By Shahzada Ahsan Ashraf
Bottom Line Up Front. “A brilliant bluff by Imran Khan, pulled off with pluck of a famed Hollywood Director.” “Mr No Plan PM. Politics is best left to people who do politics. Imran Khan is no politician. He was adrift in early 2000’s in political wilderness, after being disillusioned and resigning from his one seat PTI MNA during Musharraf’s 2002 elections.
His hung around, Vicky Mobile Zone’s farm house near Jallo park, with his other friends, Yusaf Salli, Goldie of Shapes and supposedly cousin Qamar Khan, Bobby, sneered at by likes of Khusro Bakhtiar for his seeking party crowd.
These 9 years of directionless wandering was suddenly ended in 2011, when he was rediscovered by powers that be; for a second resurrection, Imran had arrived. His celebrity status and his two philanthropist creations, Shaukat Khanum and Nammal University coupled with “Star Studded” cast for fund raising overseas by likes of Fauzi Kasuri and others, led to him to become a rallying point for younger generations as his impressive credentials added to his glamour.
His marriage to and divorce from Billionaire Heiress Jemima Goldsmith was another awe factor for Imran, Sita White and Tyrian Saga notwithstanding. All of which are true.
Real launch of Imran Khan started on August 19, 2014, when Islamabad “Red Zone” was stormed in the night of same day. Federal government of Nawaz looked set to go away, but survived of skin of its teeth till ousted in Panama verdict. Imran finally got his premiership in August 2018 with his now infamous 11 points of “Dou Nahin Aik Pakistan” or also called “Naya Pakistan.” After putting 9 months of mileage into his federal government along with KPK and Punjab, what have we witnessed?
Art of deception. Baited breath anticipation was the nation, who were riding high wave of public support and youth of PTI Scoffed at any criticism and discredited “Mafias” of Zardari and Jati Umrah were scornfully and rightfully brushed aside. Opposition was crushed brutally.
But now started the deception; politically and economically. As Prime Minister oath taking was first act, Imran’s atrocious reading out of the oath, pointedly out the lack of homework and what was in store for rest of his team. No one had prepared to known problems of the country’s woes. It is rhetoric of confidence and bluster only, with no concrete policies for economic or growth. All was to be thought on the go. Or was it? Here is the greatest play acting of all times, which is now unfolding.
Case Study of Performance. Whether it is economy or good governance, PTI has not fared well in both. Let’s see KPK first. Malakand Division has a federal minister and Chief Minister from same constituency, though not illegal, but is best avoided, as it creates unnecessary pressures on the working of CM and neglect of other regions. Effects on governance in KPK are patently clear. Punjab in Bozdar CM tenure has been an abject failure, although what Imran may say in support of Bozdar’s defence. Bozdar has no vision, or any semblance of an inspiring leader, nor does he have ability to be an able administrator.
His troubles started in first week of the government, with DPO Pakpattan scandal. His government has been rocked by one disaster to next, from Sahiwal police murders to inertia in his inability to stave off challenges from different quarters. His failure to appoint over 200 provincial vacancies, since 9 months, are all due to power groups and groupings within PTI power centers.
After issue of Liquor license to Hyatt Regency hotel to CM’s helicopter insurance scandal, things are an absolute mess in Punjab. Now on to economy. It can be now safely argued IMF has staged an Economic Coup d’etat in Pakistan. Asad Omar run in with Powerful Sugar Mafia, led by JKT is primary reason for his losing the Finance Ministry.
Appointing two new heads of FBR and SBP with IMF likable persons, during negotiations with IMF, are ensuring IMF slavery, SBP Raza Baqir, who is known as expert in “debt policy” Czar assure Pakistanis as slaves of IMF for next generation.
To conclude, Statecraft is not “all or none” theater, Imran sadly doesn’t know or cares to know. He has realized he achieved his life’s ambition to be the PM. He cares not to leave behind or bequeath his legacy to his sons. He has no interest or reason to think of next elections. This is a one shot premiership, hence no intent to rule, or to govern well. Very sad but true state of Pakistan.
The writer is former federal minister and Chairman and Managing Director PIA