When this piece goes to print, the PTI Government would have completed thirty days of its governance and as expected, Imran Khan and his ministers were under the microscope during this period (and will remain so for the next five years). To pragmatic political analysts, these thirty days provided enough indicators to show the direction in which Pakistan was headed. In spite of what Khan Sahib’s detractors might say for the sake of their animosity towards him, I have seen much change in how things are happening and this change is nothing short of refreshing.

Notwithstanding the above, there is one concern that troubles me. This stems from the fact that our electronic media is yet to develop the maturity of thought and presentation that we see on CNN or BBC. This is not because of any lack of talent, but somehow our news channels appear to have adopted the notion that unless their anchors raise their energy level to a pitch bordering on the hysterical and format content with a generous mixing of ‘thrills’, they will fall behind in the revenue race. Regretfully this notion does hold a lot of water because ratings are dependent on ‘how many viewers watch what’ and a major portion of our public wants what is being fed to them on the little screen. So I am not at all surprised when television makes a hero out of an individual one day and demonizes him or her the next.

Enough on the way our media works and back to our turbulent political scene. The two Sharifs are out of prison and back in the luxury of Jati Umra. There is sufficient cause for jubilation within PML N since the duo’s mere presence is likely to begin healing the rot that was beginning to manifest itself in the Party and give it ‘new heart’. On a realistic note, this ‘new heart’ should not raise expectations to very high levels. Mr. Nawaz Sharif and his family are not ‘out of the woods’ for a long time to come and may find themselves back to square one as other cases against them reach their culmination point.

As far as PTI is concerned, it has begun to manifest the direction that Pakistan is likely to take in the next five years and frankly this excites a lot of people. Our arch enemy India, does not need a ‘fighting’ war to undo Pakistan, it has at its disposal a more potent ‘Chanakyan’ weapon – water. Why waste resources in an armed conflict, when ends can be achieved by turning us into a desert. Unluckily for the Indians, Pakistan was canny enough to recognize this, thanks to the Chief Justice’s initiative on construction of dams using our own resources. I eagerly await the day when work on the first of the three dams commences, for then I can write a piece purely for the benefit of the Opposition, asking them to apologize to the Pakistani nation for doubting its resolve and participatory role in the projects. It would surely be of interest to ask these politicians as to how much did they contribute to turn this dream into reality.

I fully understand that projection of new Government’s thirty day achievements is considered necessary for politics sake, but the past five years has brought about a sea change in the nation’s political awareness. The single most important manifestation of this change is the rejection of Pakistan’s two ‘undefeatable’ political parties and the overwhelming electoral success of the PTI. It may sound difficult, but it is imperative for Imran Khan’s team to tone down rhetoric and yoke themselves silently to deliver. I can assure Khan Sahib that this delivery will not go unnoticed and unrewarded by the people. I have already seen public reaction, on a scene that we have yearned to see for so many decades of our existence i.e. Federal Ministers standing in a queue with fellow citizens to get their boarding passes at the airport counter. I would like these gentlemen to go a step further and spontaneously stop their car at a busy public spot to mingle with the people. Let us collectively savour the face of a changed Pakistan.

 

The writer is a freelance columnist.