Will PM walk the talk?


In the first flush of his victory as Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of the ruling PML-N has held out several high-sounding promises. If he honours his pledges during his stay in the prime ministerial slot, Abbasi will long be remembered as leader with a popular touch.
Among other things, the premier vowed in his acceptance speech to dismantle what he called “private militias” providing security to VIPs. “There is not a single country in the world that allows licences for automatic rifles for citizens.” He also promised ridding the country of load-shedding by the end of the current year, giving his party the credit for adding 10,000 MW to the national grid. The timeframe, on the face of it, appears to be ambitious.
Though many rich PML-N stalwarts are believed to be paying nominal taxes, yet Abbasi hinted at plans to streamline the tax-collecting mechanism so as to boost the government’s revenue. The Premier’s remarks about the state of higher education, the need for a national testing mechanism and health initiatives of his predecessor were largely positive. Whether or not Abbasi will be able to measure up to the challenges remains to be seen. Let us see how he walks the talks.
Muhammad Afzal
Hayatabad, Peshawar