Ousting of Imran Khan-led coalition government has washed out his committed and non-committed sins, and he has emerged as a ‘hero’. Especially acceptance of the present government in its Economic Survey report of 2021-22, showing the 5.98% GDP growth which is even more than expected, agriculture growth has been demonstrated as 4.4 percent, 7.19 percent growth in industries, and 6.19% growth in services, is a ‘blatant proof’ of the success that the previous government has ‘achieved’ despite corona pandemic and other international oddities. The previous government’s ‘significant’ steps like the billion tree program and starting work on the Diamer-Basha Dam were decisive steps towards sustainable development. These ‘facts’ deny ‘baseless’ propaganda of the big mouths of the new government leadership, claiming that the previous government has devastated the country’s economy.
These were remarks of former The Pakistan Times editor-in-chief Nasim Ahmed, who addressed the Lahore Eilaf Club as the guest speaker this week. The Eilaf Club had a heated discussion on Pakistan’s political crisis. Other participants were Khalifa Ziauddin, Javed Nawaz, Rana Ameer Ahmed Khan, Majeed Ghani, Dr Muhammad Sharif, Toqueer Khan, and myself. Nasim Ahmed – the guest speaker – said that the country’s bus was ascending towards the peaks of progress, but its ‘driver’ was suddenly changed without knowing the destination. This political crisis started on the night when the apex court was opened at midnight. Since that day, there has been no peace in our minds or streets. There is a storm of price hikes and devaluation of the rupee. Control is not in anyone’s hands. Efforts are being made to drag the army into politics.
I neither like Imran Khan nor coalition leaders. I like only what is good for Pakistan. We need to adopt rational thinking. Whatever is good from Imran Khan or Shehbaz Sharif, we must accept it as well. Many people are trying to make the army’s role ‘controversial’. I consider it better if a technocrat government was established and elections could be held after some months. The United States of America continuously ‘interferes’ in the developing countries’ internal affairs, which is why it wants to keep us economically weak. I cannot say whether it was ‘interference’ or ‘conspiracy’ and what was behind the change we got this time. But it is certainly not a good change. Throughout Pakistan’s history, our courts couldn’t deliver justice to anyone. There is a dire need to change the entire judicial system.
Khalifa Ziauddin said that Pakistan has an important position on the globe. In South Asia, a fourth of the world’s population resides. All of the countries in the region are very important. This region itself and the lands around it have atomic power. We have developed a relationship with the United States where she neither lets us drown nor go up. She wants us to remain under its pressure. If we come out of the USA’s influence, it will not decrease our importance. There is planned maneuvering of western countries under the worst condition of our economy and politics. But we are confident that Pakistan will exit forever. One day our nation will enjoy the days of prosperity and true freedom. Nature is very kind to us; our country has all types of mineral, agricultural, and human resources.
The need is only to get access to the national resources from the mafia. We need not import food from other countries. We can grow and use all things in our lands. The problem is with proper planning and governance. We should be very strict with those playing in the hands of foreign powers to forward their agenda here. Strangely, we look toward elections to solve all the problems. But we never know what change we will have after the elections. Don’t we have any other solution to our issues besides elections? Javed Nawaz said that bureaucracy is the real problem in Pakistan. They are the people who consider themselves ‘real masters’ of the people. They were trained as the British bureaucrats were prepared to rule their ‘subjects’ in India.
The rules and regulations are the primary tools that are interpreted and implemented according to their wish. There were times when most bureaucrats followed the rules, not the desire of politicians. But this is an era where bureaucrats try to come to close politicians for having good postings. The politicians and foreign powers can also ‘purchase’ some of these bureaucrats. These ‘purchased’ people are the ‘real criminals’ who hinder the way of real progress of this nation. Rana Amir Ahmed Khan told the audience that people are criticizing the apex court’s opening at night. The court was there to determine whether its orders were obeyed or not. It wanted to ensure voting regarding the no-confidence move and implementation of the constitution. South Asia has become a game ground for international politics in this era.
If Pakistan and India’s relations become routine, it will bring peace and prosperity to our people. Currently, our politics is experiencing intolerance against each other. Nevertheless, nowadays, Imran Khan’s ‘narrative’ is successful. One bitter reality is that we are overloaded with foreign loans. It can collapse our economy. The only solution is to cut down the government’s expenses. A developing nation can’t afford luxuries of its rulers. It is a serious matter, and the country should rise against foreign loans and exorbitant rulers. Majeed Ghani said that there is chaos in our politics, and no one knows which side the ‘camel of politics’ will sit on. Intolerance is increasing in society. The nation has been divided, and we can’t say to what extent this divide will go. It is better if the elections are announced immediately after the national budget.
On the occasion, I told the audience that Imran Khan’s rallies and public meetings have proved that he is the ‘most popular political leader’ in the country and has at least ‘fifty percent’ following of the people. We know that there are one hundred and one tactics to rig the elections. Giving the power to the ‘deserving party’ is the job of the ‘powerful’ institutions. Fair, and transparent elections will be a big success for the ‘powerful’ institutions. They must take care of ‘fake’ votes and hooliganism on the polling day. Lying and propagating can’t make a group powerful. The power lies in the ranks of the public. If we work for the well-being of an overwhelming majority of our people and make them happy, we will be a strong nation, and the people participating in that process will be our heroes.