Time for action, not contemplation | Pakistan Today

Time for action, not contemplation

  • Cabinet ECC delays difficult decision on gas price hike  

These are indeed the times in the life of a nation that try men’s souls, and reveal their true worth and endurance in adversity, whether of political leadership or the common man. For at critical, watershed moments, all grandiose plans are vain and meaningless, unless backed by clarity of vision, decisive will to action and boldness of spirit for taking unpopular but unavoidable decisions by those at the country’s helm. It is customary for politicians to make tall, even fantastical, promises at election time to win over gullible voters, but an altogether different proposition arises when it comes to delivering on such loosely made vows and pledges. The PTI, which came to power riding a wave of popularity based on its campaign manifesto of crusade against corruption and ensuring transparency, drove itself into a tight corner by setting a 100-day limit for  defining its core agenda and policy ‘path’, while ensuring ‘transformation in governance, revitalisation of economic growth and ensuring the country’s national security’.

But as the party leadership is ruefully discovering, ‘Between the idea and the reality, Between the motion and the act, Falls the shadow’. Bogged down in minor issues such as the Pakpattan DPO affair, messy Dr. Atif Mian issue and general irresolution, the party seems to be veering off course as regards its primary objectives, and merely engaging in a frenzy of creating Task Forces on all matters under the sun. And all the while, precious time is fleeting towards the fatal 100-days limit. While Imran Khan’s reformist intentions cannot be doubted, the ground picture, such as reflected in the country’s top economic decision making body, the widely- empowered Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet, being unable to decide on the unpleasant matter of gas price hike and tactfully referring the matter to the PM, does not augur well for swift and effective decision- making. As the Chinese proverb  states ‘a man gets most tired when standing still’. The PTI has to get its act together and move fast or lose both the political initiative and its own credibility. There is no more evading the flood of hard decisions criminally ignored since long.