NationalVOLUME 15 ISSUE # 19

Reasons we should leave the Premier alone

So what if 22 years of political roaring and never did it actually occur to him that he ought to have a candid team with a realistic policy so he can hit the road running once allowed to do so. The gap was adequately filled with dozens of fresh un-elected advisers that either know very less or old faces from the past that know copy/pasting alone.

So what if the Swiss model, the Turkish model, the Chinese model, the Malaysian model were all “rhetoric” that were constantly chanted by him yet never researched by him let alone realistically discussed, but let us appreciate that the only model he could ever offer to the nation was himself i.e. a celebrity model.

So what if he has ruined what was left of the debt-driven economy? A major political outcome was allegedly achieved in the best of public interest and the nation doesn’t mind as long as he wears a green Ralph Lauren shirt or red kurta shalwar with the added smile that melts hearts. On top of it you have some viral video of him surfacing where he is allegedly crying for the nation then nothing like it! So what if the PTI is constantly buying more time on one pretext or the other, be it the delay of the BRT, its stay order, or its foreign funding case, or completion of its full tenure, the respectable institutions are more than happy to defend him not only in these matters but even beyond to the extent of the premier defending his cronies in the wheat and sugar crisis as well as the massive illegal profiteering in the power sector report.

So what if “Naya Pakistan” miserably failed and all the corruption ending was just a rhetoric? At least we had media coverage of all the events and the twice sit-in protests which caused the national economy billions of losses and paralysed the entire country for months. So what if the premier lied to the nation about 1om jobs and 50m housing units? Let us not forget that his party has provided “home” to all the lurking “syasi lotas” out there by incorporating them into the PTI in difficult times, and he has at least provided jobs to all “corrupt elements” by inducting them into his Cabinet.

So what if inadequate economic policies of the government long before Corona had sent 40 million people below the poverty line and rendered many jobless – let us not forget that he gave us Shaukat Khanum Hospital. So what if billions of dollars as anticipated had not poured in, and revenue collection took a big shortfall, at least we have a premier who can offer a renowned journalist (alleged to be Muhammad Malick) a slot in the Cabinet after he roasted him in a live press conference on economic issues. So what if he threatened the world to use the nuclear option in terms of any foreign aggression in a global audience? Turns out that we fear our nuclear weapons more so than the world really does and he wanted to change that notion.

So what if the conflicting stances/statements of the premier with regard to Corona not only caused nation-wide confusion putting the entire country and millions of lives at stake, but also allowed him to take credit for a timely lockdown that saved many lives, a lockdown that was still imposed despite he was against it all the time, yet he made the decision in consultation with all stakeholders to implement it on time. So what if they majority of people are asking one simple question, “What will kill us first/more? The premier/PTI government, Corona or the alarming financial situation? The nation has an “honest” prime minister according to the statement of the Attorney General in the SC. But let one dilate upon that statement further because our national stupidity stands in the way of realizing the depth of the statement. What he implied indirectly was that the nation can not only eat the honesty of the premier, pay their utility bills with his charismatic leadership, use his “speeches” to test/treat the Corona, retain their jobs with the World Cup that he won for us, and if nothing works for you as a replacement in terms of resources/jobs/food/health, then you may as well tune in to the latest Turkish drama “Dirilis Ertugrul” to ease your relentless worries – or just read the book “the lost Islamic history”. Again – the premier and his team are in charge of “creation/implementation of a standardized syllabus for Pakistan ought to realize that majority of Pakistanis can’t even write their name in Urdu, how can you expect them to watch a drama in Turkish or read a book in English? I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here that they might know that the majority isn’t capable of doing so – that is why you have the premier on social media in his “killer red kurta shalwar”. But there is another catch – most Pakistanis can’t read in between the lines of all the symbolism that the PTI has had to offer starting right from their austerity drive in the first month, to bulldozing of the illegal occupancies in Karachi, to all the policy jokes in the name of governance, and all the rhetoric in the name of various economic models, mere sloganeering, ending of corruption etc.

So what if the premier failed miserably in office, at least he tried, at least he put up a good act and had many of us fooled right from the masses to the institutions that he really is a savior, a hero that we had been awaiting, a solution to all our problems. So what if when put to the test – he has come out as the destroyer of our social values and economic lifeline, best part is – while doing so he made us laugh/smile/cry all along the way, kept us emotionally engaged and mentally incapacitated to figure out his reality, kept taking credit for the hard work of others, and kept blaming others for his inefficiencies, he played his dual roles of going an 180 degrees in decisions vs his statements, and pulled it off really well.

The masses as well as the institutions should leave the premier alone and do away with the system that brings about actors like him (and his predecessors) to the public office in the first place and rather find better alternatives. “Giving NRO was a grave mistake” (General Musharraf). So please – stop copy pasting from the Musharraf era. Sixteen years have passed and much has changed on the ground! You can’t apply everything from the past and hope that it would work – especially mistakes!