RANDOM THOUGHTS : New Rulers, New Problems - BY: Dr. A.Q. Khan

New Rulers, New Problems
Dr. A.Q. Khan


Hardly two months have passed and the government of Imran Khan is already facing problems. There was embarrassment over some appointments and increased taxation and general inflation – the rise in prices of the most common items of daily life is felt by all. The selection of a Chief Minister of Punjab did not go smoothly, nor did the appointment of some ministers and senior officers and the words and actions of some hot-headed PTI people did not go down well either. All this resulted in flack from all directions.

The problem is twofold. Before and during elections, the PTI made unattainable promises on the one hand, while on the other, voters expect instant results. In their election campaign, Imran Khan and Asad Umar were blasting the previous rulers of selling the country and taking out huge loans. Now, within two months, we see them going to the IMF and ADB for almost $ 14 billion in loans. If the present trends persist, we might end up borrowing about $ 35 to 40 billion in the coming years.

The transfer of the IG Police Punjab is another eyesore. This gentleman was serving in KPK and the government must have been fully aware of his track record. They appointed him in Punjab and then, within 5 weeks, showed him the door. The Information Minister tried to inform us that he was removed for non-performance. With a good record, how can 5 weeks’ performance cause such a major change? Nasir Khan Durrani took a gentleman’s decision and quit in protest. I was surprised to read the reactions of the Establishment Division, claiming that they were competent to transfer any IG. As far as our knowledge goes, any officers/workers who can influence voting, cannot be transferred. Thus, even SHOs, Patwaris, Tehsildars, etc. cannot be transferred. We then saw Dr. Shoaib Suddle, former IG Police, justifying the action by saying that a government could remove a person if he is not performing well. Fair enough, but judgement passed in just 5 weeks? Suddle himself was working in Karachi and living a few hundred yards away when Mir Muraza Bhutto was murdered in broad daylight. He never resigned though.

Recently the government roped in well known and able analyst, Dr. Farrukh Saleem, to monitor water and power affairs. He had held all previous governments responsible for their deeds in a neutral and polite way. One can’t help but wonder if he would be blunt and outspoken against the present rulers if the need arose. It will be a bit difficult as: “Ghalib vazifa khuwar ho, do shah ko dua; wo din gaey ke keyte the nokar nahin hun men.” (Ghalib, you are a stipend holder, so pray for the king; gone are the days when you used to boast that you were not a servant.) I hope Dr. Farrukh Saleem will update us on the new burden that will be placed on each and every Pakistani – old, young and new-born. I guess it must be somewhere around Rs. 200,000 per head.

It is most unfortunate that our new regimes all have the habit of blaming previous governments for all the country’s problems rather than dealing with these problems and fulfilling the promises they made during their election campaigns. The fact that a new party has been voted into power means that the people sent the old one home because they were unhappy with them. There is no need for a blame game. In developed countries, you never hear a word about those previously in power. Somebody should teach our politicians to act in a professional, civilized manner. Whenever there is a world ranking of positive deeds, we end up in the bottom ten, but in any negative analyses, we end up in the top ten.

Governing a country like ours is not a bed of roses. PM Imran Khan has immediately received the bitter taste of ruling. The unfortunate fact remains that highly qualified, experienced people are usually ignore by those in power in favour of less educated, less experienced sycophants, who are placed in high positions. We have hundreds, perhaps thousands, of experienced, foreign-trained specialists who are capable of reshaping the country’s policies but whose services are not being utilized. How can we expect progress if we don’t make the most of our talented specialists? There is a British quote stating: “The progress and prosperity of a nation is the reflection of the competence of her engineers.” Our top class engineers are often either working abroad or sitting home watching TV and reading newspapers.

Mr. Prime Minister, the majority of the nation wishes you success. They were fed up of the meri bari, teri bari (my turn, now your turn) game and wanted someone new. While the country was plundered and national wealth taken abroad illegally, we are still indebted to the late Mr. Z.A. Bhutto and Ms. Benazir Bhutto for facilitating our nuclear and missile programmes to make our defence invincible. Nobody can take away that credit from them, whatever else they may be accused of. Available literature on good governance and why nations fail all agree that governments succeed when leaders are honest, competent and, above all, by appointing honest, experienced, competent people to important posts. If you become an example of this, all will follow, but if you don’t come up to expectations, then your government will be doomed.

When the war in Egypt was being fought under the command of Hazrat Umar bin Al-Aas (RA), the Muslim army won the war. A messenger was sent to Hazrat Umar (RA) with a letter. The Caliph, upon reading it, got tears in his eyes and told Hazrat Ali (KW), who was sitting with him, that the war had been won and that the soldiers had shown unbelievable honesty. They had even delivered bricks of gold to the treasury. To which Hazrat Ali (KW) replied that it was the good character and honesty of Hazrat Umar (RA) that was being reflected in the character of Muslims. “If you were not so honest and God-fearing” he said, “people would not be behaving in this way.”

Posted on Oct 15, 18 | 1:10 pm