Imran Khan’s policy of frequent addresses to the nation sets a good precedent of communication between the masses and the government, in a political background where Prime Ministers are rarely seen directly speaking to the public. His addresses, however, have often been a mixed bag- at some points being very enlightening and progressive while at the same time meandering and repetitive.

His last address to the nation was on Wednesday night, where he talked about the financial package the government has secured from Saudi Arabia. He called the package amazing, saying it would help relieve the burden of debt upon the country. Khan also revealed that Pakistan would be taking on the role of a neutral mediator in the KSA-Yemen conflict. After what had been so far a relevant and necessary speech, the PTI leader capped off his address with his favourite topic- he lashed out at the previous governments for raising Pakistan’s debt and warned the opposition that there would be no “NRO” or forgiveness for those guilty of corruption. With so many important events occurring in the nation that needed to be addressed, the anti-corruption narrative is a tale that some are frankly a bit tired of repeatedly hearing, and perhaps the Premier’s speech might have been better off without the ominous warning to the opposition.

The securing of a financial package from Saudi Arabia has been praised by analysts as a sound achievement of diplomacy which will indeed allow the economy relief and lower our dependence on the IMF. Yet the news of the package leaves us with many questions- queries that the PM should have elaborated on in his address. Information about the package has been sketchy- it is still uncertain if it is a loan from Saudi Arabia on commercial terms, which would then not be so beneficial, or if the package has come with some political strings attached. Whatever the case, there needs to be more transparency to the public on this issue, especially if we are to expect similar packages from China and Malaysia. If the financial package comes with certain political conditions- and Pakistan’s new role as political mediator in Yemen certainly indicates that is the case- then it is the right of the people to know and the parliament to discuss and give approval on. A simple “don’t worry” message does not do when it comes to major foreign policy decisions.