Loyalty is the only character trait a nation wants to see in their leader. The Pakistani nation for the 22nd time, when voting for their Prime Minister on July 25, 2018, envisioned their next leader to express his loyalty to the state. Change came and Imran Khan was elected. Mission accomplished. However, now that the Chief of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is in power and his ministers have been given their job descriptions, the real mission has just begun for Imran Khan, our new Prime Minister. It is not only Imran that has entered the Prime Minister house in Islamabad; the hopes and dreams of a better Pakistan by the millions of hopeful Pakistanis who voted for him, have also followed him there. It is akin to Imran Khan constantly carrying around a checklist of tasks that needs to be completed, challenges that must be faced, decisions that need to be made, and results he must bring to the fore during his first tenure as the country’s Prime Minister.
It is an uphill task. The enormous responsibility of living up to his party’s mantra of giving justice to all and ending corruption from the country, will be the single greatest challenge of his life. He was the leader of the ‘Cornered Tigers’ in 1992 when his team won the Cricket World Cup. It is yet to be seen how Imran Khan leads his newly formed political team. Curbing corruption, tackling those who have lived their entire life enveloped in corruption, reducing Pakistan’s foreign and circular debt, strengthening the economy, fortifying education, health, justice, and infrastructure are some of the gargantuan responsibilities Imran Khan and his cabinet need to tackle during their first 100 days in government. Becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan not only brings the Premier face-to-face with the plethora of internal problems, it also entails the Premier to counter and to create a diplomatic pathway with bordering nations, regional allies, and Western nations. While heads of states have been congratulating Imran Khan on his success, his real accomplishment will surface once he maintains positive relations in diplomacy and trade with allies and foes.
While nothing is impossible, the very image of Imran Khan has been enveloped with the “Can Do” or “Khan Do” approach. This seems aspirational, however, the positivity and charm of Imran Khan and his surfeit pledges and promises to make Pakistan better could spell his undoing if he does not create a plan and execute it effectively. Therefore, Imran Khan must follow Article 5(1) of Pakistan’s Constitution, “Loyalty to the State is the basic duty of every citizen.” Imran Khan and his cabinet ministers must bear in mind that being loyal to the country is not a part of their job description but their duty as a citizen of this country.
Inept may not define the governments, past, and present, because had these governments been incompetent then Pakistan might not have become a nuclear power. However, the word ‘unproductive’ seems to be a better way to describe past governments in the country
Article 5(1) of the constitution is by far the most important rule compelling and motivating leaders to perform their duties with diligence, dedication, and devotion. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case, as our former leaders managed to unearth or create loopholes in the system to complete tasks based on their own selfish ideals, on an ‘as and when need’ basis.
The nation has been in dire need of a leader who could provide avenues of growth to the country in all sectors. Looking at the history of Pakistan and its various governments, we see a pattern emerging from Islamabad. Inept may not define the governments, past, and present, because had these governments been incompetent then Pakistan might not have become a nuclear power. However, the word ‘unproductive’ best describes past politicians who have violently abused democracy, and that too with authority. Although the constitution is there to guide the officials, it seems the message of this document has faded away – leaving only blank pieces of paper. Imran Khan, however, has the opportunity to make things right, to remove the black patches filling Pakistan’s democratic past and to enter a new life that of hope and optimism; growth and progress; belief and confidence.
The challenge for Imran is for him to inspire, motivate, encourage and stimulate his cabinet ministers to follow his vision, his lead and his plan to make Pakistan better and stronger than before. Unity must be there in all the levels of government with the single-minded approach of remaining loyal to the state and its people at all times. Only then will Imran Khan be able to become a reliable premier otherwise, he will be a chip of the same block.
The writer is a columnist and author of You Rise Today!
Published in Daily Times, August 22nd 2018.