In 1856, Abraham Lincoln stated that actions speak louder than words. Since then, the common man has been quoting his saying on various occasions. Gone are the days when people believed all that the politicians promised them, now they want to see all the vows turning into reality. It has been four years since Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa embraced the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. The common man does not pay heed to the political party itself, but what the party has to offer. So what has it offered till now?
The rosy cheeks of children hopping to go to school to study the new English-language curriculum to be big men speak volumes. In a country where ghost schools are much heard of and the syllabus remains unchanged for decades, introducing the studies in a language the world understands has been no less than a blessing from the PTI, state the parents. These parents are shifting their children from private institutions to public ones because they have become content. Alif Ailaan, a nonprofit organisation working for the education sector of Pakistan, ranked nine out of 10 districts from K-P on the District Education Rankings with only one from Punjab.
Illness is also no longer a burden for the unprivileged. With more than half of the K-P population having 2.4 million health insurance cards, medical treatment has become affordable. Some cities have started offering e-ilaj, a service that allows users to find out about their potential sickness. Another recent event that left the hearts of many at peace was the justice given to Asma’s ruthless killer in a short span of time. It is said that leaders who truly are what they seem to be, prefer the love of the common man and yearn to earn their respect rather than winning it over through power. That is precisely the reason why K-P has always been inclined towards one political party. Whilst the other parties may believe in showering people with gifts, the PTI believes that these gifts are just mere responsibilities that have to be worked on upon at any cost. Thus, the ‘gifts’ never stop coming; a perfect example would be the strategic planning being done for the Swat motorway and Rapid Bus Transport, addressing the vehicle and time problem of many.
Let’s talk on the basis of statistical findings. As of 2017, K-P has been able to reduce the crime rate by 10%, miscellaneous crime rate by 20% and the traffic accidents rate by 4% as compared to the stats of 2014. Other reductions include extortion (51%), kidnapping for ransom (48%) and car hijacking (18%). Furthermore, comparing the analytics of the past six years, the rate of people dying in terrorist attacks and the total number of terrorism cases have also been reduced.
The province also launched citizen’s Facebook which connects people to public departments and allows them to register complaints through its portal. Out of the 33,300 individuals who downloaded it, 18,000 registered complaints. It is safe to say that around 81% complaints were resolved. A recent article published in this paper discusses former finance minister Ayesha Pasha’s book which states that K-P has achieved the highest growth rate since 2007 — K-P’s average growth rate of 5.1% was better than the national average of 4.5% for the period of 2013-14 to 2016-17.
Now, when I sit in crowds, I simply ask for factual information in the shape of what has occurred rather than words in the air which just might. It is not hard to identify dedication if one comprehends Lincoln’s saying. It is time for you and I and our grandparents who have been following their folks for decades to address the ones who are addressing them, to weigh the facts before the promises become too many to recall, and to wake up before their little ones forget that actions do indeed speak louder than words.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2018.
Like Opinion & Editorial on Facebook, follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all our daily pieces.