Are we living in Riyasat-e-Madinah? … Oh NO!!!
Our dear Prime Minister Imran Khan (IK) at the outset of the PTI regime in July 2018 after having won the general elections, most controversial for their outcome in our history, made us believe that we will now be living in Riyasat-e-Madinah. It was a very tall claim right from the beginning yet people largely believed him and hoped that he would live up to his reputation.
But two years have passed and the realities on the ground negate that claim as everything is on the decline or static. The worst being the law and order situation witnessing a massive increase in crimes of all kind. Incidents like motorway robbery-and-sexual assault on women, minor boys and girls abductions are becoming a routine. Could such crime be committed in a Riaysat-e-Madinah? Of course not. Imran Khan raised the slogan of accountability across the board. Did he stand his words?
Not only his followers but a common man on the street posed great trust in his persona for him being known as an honest person and a man of his words. Imran Khan’s announcements, slogan-chanting at full throttle of his voice, making promises for ‘Tabdeeli’ and ‘Naya Pakistan’ were so attractive that they overwhelmed the general public. Everyone was sure that the country is going to be transformed into a paradise once he took over the reins of the State of Pakistan.
On the other hand, the Opposition including the two major political entities, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), was engaged in challenging the result of the elections. Inside and outside the Parliament protests were held but to no avail and nothing could stop Imran Khan-led PTI to settle in the saddle at the Centre, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while forming a coalition government in Balochistan. It was only Sindh where PPP turned out to be the single largest party to form the government. The vote bank in Karachi tilted in favour of PTI from Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). The start was good and the PTI leadership claimed that all national institutions including the armed forces were on the same page, unlike the previous political regimes.
The PTI’s two-year rule is rife with numerous U-turns. The first shock came when the then Finance Minister Asad Umer announced that Pakistan would be going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to restore the crumbling national economy. This forces many to recall Premier Imran Khan’s pledge that he would rather commit suicide than taking the begging bowl to the IMF. Later, the nation heard IK justifying this reversal from the stated position.
The same happened to the three other big promises of planting a billion trees, offering ten million jobs, and finally building five million low-cost houses for the homeless citizens. As far as the task of planting a billion trees is concerned, it has been shrouded by controversy transforming into a scandal.
For offering 10 million jobs, initially, then Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry categorically stated that offering jobs was not the responsibility of the federal government completely undermining the IK’s pledge. “We are reducing ministries, divisions, and other institutions where more than required staff had been hired by previous rulers. “How can then we offer new jobs”. Fawad’s statement was later endorsed by many of his Cabinet colleagues.
For building low-cost houses, Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme has been initiated but yet, not even a brick has been laid to start the project besides huge projection in the national media. Another interesting feature of this project is that one of IK’s dear friends, Aneel Mussarat, a Manchester-based renowned builder, would be advising him on the housing sector. Earlier, it was thought he might be handed over the project to build houses which he vehemently denied.
IK made people also believed that whenever the US dollar price surges or petrol per litre rate is enhanced, the money so earned goes into the pockets of the rulers. IK did not hesitate to call them ‘chor’ and ‘Daku’ (thieves and dacoits). The dollar has gone up from Rs106 to 167 while the petrol price has been enhanced half a dozen times per litre from Rs86 to over Rs100. Maybe someone someday will tell the public who is a thief or a dacoit?
The last but not the least, the Prime Minister’s greatest slogan was accountability across the board and that he would start it from Bani Gala (the official residence of the Prime Minister) including all of his ministers has been proven hollow. Nothing stops him from holding accountable the previous rulers for loot and plunder but why the target is the Opposition leaders only.
How about those who left their parties and close to the 2018 elections shifted their loyalties and joined the PTI. Have they all be dry-cleaned? And how about those Cabinet colleagues, advisers and special assistants against whom there are NAB references pending and those who are facing similar charges of corruption. Needless to name all of them here. How can one forget the statement of the NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal who is reported to have said in an interview, the contents which had never been denied: “If I initiate actions against the ministers and allies, the government would crumble in 10 minutes. If I lay my hand on Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, he may collapse in police lockup”.
It is still time for the Prime Minister to take stock of where his government stands today irrespective of the fact that three years’ tenure is remaining failing which his dream to govern this country till 2028 or above would go down the drain. Mr Prime Minister, please act fast, the time is not on your side.