Covid-19 days are hard, especially for those who believe that the virus is real. A lot has changed since we were hit with the pandemic. Besides other things, the most significant change for me is talking to my friends on phone instead of meeting them. Being in odd situations makes us think differently and often insecurely.  This leads to thought’s about one’s future,  thinking about common concerns like the state of the economy, future policies, price hike, unemployment, and most importantly the promises made to bring about a ‘change’ for the betterment of the country. With the advent of coronavirus, most of us forgot about the pre-election promises made by this present government, having our focus only on the pandemic situation. 

I was reminded of concerns other than the pandemic during a recent conversation with a close friend, who is a passionate and unflinching supporter of the ruling political party. I complained about a few things which included the absolute lack of a combined COVID-19 national policy, non-deliverance on the promised accountability of our evil and corrupt rulers from yesteryears, absence of economic policy, health and education still not being the priority, unprecedented price hike, allegations of corruption on sitting cabinet members, stories of incompetence and other controversies, etc. 

After listening to the criticism, my friend, who admires Mr. Khan and supports every act of his government, got rattled. His response to my criticism started with the praise of our honorable PM — mostly about his personality and achievements as a cricketer and philanthropist and precisely about how honest he is, declaring him the best choice for Pakistan as a leader for now and for the future generations of the country. His response surprised me when he said, ‘my friend be patient, just wait for a year and you will see how this country will transform.’

When he found me non-receptive to the waiting game, he said, “I fail to understand why do you support the corrupt and not this honest man who is trying his best to pull the country out of this mess,” he said. 

I was compelled to write this because it’s important to realize that liking and supporting a political party is a good thing but when it comes to the interest of our country we need to give it priority over everything else. Criticism of an entity doesn’t mean the support for another.

Mr. Khan is believed to be the most powerful PM of the country since Liaquat Ali Khan by some experts. It is also believed that he comes out stronger from every crisis, and he has the complete backing of Pak Army and the establishment. But it is also a fact that the moment this government becomes weak, all the negatives will resurface and the government will be held accountable for it. 

Everyone in this country had hope when the winds of change were blowing; people welcomed it with dreams of a brighter and shinier future but it turned out to be the exact opposite of whatever was promised. The only change that set in was the emergence of this new political group and its supporters, who introduced a culture of non-tolerance even for healthy criticism. Whatever wrongs were pointed out by pre-election Imran Khan had nothing but the truth in them. I also agree with all the remedies he proposed to make things right before becoming PM. My only question is why does it seem that the government is not embarking on the road that leads to the destination? 

 This government will have to make major corrections in its present policies, show seriousness, and work very hard if they intend to deliver. Lastly, this government should spend more time trying to deliver than just delivering lectures and commenting on how they have come to know about the existence of ‘mafias’ after assuming power. Such behavior and statements show inexperience and weakness besides lowering the morale of the nation. What most people are demanding is just the right direction for this country, not an instant solution to all problems.

–The writer is a freelance contributor.