- In the provinces
A good fortnight since the election and Imran Khan is still keeping his cards glued to his chest; at least with regard to the most important positions in Naya Pakistan. So far, the choice of KP CM might have left a little something to be desired, especially since the chairman himself put a question mark on his credentials when he was being shifted from one provincial ministry to another in the last electoral cycle. But the chatter about Punjab is encouraging and quite welcome. Should it prove true, we are finally going to have a young, enterprising – perhaps even Ivy Leaguer – chief minister with no charges of corruption, etc, against his name.
Such a step, needless to say, would be a welcome departure from the current trend. The particular brand of democracy practiced in our Islamic Republic resembles a dictatorial family fiefdom – depending on which family is in power, of course – more than a manifestation of representative government. Whenever PML-N is in power the whole country knows, even prior to formal announcements, just which blue-eyed are likely to get which positions; the most prominent going to the family no doubt. And even though PPP supremo put a ‘people’s PM’, all power flowed from the presidency and his personal confidants and family.
That does not mean that anything contrary to conventional practice would automatically deliver results. The just-ended cabinet of PML-N had its good share of foreign grads – including at least two Wharton boys. Yet it does amount to a much appreciated step in the right direction. The first step must be ending feudal tendencies in politics and getting able, qualified people at the helm of affairs. Once able and deserving people are placed in the right slots, though, the next big responsibility is ensuring there is no complacency. Not just Imran, PTI, the opposition and the press, but the public at large will also monitor the working of high offices in Naya Pakistan.