Imran Khan’s next innings begin

It has been decided. The votes are in. Months of speculations have been laid to rest. The country has decided. It took this man 22 years to reach his destination and he finally did. Imran Khan, Chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) defeated all major parties of Pakistan to emerge victorious in Pakistan’s General Elections 2018.

While many in Pakistan and the press in the West are saying that Imran Khan’s win was boosted by the military, the people of Pakistan have a different opinion. And each opinion matters. However, what matters the most is the greater good for Pakistan. Now that Imran Khan is the prime minister-elect of Pakistan, the 19th in the country’s history, he has amassed popular votes and the power that comes with it. It is time to see how he uses his power. Decisions must be taken after much deliberation and with consensus of his party members while keeping in mind the greater good of Pakistan.

We all know with great power come greater responsibilities. Imran Khan must accept itnow that his dream of becoming the premier of Pakistan has manifested into a reality. However, he now has to face the challenge of making Pakistan better. Former governments have done more damage to Pakistan’s various sectors, instead of improving them. Each sector must be sterilised from the grassroots to the top. The kind of vigour and enthusiasm Imran Khan showed in putting Nawaz Sharif behind bars, must now be used to eradicate corruption from each sector.

Although Imran Khan and his party would have a plethora of tasks to initiate and complete, there are a few responsibilities he must focus on, along with other matters of high significance. These issues, however, pertain to the long-term sustainability of Pakistan. First, Imran Khan must focus on education. He needs to bring public and private schools at the same level and must ensure all government-run educational institutes are operational with a full-fledged syllabus, infrastructural needs and with teachers and students regularly attending classes. However, bringing the infrastructure of these government-run educational institutions up to par with international standards must be the first priority of Imran Khan’s educational policy, along with making primary, secondary and higher education accessible to all classes of the population.

Let us hope Imran Khan and his cabinet follows the party manifesto and bring in the changes the nation expects

Second, Imran Khan must focus on providing health and medical facilities to all. There is a need for all cities to have operational hospitals, having a functional OPD ward, and an emergency unit equipped with state-of-the-art medical facilities and credible doctors and staff.

Third, people of Pakistan must be given swift justice for their personal or professional affairs. Imran Khan, while standing up to his party’s name and its essence, must streamline the everyday affairs of the courts by asking judges and lawyers to give verdict on pending cases to increase their efficiency.

Fourth, Pakistan’s economic fabric has been in the doldrums for years, especially during the tenure of the previous government. Imran Khan’s economic policies must benefit the ordinary Pakistani as much as favouring the industrialists and businessmen. He must envision an economic policy that reduces the external debt, which stands at nearly $91.8 billion. He must also reduce the circular debt and increase the balance of payments. Reducing inflation by implementing appropriate monetary policies and steadily increasing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Pakistan, by providing economic impetus and subsidiaries to various industries, must be on Imran Khan’s economic agenda.

Imran Khan and his cabinet must devise policies to give way for investment in physical capital, including machinery, equipment and factories in the industrial sector, as well as in developing infrastructure. This will reduce the cost of economic activity and will increase output.

Furthermore, investment in human capital must also be increased and avenues must be created for training and skills development. Imran Khan should also devise strategies to incorporate technology in the wider framework, supporting Pakistan’s agricultural sector. It is time we introduce technology in our agriculture sector and provide necessary education and awareness to our farmers to bring them at par with global standards. Creating a “knowledge-based economy” must be on the agenda for Imran Khan. Furthermore, he must focus on Pakistan’s foreign policy and appoint a Minister of Foreign Affairs who can diplomatically handle Pakistan’s relations with regional neighbours and the West.

Let us hope Imran Khan and his cabinet follows the party manifesto and bring in the changes the nations expect.

The writer is a columnist and author of You Rise Today!

Published in Daily Times, July 31st 2018.


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