Eliminating corruption in 90 days

Published: March 24, 2012

The writer is a former consulting editor at The Friday Times, and can be found on Twitter @RazaRumi

The highly mediatised ‘rise’ of Imran Khan is promising because it engages the country’s largest segment of population i.e., the youth. This could potentially herald a new beginning in the political sense. This asset of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) — the ability to connect to the youth — cannot be underestimated. Furthermore, sections of the non-voting urban population are also joining the PTI bandwagon. This is a monumental development because the last time it happened was over 40 years ago, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto captured the popular imagination in the cities.

Much has been said about the great Khan’s sympathies for the militants who are resisting ‘America’s war’ in our region. Never mind that they also kill Pakistanis, attack mosques, shrines and funerals and are in bed with a global ideology that wants to decimate the ‘un-Islamic’ Pakistani state. The odd relationship between the PTI and the self-declared defenders of Pakistan — the ragtag Islamist parties, ex-servicemen and known terrorists — has also been highlighted. I will not dwell on these issues as several commentators have indicated the dangers of this populist discourse and the larger, intrinsic relationship between populism and authoritarianism.

My real worry is that Mr Khan is yet to offer an alternative agenda. His charisma, cricket connection, philanthropic record and the use of social media are at work. When it comes to policy, the plan ahead is almost farcical. Haven’t we heard of elimination of corruption in 90 days before? Corruption, as a slogan, has been used by almost every Pakistani government to undermine political opponents. As early as the 1950s, laws to disqualify politicians were enacted.

The 1990s saw the military establishment orchestrate a ridiculous anti-corruption charade. Nawaz Sharif’s second tenure had a Himmler-wannabe as the chief of accountability, who turned anti-corruption efforts into medieval witch-hunts. Former President General Pervez Musharraf’s illegitimate rule was welcomed by the same urban middle classes, which now cheer for Imran Khan to eliminate the ‘corrupt’, old guard politicians.

Tackling corruption is not a 90-day job, for it will only result in high-powered accountability operations stuck in a dysfunctional legal system. It is a medium to long-term process involving restructuring of institutions — laws, formal and informal rules and conventions — which shape societal interaction and determine state behaviour. Pakistani politics and economics are defined by the military’s hegemony. The biggest expenditure items — defence and debt servicing — are virtually unaccountable. Has Mr Khan thought about these issues or will these disappear through ‘moral legitimacy’ — another wooly construct cited like a totem. ‘Clean’ civilians will make the khakis give up power. One has to live in wonderland to accept such postulates as even half-credible.

Similarly, have Mr Khan and his advisers considered that Pakistan’s servility to the US war machine cannot be detached from class interests of its elites, which need global markets, military equipment and unlimited supplies of ‘aid’?

Politicians, civil servants, judges and state officials are required to declare their assets according to existing laws. There are anti-corruption establishments in each provincial government and offices of national and provincial ombudsmen exist. How about looking at these laws and institutions instead of ending corruption through the ouster of individuals alone. We are told ‘clean’ men at the top  will lead to a revolution. This top-down, autocratic approach with an arrogance of knowing all the technocratic solutions is most worrying.

It is not even clear how much electoral support Imran Khan’s charisma will translate into. I personally don’t want Imran Khan to fail. Khan’s failure and the absence of popular alternative narratives may make the future of democracy even more dismal. However, Khan must realise that this is not the managing of a hospital or a game of sport. Governing Pakistan involves the future of millions and restructuring of a national security state. Without achieving the latter, promising an Islamic welfare state is a cruel joke.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (63)

  • 3footninja
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:02PM

    You might have some genuine concerns, but i trust the man fully so i will back him to the hilt unless you give me a better option. Yes, the guy lives in an idealistic world and has idealistic dreams. Nothing wrong with that. After all, it is these very ‘crazy’ men who end up doing great things also. If he fails to deliver i’ll be happy to criticize him, and you may do the same too. But until that time he has my support.

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  • JCD
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:08PM

    An interesting article. There is one thing however that I would like to point out that almost everyone criticizing PTI’s policies misses: Solutions to Pakistan’s problems such as corruption, the education system and the energy crisis do not require years of contemplation. There are stacks of white paper in every secretariat in the country on these issues. Even a high school teacher knows how to address the fundamental issues.

