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Forget Past, Let’s Give PTI A Chance To ‘Deliver’

First 100 days to determine if Imran Khan stands by his words


Comment by Faisal Ali Ghumman

LAHORE: The polls held in Pakistan on July 25 have created a new chapter in the political history of the country, allowing the cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) to beat arch rival parties Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PPP) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)- the two mainstream political parties who ruled the country time and again in the last three decades.

Should Pakistanis consider these elections a peaceful and secured exercise amid few concerns even raised by the independent observers or continue with the decades-old tradition of criticism for the sake of criticism and rigging? Let’s us try to find an answer.

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The seven decades have passed and the Islamic Democratic Republic of Pakistan is still searching for a patriotic leader who is poised to change the nation’s fate. Four military coups and several democratic regimes of multiple Muslim League factions and Pakistan People Party in the last 70 years and where the country stands?

Unfortunately, the country blessed with all resources and plenty of talent, was not taken to the direction the other nations did. Different parties and different experiments and the nation’s fate still hang in balance.

The opponents of Imran Khan- a cricket legend who created PTI in 2006, passed through personal and political crisis and now succeeded in winning first-ever elections with 116 seats- don’t rate him a balanced politician on certain grounds.

A school of thought exploits his autocratic mind set of being ex-cricket team captain and application of the same in politics, another raises finger over his matrimonial crisis and moral turpitude, the third one claims Khan’s always takes u-turns from his previous stands so how can be trusted in decision-making and implementation.

Despite all these shortcomings, one should at least appreciate the consistency of Mr Khan in achieving his goals starting with the launch of his party in 1996, making first entry into National Assembly in 2002 elections, bagging 35 NA seats in 2013 and forming the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa government and now winning the elections 2018 with considerable majority.

If Mr Khan is to be blamed for having support from the ‘powerful’ establishment in the pre-poll scenario, why his opponents forget the same support for PML-N in 2013 and PPP in 2008 and in 1990s.

Though the PTI’s performance in KP is not up to the mark ideally, but Khan’s vision has been followed up to some extent in terms of police reforms- a major shift in abandoning political victimization. Some reforms in education and health sectors are also commendable.

On the other hand, the PML-N-led Punjab government also tried to improve things in some sectors- a credit now doubt goes to former Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif- but the Panama Papers scandal and corruption-led investigations in mega infrastructure and energy projects gave a bad name to PML-N and damaged its reputation generally.

Bilawal-led PPP as usual failed to win people’s hearts in third consecutive elections as was being anticipated.

As Imran Khan is expected to form his government in centre and KP at least before August 14, let’s play his political inning at the outset and first 100 days will determine the right direction of the promises Khan had made with the nation in his televised address soon after elections 2018.  One should not expect change with the blink of an eye as every cloud has a sliver lining.

The writer is Editor-in-Chief www.lahoremirror.com, Group Editor Daily The Business and Ex-Correspondent Daily Dawn