‘Illusion of truth’ is a concept known among psychologists which often means repeating a lie enough times that it becomes the truth. Perhaps this is what the ruling PTI has been trying to use to negate the failure of its anti-corruption drive. What else can explain Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent statement, “the promise to end corruption in 90 days has already been fulfilled.” According to media reports, the premier made these remarks in a party meeting following the Transparency International’s report in which Pakistan’s ranking has slipped 16 points from 2020 in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for last year. The index shows consecutive fall of the country’s ranking, leading to it standing at the 140th position out of 180 countries, as well as score during the last 3.5 years of the PTI’s rule – a fact that has left the incumbent government red faced as ending corruption in the country was one of its central goals during electioneering.
Federal ministers have gone as far as to credit the global corruption watchdog’s report unreliable, despite the data of it coming from international forums, such as, the Economist Intelligence Unit, World Economic Forum and the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index.
In a face-saving attempt, PM Imran has also asked party members to highlight the corruption of the Sharif family. However, the reality remains that the ruling PTI’s pledge to do away with corruption in 90 days of assuming power has remained a pipedream. Not only has the incumbent government failed to bring back any looted money, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is also being questioned by the Supreme Court over its lack of evidence in many of the cases it pursued against political leaders of opposition parties. How then does the premier expect the public to believe his recent statement is anybody’s guess.
The general public is already crippled under hyperinflation the country is faced with. With almost a year left for the next general elections, what the government should do is focus on averting this economic crisis and providing relief to the common man than engage in petty politics by continuously blaming successive governments for all its political failures.
Accepting one’s failure and moving on to do better, is a mark of a mature leadership. PM Imran-led government needs to step up.