    For instance, regarding corruption it is widely known that Pakistan requires an independent accountability bureau – something the current government and opposition is incapable of agreeing upon, conflict of interest laws, assets declaration by civil servants and politicans, elimination of ‘baynami’, and above all devolution of power by creating a vibrant local bodies system similar to the one in almost all European countries. These are extremely well known and tried and tested ways to eliminate corruption in the top echelons of government and does not involve rocket science as most people seem to think. The important issue is actually having the will power to implement these measures.

    Of course no one comes into power by saying that they are going to crush the poor. Everyone is for eliminating corruption but its when they get there that people realize who really meant it and who used slogans to come into power. The entire point of voting for Imran is that people think he CAN implement these measure. Compared to the other idiots and based on his history, it appears that he can walk the talk.

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  • Mar 24, 2012 - 10:09PM

    In the whole article there is no mention of the root cause of the corruption. The real cause is the century old colonial systems designed by colonial masters. If Pakistan can only reform one department, then corruption can start coming down in 90 days. That department is police. If our writers start writing about the structure of our police and compare it with UK, USA or Canada then they will find out why we have rampant corruption. As long as thinking class of our society does not start going to the root causes of Pakistani problems, nothing will change no matter who is in power-a politician or a dictator.

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  • Shyam
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:10PM

    IK probably cannot count upto 90 so the deadline will never get over. For him 90 is a laaaaarge number

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  • HMM
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:12PM

    The same old song of no policy. Before talking about his alternative agenda you need to answer a question. Have you read the Energy Policy that PTI presented on 26 February? And if yes, have you written a piece on it? Have you analyze it? Have you found shortcomings and then suggested some improvements? That is what should be the job you people be doing….Stop this ill-informed and biased views about PTI and IK. Recommend

  • Nosherwan Shahid Shaikh
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:12PM

    Indeed, so true!

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  • A Shahid
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:13PM

    Another liberal with a petulantly short imagination and inability to ponder outside the circle of current wretchedly venal politics. Much as you may write such articles, Khan would ride into power, achieve all the above so called ‘impossibles’ and be immortalised in history as the greatest political hero of Pakistan.

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  • Shyam
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:13PM

    Corruption is a state of mind where one thinks he/she can manipulated the system with money. The MINDSET needs changing. Witch hunts are just a waste of everyones time. Changing the mindset of an entire nation which has built up this mindset over last 70 years in mere 90 days is just ridiculous. IK fanbois will differ with me but then that is expected

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  • Adeel
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:27PM

    PTI already present its energy policy: http://insaf.pk/News/tabid/60/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/10147/PTI-presents-first-of-its-policy-seminars-Energy-From-Crisis-To-Solutions.aspx

    For detailed presentation, you can contact Mr.Jahangir Tareen, Head PTI policy wing. Further, PTI economy policy and local government system policy will be presented next month. For exact date just follow PTI or you can contact Mr. Jahangir Tareen.

    PTI IT& Telecom policy is in advance stage and it will follow the above.

    Features of Local Government system will also be announced on 8th April jalsa at Abbotabad.

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  • Naeem
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:30PM

    Your “real worry” is how Imran Khan will tackle corruption in 90 days and his easily available agenda. But you have no real worry what current lot is doing to the country? Get a life, we are sick of this biased attitude of you towards IK.

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  • Ahsan Rizvi
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:46PM

    Right on spot. Imran khan should give some concrete solution to resolve the deep root menace of corruption instead of exciting the youth by this rhetoric of 90 or 19 days.

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  • Hassaan Chaudhary
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:53PM

    He talks about eliminating the corruption at the top-level and thats where the problem lies. People need to understand this as soon as possible before giving their senseless advice.

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  • Saad Shibli Asc
    Mar 24, 2012 - 11:02PM

    Corruption can eliminate by adopting following procedure. 1st nationalization of all immovable and movable property of all Armed personnel, bureaucrats, politicians, parliamentarians since 1943 loan defaulters since 1943, 2nd prohibit using air conditions in office, home, transports, hotels and educational institutes hospitals. 3rd uniform salary system in all Government. semi Government and in private organizations. Saad Shibli Asc. 0333744960

