Farah Adeed |
So finally Imran Khan is all set to become the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Imran is a hope for his supporters in urban and rural Pakistan. But he is likely to be a nightmare for his political rivals whose political base depends on parochial political culture.
Imran is ambitious to politically sensitize the nation. Political sensitization in a culture like ours where religion, culture and traditions are used to restraint people’s political activity is the most dangerous thing for Sharifs and Bhuttos. For Sharifs, it does not matter if Imran Khan gets an opportunity in Punjab to rule rather what frightens them is Imran’s political vision to awaken the people across the province. PML-N can compromise if it stays out of power for five years but how can it remain silent if their entire political base is under the threat? So is the case with PPP, ANP and JUI-F.
I have been a harsh critic of Imran Khan’s policies, poorly chosen words and unnecessary protests in the federal capital. But now the fact of the matter is that it is clearly between Imran vs. all others. Hence, Imran’s challenges are many and very complex. He has to face a dishonorable opposition, failing economy, rise of ethno-nationalism, poverty, unemployment, terrorism, an assertive judiciary and a powerful military at home. Similarly, there is economic giant China, frustrated Trump and poorly managed Durand Line which Imran has to face and deal with.
In this piece, I make an attempt to make a ‘what-not-to-do’ list for Imran Khan so that he may avoid some unwanted political scenarios in the future.
- First and the foremost, don’t confront any state institution unnecessarily. Armed forces of Pakistan have their own constitutionally defined role to play. It’ll remain pretty much better if you do not listen to what Pakistani liberals are asking you to; bash at armed forces and give them a shut up call for their alleged role into the political process.
- Do not compromise on meritocracy when you make your decisions to appoint ministers, advisers, secretaries or ambassadors. This is what defines your politics. It should remain at top if you want to survive in national politics of Pakistan.
- Never bother to respond to cheeky allegations leveled by a dishonorable opposition or your ex. wife (Reham Khan) who is now your nemesis apparently for not being able to become the First Lady. But don’t shy away from answering your nation and opposition when it is about governmental polices or decisions you make while staying in office.
- Do not expect any favor from the Supreme Court of Pakistan. They will not and should do comprise on rules, no matter what happens. Some of your ‘friends’ are soon going to face the music. Please do not malign the court then.
- Never ignore your party and what is going on within the PTI. You are going to be the Prime Minister of a country and you will be required to focus on the country including your own party. An organized and well-disciplined PTI will give you confidence and a reason to stay firm on your principles.
- Don’t make unnecessary claims. You should use the Prime Minister House. It is necessary for you for various reasons. PM is not like a CM of a province. Your office, your staff and your foreign guests need a place like the PM house to stay in. Your polices to uplift the lives of people will matter more. Such ridiculous statements by a leader who is living in a palace-like place (Banigala) seem so annoying.
- Do not ignore marginalized groups; Balcoh, Pashtuns, Hazaras and Saraikis. These people have supported you and now they expect you to listen to them carefully and adequately address their grievances. An assertive Center has already marginalized these groups which has ultimately disrupted the process of national integration in Pakistan. This is the time to mainstream these groups.
- It is not important how much better you cater the United States or China. To maintain your image as national hero and leader of the whole Pakistan, you are advised to focus on domestic issues e.g. economics, health and education. An active, competent foreign minister along with a competent staff will look into what is going outside Pakistan. Don’t become a foreign minister, Mr Prime Minister in-waiting.
- Do not completely rely upon people around you. Please stop wearing the crown of simplicity and focus on the realities on ground. Apart from a few people around you, everyone has some personal or political interests. You have been the chief of PTI but now you are going to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan. There is a huge difference between the two.
- Do not throw ‘old friends’ out of your party if they tell you about your mistakes. We all are human beings and we make several mistakes. Don’t claim to be the repository of infallible wisdom.
- Last, but certainly not the least, don’t be so rude with your subordinates, opponents and any of your critic that they feel humiliated and leave you silently. Never lose your patience, sir!
Farah Adeed is a Senior Research Analyst in GVS. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s Editorial Policy.