PTI's 100-day plan seems like another Imran rhetoric

Had Imran focused on the development and laid a sound foundation of a progressive model in KP things would have been entirely different

2018-05-25T17:22:00+05:00 Imad Zafar

Imran Khan has finally revealed his 100 days agenda in case PTI comes to power after general elections 2018. While the points in agenda are fascinating and appealing at the same time it raises a question that why this agenda was not adopted during PTI’s five years of government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Is not it easier said than done? After all, five years are enough to judge PTI governance abilities. after creating havoc through sit-ins and one wonders how Imran Khan is sure that his political opponents will let him govern easily? After all, politics is all about trapping opponents. Had Imran focused on the development and laid a sound foundation of a progressive model in KP things would have been entirely different. During the five years of PML-N term, Imran only focused and wasted all his energies on toppling the centre and looked towards the empire to intervene and award him the thrown. Since Imran, who initiated this game of throwing, should except the same from the opposition and of course he cannot complain about the unnecessary agitation politics by the opponents if he comes to power.

Talking about his vision of first one hundred days, a business-friendly country and awarding 10 million jobs seem tall claims and beyond the realms of reality like the billion tree tsunami claim which eventually never met the desired results. He still has to prove his mettle as a serious and mature political leader and that is why the whistleblowers are indicating towards a possibility of Shah Mahmood Qureshi from the PTI becoming prime minister instead of Imran Khan after the elections of 2018. It is assumed by the whistleblowers in the power corridors that the next general elections will bring a coalition government and PTI will bank on PPP and independent candidates to form its government in the centre. So how Imran Khan who is not known for listening to the advice of others can move ahead remains a question. The problem with the agenda of building houses is that there is already an allegation leveled by his opponents regarding the embezzlement of charity money which was collected in 2011 flood for the flood affectees. Imran in collaboration with a media group collected the charity to build houses for the flood affectees, but till date, there is no solid evidence of any house being built and whether the money was being spent actually on building houses or not remains the question. In KP, Imran in spite of the backing from media houses and a massive social media campaign, did not deliver as per the promises. Pakhtunkhwa has not seen any revolutionary changes in the fields of education, health, and law and order. Nor does any significant structural change in any government institutions is visible. This leaves a question mark on his agenda and his ability to govern. He may emerge as a victor after the elections but running a country with a lot of social and political issues and a hostile and experienced opposition in the form of PML-N will never be an easy task.  

Coming back to PTI 100 days plan, its adviser Asad Umar stated that all the government guest houses will be turned in to hotels and will be open for public, but he was not able to explain that why during its five-year stint in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa PTI did not convert even a single government house into a public place or a hotel. In fact, we did not see an even a small library built by the PTI in KP. Likewise creating 10 million jobs in the next five years claim seems to be an election sloganeering, as in KP not even one million jobs were created through the public-private partnership in the five-year stint of PTI. It is always easy to speak about creating jobs and to put check on unemployment rate but when it comes to execution even the experienced political parties are not able to address this issue. If Imran’s PTI cannot create even a million jobs in KP how will it create 10 million jobs in the entire country also remains a question. Construction of five million houses and tax reforms is another highlight of the plan of PTI, but again this claim has no evidence at its back as neither have we seen few hundred houses built in KP nor we have seen any concrete stop to increase the tax net in KP. While CM Pervaiz Khatak hinted towards the expansion of Insaf health card, he did not brief the audience that how PTI provincial government which was not able to control dengue virus and instead of taking measures to stop this disease why Imran Khan and other provincial leaders instead of remaining on the ground went to a hill station of Nathia Gali? His tall claims regarding protecting the women rights remain highly doubtful as PTI never addressed the issue of protecting women rights in KP during its five years stint. In fact contrary to its claim, PTI aligned with conservatives parties like Jamaat-e-Islami and extremists like Maulana Samiul Haq and as a result, it has been tagged as a conservative right-wing political party.

While Jahangir Tareen talking about agricultural reforms seem to be the joke of the year. As in south Punjab where Tareen has political influence and also has a constituency ,farmers are exploited and even not being paid for their sugarcane crops. Tareen an honor of a sugar mill is accused of exploiting the farmers and purchasing sugarcane from them on low prices or by delaying the payments resulting in a financial damage to already poor farmers. If PTI was serious about bringing agricultural reforms it would not have been banking on the feudal lords and industrialists who make profits by exploiting the farmers and who are the biggest hurdles towards bringing reforms in the agriculture sector of Pakistan. Shireen Mazari's foreign policy and internal policy points seem mere rhetoric as in Pakistan elected governments are not allowed to lead the policies regarding foreign affairs and internal security narrative. Her point that PTI will identify the active and inactive terrorists and bring curriculum reforms also remains very weak as during its five-year term in KP, PTI not only was unable to counter extremist narrative but it included the more extremist text material in the school books on the behest of its ally Jamaat-e-Islami. So the question arises if PTI cannot resist the pressure of conservative forces in a province how can it face the backlash from all over the country for bringing curriculum reforms in the entire country. We have not seen any concrete measures from the PTI regarding seminary reforms. Contrary to that it is aligning with the likes of Maulana Samiul Haque with a stance against the progressive policies so it actually seems quite hypocritical in terms of the claim.

It is all a fairy tale as far as Imran Khan is concerned, as his main opponent Sharif is being ousted from politics and his party is being under the alleged victimisation. So under the circumstances, Imran may come to power as a result of engineered elections but it is not all about seizing power. It is the ability to handle power and to govern the country in an efficient manner that really matters. On that part, PTI has failed miserably. The statistics of KP during PTI tenure are evident to the fact that PTI has not learned the art of governance and management. The mega infrastructure projects in Punjab and the numbers of school going children in Punjab and Sindh both are better then KP. The inability to show a good governance model in KP leaves a question on Imran’s vision and self-proclaimed status of messiah.

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