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  • Mar 24, 2012 - 11:04PM

    Another “piece of hollow intellectualism buttered with COOL English vocabulary”.
    The intellect & wisdom does not go into suggesting something positive for reforming any shortcomings that Kaptaan’s policies may have. All opinion making is used to prove that Khan is incapable of leading the country that has been led for 65 years by “Highly capable” leaders.
    One question from the learned author (and his likes):
    What will Pakistan lose even if IK doesn’t turn out to be “the man” to lead Pakistan out of the current crises? Haven’t our leaders, for the last 65 years, been anything but capable. With the current set of rulers & rulers-in-waiting (all riding Samjhota Express) Pakistan is already destined to be doomed.
    So why not try a selfless person whose intentions, we all know, are good even if some drawing-room intellectuals question his capabilities. We are already destined for DOOM with our current leaders whose intentions as well as capabilities are absolutely questionable.
    Pakistanis have already been gambling on their future then why not put the bet on a person who has not been tried yet (50-50 chance) if it has to be a gamble? Why re-bet on the players who have been tried 2, 3, 4, 5 times (with 100% failure).
    Pakistan is ready for the gamble as has been hinted at over the past few months (by Lahore, Karachi, Mardan, Haripur, Gujar Khan, Bahawalnagar, Muzaffargarh, Sialkot, Mianwali).
    Drawing-room intellectuals may become part of this Tsunami (and help correct its shortcomings, if any) or may well resist it and meet the obvious fate. :)

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  • Parvez
    Mar 24, 2012 - 11:19PM

    After reading this I gather that you want change but at the same time are afraid of it. Being timid will not work, it is what the champions of the status quo thrive on.
    Goethe said ‘ Boldness has genius, power and magic in it ‘ and he was a wise man.

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  • Falcon
    Mar 24, 2012 - 11:23PM

    Thanks for another adding another IK bashing article to the pile. Few thoughts :
    1. Electioneering in immature democracies and under-developed nations is different from actual solution design. Anti-incumbency slogan always works in Pakistan and so IK is relying on it as well to a certain extent.
    2. Containment of high defense expenditure is a very strong political move that requires a lot of sophistication as well as political support of the masses. Political support variable suggests that if you elect IK and make him confront the generals, you still have a chance. For other political entities you can only hope that they will be able to survive the political onslaught that might reverse the democratic gains made so far.
    3. Every institutional have some elasticity built into it to handle risk of fraud and failed governance. Most of the institutions in Pakistan are currently operating well outside those controls limits, which means unless you tackle it at some level (even if at the top only), we will continue to descend down the governance spiral with significant spillover effects on other state issues such as that of taxation, law enforcement, education, and health.

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    Mar 24, 2012 - 11:51PM

    This “eliminating corruption” mantra is so banal and fanciful that I am surprised Reza that you would even want to write about it.

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  • Copper
    Mar 25, 2012 - 12:03AM

    Rumi sahab, he said end of “high-level” corruption in 90 days. Its not such a marvelous feat, even Zardari can do it, if he wants (surely he doesn’t). What it takes to end it? A team of professional on top of each government organization and not your cronies. If anyone thinks he can end the corruption at traffic constable level (which he never promised), he or she would be disappointed

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  • Faheem
    Mar 25, 2012 - 12:35AM

    Brilliant piece! IK’s simplistic and idealistic approach will only lead us to utopia. And the best part is: IK definitely knows that he is making such unrealistic promises to the innocent youth.

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  • SK
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:01AM

    Corruptioin – 90 days is still too long if one really is willing to do it. Its a matter of days to put it to decline. It can never be eliminated – no matter what. But sure it can be put to decline in minutes.
    Stop OSD “officer on special duty or whatever it is means – simple terminate all govt officials who doesn’t follow rule. Who wants to loose his job in such a bad economy? No body; don’t obey “verbal orders” but anybody…… its easy to do it and its easy to implement only a willing person / team is needed.

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  • BlackJack
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:35AM

    I have said this before; probably because IK’s supporters are largely idealistic youth (apart from the unabashed rightwingers), all he needs is to be the next-best alternative – not to demonstrate his credentials to actually lead the country. Nothing that you say about his actual policies/ programs (if he has any) will have any impact on these guys. Only the actual experience will bring them back to realilty.

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  • MarkH
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:42AM

    @Copper:
    Top level is the same as other levels when it comes to the process. That means the statement still stands.

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  • JCD
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:43AM

    An interesting article. There is one thing however that I would like to point out that almost everyone criticizing PTI’s policies misses: Solutions to Pakistan’s problems such as corruption, the education system and the energy crisis do not require years of contemplation. There are stacks of white paper in every secretariat in the country on these issues. Even a high school teacher knows how to address the fundamental issues.

