Ten million jobs, five million low-cost housing units, recovery of the looted national wealth parked in offshore tax havens, broad-based accountability, reformed institutions, expanded tax bases, revival of industries, end to energy crisis, new dams, a new province out of Punjab, Fata’s merger with K-P, transformation of Karachi and reconciliation in Balochistan are what will put us on the ‘Road to New Pakistan’ over the next five years. This is what Imran Khan has promised while unveiling his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s election manifesto — just two weeks before the July 25 vote.
Politicians are known for treating their election manifestos as a mere formality before elections. What with Khan? Is he serious about his intentions or does he too know he has set himself a big target — with the potential to remain elusive — and can hardly be there or thereabouts? Well, he answers the question himself as he unfolds his list of vows to the nation, perhaps bearing in mind his tumbled claims of nipping corruption in the bud within 90 days only. “No one should expect that this manifesto will be implemented easily,” the PTI chairman tells the audience, adding that fulfilling the promises will be a great ‘challenge’ for him and his party, particularly those on the economic front.
Promises are usually forgotten. Well, that at least appears true in case of our politicians who survive — rather thrive — on the short memories of the constituents. Seldom are they seen pursuing their electoral promises, let alone coming nearly good on them, at the least. On a contrary note, let’s hope the PTI chairman will lay the foundation of his ‘Naya Pakistan’ in the next five years, if his party comes to power. Even if the PTI tries, in earnest, in pursuit of the pledged targets, it will be a true service to the nation.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2018.