At a huge gathering in Karachi on December 25, one that PTI leader Imran Khan believed was bigger than his meeting in Lahore, he talked big and promised bigger. “I promise on Quaid-i-Azam’s birth anniversary that I will do what the Quaid-i-Azam wanted to do...to make Pakistan a prosperous state.” Addressing the audience on the grounds surrounding the mausoleum of the Quaid, Mr Khan declared that he planned to put an end to the rampaging corruption in the country in 90 days. His aim was to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state. He would select a team on merit that would deliver. Among the highly emotional scenes of party workers hoisting Pakistan and party flags and chanting slogans of ‘Prime Minister Imran Khan’ and interrupted by rhythmic songs, he announced that he would introduce reforms in the various socio-economic sectors. Dossiers on these sectors along with reforms his government would b introducing were on the cards. Experts working under the supervision of Mr Jehangir Tareen would come up with economic policies, labour policies, tax reforms, education policies and foreign policies for presenting them before the public. He seemed to be visualising a radical change in the conduct of government officials, making it possible for “even Imran Khan’s car… (to be) stopped for speeding”. Bureaucracy consisting of able and competent men and women would work without fear of political pressure. Mr Khan envisaged a judicial system that would provide free service to the indigent litigant; it would ensure justice in the true sense of the word. Similar transformation in the agriculture sector, the kingpin of the country’s economy, would take place.

There were several other noteworthy speeches. Stealing the show among them was Mr Javed Hashmi’s assertion that he was a baghi (rebel). He reminded Mr Khan that should the changes he had been assured the PTI would bring about, not be forthcoming, he was a baghi; he had been won over to the party on those promises.

It was widely expected of the PTI leader to announce the party manifesto at Karachi. Tall promises have been galore in the past and, unfortunately, they disappointingly often prove themselves to be nothing but hot air. Now that he has been able to gather around him people of varied backgrounds, he ought to put them to work, drawing up details of the reforms he has mentioned. At this critical juncture of the country’s history, the nation stands disillusioned with the present setup. All eyes are on the future. Unless a leadership dynamic enough to act upon these promises succeeds in capturing the reins of power in the next general elections, whenever they take place, one should not hope for much change in the lives of the man in the street. And it is change in their lives the whole world is looking for. One would very much wish, in case Imran Khan carries the day, that he would not disappoint the people.