    For instance, regarding corruption it is widely known that Pakistan requires an independent accountability bureau – something the current government and opposition is incapable of agreeing upon, conflict of interest laws, assets declaration by civil servants and politicans, elimination of ‘baynami’, and above all devolution of power by creating a vibrant local bodies system similar to the one in almost all European countries. These are extremely well known and tried and tested ways to eliminate corruption in the top echelons of government and does not involve rocket science as most people seem to think. The important issue is actually having the will power to implement these measures.

    Of course no one comes into power by saying that they are going to crush the poor. Everyone is for eliminating corruption but its when they get there that people realize who really meant it and who just used slogans to come into power. The entire point of voting for Imran is that people think he CAN implement these measure. Compared to the other idiots and based on his history, it appears that he can walk the talk.

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  • NJ
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:45AM

    @Faheem:
    So what is your suggestion then?.
    Do you have any bright ideas? I cannot believe that anyone with an ounce of intelligence would support the likes of Zardari, Shareef etc.
    Havent you seen enough failure from all these lying/cheating leaders of yours? ( btw, I am not even Pakistani, but my heart bleeds for the common man, unlike most IK haters).
    Imran is the only politician who has the success of Pakistan as his most important agenda.He is selfless, as he has proven in the past, as well as succesful in whatever he undertakes.
    All the other so called politicians ( otherwise known as crooks/cheaters/liers) are only interested in their own personal fortunes.
    People like you deserve the pathetic governance that you currently have. Good luck mate.

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  • Abid
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:54AM

    How about some news of Imran’s Mianwali Jalsaa….hmm!

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  • faraz
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:59AM

    I think Imran meant high level corruption that occurs at the ministers level where heavy commissions are received and tenders are given out to ill qualified contractors, or pressure from extra parliamentary forces prevent the government from bringing reforms e.g. transport mafia thrives on poor railways. This kind of corruption can be controlled.

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  • Abid Saleem
    Mar 25, 2012 - 2:15AM

    excellent article…It took 15 years for Imran Khan to cobble a party…but would eliminate corruption in 90 days….fool’s paradise…!

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  • elementary
    Mar 25, 2012 - 2:28AM

    Corruption is not an automatic process,somebody is doing it.It’s initiation and perpetuation triggers points are in the top political leadership.Clean political leadership depoliticizes the institutes which leads to good governance. It’s not rocket science.
    He is not going to do it in 90 days. He has been trying to get rid of corrupt politicians for 15 years, moment he achieves it,it will be beginning of the end for corruption.

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  • Pollack
    Mar 25, 2012 - 3:15AM

    Kaptaan probably meant 90 years in the gregorian calendar. Kaptaan is a very “proud” man. He will never use the gregorian calendar which is a crusader Zionist plot to put down Islam. He uses his own calendar where 90 days equals 90 years in the gregorian calendar.

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  • ALi
    Mar 25, 2012 - 5:31AM

    Does anyone have any better option than IK?

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  • ashok
    Mar 25, 2012 - 5:56AM

    Very easy to eliminate “corruption”…..Just ban the use word “corruption” itself similar to many other words that has been banned by PEMRA.

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  • wsd
    Mar 25, 2012 - 7:47AM

    These days Imran/PTI bashing has 2 prominent aspects.

    He is sponsored by Jehadists/ISI/Jew lobby/neo liberals ( all at the same time!!!!!)
    IK is a good man but he is politically naive and has no vision/panning for various crises ( socioeconomic, energy, law and order, terrorism, civilian control, corrutpion etc) faced by the country.

    Although I do not want to doubt Raza Rumi’s intentions and sincerely feel that he has written piece to urge PTI to bring forward a detailed corruption eradication plan but in all sincerity I feel that our problems are not very complex and simply putting a right man at right place will help controlling major areas of corruption.Therefore may I ask Raza,
    a)How long it will take to appoint competent/visionary people for PIA/Railways,OGDCL,Steel Mills,PSO, PTCL,NHA, heads of different ministries and how much impact it will have on corruption control

    b) How long it will take to have a functional/autonomous accountability bureau who can prosecute civilians and armed forces members with full authority?

    Most importantly, PTI has to take these steps have to be taken in first 3 months to prove themselves serious otherwise the will be another addition to tried, tested and failed lot of this country.

    PS: It has been ages that I have seen any writer discussion PMLN/PPP agenda on ANY subject ( energy, terrorism, socioeconomic system, education, corruption eradication etc). May be it my lack of knowledge/awareness!!!!!!!!

