Turnaround in Pakistan

The world has witnessed Pakistan vying to settle issues with India by talking and not fighting

Cllr Dr James Shera March 28, 2019
The writer is a Sitara-e Pakistan recipient and MBE. A Pakistani-Christian based in the UK, he was the first-ever Asian to become Mayor of Rugby and has been an elected councillor for the last 36 years

The Quaid-e-Azam gave us the vision of a modern democratic nation which promised human rights, women’s rights and minority rights to every citizen. I have been heartened to note that Prime Minister Imran Khan who is an enthusiastic supporter of the Quaid is vigorously trying to follow in his footsteps. In this he faces many challenges but he is moving in the right direction. He deserves our support.

The present government came into power nearly seven months ago. It’s too short a time to achieve any national target in any country and more so in a country like Pakistan with a backlog of systemic stagnation for decades but we have seen that this government has been able to initiate a turnaround in the mindsets of people as well as regarding priorities of the government. Now we can see that important issues for people like health, education, environment and human rights rank among the priorities of the government.

For me, the biggest achievement of this government is giving a turnaround to the mindset of the nation as a whole by setting the agenda in right direction, re-setting the priority ranking of issues and above all turning the psychology of nation to one of self-respect and receptiveness to its strengths. Now the issues of concern to a common man and those of future generations are right at the table of the Prime Minister and the solutions are right in his mind. The use of Pakistan Citizen’s Portal in this regard, which recently came second best out of 4,646 mobile applications of various categories from 87 countries at the World Government Summit in the UAE, certainly cannot be discounted.

Today an ordinary Pakistani also feels that the matters people used to discuss with their families and friends thinking how to bring those concerns in the knowledge of top man are now raised by the Prime Minister himself. People feel respected by those at the helm of power as the government has set the focus of each and every programme for the benefit of the common man.

In his speeches, the Prime Minister has clearly spelled out minute details of causes of poverty, the problems of small farmers, the strengths of our resources and the specific programmes to solve the problems in the vital areas like climate, education, health, economy and so on. His in-depth knowledge of issues would definitely serve as a strong check on implementers, both bureaucrats and elected representatives alike.

This is the first-ever government in Pakistan that has brought lurking challenges of climate change and water shortage into spotlight and has initiated actions like plantation and construction of dams. Never in the past had these vital issues ever found even an iota of attention. The lives of the people of Pakistan were pushed into hazardous situation by sheer negligence of these important issues.

The present government is also gearing up the nation for solution-oriented actions. Measures are actually being adopted by the government to solve many problems. Till now, people of Pakistan were led to believe in being poor and weak. Prime Minister Imran Khan has made us realise that our country is rich with wealth of resources and has talked about various ways to tap and optimise them.

The Prime Minister has made us perceive strength of our geopolitical situation and the potential of our demography with young and vibrant population. Tourism, which has been one of the most neglected sectors since the independence, is a major untapped area where this government is again taking a lead.

The inauguration of the e-visa service for majority of the countries in the world will significantly aid in ushering in a new era of tourism that will help in generating revenue and positive propagation of the warmth of the people of this land. No doubt this is psychology of strength that helps people sail through the crises. I am glad to note that the diplomatic staff of Pakistan around the world, especially in places like the UK, are taking a proactive approach in line with the PM’s vision.

A vast range of programmes are in pipeline to address the needs of the downtrodden and weaker segments of society which clearly indicate the element of compassion, a hall mark of all the past projects executed by PM Khan in his personal capacity. The actions of current government have manifested that it is responsive to the people as today we hear government talk about the needs of poorest of the poor.

The Prime Minister in his speech on the occasion of completion of ‘100 Days of Government’ very well marked out the difference between the animal kingdom where the rule is survival of the fittest and the human society where compassion for weaker comes first. These values of governance are respected not only by the Muslims for their association with the state of Medina but also by the most democratic and social welfare states of the West in modern times.

Under the present government, direction has been set, the issues concerning common man ranked in right order and above all a transformation of mindset and psychology of the nation has started. The turnaround is for ordinary people, the weak and the downtrodden. I, a common man, can now feel things are being initiated for me and my future generations. But I also have some responsibility to make it happen.

It’s up to me to help the government. Each one of us will have to make our contribution by showing patience and supporting the good effort of the government and reporting to right quarters where we see anything wrong.

Our Prime Minister has proved that when you raise your voice, you are heard and you can get things moving in the right direction. I would like to raise a few points which I hope the Prime Minister will consider sympathetically: every effort should be made to unite the country; justice should be done irrespective of one’s religious, economic or political status; minority communities of Pakistan must be treated equally and fairly while being empowered to live and work freely in all walks of life; and religious freedom should be guaranteed and nobody forced to change their religion.

The government, the Prime Minister, the armed forces and the people of Pakistan are to be congratulated on the way they dealt with the confrontation with India, and the whole world has witnessed that Pakistan is vying for a meaningful dialogue with India to settle all outstanding issues by talking and not by fighting. Long Live Pakistan! 

Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2019.

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