Imran Khan is most likely going to become the prime minister, after 22 years of struggle, which have now paid off. Khan said he came into politics because he believed that the potential of Pakistan was not being realised, and that it was in fact deteriorating before his very eyes. He added that his vision for the country was the same as our great leader Quaid-e-Azam, who envisioned a prosperous future for the nation. The recent elections were historic in nature, as the party that had boycotted elections in 2008, and only managed to win around thirty seats in 2013, is now going to rule Pakistan. What a tremendous journey for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)and its supporters. Khan is a thrice-married playboy, who once used to hang out with the likes of Mick Jagger. He is also a self-proclaimed Islamist who has, in the past, attacked feminism, disparaged liberals, embraced diehard radical religious factions and vowed to uphold the Blasphemy Law. He even enjoys the support of Pakistan’s strong military establishment. In his first speech following the elections, Khan stated that “we are going to run Pakistan in a way it’s never been run before”. He also expressed his desire to set up a welfare state like that of Madina, under the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s rule. Yet, in a country which is plagued by extremism, corruption, poverty, lack of health care and a failing economy, it will be hard to implement many of the policies he has promised to the people of Pakistan. He did try to make some amends in the very beginning by refusing to move to the Prime Minister House, as he would be embarrassed to do so. He also claimed that the rule of law would apply equally to himself and all his party workers, saying “accountability will begin with me, our ministers and then it will trickle down”. Now the question that comes to mind is what is next for Khan? He has a long list of issues to face over the next few months. There is a long list of problems which he has to address, and these are some of the core issues facing Pakistan at the moment: energy, health, economy, education, security and foreign policy, water and environment, gender, and media. The incoming government is unfortunate that they are inheriting a crumbling economy, with depleting foreign exchange reserves. They will need to come up with a new economic plan, one that is not dependent on foreign aid or handouts from the IMF. Instead the focus should be on increasing the country’s tax base, and reducing government costs The energy sector needs sound solutions for its many problems, with the rural areas the most affected by frequent power outages. They are having a detrimental effect on our economy and business industry, while demand for power is also growing daily. The new government needs to deliver in this regard, and there are several avenues they can explore. The PTI have claimed that their history in the health sector has been noteworthy, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but there are thousands of people across the country facing a shortage of quality medical facilities, equipment, and doctors. A large reason for this inefficiency seems to be the result of the 18th Amendment of the Constitution, which put health under the jurisdiction of the provinces, which allows regional governments to misuse funds originally meant for this sector. The central government should take greater responsibility in this regard, and should also keep a check on pharmaceutical companies and their exuberantly priced medicines. The incoming government is unfortunate that they are inheriting a crumbling economy, with depleting foreign exchange reserves. They will need to come up with a new economic plan, one that is not dependent on foreign aid or handouts from the IMF. Instead the focus should be on increasing the country’s tax base, and reducing government costs. Oil prices also need to be maintained at international standards, while the business sector needs to be revitalised as well. Education is another sector that has been suffering for quite some time. Hundreds of thousands of children in Pakistan are without access to quality educational facilities, academic books and teachers etc. The major cause for this state of affairs is the improper allocation of funds, with much of the money either squandered by the people in charge or just lost to the curse of corruption. The chasm between private schools and public schools has also been widening, both in terms of quality and affordability; something the new government needs to regulate. With some comprehensive planning and aggressive investment, I believe the state of education in Pakistan can be vastly improved over the next few years. Foreign policy has been an ignored aspect of our politics, with the last government not even bothering to elect a foreign minister for most of their tenure. At the present, the nation is facing a lot of problems with our neighbouring countries, as well as the US, mostly concerning security and extremism, due to which Pakistan was placed on the FATF Grey List as well. These issues need to be sorted to restore diplomatic relations with these important allies, and to avoid any form of sanctions in the future. The army’s successful operations in the North need to continue as well, in order to weed out the terrorist elements in our country once and for all. One of the greatest threats facing Pakistan at the moment has been water scarcity. It is estimated that the country will soon run out of clean and safe water unless the government takes swift action, the most essential of which is the building of dams. We waste almost 60 percent of all our water every year, and an effective National Water Policy needs to be formulated, and implemented as soon as possible to save our population from dying of thirst within a few years. In the end, it all depends on the new government of Pakistan, and how hard they are willing to work in order to save the country. Imran khan has made a lot of promises over the years and he continues to make them today. Now it’s time to see whether his actions are louder than his words. The writer is a former Banker, Entrepreneur and Political Analyst and can be reached [email protected] Published in Daily Times, August 5th 2018.