Rocky Times Ahead

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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf emerged as the largest political party in the general elections of 2018. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has broken the duopoly held by the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz for decades. As a result, the PTI is likely going to form a government in the center as well as in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In the wake of changing political circumstances, the PTI has to face a plethora of challenges. Its first and foremost challenge is to garner the support of independents and small political parties like BAP, MQM, and PMLQ. PTI’s chairman has already refused to sit /to enter into political realignment with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). As far as the ECP official results are concerned, PTI clinched 116 seats of National Assembly in the general elections, 2018. Mr. Khan looks to be the next Premier of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The PMLN and the PPP are considered to be the arch political rivals of PTI. So, herding the support of independents and other smaller parties is part and parcel to get the vote of confidence in the lower house. Independents would play a decisive role in the formation of the government. In 2008 and 2013 political undertone was bit different, in 2008, PPP formed a coalition government and made an alliance against the then retired military general-cum-President Musharaf and PMLQ. PPP successfully secured the support of PMLN to get a vote of confidence in house. Virtually, the same situation was observed in 2013 when PMLN bagged 126 seats and got a simple majority and emerged as the largest political party. The PPP supported PMLN in the lower house. So, let’s see how Mr. Khan’s government could tackle these challenges successfully.

Khan’s Party scooped up 16.8 million votes, trouncing the party of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif which finished second with 12.89 million votes. PMLN and PTI both are trying to make government in Punjab. But most probably, PTI will get the numbers and form government in Punjab. The uphill task would be the dispensation of Chief Minister Punjab. Punjab is the most populous province having 141 General seats and 33 reserved seats in the National assembly. CM of Punjab should be free from corruption charges. For CMship, a virile, vigilant, indisputable and energetic person must be preferred. Khan’s bad governance in Punjab could undermine his years of hard work. The complete structure of Punjab government needs a major overhaul. PTI has to deliver without ifs and buts. It is a golden opportunity for PTI to show its good governance in the province as well as in Pakistan. For this, firstly Khan should manage to iron out his internal party affairs. The dispute of Jahangir Khan Tareen and Shah Mehmood Qureshi is again in limelight. Khan should be aware of the snakes in his grass and formulate his policies wisely.

Imran Khan delivered an eloquent victory speech after winning election 2018. Although, it was historic, brief, concise and comprehensive speech. In his speech, he made some promises.

1. All policies for ordinary citizens:
We have been living under the overlordship of the ruling elite for 70 years. He vowed to spend National exchequer on human development. Tolerance of people is ebbing away with every passing day. He has to deliver and fulfill his promises he made during election campaigns and in its manifesto.

2. Safeguard tax revenue:
According to many people, the economy is run by a financial oligarchy that is comprised of the richest men on the planet. An economic crisis awaits new leadership. Bloomberg has already made it clear that dwindling reserves may push new leadership to seek IMF bailout. “Painful, as it may be, an IMF program is unavoidable,” said Ehsan Malik, the chief executive officer at the Pakistan Business Council in Karachi. Pakistan’s reserves have dropped at the fastest pace in Asia to $9.1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It would be a great challenge for the upcoming government to safeguard tax revenue. Depreciation of Rupee in the international market is worrisome for our economy.

3. Decrease government expenses:
Khan refused to take all luxuries including lavish PM house. Khan declared to open Prime Minister House and Governor Houses for public use. He is turning these houses into educational institutes and tourist resorts. This is a quite appealing decision but actions speak louder than words. In past, other leaders including ousted PM Nawaz Sharif made these sort of promises with people but failed to fulfill them.

4. Strengthening institutions:
Pakistan is at crossroads and we have been facing a plethora of challenges on national and international fronts. Institutions should stop to meddle in other institutional affairs. It would strengthen the relationship with each other. It would be a great challenge to depoliticize state institutions.

5. Better ties with neighboring countries:
The door of discourse must be remained open for all. To formulate a comprehensive foreign policy would be a great challenge. In Pakistan, the military is the biggest stakeholder without military consent foreign policy cannot be implemented. Remember, foreign policy was the bone of contention between military and Nawaz Sharif. Better ties with neighboring countries are part and parcel for the peace of sub-continent. Kashmir is a cornerstone of Indo- Pakistan relations. Khan also urged India to resolve Kashmir issue through table talk. Without solving Kashmir issue peace in the region would be a dream.

6. Accountability for all:
It is good that a headway is made in respect to accountability. All the crooks must be accountable. Unless the mess of corrupt politicians is cleaned, Pakistan will not progress.

7. Increase youth employment:
Pakistan currently has the largest percentage of young people ever recorded in its history, according to UNDP report. 63 percent of Pakistan’s population comprises of youth. PTI vowed to create 1 million jobs for youth. Khan has to fulfill his promises otherwise it would be a disaster because his biggest support is young blood.

The result of General election 2018 came like a bolt from a blue for the opposition. A seemingly endless firestorm was ignited by that general election 2018. The bigwigs of Pakistani politics got historic defeat in General election 2018. All Political parties except PTI raised serious allegations of pre and post-election rigging. They are maligning establishment’s meddling in election 2018. It is incomprehensive why all bricks were thrown on the establishment when they have failed to win elections. These politicians can twist the facts it is not new. All parties took a hard-hitting stance against the upcoming government in Al Parties conference (APC) and demanded re-elections in the country. PMLN and PPP must not leap in the dark by entering in agitation because they can do strong opposition in the house. The confusion will be amplified if questions about the vote are raised and rigging allegations pile up before the courts and media. It will be an uphill task for the government to tackle opposition with patience. Khan should adopt a magnanimous approach towards his political rivals. Political victimization must be discouraged. And Political rivals should understand the fact that it is not a flash in the pan, it is a relentless struggle of 22 years. It is a request to all his critics please give him some time to fulfill his promise. And treat him as a human being not a superhuman. Let’s pray for better Pakistan. Every cloud has a silver lining. Hope for a better, corruption-free and prosperous Pakistan.

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has completed her M.Phil in Physics recently. She has a keen interest in writing on socio-political issues. She can be reached at [email protected]

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