, I was strong supporter of newly established federal government. I supported all their actions. I used to argue that let the government work. Things can’t be corrected with magic stick within span of a few months. Let the government work according to its aspirations and party manifesto. But nothing to avail till to-date.
Earlier, PTI led government took two things on priority list – one, accountability and two, uplift of economy. Appreciable. And yes, Imran Khan was strong critic of foreign loans especially that of IMF. But citing the financial crunch of the country, PM Imran decided to go for IMF citing the reason that earlier governments had left nothing in national treasure. Hence, according to him, there was no other solution to existing financial crisis. He also sought loans/aids from friendly countries: China, Saudi Arabia, UAE and others. But despite all this, financial situation is yet to improve.
Accountability was also initiated which was called “selected accountability” by opposition parties and a number of analysts. They called it “political victimisation” also.
Media has been alleging “censorship” as a tool of government to avoid criticism. In this regard, there is a series of events and actions which justify the point. However, the government denies such “baseless allegations”.
On foreign policy front, there is mixture of opinions both negative and positive. Indeed, some good has been done but still some blunders were also repeated that should not have happened. On August 05, 2020, India changed the status of Kashmir by repealing Articles 35-A and 370. There was strong resistance from Pakistan and both countries were face to face. India was claiming so-called “surgical strikes” against Pakistan but later on Pakistan “surprised” India by downing two Indian jets and capturing Wing Cdr. Abhinandan. However, Pakistan returned the captured pilot which played role in easing the tensions.
Indian PM Modi had also thanked Pakistan. Such goodwill gesture was also appreciated by the international community. Moreover, Pakistan successfully internationalised the Kashmir issue which also appeared on the agenda of UNSC and condemned by International Human Rights organisations and many countries. However, Pakistan’s untimely withdrawal from “Kuala Lumpur Summit” was criticized and termed “diplomatic blunder”. In short, on foreign policy side, there is not any convincing outcome except few applauds received by PM during his UNGA address last year.
To conclude, the performance of the incumbent government is discouraging on all fronts, especially on economy. Undoubtedly, the government would give a reason that it was the pandemic that created economic instability and financial crunch. Agree that the pandemic has created global financial and economic crises but Pakistan’s story of economic doldrums is not solely connected to pandemic. There is still hope that the government would rethink its approach and strive to improve the condition of poor. Long Live Democracy, Long Live Pakistan.