Never before have we seen such euphoria and hope as witnessed in the run up to the recent elections, and never before, at least in my life time, have we seen such hunger for change among the electorate. The voters didn’t take this election as just a democratic practice, but as a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the direction of Pakistan. Imran Khan, apparently must be under immense pressure knowing that his followers, especially the youth, have attached great hopes with him and fulfilling these hopes and dreams of millions of his voters will amount to nothing less than a miracle. It is going to be a rough ride, keeping in view his party’s strength in the National Assembly and the Senate. I know that Imran Khan will have a plethora of advisers from every sector, but as a commoner my suggestion will be that he should focus on the small things that can be done quickly, without spending billions of rupees or the need to amend the constitution, for which he does not have the required numbers in both the Houses. Also, the voters are impatient and they want change that is swift, and which can bring relief to their daily life. Start with ridding this country of the menace of single-use plastics, or disposable plastics. Pakistan produces millions of tons of plastic every year, most of which cannot be recycled. It’s obvious that we need to use less plastic, move towards sustainable products and services, and come up with technology that recycles plastic more efficiently but at the same time make strict laws to ban its use, like in some African countries or Bangladesh, who banned it in 2002. Research has shown that plastic chemicals are now being found in our bloodstream. It has been linked to cancer, infertility, birth defects, impaired immunity and many other ailments. My suggestion would be that ban plastics first in Islamabad and slowly move to other cities and towns. I recently read an article that Dubai reduced its summer from 10 months, to five, by just planting trees. The PTI government in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa did a wonderful job by planting over a billion trees. Now is the time to replicate this project in the rest of the country. This is something which would affect generations to come. Joblessness is a major issue confronting the youth today. Though PTI in its manifesto has promised to create 10 million jobs, we all know that keeping that promise will not be easy. The only way to create such a large number of jobs is to set up large and small scale industrial units, as well as to promote vocational training amongst the youth The major strength of the PTI has been its appeal among the youth. As a researcher I have yet to find out why Imran Khan is so popular among this significant section of our population, especially in KP. Joblessness is a major issue confronting the youth today. Though PTI in its manifesto has promised to create 10 million jobs, we all know that keeping that promise will not be easy. The only way to create such a large number of jobs is to set up large and small scale industrial units. In addition to foreign and local investment to set up industries, we need to develop a base of skilled labour. My suggestion would be to either set up vocational centres in every town, or turn all the schools for formal education, into vocational centres to produce skilled labour which can be utilised both within the country, and exported to overseas markets as well In addition to the vocational centres, it is imperative that the youth be engaged in productive activities. Since our society lacks centres of leisure and entertainment, such as sports clubs, libraries and community centres, it is very important that such centres are established to utilise the energies of our youth and stop them drifting into crime and militancy. If there is a group of people that have been supporting Imran Khan unconditionally, it is the overseas Pakistanis. I know several myself, who spent their hard-earned money and came all the way to Pakistan to vote and lend their support to Imran Khan and his party. I also know many Pakistanis, distinguished in their respective fields, willing to come to Pakistan and present their expertise to the PTI led government for free. The biggest problem that overseas Pakistanis face back home is that their properties are being illegally occupied by the land grabbers. Recently we experienced this menace when an uncle of mine passed away. When his properties were taken over, for the first time I had a chance to experience working with police and the lower courts. This experience, let’s call it enriching, made me interact with people from all walks of life and especially with overseas Pakistanis. Most of them purchase properties for investment purpose or to build a second home, but little did they know that their properties would be illegally occupied and they will get little to no help from the police and the courts. Something like this can only happen in Pakistan, that one good day your legal property, bought with hard-earned money, is illegally occupied by land grabbers and the system that should favour you, will end up siding with the culprits. What I learned during the course of the last eight months is that despite my media background and resources, I could not register an FIR for months. How then do you think an overseas Pakistani, with little understanding of the system and no connections, would be treated by the Police and the lower courts in the same situation? My suggestion to Imran Khan would be that he should set up a commission and have legal experts look into cases of land grabbing and make sure decisions are made swiftly. This will not only earn you prayers, but restore the faith of overseas Pakistanis in the country, and bring in more foreign investment as a result. The first task of that commission should be to amend the procedural law, as it supports the criminals more than the victims. Second, it should do away with the ‘stay’ culture, judges in the lower courts take months giving ‘stays’, dragging the cases along for years, and forcing genuine landowners to reach a settlement with the land grabbers. One police officer jokingly told me that if I file a petition that my neighbour’s wife is actually my wife, I would get a ‘stay’ from the lower courts for that as well. The above steps are small and can be taken quickly without reshaping the entire system. I hope Imran Khan will look into it and bring relief to millions of his supporters. The writer is a journalist and media consultant. He tweets @KZalmay and can be reached at email@example.com Published in Daily Times, August 5th 2018.