It has been one year since the Imran Khan led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf came in government. I remember how excited I was on the day of elections, woke up early in the morning to cast my first ever vote. I, like millions of other Pakistanis, stood in long queue in the blistering heat of July and casted my vote for bat with the dreams of having a “Naya Pakistan” in my eyes. We voted for bat to have a Pakistan which Imran made us dream of. A dream that there will be meritocracy, institutions free of politicization, good health and education systems. But after completion of 1 year, it seems that we were all living in fool’s paradise.
PTI’s one year performance is contrary to the hopes of millions of its voters and has made voters question their earlier decision to go for Imran’s slogan of change. Imran Khan, when in opposition, made many promises but it seems he has forgotten many of them. One of many promises was that he would demolish the walls of governor houses the day he came in power and that the governor houses and CM houses would be converted into public places. It’s has been one year, governor and CM houses are still intact and respected Chief Ministers and Governors are living there. PM house is yet to be converted into university.
Imran Khan, after being sworn in as the 22ndPrime Minister, said that he will appear in Parliament’s question hour and will answer questions himself. His statement got him well deserved appreciation from the opposition but we are yet to see him answering questions in question hour.
Khan also vowed to use commercial flights instead of private planes for international tours. But apart from Prime Minister’s tour to United States, we are yet to see him using commercial flights for foreign tours.
It’s a fact that the public has not received any relief during the first year of PTI’s government. Imran Khan was supposed to improve the quality of life of people but it seems he has done otherwise. The quality of life of general public has gone down further. Inflation rate was 5.84 a year ago and now it stands at 10.84.
The major reason behind the increase in prices of commonly used products is the decline in the value of Rupee against the Dollar. Dollar was around 124 one year ago and today it is being traded at 160. It is expected that the inflation, which is already in double figures, will rise further making the lives of people more difficult.
The prices of petrol and diesel were around 95 and 112 respectively when PTI came in power. Today, after completion of 1 year of the government, petrol and diesel prices are 117.87 and 132.47 respectively making the consumer items even more costly.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s borrowing is also record high by any government in its first year. They have borrowed 16.2 billion$ from IMF and other friendly countries. They had no other option but to borrow money but still it is to be remembered that its record high by any government in first year.
For years Imran Khan kept telling us that Asad Umar is the solution to our economic problems but to all of our surprise he was removed months after PTI came in power. Hafeez Sheikh, whose policies Khan would criticize when he was serving as Finance minister during PPP’s tenure, was named as Asad’s replacement.
There were hardly any Imran Khan speech which would end without him mentioning about the police reforms and how crucial it is to depoliticize the police. But sadly we have not seen any reforms during the first year of the government. DPO Pakpattan’s case was fresh example of how the CM Punjab intervened in the police matters and ordered the transfer of Rizwan Gondal. The inquiry report submitted in supreme Court held Buzdar accountable for the transfer but we didn’t hear even a condemnation from Imran Khan, the flag bearer of change. Another example of meddling in police affairs is Azam Sawati’s case where the minister got IG Islamabad transferred for refusing to facilitate.
Education and health sectors are still the same and we are yet to see any improvement. Imran Khan promised that there will be same syllabus for all students but so far there’s little or no progress. Still a more than 2.5 million students are out of school and we don’t know what steps are being taken to get them enrolled in school.
So the first year of Naya Pakistan is completely opposite to what was expected. I really have no doubt on Khan’s intentions but have serious reservations over his ability to deliver. There are definitely some positives but not much. Pakistan’s foreign policy has been successful and the relations with the world improved. Imran Khan’s conviction to fight corruption deserves appreciation. But still there’s a lot more to do and I wish Imran makes the Pakistan he made us dream of.
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