Naveed Aman Khan
On August 17 we watched Imran Khan’s oath taking ceremony at the Presidency in the presence of dignitaries. He knew he was there for oath taking. At the time of oath taking his reading glasses were not placed in front of him on the table. He kept his glasses in the side pocket of his shirt under Sherwani. He should not have kept it in the side pocket of his shirt because the way he searched his pockets and produced his glasses by lifting right side of his Sherwani upward indecently in the presence of the dignitaries was beneath the dignified level of a PM. It didn’t end here. He even couldn’t read words of oath in Urdu properly. He fumbled, wrongly read and laughed at the uttered words a couple of times. It was unimpressive presentation. He should have been timely and properly briefed before oath-taking ceremony. On that particular day the nation was embarrassed. Among the invited guests Asif Zardari was not invited. Standing with Zardari, Khursheed Shah and Bilawal Bhutto refused to attend the ceremony.
On the floor of the House the way IK lost his temper in his first appearance was unworthy of a PM. Here strong, experienced and shrewd opposition knocked him out just by irritating the way he and his companions have been doing during last five years. Opposition controlled politically inexperienced IK’s nerves and drove him on their pitch. He was clean bowled with very first swinging yorker of the Opposition led by Shahbaz Sharif. At that moment IK’s attitude was seen revengeful. IK lost patience and the next moment he was seen on the container. In first speech after winning election IK’s presentation was dominated by unnecessary movement of hands and arms. He commenced his speech reciting a verse from the Qur’an with several references from lives of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and His companions.
He tried his level best to portray his impact of a practicing Muslim leader so that people forget his past and believe his new words otherwise. He focused on simplicity, accountability and Madina Model of governance. Matters like disposal of motorcade of PM were discussed. After highlighting the lives of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his companions and delivering message of simplicity IK reached PM House and enjoyed 24 dishes dinner with 250 guests on government exchequer. During 2013-18 when he was in opposition he has been quoting the examples of the PM of the Netherlands who used to reach his office on bicycle. But after becoming PM IK himself started using 27 vehicles motorcade. He is using helicopter for coming and going PM House and Bani Gala residence. When Imran inquired about the details of the expenditure of NS as PM he was informed that NS has been affording all the expenditure of PM House by his own. IK wasn’t ready to believe it till he was shown record of the cheques of the payment.
IK is still after NS. This is the same blunder which three-time PM NS made after assuming office of PM in 2013 when he decided to open cases against former dictator Musharraf untimely. After winning election NS should have focused on the strength of democracy, the development of the country and the nation. NS’s this adventure derailed and uprooted him and he couldn’t do much for his country and the nation. He should have ignored the dictator saying that democracy is the best revenge and we need to focus on the strength of democracy and empowerment of our weak nation. In a statement he should have said that we are not revengeful and let the history decide the case and fate of the dictator itself. That’s all. NS’s revenge damaged himself, democracy and momentum of the development of country.
We have seen the fate of adventure of simplicity in Mohammed Khan Jonejo’s government when he banned use of air conditioners and luxury cars by senior bureaucrats and soon he himself was out of power. Now as PM IK has started indulging himself in these matters which will derail him and keep him miles away from the solution of gigantic national and international issues. Our country and the nation need a leader having control on his words, nerves, emotions and temper; a leader who doesn’t behave like irrelevant creature. After teaching and preaching simplicity to the nation, this scribe fears IK, like his predecessors, may get derailed soon because certain lobbies would also encircle him very tactfully.
He will have to keep in mind that we practise parliamentary form of government where every ruler is answerable to the nation. After assuming the office of PM he practically is Interior Minister and CM of Punjab as well as the CM of the KP. His selection of CMs, Governors, Speaker and Deputy Speaker shows that he needed very week puppets to string them easily. The entire nation has started monitoring IK’s words and governance. He will have to mind it if he didn’t take care of good governance, he will have to face same fate of his predecessors soon. Making of the nation is now IK’s prime responsibility. Can he or not? His governance will reflect very soon.
— The writer is political analyst based in Islamabad.