The father of the Western system of logic and philosophy, Socrates, once said, “No man undertakes a trade he has not learned, even the meanest, yet everyone thinks himself sufficiently qualified for the hardest of all trade, that of government.” This Socratic analogy describes the very prevalent phenomenon existent in Pakistan’s political arena, in which almost every other politician pretends to be sufficiently qualified to run the affairs of probably the most complicated statecraft on this part of the planet. If given a turn, they claim the problems of Pakistan would miraculously disappear, but their convictions go out the door shortly after they are sworn in. Thus, the political act of deception and disillusionment has been replicated under different political brands, time and again in the past seven decades of this country’s history. In the recent General Elections, a sportsman turned a statesman; Imran Khan, has persuaded the masses, especially the young voters, of the same thing, reassuring them that he has the sufficient qualifications to cure almost every major disease that is affecting our state today, including corruption, lack of jobs, clean water and power, governing difficulties and an underdeveloped economy. In his first victory speech, which was largely perceived as being moderate in its tone and substance, the soon-to-be twentieth Prime Minister of Pakistan, pledged to implement various policies on his agenda once the PTI government is up and running. He began by stating his desire to replicate the socio-economic system of Medina, the first Islamic welfare state back in the seventh century, after which he moved on to highlighting the importance of political reconciliation. This was followed by his pledge to stop political victimisation, establish a strict Rule of Law, eradicate corruption, improve foreign policy and the challenges that come with it, as well as to duplicate the ‘China Model’ within Pakistan in order to alleviate poverty and create wealth in the nation. However, the objective reality is that under the existing socio-political dynamics, Imran’s rhetoric to adopt the China Model is nothing short of a political gimmick. What is the China Model and how does it function? Simply put, it is a phrase widely employed to describe China’s approach to economic development and governance. However, before we can understand this unique approach, it is imperative to understand the socio-economic life in China pre-and post-1978; the period between the revolutionary Mao Zedong, and the reformist, Deng Xiaoping, which provide a background for understanding the economic development of present-day ChinaUnder Mao’s rule, China went from a capitalist system to a socialist system that saw a violent revolution against the powerful landlords and rich farmers across the nation, in the form of land reforms. These were intended to overturn “semi-colonial and semi-feudal” conditions within the country, and formed a fundamental step in their future economic developmentWe all heard Pakistan’s presumed new leader, Imran Khan’s victory speech in which he obsessively quoted the whopping stat of the 700 million Chinese who had been lifted from the quagmire of poverty within three decades, but like many others, he completely disregarded the period in which the groundwork for this progress was laid, which occurred under the Chairmanship of Mao. Under his rule, the country went from a capitalist system to a socialist system that saw a violent revolution against the powerful landlords and rich farmers across the nation, in the form of land reforms. These were intended to overturn “semi-colonial and semi-feudal” conditions within China, and formed a fundamental step in their future economic development. The politics of pro-poor land reforms following the ‘Maoist Thought’, functioned as the force that gave the initial communist government legitimacy, moral confidence, and laid the groundwork for the economic progress the country made under the guiding ideology of China’s paramount leader and pragmatic reformer Deng Xiaoping. Deng’s Theory of ‘reform and opening up’ would not have worked if Mao’s land revolution had not been successful.Focusing specifically on land reform, while the landowning class in China lost much of their power and influence during the socialist revolution that took place in the country, in Pakistan this segment has retained its authority and has formed an integral part of the political arena since 1947. Today, members of this exclusive community can be found in every major political party in the country, including Imran’s own PTI, and this gives them control over the legislation process that might threaten to rob them of the power they have enjoyed for so long. This way they can protect the status quo and make sure that any step towards actually achieving Imran’s ‘China Model’ can be thwarted from within the government itself. In a predominantly semi feudal and semi colonial society, in which wealth is concentrated in the hands of the landowning and business oligarchs, Imran’s idea to introduce a welfare state based on the principle of egalitarianism more akin to that of the seventh century state of Medina, as well as his desire to implement the China Model, seem destined to fail.The China Model will require a determined political intervention in order to introduce the radical socio-economic reforms needed for its success. Whether the new leader of Pakistan has the necessary pragmatic reform strategy, and more importantly, the vital political support needed for this task, remains to be seen. Imran’s mantra of “Naya Pakistan”, which he used to mobilise the resentful youth in our nation, was quite successful, and, as Socrates put it, the “hardest of all trades”, is now his responsibility. The onus is on Imran Khan to prove he has the political qualifications and mental fortitude to tackle the number of complex challenges facing Pakistan today, and fulfil the many promises he made on his way to the Premiership.The writer is a freelance writer who tweets @ranasarfraz3417Published in Daily Times, August 7th 2018.