Slow on the uptake | Pakistan Today

Slow on the uptake

  • Imran Khan gets on-the-job training

While he was in the opposition Imran Khan had little time to prepare himself for the office he was seeking. He is now getting tutorials. The last one was arranged at the GHQ. He was impressed by what he was told.

Imran Khan has shown determination never again to fight someone else’s war. One hopes he realises now that when he opposed military action against the TTP the war against terrorism had already turned into a war for Pakistan’s survival. Now that he is the prime minister he needs to understand that terrorists will continue to proliferate as long as long as extremism is allowed to flourish by those in power through a policy of appeasement.

Imran Khan displays naivety when he says there was no such thing as civil-military tension. In a country where military has ruled directly for over thirty years and indirectly during most of the remaining period, civil-military tensions are bound to appear over time. The issue of national priorities in budget making, also referred to as guns versus butter, would soon test the ability of the PTI government to keep the tensions within manageable limits. An additional factor that has promoted tension in the past and could do so in days to come is that some of the major policy making areas continue to remain outside the elected government’s purview. The prime ministers who displayed keenness to retrieve their turf invariably had to leave the office before the end of their constitutional tenure.

While in opposition Imran Khan had one point programme ie, ridding the country of corrupt rulers. Simplistic as his vision is he now thinks what is needed to make the country prosperous is strong rule of law. While rule of law is badly needed, so are so many other things. The country needs to improve its economy, provide speedy and cheap justice, raise the literacy rate, control population growth, improve educational standards, set up new hospitals, ensure potable water and reduce the widening gulf between the richest and the poorest. The country also badly needs a tolerant and caring society. No single item formula will lift Pakistan out of the depths where it has fallen.