Imran trying hard to rebuild Pakistan, boost its economy, but TLP agitation came as a bolt from blue

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Salahuddin Haider

YES, Prime Minister Imran Khan has no doubt been trying his best to boost country’s image abroad, boost its economy, enormous success had come his way, textile mills were overwhelmed with export orders from European Union and Japan, in came the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan country-wide sits-in and posed new problems for him.

Not his fault. He can only go to the extent human endeavours can enable a person to stretch him or herself to.

However the latest resolution from the European Parliament to withdraw GPS Plus facility in the wake of TLP agitation, came like a bombshell, sending everything done so far in reverse gear.

Isnt it unfortunate?. It surely is. Imran has been warning that the issue of French expulsion from Pakistan would be a suicidal attempt, for European nations will come down upon Pakistan heavily.

That’s exactly what has happened. His fears were genuine. These have come true. Sad indeed.

Although the European Parliament resolution has no legal authority, but morally it is a wake-up call for Pakistan.

The resolution begins to treat Pakistan as a State harbouring terrorists, although army, since Musharraf days has been battling against it, and consistent efforts, during Raheel Sharif’s Zarbul Azm, and steps taken by General Musharraf, followed relentlessly by General Qamar Bajwa, had brought terrorism to almost zero level. The TLP agitation could easily be interpreted as the menace raising its ugly head again.

Regrettably, the TLP, without the slightest consideration as to what damage it would do to the country, opted for an action which has now become a potential threat to our economy.

One hopes and prays that extremism is done away with, once and for all now. If need be, they ought to be crushed forcibly, like Raheel Sharif and Musharraf did while in authority.

Unreservedly Imran Khan has been going around the country, sometime in Lahore, sometime in Quetta or Peshawar, backing his own governments in Punjab and KP, also supporting Balochistan Awami Party of chief minister Jam Kamal who has stood by him in thick and thin, as dependable ally. Several good steps for the country’s welfare has been taken, more are in the pipeline.

These included Razman sasta bazar which the premier visited, without protocol, or security around him. Not a single officer or staff member from Prime Minister’s office was with him.

Driving the car himself, all alone, he went round the market, enquired about peoples’ problems, visited Maghala and couple of other markets to set examples for other to emulate.

In recent history, or atleast in my memory, no prime minister took that risk. Neither Sharif brothers, not Zardaris did that. They, instead moved with a cavalcade of over 50 or 60.

Nawaz Sharif did drive all alone as chief minister in the 80s, but only to eat Payas or spicy dishes at Gowalmandi in Lahore.

Like-wise during visits to Karachi, he used to go to Karachi’s oldest food street of Burns Road for Nihari, Paaye, his favorite dishes, that rose his cholesterol level, which finally forced him to have a heart surgery in London.

Imran, as a player of international repute, and used to Western life style, has always been, and still is, careful about his food. Hence his physical fitness.

Among the few creditable jobs of the many, he undertook, is to open Iran, and Afghan border trade routed, which because of the rising wave of Corona had to suspend operation for the time being.

Even pedestrian crossing through land routes from Afghanistan, and Iran, is being closed from May 4 to May 15, after which it will be reviewed, and restrictions now being imposed, may ease, depending upon how the pandemic situation develops.

Federal minister Asad Umar, also chief of the NCOC, which keeps a vigilant eye on the Covic-19, says coming four to five weeks are crucial for the country.

Also, the electoral reforms bill, soon to be introduced in the parliament, seeks dependence on technology, but the introduction of electronic machine has been opposed by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz citing that such machines again will create more problems.

Imran cited the controversies over Daska, Nowshera elections, and now recently about Karachi bye-election for NA-249.

He also cited the example of how Donald Trump after losing American elections in 2020 to Joe Bide, tried to create confusion, but faced humiliation both legally, and politically.

It was electronic voting machine that saved Joe Biden, and courts threw away Trump’s appeal against alleged electoral fraud. Despite his persuasive arguments, opposition remains adamant.

These are Imran Khan’s only few of the countless problems, but he remains undaunted, fighting it out like a brave, courageous hero.