If ever there was a need for change, it is now and the time is right. Imran Khan must capitalise on the present state of affairs to spell out his plans for a better Pakistan of tomorrow. A mere induction of new or clean faces will not be enough. What we need is a major overhaul of systems and practices in different areas and at different levels of service but there is no doubt that honesty in leadership will filter down to the bottom.

I am reminded of the tribute paid by Sarojini Naidu to Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah much before partition wherein she described him as ‘a person of faultless perception and flawless refinement, a character animated by a brave conception of duty and an austere and lovely code of private honour and public integrity’. Imran Khan should keep this description before him at all times and follow in the footsteps of the great Quaid. Like Barack Obama, Imran Khan promised to bring about a change in Pakistan not only of the status quo but a deeper substantial change. It is anybody’s guess whether the PTI with the support of the younger generation will come to victory or only make inroads into parliament. Even if it is the latter, it would be an achievement because the PTI will undoubtedly constitute a strong and vocal opposition which is a pre-requisite for any credible democratic dispensation. In this way, the PTI can nominate shadow ministers from among their parliamentarians to oversee and comment on foreign policy, economic policy, interior policy and issues pertaining to national security. The time has come for leadership in Pakistan to first look inward and govern Pakistan. Our policies should all be based on national interest while acknowledging and realising the geo-strategic importance of Pakistan in the context of having China, India, Iran and Afghanistan as neighbours as well as three significant ports at Karachi, Port Qasim and Gwadar but notwithstanding our geo-strategic location, Pakistan should avoid getting sucked into international power games which big powers engage in.

For us it is Pakistan first and last. This is the need of the hour and all Pakistanis look up to not only the political leadership but every leadership at every level to do what is right without any fear or favour and irrespective of the consequences. “Jinnah’s Pakistan Zindabad”.

LIAQUAT H. MERCHANT,

Karachi, April 20.