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  • mian azhar
    Mar 25, 2012 - 8:29AM

    Reminds me of ‘elections in 90 days’ :)Recommend

  • Mar 25, 2012 - 8:45AM

    Imran Khan has done a good job putting governance at front of the national agenda.

    He needs to suggest institutional remedies for ensuring this.Changing a few men at the top will not ensure justice or good governance.

    It is question of a deregulated public and private sector.

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  • Sajida
    Mar 25, 2012 - 9:25AM

    Pakistan needs fresh effort not tired old parties bringing back same old problems.
    O should mention according to polls current government’s present support is 11%. That was last year. I assume the number has fallen below 11% by now!
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=6942&Cat=13
    Zardari’s popularity down to 11pc: Pew poll 76 percent support media; Imran liked by 68 percent

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  • Umar Shafiq
    Mar 25, 2012 - 10:22AM

    It would be a miracle if IK can eliminate corruption in 5 yrs let alone in 90 days! The whole root cause of our present system is the landlord system. And unfortunately pti has now included some of the biggest in the country! So same old faces in a New party.

    Anyhow of the choices we have PTI seems the one with which we can attest the most hope. The rest are tried and tested.Recommend

  • Ali q
    Mar 25, 2012 - 10:34AM

    Either you believe a man with a big ideas can make a difference or you don’t.Recommend

  • GhulamSarwar Bhinder
    Mar 25, 2012 - 10:47AM

    Imran Khan is a true leader. He has a vision and is fearless. He has some challenges in building a team and realising the ability to when and how to use his team members. The politicians joining PTI have varied agendas and it is difficult to bring them together in a situation where they have varied short and long term goals and ideals. He may very well offer a strong opposition presence in the next parliament and this itself would be an extraordinary achievement in the lifespan of a young party that truly wants to deliver change. What he needs is to build leadership at all levels of the party and to start at the top with all major stakeholders. Perhaps PTI should utilise inspirational teachers and incorporate courses such as based on Vroom and his writings and curriculum or similar teachers from IBA and LUMS to organise couses for all the senior leaders as well as grassroot leaders in how to utilise team leadership in consensus by individual consultation, group consultation, facilitation and delegation of goals and decisions in PTI teams so that the transparency ensures that the movement has greater momentum when the efforts of the team will provide dividents to encourage more participation in guided visionary democracy for deliverance and change at a national level. He may well learn from models developped by Buffett, Gates and most importantly Apple’s late Steve Jobs. Imran has experience with this at Shaukat Khanum but needs courses and lectures for all his leaders to reeducate the national vision and gain momentum again and this can be with newer leaders to be groomed in short courses similar to executive MBA courses offered at Harvard.

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  • Dr Imran Ahmed
    Mar 25, 2012 - 11:09AM

    There is much about the new PTI I do not endorse even though I am a long term member. I do however want IK to succeed on the key issues, he is, you can debate whether rightly or wrongly, the shining hope for Pakistanis and for the future of the country’s democracy. It will be indeed tragic for all of us if he fails.

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  • washaba
    Mar 25, 2012 - 11:46AM

    What should be done with this military-led establishment of Pakistan? That is the question any aspirant leader thinking of genuinely changing things in Pakistan should have answers for. I may be called an anti-Pakistan for having such an opinion. But it is this military establishment (followed and colluded by the ‘landlord’ establishment) that has preferred mass suffering of Pakistani in the name of defending Pakistan. It is unfortunate that we can afford nuclear weapons and can build nuclear submarines but can’t provide the masses with basic health care and the like. It is high time we focused on real issues of Pakistan, chief of which are sentiments of alienation in smaller provinces, militancy, growth of military landordism and absence of functional judiciary. State should be for the people, not for a few who keep befooling the rest for the sake of their own interests. Recommend

  • 9inchLong
    Mar 25, 2012 - 11:58AM

    Anyone remember the other 90 day promise ‘I will hold elections in 90 days’!!

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  • Asfand
    Mar 25, 2012 - 12:44PM

    IK is the only hope for Pakistan. We have tried and tested the others and now it’s PTI turn. We trust him. He has never failed us before and I am sure he will take us out of this misery.

