71 years have passed, and yet the story of Pakistan’s progress to-date can best be described as only incremental. We may have built a metro here and a motorway there, but we have not yet built the nation that the Quaid dreamt of. Despite having an abundance of talent and potential, Pakistan has yet to really take off. The responsibility for this must lie with those who have led us. However, we, the people, must also accept some of the responsibility as it is we who have elected these leaders again and again. In the 2018 elections, the people of Pakistan had a choice. Do we want more of the same, or do we finally want to build that country that we can feel proud to leave to our children? We have always been a hopeful nation, but we must now realize that even hope has a time limit. The time to transform Pakistan is now.
On May 20, PTI Chairman Imran Khan had unveiled its first 100-day agenda if elected as the ruling government in the July 25 elections. Addressing the event, the PTI Chairman Imran Khan said, “The purpose of disclosing the agenda is to change the pre-existing policies,” and added the agenda includes transformation in governance, revitalization of economic growth and ensuring the country’s national security. The First 100 Days Agenda consists of six themes, and each theme consists of a set of commitments that the new PTI government will start working on, and show visible progress on, within the first 100 Days of Imran Khan taking charge.
Of course, completing the agenda will take longer, but as PM Imran Khan himself says, within 100 days, we must prove to the entire country that we mean business, and we must irreversibly change the direction that this country is heading towards. That is both a challenge and a commitment.
There is no doubt that the new government would have to face a number of challenges. But PTI leadership is determined and committed to make Pakistan a developed country. PTI is the only party that came up with one-point agenda, rooting out the menace of corruption from the country.
Now coming to the, Naya Pakistan, where hopes are relatively high, where demand for a prosperous and healthy life is more than anything else, and where people are looking for a change, something which may change their natural slow course of life. In Naya Pakistan, youngsters will be looking for good and better employment opportunities and businessmen are looking for equitable and efficient business opportunities to compete with the world and region. The social and religious independence will be right for everyone. A Pakistan, where health and education will be given preference over eye-catching election-related development projects. These are some of the very few dreams related to Naya Pakistan.
The hope for a better future is essential for every human being, but it is more important for the young in Pakistan. They have been deprived of opportunities by previous governments. The lack of opportunity has led many to seek assistance from undesirable sources and Pakistan’s enemies have taken full advantage of this situation. Out of sheer frustration, some seem to have accepted very minimum incentive for seditious activities against the state. As a result, many counter-terrorism “experts” see Pakistan as a failed state. Pakistan is not a failed state: Pakistan possesses enormous resources for becoming a model state as was perceived by Iqbal and Jinnah almost a century ago. PM Khan claims that Pakistan’s founding fathers have motivated him. Pakistan’s founding fathers rightly understood that modern civilization could be saved only by following the Quran’s guidance through prophetic teachings. Unfortunately, in Pakistan today certain reactionary elements have hijacked the understanding of the prophetic model. Pakistan today is extremely polarized in the name of this model. In my view, this model simply demands accountability, transparency, rule of law that is participatory, responsive, equitable, inclusive, efficient and effective. PM Khan will have to be careful about what comes in the name of religion as well. Thus, there will be no honeymoon period for the new government. Because hopes are high, people of Pakistan have given the opportunity to PTI to complete a dream of Naya Pakistan, now it’s their turn to make people’s dreams come true regarding Naya Pakistan.
Published in Melange Intl. Magazine September 2018.