Independence Day and New Pakistan

Cricket player turned politician Imran Khan is about to become the next prime minister of Pakistan likely on August 14, the country’s 71stIndependence Day.

On July 25, the country completed one of world’s largest democratic exercises.

Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the single largest party in the 25 July elections, winning 116 National Assembly seats out of the contested 270 parliamentary constituencies.

Addressing the public as prime minister-elect, Khan said that having played cricket, he knew the game was not over until the last ball had been bowled. But he subsequently appeared on national television promising a naya (new) Pakistan. He reiterated his promises to fight corruption and lift up the country’s poor.

Country is all set to celebrate the 71st Independence Day with national fervor and zeal with a renewed pledge to safeguard the country against any threat and make it a true Islamic welfare state as envisioned by the founding father Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Patriotism can be seen all over the country as the roads, shopping malls and public places are adorned with national flags, portraits of the national leaders, banners and buntings to give a festive look.

This year on the Independence Day the nation is eyeing the emergence of a new Pakistan free of corruption, poverty and nepotism.

The Quaid believed in Islamic principles and democracy and advocated the cause of the poor. He had a dream; he visualised a welfare state. He had conceived Pakistan based on foundations of social justice and Islamic socialism which stress equality and brotherhood of man. Like Allama Iqbal, he was concerned with the problem of poverty and backwardness among Muslims for the eradication of which they looked, on the one hand, to the urges of dynamism, struggle and creativity in Islam and, on the other, to the Islamic principle of distributive justice.

The Quaid’s speech at the 30th session of the Muslim League during the freedom struggle reflected his vision, saying “it will be a people’s government.”

He gave a warning to landlords and capitalists who flourish “at our expense by a system which is so vicious, which is wicked and which makes them so selfish that it is difficult to reason with them.”

We hope that new government follow Quaid’s vision and will work on Human Resources like youth employment opportunities, by offering incentives in tourism, housing and construction sectors. FATA would also be brought to the mainstream by giving them substantial development funds. It is expected that the new government will encourage investment by creating an investor-friendly environment in the country & will also help create new jobs and increase domestic exports for which tax rates and energy tariffs will be reduced to make Pakistani products competitive in the international markets.

If Khan actually changes Pakistan in the ways that he has promised, it will be a greater miracle than any of those he achieved on the cricket pitch.

Published in Melange Intl. Magazine in August 2018.

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