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April 6, 2021

A rosy picture

Editorial

 
April 6, 2021

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his latest telethon with the people of the nation, has presented a rather rosy picture for all that is going on in Pakistan. The prolonged call-in saw the PM talk about the economy, address some concerns raised by people, and talk about how his government is dealing with these problems. For the most part, the prime minister, as he has done in the past, chose to blame others for the failures that have hit the country. While to some degree this may be correct, we do hope the government and the prime minister assess what it is about the governance of the PTI which leads to so many different organisations failing to cooperate fully with its ideas or to follow its directives in terms of bettering the situation of people.

On the key issue of inflation, about which several calls came in, the PM insisted that things would improve quickly and agreed that, while he had said much the same in the past, this time there is hope for change and that people should not panic. The fact is that the nation has been told many times not to panic but this is fact becoming almost impossible in a situation where so many find it difficult to put even the basics of life on the table, or to meet the needs of households. Not only the poverty stricken, but also salaried and middle-class professionals have been affected by the massive hike in prices.

In a rather ill informed view of things, PM Imran Khan also seems to have suggested – not for the first time – that societies need to protect themselves from sexual crimes such as rape by following the pardah system and focusing on obscenity in society, which according to the PM is also a by-product of Hollywood and Bollywood. In fact, it has been pointed out by various academics, experts, activists that rape is a crime of power and not lust – which is why what we really need is a justice system that upholds justice in rape cases and a society that doesn't view women merely as objects to be abused at will. It is these issues that we need to address no matter what is happening in the rest of the world, or who is responsible for this. The prime minister did make some reassuring remarks about the efforts by his government to look into the problems of people. It is, of course, also welcome to see a prime minister talk directly to the people and take on some rather pointed remarks about the situation in which they are living. We hope, however, that the next step will be to do something concrete to deal with the situation and make lives better for everyone in the country. Words and good intentions can only go so far.