Time to give Imran Khan a shot at PM?

A recent conflict between Babar Awan (read: main pillar of the PPP) and co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has led Mr. Awan to leave the PPP and join PTI.

The end of a two-decade long association with the PPP has been appalling news for opposition leader in the National Assembly, Syed Khursheed Shah, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and other party delegates. But Awan is not the only person decamping from the PPP; MNA Noor Alam Khan also joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) after a meeting with PTI chief Imran Khan at his Bani Gala residence.

Former state minister, Imtiaz Warraich from Gujranwala, has decided to quit the PPP and is slated to join the PTI. All three individuals were considered close allies of former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.  

Now the question that arises: How far is Imran Khan going to take Pakistan along with all four provinces? Imran Khan is about to complete his four-year tenure as an official leader. If we take a look at the past, we see improvements after the 2013 general elections. In 2014, a public survey by Gallup reported that the public satisfaction in KP was the highest at 57% as opposed to Punjab and Sindh (26%).

The KP government has brilliantly prohibited ministers, chief ministers, government officials and other white collars from interfering with the police. The first online FIR system was introduced in KP. And some police stations in Peshawar have been centrally converted into model police stations.

An ambitious agenda has also been finalised by the PTI for after the general elections of 2018. The projects will strengthen revenue collection from KP and establish efficient institutions that will improve governance in the province.

Shaukat Khanum Cancer Memorial Hospital and branches have been serving people for a long time. No other party chairmen are seen doing such great work. Medicine and treatment are free in all government hospitals in KP and the government launched a campaign called “Sehat Ka Insaf” that aimed to fight polio. The Tameer-e-school project, another campaign, was started by the PTI government to raise funds for KP schools. Since girls are generally not encouraged to pursue their dreams the KP regime allocated a stipend of 200 rupees to every school-going girl.

These are some of Imran Khan’s well-known actions that are worth plaudits. Let’s look back to what the PPP has done and there is no denying what the party’s previous leaders have done for the country. Rural Sindh is the only zone where the party’s votes remain intact.

A while ago, a survey took place covering the entire Pakistan in which 33% of people sampled voted for the PTI, 19% for PPP and 17% for PML-N – answering the question: “If elections were held tomorrow, which political party would you vote for at the federal level?” Again, the same question was asked but on the provincial level and 40% voted for the PTI in KP, 50% for PPP in Sindh and 43% for PTI in Punjab.

Despite the governance problems across Pakistan, Sindh is the only province that seems to be hell bent on moving backwards. Even good programmes suffer: In the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) about 1.8 million people are given a 5,000-rupee stipend every three months. But whenever the money is transferred to the accounts, the ATMs are officially shut down and the recipients access the money.

Nawaz Sharif, a two-time PM and head of the PML-N has already been overthrown by military dictators. He faced corruption charges and fled the country through an agreement. What these politicians must learn is that this country has witnessed nearly 40 years of martial law dictatorship, which has led to nothing but destruction. Although, we can’t deny CM Shahbaaz Sharif’s achievements, what role has PM Nawaz Sharif played in the improvement of other provinces?

The government of Pakistan has a fleet of at least 10 Agustawestland AW139 helicopters which can carry 15 passengers each. The $15 million machines were bought from the national budget for disaster management. The governments of Punjab and Balochistan each have at least one MI-17, 26-seater helicopters of their own, again bought for disaster management and air ambulances. Balochistan paid $15 million and Punjab paid $17 million from their budgets. But where are these helicopters? Where were the Sindh government’s helicopters and planes during the Sehwan, Jacobabad and Shikarpur incidents? In every disaster the army is called in. Also, there is an organization called the NDMA for national disaster management with a budget. Where were they?

Our only problem is that we are not really sure about anyone anymore. All we have been doing is social experiments to see which leader does what. Nawaz Sharif and Zardari have been given their chance. Now, it’s time we gave the Captain one and I hope he will not let us down.

The writer tweets @Sarah_Illahi

 

Comments
2 Responses to “Time to give Imran Khan a shot at PM?”
  1. Raza Akhtar says:

    The time for change has arrived

  2. imran says:

    the satisfaction in kpk is solely due to the reduction in terrorism it is not because of ik or his regime.one thing is clear ik as leader would be a disaster for pakistan, and after his exploits in islamabad seeking undemocratic regime change , it is clear that all of pakistan would be answerable to his umpire. there is no democracy in the game of cricket.

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