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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Questioning Imran Khan’s political legacy

Naveed Ahsan Nadeem, an IT Consultant, writes an open letter to the sitting Prime Minister of Pakistan as an ordinary citizen who has always been his well-wisher, despite past differences over his politics. Despite PM's achievements, people are deeply frustrated with him and there's a tinge of regret and disappointment as well. This is due to the fact that Khan has always been someone who talked about the betterment of the country before coming into power.

This is an open letter to the sitting Prime Minister of Pakistan by an ordinary citizen who has always been his well-wisher, despite past differences over his politics. I have no doubts in my mind that in Pakistan’s entire history, your personal achievements can be considered as among the greatest ever by any Pakistani. I consider you as the greatest cricketer of the 1980s era & I can passionately debate that you are among the top 5 all-time great cricketers.

You made the impossible possible via your unprecedented donation drive to set up Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital at a time when many doctors felt that it’s extremely difficult. You made your critics eat a lot of humble pie as you became Prime Minister after 22 years of intense criticism that you cannot achieve this. At a personal level, your life is an absolute inspiration for millions of Pakistanis.

Read more: PM Imran Khan predicted downfall of Indian cricket team years ago

Imran Khan as Prime Minister

However, as you have passed 3 years into your term as Prime Minister, I believe that time has come for you to ask yourself that as a politician what kind of legacy are you leaving for your nation? Ask yourself that do you feel satisfied with your term as a Prime Minister?

Personally, I have a very high level of respect for some of your achievements as Prime Minister. The way your team handled a once-in-a-century pandemic deserves genuine appreciation. The initiatives that you have personally taken to support the poor via Ehsaas Program is the crown jewel of your term as Prime Minister. Furthermore, I think you are our first ever leader to seriously push for environment-related initiatives like “Billion Tree Tsunami” which received international recognition.

Despite your achievements, I feel that you will be deeply frustrated with your term as PM to date & you must have a deep desire to do a lot more. This is due to the fact that you have always been someone who sets very high standards for yourself. After all, you are a world champion (circa 1992). A person like you cannot be satisfied with mediocrity. Someone like you was never built to take the easy path in life. You have always taken pride in pushing yourself to achieve impossible targets.

Read more: PM Imran Khan breaks internet with a throw back picture

How Pakistan’s problems will be resolved?

Pakistan is an extremely complex country with lots of major problems that cannot be solved even within 5 years, forget 90 days. As Prime Minister, I feel that you have now reached a point where you have 2 options & they are as follows: –

  1. Continue pushing for ways to keep big-name (influential) politicians within your party happy so that they somehow stay loyal to you for the 2023 elections. You will have to continually make compromises in economic policies that specifically benefit the elites of our society but a word of caution: Most elites in any society are never loyal to a certain leader”. They only work on manipulating the system to protect their interests & won’t think twice before changing loyalties.
  2. Prioritize the middle-class youth of Pakistan who believed in you when you were a small politician. Focus on policies that prove to be beneficial for the educated Pakistani youth & try to maximize the potential of our youth bulge. It was their support that actually made you a mainstream politician of Pakistan. The big-name politicians started to join your party as they saw the political winds blowing in your favor & they felt that it can benefit their career.

Whatever route you take, does not guarantee resolution of Pakistan’s deeply complex problems. However, if you decide to take path number 2 for the remainder of your term as Prime Minister, I can guarantee you one thing. You will be remembered as a sincere leader of Pakistani politics. History pages will remember you as one of the better leaders that Pakistan produced.

Hopes for 2023 elections 

As the 2023 elections come closer, you must not forget that there are millions of middle-class & lower-middle-class voters who desperately want a leader like you to actually fight for their cause. Even if results are not satisfactory, if you show genuine intent to fight for their cause then it will trigger an outpouring of young voters all over Pakistan in 2023. These voters will not depend on political party workers to mobilize. They will assemble at polling stations themselves to vote for you.

Read more: PM Imran Khan meets Sir Vivian Richards, David Gower

Even if you lose in 2023, you can hold your head high by thinking that at least I made a sincere attempt for my country. Otherwise, even if you win 2023 elections via support of status quo politicians & fail to address problems of middle-class & lower-middle-class Pakistanis, then history will not be kind to you & people will remember you in the same breath as other status quo political leaders.

I wish you all the best. After all, you were someone who gave hope to an entire generation for change. Our youth is our biggest asset but it can become our biggest burden if it loses hope in Pakistan.


The writer is an IT Consultant by profession but he also retains a deep interest in following politics, cricket & football. He tweets at @naveednadeem91. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.