- Will Imran Khan undertake soul searching?
Prime Minister Imran Khan had little experience of running an administration when he assumed the office of the PM. Bubbling with confidence, he claimed he had prepared a team over the years that would take the country to new heights. The government’s performance over the last nearly two years has however belied the claims. There are factions within the cabinet that, unlike his forerunners, Mr Khan has failed to control. Unable to fulfill the promises he made, or cope with the challenges to governance, he continues to blame the previous governments for his own shortcomings.
It is time the PM did some introspection. How come despite all the support he enjoys from the powers that be, his government has failed to control the prices of commodities of daily use? Why has he not been able to counter the designs of the much maligned mafias? Why are hoarders and smugglers having a field day under the PTI government? Mr Khan’s critics maintain that he lacks the required competence to run the country. Some of the opposition leaders have gone a step further challenging his claims of providing the country an honest leadership.
The twin issues of PTI government’s competence and honesty have now landed in the courts also. The government sought political dividends by trumpeting its decision to lower the prices of petroleum products. The announcement turned into discredit when it led to near disappearance of the commodity from the market. Instead of enforcing its writ, the government ordered a hefty increase in the petrol price that made petrol available soon after. The Lahore High Court Chief Justice has called it bad governance and pushed for a high powered inquiry commission to probe if the oil ‘mafia’ had created the shortage of petrol for monetary gains and if the government’s decision to increase petrol prices before the scheduled time was made to benefit the oil marketing companies.
Incapable of timely planning, the government feels helpless in dealing with the locust threat. As Secretary Ministry of Food Security and Research Omar Hamid Khan put it “unless a miracle occurs” Pakistan will have to face swarms coming from the Horn of Africa that could be 400 times more than those that came last year.