Imran’s rule at a glance
Is this the end of Imran Khan? In politics one can never say never again. But it does seem like a lonely road ahead for the man who had said he would change Pakistan’s destiny.
How will we remember this man? As a premier who had to step down or a cricketer who always stepped up on the field and off it?
Imran Khan came to power with the promise of bringing the country out of corrupt politics, but proved no different from his predecessors and failed to deliver.
It is a dream gone sour. It was the easiest relationship to nurture because it formed the genesis of PTI that was reborn, revamped and refuelled somewhere around 2011.
The PTI’s path to power was red-carpeted by the establishment without much care for nuance or subtlety.
No matter how dedicated and upright the leadership is, it becomes impossible to deliver when a country is surrounded by economic mess and inflicted with bad governance, corruption and other issues.
States do not fail overnight but consistent bad policies and lack of vision ultimately erode the system thus leaving debris for the successive governments.
It requires serious efforts to deliver when tall claims are made just to bag votes. Contrary to the promises made, the record of PTI is a volte-face on various policies and issues.
It seemed the PTI government was plagued with ‘extractive institutions’ run by carpet baggers.
The PTI government led by Imran Khan was under the influence of individuals and coteries.
This over-shadowed the political lustre he built while haranguing against opponents from atop of containers.
For erecting a building, it required grading, framing roofing and siding, but as of today, it looks like the castles have been built in air and no homework was done before logging in new government.
For more than three and half years, PTI team lambasted Nawaz’s government for an economic companion with the IMF but all his pastoral speeches fizzled out when his own government struck a bailout deal of US $16 billion with the IMF and elsewhere.
Rising inflation, hike in petroleum prices, current account deficit, unemployment and no foreign direct investment are the core economic heads in which PTI has miserably failed despite making lofty claims.
In his entire anti-corruption drive and stormy march, Imran Khan gave a tongue lashing to the opponents including former military ruler Musharraff, Altaf Hussain, Sharif brothers and Zardari.
But just after coming into power, he turned a blind eye towards many. He teamed up with MQM and PML-Q.
The members of these political outfits remained under investigation by NAB for possessing assets beyond means.
Besides, cases against Pervez Khattak, Aleem Khan, Jahangir Tareen and others were hanging in balance.
In several televised speeches to the nation, Imran Khan had announced that austerity measures would be adopted to cut expenditure.
He had declared that the expenses of the President and Prime Minister houses would be decreased besides bars on VIP protocol for ministers and the government officials.
Unfortunately, the drive didn’t yield substantial outcome but proved much as a political stunt rather than improving the condition of the ailing economy.
What a pity, the size of the cabinet at the time of administering the oath was 21 and till the last moment it reached 49 thus increasing administrative expenditure manifold.
It became evident that PTI in power was a different beast from the party that had campaigned for bringing back the looted money of the nation, establishing the state like that of Madina, abolishing amnesty scheme, providing jobs to youngsters, low cost houses to millions of people and adopting austerity measures.
It is the poorer segment of the society that always suffers the most when a country is grappling with economic turmoil.
The Imran Khan government has been demanding from the poor strata to sacrifice more rather shifting the burden onto the wealthy segment of the society.
Imran Khan has not been able to stand even on his own maxims. A few days ago, Imran Khan announced an amnesty scheme for tax evaders.
It was a bolt from the blue for the public and provided a reason to mock at the PTI government’s own policies.
How minorities were safe in Pakistan and could be gauged from the fact that IK was more kind to Sikhs of India but payed little heed towards the forced conversion of Hindu girls in Sindh.
Imran Khan lauded the act of New Zealand’s Premier for her solidarity with the Muslim community, but he himself didn’t bother to console the victims of Sahiwal and Hazara community. These mantras are not new. It is easier said than done.
Nevertheless, there is no denying the fact that country is facing political economic and social woes, but common people must realise that every politician uses the rhetoric approach as populist tactics and there is wide difference while being inside and outside of the government.
It is evident that the Captain, along with the crew, has no clear vision yet to steer the ship. Before becoming Premier of the country, substantial homework was required to avoid chaos and bedlam.
Now honorable Supreme Court has given an historic verdict about unconstitutional decisions and ruling of the Deputy Speaker National Assembly.
Additionally with the restoration of the National Assembly the abrogaters of the constitution subsequently should be sentenced as is prescribed by the constitution.
The Constitution is supreme. No state can exist without following the Constitutional procedures in true letter and spirit.
—The writer is editor, book ambassador, political analyst and author of several books based in Islamabad.