Pakistan has emerged as a responsible global player and a harbinger of peace under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to an article recently published in British publication The Independent.
It was just a year back, that cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan was unable to suppress a jubilant expression as his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was elected into power. His victory at the time had drawn derision and awe at the same time, as the Naya Pakistan he envisioned was to unravel before those who had lost hope in the country’s fate.
Despite the painfully slow pace of reforms and austere measures, it seems that the direction, after all, is right, the writers state in their opinion piece.
“The message to world leaders is loud and clear: Pakistan is no longer a pawn, a joke, a bystander on the world stage. It is active, engaged, relevant and responsible. This is a dramatic shift from the past, one which may garner greater recognition retrospectively.”
In their opinion article, writers Farrukh Karim Khan and Saba Karim Khan summarise the difficulties and the initial rays of hope sprouting under the current government and PM Imran's vision.
“The speed of reform is slow and bumpy, and the slew of benefits won’t rain down immediately, but crucially, the direction seems to be right,” they write.
Pakistan had been heading in the wrong direction since the past 50 years, note the writers, adding that the situation of the political system exacerbated due to ‘rent-seeking political and economic elite’.
The policies of the previous governments only favoured a meagre segment of the society at the expense of masses, they state.
When PM Imran’s government came into power, it inherited a slew of problems — harsher economic woes, geo-political shift due to Kashmir issue, and a ‘irrational expectancies’ due to promises made during the election.
“For Pakistan’s economy, the inherited legacy of debt and deficits, enormous even by Pakistan’s own standards, has created immediate issues of economic growth. A deeper dive, however, reveals that the rent-seeking culture of yesteryear is finally being reined in. Discouraging investment in non-productive land and consumer goods imports, while promoting exports and import substitution is a long, drawn-out process, in a country where productivity has been steadily dwindling. After years of neglect, investment in exports is on the rise and entrepreneurs have begun setting up businesses based on import substitution."
The writers argue that as it is darkest before dawn, it is still possible to see green-shoots emerging in political, economic and technology sectors of the country.
The article lauds the PTI government’s move to widen the tax net due to the imminent benefits, owing to a ‘65 per cent increase in tax filers over the last year.’
PM Imran’s leadership style blossomed before the world in light of grave incidents such as Pulwama and escalation of tension in Kashmir, where PM Khan scored on the diplomatic front, according to the writers.
It didn’t stop just there, the request for the premier to broker and mediate on global issues such as US-Afghanistan and US-Iran were tantamount to the same confidence, highlights the article.
“The road ahead is long and arduous but Khan’s vision is beginning to reverse the self-destructive path on which Pakistan was treading for decades,” the writers note with a hint of optimism.
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