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  • Rukhshan
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:40PM

    i am not concerned what Imran Khan is doing in the present but i appreciate him because he wants to save Pakistan, to eradicate corruption to do something for his nation and when we see the other politicians, they just don’t want to work for the country, the are selfish, they just think about their selves, and I am pretty sure, if Imran Khan succeeds in the elections, surely he’ll bring a new change, a revolution in the country because he has the willpower, he cares about others, he intends to do something for his nation and he is doing what he should, now it’s our duty to co-ordinate with him with these 3 things in mind FAITH, UNITY and DISCIPLINE if we want to save Pakistan. It’s not about 90 days or 10 days or any days, Imran Khan can finish corruption in no time if we’ll be with him, because it is votes what he needs, he has everything, Pakistan is full of minerals, it’s not about the expenditure, once Imran Khan comes, he’ll use the minerals and Pakistan will be the best Place on Earth! And i know, Imran Khan can change this Country if we are with him, so that’s what I want to say about IK.

    IMRAN KHAN ZINDABAD!!

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  • Umer Rasheed
    Mar 25, 2012 - 3:08PM

    I seriously do not understand the logic behind discussions regarding Khan’s strategy behind his goals especially when every other candidate claims to have more or less the same goals and objectives. The only notable (or highlighted) difference being the timeline of 90 days that Khan purports along with some of his goals. Does PMLN and PPP have a strategy? If yes, then is it made known to public? Right now whatever Khan does can be taken in his favor and at the same time can be twisted to show his incapability. Take the inclusion of new members in the party for example. Had he not induced these people, most of the critics would have been saying that PTI is a one-man show. Had he not boycotted by-elections, critics would be highlighted how he has settled to be a part of the system he stands against or something and the list continues. There is no deeper meaning or analysis required than simply stating that Khan is a promising alternative than PPP and PMLN. If he wins, it will be a huge step forward towards democratic iteration. If he does, anything more than that it should be taken as a bonus. For the love of God, stop juggling the public around in the hands of PPP and PMLN. Support democratic iteration.

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  • Josh Shahryar
    Mar 25, 2012 - 3:26PM

    Reading some of the comments here, I can’t help but notice two things:

    A) Many of Khan’s supporters don’t seem to grasp the difference between promises and plans.

    B) Many of them also don’t seem to understand how important planning actually is.

    I think it all boils down to this: Imran Khan knows how to sell it. 90 days? Sure. Who wouldn’t like corruption to be gone from Pakistan in 3 months when it has plagued the country for almost 60 years. But how do you destroy something systematically in 3 months which has evolved for 60 years and has rooted itself in almost every part of the society? Wanting to do it is different than being able to do it.

    The best way to convince people is to say, “Yes, I do want to accomplish this in 90 days. Here are my detailed plans. This is how I’m going to do it.”

    Khan hasn’t done that. And neither has he with many other of his promises. Sure, everyone else opposing him is terrible, but what does that make him? Someone without plans that hasn’t been terrible? My primary school teacher used to say: “What is the difference between a smart kid who doesn’t home-work and a dumb kid who doesn’t do home-work? NOTHING! They both don’t do home-work.”

    That is the case here as well. It won’t matter if he’s smart or compassionate. If he can’t deliver, than what good is his election? And not showing his home-work really makes me think he can’t.

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  • Faraz
    Mar 25, 2012 - 4:49PM

    I understand the doubts that a lot of columnist have highlighted. Specially that Mr. Khan’s plans are not based on reality and are too far-fetched. I understand this because the times in which our older generation have grown up have been the times of frauds and cheats. I understand that they cannot trust people so easy specially politicians since they have not produced any results whatsoever. But this generation should answer the following before pointing fingers at Mr. Khan:
    – Why don’t they criticize the PPP or PML-N for not having a plan at all? I hope they won’t justify roti, kapra and makaan as a plan.
    – They can accept PPP’s 2.5% GDP growth forecasts but why can’t they let our leaders dream big?
    – Why isn’t there any hue and cry about how messed up PML-N was the last time around, almost sending Pakistan back to stoneage and making the people beg the military to take over in order to bring some normalcy to the country.
    -Why don’t they highlight the “Punjab-Centric” policies of PML-N in their period of rule?
    – Why would they even try to bring down our youth’s hope by writing articles like this when the youth is hoping against hope that Mr. Khan will win if real democracy prevails (which is highly unlikely under the present setup)

    I am of the belief that even one person can bring change in a day if they have the capability and the means. Only Allah’s help is required.

