NationalVOLUME 15 ISSUE # 06

Forgotten promises of Imran Khan

Since 1996, Imran Khan, now the prime minister of Pakistan, is endeavouring his level best to project himself as an honest, pro-people, pro-saints, pro-democracy, principled and patriotic Muslim leader who wants to make Pakistan a prosperous, peaceful and great country.
He tries to present himself as a leader who loves the people of Pakistan earnestly, who suffers in their suffering, believes in justice, rule of law, merit and equality. Before 1996, it is an established fact, he played cricket, loved the western style of life and culture and was known for leading a playboy life. At the time, he followed the lifestyle for making progress and establishing connections with the elite in Western societies, especially in the UK. But, when he planned to take part in Pakistani politics, he started mentioning Islam, justice, nationalism, love, equality and Sufism for gaining support of the people of Pakistan. The people of Pakistan, who wanted to get rid of corrupt politicians, like Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari, believed his words, supported him and his PTI party won elections in 2018.
There is no doubt about it that Imran Khan has been gifted with many great qualities of head and heart. By using these qualities, he won the cricket World Cup, established the Shaukat Khanum Hospital, Namal University, formed his PTI party and became the prime minister of Pakistan after 22 years’ of incessant political struggle. With practice, he has become very good orator and his highly-appreciated speech in the UN will be remembered in the history of Pakistan. By using the gift of the gab, he has become the most popular political leader, who has given new hope and dream to the poor people of Pakistan. Before the 2018 elections, he gave a new slogan of creating a Naya Pakistan to the hopeless people. To acquire support of the people and win the election, he made many promises.
On April 28, 2018, Imran Khan gave his famous 11-point agenda (promises) to create a Naya Pakistan. He vowed to “fight till the last drop of his blood for the rights of Pakistanis”. Khan also promised to “establish a fairer society that will steer Pakistan towards the path of the father of the nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah”. According to his 11-point agenda, education will be for all the people. He promised to establish 20 new universities and invest maximum on the development of the people and on one education system in Pakistan. The PTI government will make health facilities available for all. Self-reliance via revenue generation through improved system of taxation. He promised to make Pakistan corruption-free. “We will stop money laundering, we will strengthen the NAB and FBR”, he pledged. He announced opening new vistas of investment. “We will reduce the tax on electricity and gas for our industries so that they could compete with Indian market”, he said.
Imran Khan promised to build “5 million homes for the poor, which would create jobs and stimulate the economy”. He vowed to improve agriculture and the lives of farmers on “an emergency basis.” “Farmers work for the whole year and get nothing in the end. They are being exploited by the sugar mill mafia,” he said. He promised to introduce KP’s local government system across Pakistan for strengthening the federation. He promised to promote tourism and environment and improve the police and justice system. Highlighting the significance of the KP police, Imran said that KP police had been totally depoliticized, adding that there was no victimization via FIRs, not a single extrajudicial killing in the province while in Sindh, ex-SSP Rao Anwar had murdered 400 people. He asked; “Have you ever heard people raising slogans of Zindabad for the police? It happens in KP only. But Inshallah there will be a day, people of the Punjab will also say “Punjab Police Zindabad”.
He also promised women empowerment through education, create 10 million jobs and bring back looted $200 billion stashed in foreign countries. He pledged that his party would not work with the corrupt parties and political leaders. But, after 14 months in the power, Imran Khan, so far, has not even fulfilled a single promise. He has miserably failed to bring about a real constructive “change” in the country. He has shown his inexperience and incompetence at the helm of the affairs. The PTI government’s poor performance is increasing economic and social problems for the people. The government has utterly failed to control soaring prices, inflation is in double digits, agriculture and key industries are producing less, tax revenues have declined, fiscal deficit is high and the GDP is also low. However, Imran Khan is still blaming the PML-N and PPP’s previous corrupt governments for the mess. He himself is doing nothing to improve the conditions.
Imran Khan has also included the MQM, PML-Q and other corrupt electables to form his government. He has selected incompetent and corrupt ministers and members in his PTI government, who allegedly indulged in corruption. Many PTI members and ministers have their cases in the NAB. Imran Khan has hired the services of two IMF servants, Financial Adviser Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and State Bank Governor Reza Baqir. Both are considered as economic hitmen who are more interested in protecting the interests of the IMF and the World Bank than Pakistan. There is no morality and merit in politics. All these things are used to get power, prolong rule, protect partisan interests and control the people. After becoming prime minister, Imran Khan is following the rule very cleverly.
He has nominated and appointed Usman Buzdar as the chief minister of the Punjab. Buzdar’s selection is not on merit as Imran Khan has ignored all other PTI members who are with the party from day one. Buzdar has proved to be incompetent in running the province and failed to serve the people. But, Imran Khan is satisfied because he is controlling the province from the Centre. Mehmood Khan, the CM of KP, is another example of favouritism.
So far, Imran Khan has not introduced any police and judicial reforms. The Punjab police are committing extrajudicial killings without any fear. The Sahiwal tragedy and killing of Salahuddin, a mentally retarded person, occurred in the PTI government. But, Imran Khan is doing nothing except to enjoy his power.
Imran Khan announced that there is no harm in taking U-turns (breaking promises). Asif Ali Zardari had also declared that “promises are not the Quran and Ahadees, which cannot be changed”. Machiavelli has also declared, ” the promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.” It means interests are everything. To achieve and protect the interests, there is no harm to tell lies, make promises, break pledges and fool the people. So, after getting power, Imran Khan is now following Zardari. No doubt, almost all our political and religious leaders take no time in breaking their promises.
Imran Khan is using Riyasat-i-Madina rhetoric to achieve his interests and deceive the poor people of Pakistan. The Ehsaas-Saylani Langar Scheme is yet another step to deflect the attention of the people from the prevailing economic, social and health problems. Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the scheme, Prime Minister Imran Khan declared that the state of Madina “could not be realised in only 13 months”. Interestingly, he has not taken even a single step to materialize his vision in 14 months.