What a change Kaptaan brings

Change has come, even if it is a change that has brought back several members of General Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorial regime

This country’s powerful change-makers are likely quite pleased to see the end-product of their efforts, a comparatively weak pitch and a team of immature slogan shouters. This is an outcome that suits them completely. A weak and inexperienced government will give the deep state all the room it needs to maneuver and pull the strings.

Then there is the matter of Imran Khan, who has finally become Prime Minister (PM) after coveting the post for 22 years. However, it is an inorganic victory.

PM Khan aspires to inject nationalism into our destitute society. His plans include eliminating corruption, economic uplift and rebuilding the country’s destroyed environment. These are all positive initiatives, and I sincerely hope he is able to create his Naya Pakistan.

Let’s review the sequence of events that has taken place so far. We saw the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s first day in the National Assembly (NA). It would have been much better if the change-makers had conducted an orientation session for Imran! Still, this was perhaps the first time a PM actually displayed positive body language during the oath-taking.

Was this the beginning of the change that the PTI’s over-exited youth was looking for? Perhaps yes. However, whether this change was worth the sanctity of the parliament remains to be seen. Though for PTI supporters, it probably is. After all, their leader has used abusive language for the parliament on multiple occasions.

Earlier this week, US exhorted Pakistan to help end the Afghan war, adding that recent terror spree in Afghanistan had not discouraged them from negotiating peace with some Taliban factions

Regardless, change has come, even if it is a change that has brought back several members of General Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorial regime. These are people who shamelessly bowed down to US diktats. Perhaps being the establishment’s

God bless the King who cannot speak beyond the grassroots promises to public. Certainly, hopeful dreams are required to engage public sentiment, but still, what do the common folks have to do with the what goes on behind Pakistan’s political curtains. So, they shall remain out of this discourse. They shall be worrisomely engaged in their own day-to-day miseries and agonies. United States (US) Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is expected to visit Islamabad in the first week of September. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice G Wells may also accompany Pompeo.

Apparently, he will hold talks with the newly-elected PM Imran Khan and his team on issues of ‘mutual interest’. He will be the first foreign dignitary to meet the newly elected premier. So the legacy set by the first Pakistani PM Liaquat Ali Khan will continue.

It is said during his talks with Pakistani officials, Pompeo may focus on efforts to revive once close ties between the two states and Pakistan’s support for a US-led move to jump-start the Afghan peace process. Earlier this week, US exhorted Pakistan to help end the Afghan war, adding that recent terror spree in Afghanistan had not discouraged them from negotiating peace with some Taliban factions.

Pompeo has also asked the IMF not to consider the bailout package for Pakistan. He feared that part of the funds would be used to shed the Chinese debt being used in the CPEC projects. Who is not well-aware of the trade-war between the US and China? Trade is the lifeline for our time-tested friend that is also contributing to the infrastructural development and economic stability in Pakistan, contrary to the US and NATO interventions in the region.

The writer is an Islamabad-based policy advocacy, strategic communication and outreach expert. He can be reached atdevcom.pakistan@gmail.com. He tweets @EmmayeSyed

Published in Daily Times, August 21st 2018.