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  • Mazhar Mughal
    Mar 25, 2012 - 5:38PM

    Imran Khan’s stance on corruption (or indeed anything) can be criticized on ideological or practical grounds, but here is something concrete and recent that the writer could have commented on:
    http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/1-front-top-news/50429-president-confers-189-civil-awards-at-aiwan-e-sadr-.html
    Among receivers of State’s highest awards for service to the country are such luminaries as Rehman Malik, Farzana Raja, Fehmida Mirza, Farhatullah Babar etc. The list is long, please consult the complete list on the above link. Was I the only person to smell corruption there? Does such corruption require 90 or even 9 days to be eradicated? It’s unfortunate to see our educated minds trying to shatter the foundations of a new Pakistan, and avoiding to see the abyss the current lot of decadent leaders have brought us into.

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  • Umer Rasheed
    Mar 25, 2012 - 7:30PM

    If anything this article is written ahead of its time. The eradication of corruption within 90 days should be the subject only when Khan comes to power if he ever does. Such articles indirectly favors PPP and PMLN as the only direct effect they create is discouraging the educated public (target audience) of this article towards casting their votes.

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  • Salman Saeed
    Mar 25, 2012 - 7:34PM

    …even a layman knows how corruption can so effectively b eradicated from the top which makes the bigger percentage of the pie…all u need is honest leadership which khan Sb promises and a direction…he is the only foreign educated political leader as compared to other two with a clear n a very solid vision which I can see…I don’t know why others can’t…Recommend

  • WB
    Mar 25, 2012 - 7:49PM

    This is a typical Pakistani response, if we see a good thing then we must destroy it and if we see a bad thing then we just complain and try to live with it. When Mush was doing good to Pak, all this “free” media kept yelling about his uniform, but this free media has no problems with guys like Zardari ruling Pak; they’re all happy that we have a “democracy”. Shame on this media;Recommend

  • sanjith menon
    Mar 25, 2012 - 8:43PM

    If the black economy goes away, pakistan will sink in no time. Has anyone thought about it!

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  • Qazi
    Mar 25, 2012 - 8:55PM

    The only bold, concrete and unequivocal promise that I have heard from PTI leadership is the elimination of MNA/MPA funds. I am afraid though, that even if PTI comes to power in the next election through some miracle, Imran will find himself standing alone the moment he tries to do away with the “development fund” quota. The rest of his promises are mere motherhood statements so far. I have gone through a draft of PTI’s energy policy and it is no different from the present one, with all its flaws and in-built opportunities for profiteering and rent seeking.
    I am quite saddened to see that all the PTI supporters commenting above have very superficial idea of how the public sector works. The proposition that merely putting the right man on the top of a few important sectors will solve the problem smacks of a vision peculiar to small and medium entrepreneurs. A country with such complex problems and such intricate formal and informal governance systems is much harder to manage than SKMTH.

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  • omar
    Mar 25, 2012 - 9:56PM

    @Adeel:
    thank you for this information sir. i wish it was more broadly available.
    @Copper:
    how do you know imran khan isn’t corrupt himself? what makes you believe in him like that? one person doesn’t change a government or stop high level corruption. it takes the entire bureaucracy to do that.
    @3footninja:
    so thats it? you just give him blind faith just like that? wallahi. pakistanis today are just too gullible.

    my only concern with kaptaan is his shameless love affair with the beards. as a resident of lahore who was at the site of not one but TWO bomb blasts i have no sympathy for the jackbooted right wing thugs trying to destabilize this country. I hope kaaptaan will realize you don’t get rid of a wolf by feeding it.Recommend

  • Pollack
    Mar 25, 2012 - 10:04PM

    It doesn’t matter who the PM or president of Pakistan is. What really matters is who controls GHQ. So all this talk about kaptaan doing this and that is useless in the real world where the big decisions are taken at the GHQ and not in the parliament or by the PM or president. No hope for Pakistan unless that real world equation changes.Recommend

  • Ali
    Mar 26, 2012 - 4:27AM

    After reading this article i think we still deserve Zardar and Nawaz ltd.

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  • mrk
    Mar 26, 2012 - 4:59AM

    Not to defend the military because god knows that know institution in Pakistan deserves to be defended, but what is the military budget of Pakistan which also includes salaries of about half million personels and supports their family’s livelihood? Approx $4 billion.
    What is the budget allocation for debt servicing – the loans we have taken from abroad and that have been gone to the perks of our leaders etc? $8 billion and increasing. External debt has increased by 50 percent in last 4 years.

    In terms of defense budget, what is India’s defense/offense budget? About $40 billion. Granted that you cannot and should not be competing with india. However, you already have one tenth the budget of India in military and majority of their forces are along Pak borders. How much do you want to reduce this budget by?

