A road map for Naya Pakistan | Pakistan Today

A road map for Naya Pakistan

  • Compassion and hope are necessary but not enough

Imran Khan has graphically described the sad state of a debt-ridden economy,  the low ranking of Pakistan in the Human Development Index  and the living conditions of the poverty stricken sections of the population. He has however expressed confidence  to turn the situation around  during the time available to him.

Imran Khan has announced wide ranging austerity measures that the PM and his cabinet members  would follow. In economic  terms the move has no more than  a symbolic value and is meant to sweeten the  bitter pill the common man would soon be required to swallow by the IMF. Doing something voluntarily before being forced to do it under compulsion  is making virtue out of necessity. It remains to be seen if the governments in Sindh and Balochistan ruled by the PPP and BAAP wouldl follow suit. Also whether high officials belonging to state institutions  and  government departments would readily part with the perks and privileges acquired over the years by them.

Imran Khan takes note of some of the vital issues that  previous government had pushed under the rug  like the damaging impact of  climate change on people’s livelihood or malnutrition leading to stunting growth among 9.8 millions of children. He is also determined   to bring 22.6 million of left out children to school.

There are serious omissions in Khan’s plans though. He strangely ignores  population planning without which the positive results of  economic policies would be neutralised in no time. He has nothing to say about  the  diminishing media freedom. He ignores the  need to curb extremism which is fast spreading its tentacles in society.

Some of Imran Khan’s important reforms are bound to meet  resistance from powerful vested interest. Diversion of development funds to local governments instead of  MNAs and  MPAs would be resented  by his own parliamentarians.  The promise to develop  the best of relations with neighbouring countries and  the   determination to implement the NAP and holding talks with Baloch dissidents would be resented by the powerful supporters of the status quo. While one wishes Godspeed to Khan, one will judge him not by his claims but his capacity to give them material shape.