- Need to bring down political confrontation
Prime Minister Imran Khan needs to satisfy the IMF by presenting a realistic plan for how his government would raise more revenues, cut spending, raise recoveries in the power sector, increase fuel prices to reflect global market realities and control inflation. Whatever plan is made, it would pinch the common man
Mr Khan has also to take measures to ameliorate the plight of the people by bringing down the prices of essential commodities. Sh Rashid has announced that Mr Khan would put the genie of inflation back into the bottle. This is an uphill task, as not only the prices of sugar and wheat flour have gone beyond the purchasing capacity of the common man, but so have those of the entire range of kitchen commodities. Prices of medicines have also been revised upwards twice this month.
While warning of a spike in coronavirus cases Mr Khan continues to address large gatherings out of political needs. In the latest Corona Relief Tiger Force gathering, hundreds of youth sat cheek by jowl in Islamabad’s overcrowded Convention Centre with most of the attendees wearing no mask. This is also true about the opposition which is holding large gatherings despite the threat posed by the pandemic as the opposition too has political compulsions.
While improving the economy requires an understanding with the opposition, the PM continues to intensify the fight against the PDM. Beside the sedition case against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, fresh corruption references have been filed against PPP leadership, including former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the former president Asif Zardari. Imran Khan has vowed bring back Mr Sharif from London, put opposition leaders in jail and deny production orders to imprisoned opposition legislators. Fresh cases have been registered against Captain (rtd) Safdar in Karachi for ‘violating the sanctity’ of the Quaid’s mausoleum and PML(N)’s Gujranwala leaders for organising the PDM rally. Govt functionaries have threatened to ban the PML(N )and stop the PDM public meetings.
The PM needs to realize that improvement in economy and a control over the pandemic require government’s undisturbed concentration which is not possible without a modicum of understanding with the opposition.