    This is the type of disscussion we should be having rather than useless tirates without supporting evidence.

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  • Hafeez
    Mar 26, 2012 - 9:31AM

    @Adeel:
    Thanks for sharing the energy plan by PTI. It makes sense, and hopefully IK will be able to do it if he comes into power. Converting Furnace oil plants to coal is really a good solution but carbon emissions should be a source of concern. Increasing gas supplies does not only need investors, it also requires reserves which are fast depleting. It makes a lot of sense to appoint competent people to head energy related companies or departments. Similarly, I totally agree with having one ministry and regulator for the energy sector. I was pleasantly surprised to find the emphasis on renewable energy sources such as solar energy for electrifying rural areas. In this regard the experiment by Shakti (a branch of grameen bank) in Bangladesh is a really good example. However, reducing power losses in electricity will be a herculean task. It would require a complete overhaul of the infrastructure such as power lines. Even USA is facing this issue but it cannot overhault it since it would require immense amount of resources. In my opinion, the blue print is really good.

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  • 3footninja
    Mar 26, 2012 - 2:11PM

    @omar:
    It’s not blind faith my friend. Look at the guy’s record in the last 20 years and see for yourself. Not once has he failed, or given anything less than a 100%. ‘Blind’ are actually those who cannot appreciate the efforts of an honest, sincere and patriotic man, especially when the proof is out there for all to see.

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  • Kaspar
    Mar 26, 2012 - 5:16PM

    The first step towards solving any problm is to have the intention to do so. Imran Khan has shown that he has the intention.
    now the second step is whether he has the will and the thrid is whether he has the werewwithal to do so.
    his detrctors like Raza Rabbani must know that tackling a probnlme like corruption in a milieu like that in our country, where corruption is not only rampant but is rewarded is a touch job indeed. all the instituitons are there, all the laws are there, but the very people who are supposed to check corruption are themselves up to the neck in it! Thus it is not a problem requiring new legilsation, or new departments. It reuires a government with the will to eliminate corruption and nab the corrupt, whehter they are powerful and influential or even exempt from the corruption lawsl. So any one who wants to see corruption eliminated or minimised has to support the leaders who express their intention and will to do so. Pen pushers like Raza Rumi carry a responsibility in this regard. Instead of ridiculing Imran Khan, they should come out with suggestions how it can be done in the rotten milieu we live in. They must not promote despondency. Corruption must go whatever the hardships we face on the way!

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  • Khurram
    Mar 26, 2012 - 7:14PM

    @Josh Shahryar:
    You should read the policy given by IK and also mere bhai when Khan talks about 90 days he has said time and again that corruption at the top level and that surely can be done. It doesnt mean you can end corruption all over pakistan ..ofcourse not.
    Anyways bhai..do you have a better option ???

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  • Saleem A Choudhry
    Mar 26, 2012 - 7:56PM

    A premature and a biased peice, this is what IK says the forces of status co. p>

    Someone who has not had any chance to govern this country is being knit picked and the the mafias which are plundering the nation with both hands are left alone like holy cows. May be PTI’s policies are not perfect but what about the ones who have not written any working policy despite 4 years in power.

    Truth is IK is too good for these brown sahibs !Recommend

  • Shah Of Blah
    Mar 26, 2012 - 8:32PM

    I don’t get these articles. While the criticism may be relevant, it completely ignores the fact that the PPP, PML (A to Q) and the like have even less of a plan. PTI looks much better in comparison. How about some critique there? Have you seen the brilliant plan of the PPP unfold over the last couple of years – The most incompetent form of government ever seen. It beggars belief. I find it amusing how every week the same “analysis” is recycled over and over again, with the same old rhetoric about “Taliban Khan” etc etc. Have an original thought peopleRecommend

  • Umer Rasheed
    Apr 13, 2012 - 6:32PM

    Utterly pointless debate. Whether Khan claims 9, 90 or 900 days to eliminate corruption is irrelevant. I can safely say that when you compare Khan with Zardari and Nawaz, there is a strong likelihood that if Khan takes over the corruption level would be reduced drastically if not completely and I think majority of Pakistan already knows that. 90 days timeline is merely a marketing gimmick. If Pantene claims to fix your hair in 14 days and say it does a fair job but your hair still do not look like the model’s in the ad after a fortnight; does it mean you quit on Pantene and go back to Bodyguard instead. Kindly think clearly and stop beating around the bush.

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