NationalVOLUME 15 ISSUE # 03

It’s not cricket, dear boy!

When Imran Khan won the election and took oath of office as Prime Minister of Pakistan, he entered a different world, to be surrounded by the most corrupt, catcalling and ball-scratching crude louts.

These low-life purveyors of corruption have brought Pakistan to its lowest level of exports and industrial output in our history. If we are poised on the brink of a catastrophic economic meltdown, it is the politicians that are to be blamed. Most of them have been jailed for corruption and are facing further sentencing. All this has been done by Imran’s government showing leniency, even allowing the criminals to enjoy air-conditioners in their jail cells, something unheard of in the world but stated by Imran Khan himself in his White House meeting with the President of US, Donald Trump.

A jail is not a spa or leisure resort. No torture has so far been inflicted on any of these prisoners. That also is the reason this leniency has allowed these politicians to slow down the recovery of the plundered loot. They are convinced that Imran Khan is a soft touch and does not have the stomach to impose harsh measures to make their lives uncomfortable, so that they could obey and comply with the laws and return all the looted wealth.

Mr. Prime Minister, this is not a game of cricket. The players are the most ruthless criminals of this country. They are battled-hardened criminals who have risen to the top of their profession by being more corrupt and have broken more laws on their way up. A case in point is the former Law Minister of the Punjab, Rana Sanaullah, who is on trial for possessing 19 kilograms of heroin. It was recovered from his briefcase lying in his car in which he was travelling with his wife and children.

Rana Sanaullah has reportedly confessed to it and other similar crimes. When a law minister of the most powerful province of Pakistan can confess to possession of such a huge quantity of the most dangerous contraband which would assure him of a death penalty in many countries of the world, it would indicate the level of criminality that pervades the higher echelons of Pakistani politicians.

Mr. Prime Minister, these are not players from the Eton Harrow 11 but criminals at their most dangerous. Mr. Prime Minister, you did not win an election to put these law breakers into a holiday camp. Your electoral promise was “to bring these criminals to justice and return the looted money”. They have broken the laws of Pakistan and the punishment has to be exemplary. There is no need to pontificate and to worry about the finer points of law. They deserve the harshest punishments on the books. Otherwise, Mr. Prime Minister, if these people are allowed any leniency then you will run the risk of being branded an abettor.

Rising prices of all commodities make life more miserable by the day. The promise of a brighter future is getting more repetitive and sounds like any other politician from the PPP or PML-N. The difference between them and Imran Khan is that he is honest and they were corrupt to the core. The faithful will keep waiting for the bounty to tickle down to them. Those of less faith will be griping about their predicament and their cries will get louder. These cries have been known to bring down governments and will do in the future. Imran must beware of the power of unhappiness in the people.

Reducing fuel prices is a step in the right direction. The question arises, as to who advise the PM to raise the prices three times in the last 11 months? Surely, this smacks of sabotage within the circle of the PM. As the government of Imran Khan was burdened by many shortfalls and the raising of fuel prices was all together unnecessary as it was a drop in the ocean in the overall deficit and should have been ignored. To have thus raised the fuel prices by a shackled Imran was a clear sabotage aimed at the PM. The sad part is that there was nobody in Imran’s immediate circle to guard him against such moves. The PM should have realized that these increases would have a negative impact on his governance and more of the same could lead to wide spread anger at Imran, who is already surrounded by enemies within the assemblies and the media.

Mr. Prime Minister, you started your campaign as a hawk, and we followed. To see you flounder as a dove is heartbreaking to your supporters. This must not happen.

This dovish behavior will send a message of weakness across the border to super hawk Modi who revels in killing unarmed Muslims and blinding little Muslim children whose horrific photographs are streaming across the Internet. The world is sitting up but not horrified enough to take concerted action against the new Hitler in the making.

It is not surprising that is his ally in butchery, Netanyahu is fighting an election in Israel and will win on the body count so warped is the conscience of the world today.

Mr. Prime Minister, we would not wish you to be a Modi or Netanyahu, but we would insist that the Sharifs and Zardaris feel the pain that is their due, being a fraction of what they have put the country through.