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Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Why we miss former PM Imran Khan?

Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation with the world’s second-largest Muslim population, has struggled with instability and military coups since its founding 75 years ago. While no prime minister in Pakistan has ever completed a full five-year term in office, Mr. Khan is the first to be removed in a no-confidence vote.

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Imran Khan, the former international cricket star turned politician who oversaw a new era of Pakistan’s foreign policy that distanced the country from the United States, was removed as prime minister after losing a no-confidence vote in Parliament.

The vote, coming amid soaring inflation and a rift between Mr. Khan’s government and the military, capped a political crisis that has embroiled the country for weeks and came down to the wire in a parliamentary session that dragged into the early morning hours. Pakistan remains in a state of turmoil as it heads into an early election season in the coming months.

Read more: Imran Khan accuses Mr. X & Mr. Y of rigging Punjab polls

Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation with the world’s second-largest Muslim population, has struggled with instability and military coups since its founding 75 years ago. While no prime minister in Pakistan has ever completed a full five-year term in office, Mr. Khan is the first to be removed in a no-confidence vote.

What really happened?

One of the most stunning political stances we have seen in recent Pakistani history is the counter-offensive that Khan has developed over the past few months. People who compare it to the 2014 dharna or the 2011 jalsa are forgetting how much the “invisible hand” contributed to the creation of such occasions. Right now, in this location, right now? The PTI is now more natural than it has ever been. Whatever its roots, Imran Khan’s call to arms has a genuine resonance.

It is not the fault of the coalition government, led by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the military, or the several parties that make up the alliance. Both its prediction and management were challenging. However, those who advocate a violent counterattack either are unaware of the significance of this time or have interests in the discussion that do not extend to the bigger, more general benefit of Pakistan.

Imran Khan has capitalised on a perfect storm of social, political, economic, and technical turmoil. However, the components in this storm’s composition go well beyond what Mr. Khan and the PTI can handle. Over a lengthy period of time, Pakistan arrived here. It won’t be simple to get out of this.

There were several initiatives of PTI that helped the poor of the country like ehsaas program which is said to be discontinued by the current government.

Pakistan has always been plagued by poverty. The next phase of Prime Minister Khan’s Ehsaas programme was to combat poverty and was supposed to focus on giving the poor more economic power.

Read more: Consequences of Regime change and Imran Khan’s ouster

One of the most crucial areas for Prime Minister Imran Khan was human development. Simply said, #Ehsaas is a reflection of his people’s attention to governance.

Prime Minister Khan’s unique #Ehsaas initiative was launched to uplift the lowest of the poor in order to transform Pakistan into a truly Islamic welfare state where the State is responsible for the oppressed. Empathy for the needy, the sick, the destitute, and the unemployed. The concept of a Naya Pakistan—a Pakistan where the State protects the Vulnerable—springs from empathy.

PM Imran launched ‘Koi Bhooka Na Soye’ programme

Imran Khan, Pakistan’s 22nd prime minister, who before taking office was known for caring for those who have so little, has launched the “Koi Bhooka Na Soye” programme under the umbrella of the Ehsaas poverty alleviation.

One of the cornerstones of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) manifesto is to rid the country of poverty and PM Imran has tried aggressively to push initiatives for the common man.

Under the programme, mobile vans would visit different areas of major cities to feed poor and underprivileged people. Initially, it has been launched in the federal capital and would soon expand to other cities of the country.

Sehat Insaaf card

The Sehat Insaf Card was introduced by the Pakistani government to offer low-income and poor households free medical care and to pay medical costs up to 10 lac rupees per year.

The card is a part of the PTI’s Sehat Sahulat Program, which was originally introduced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in 2016. The programme has since been expanded to include the federal capital, Punjab, and Gilgit-Baltistan.

For the economic sector, the Former PM introduced plenty of initiatives like Pakistan’s first stent production facility, the launch of the country’s first Green Bond, a people-friendly budget, an upward economic trajectory, Roshan Digital Account, Roshan Apni Car and Roshan Samaji Khidmat, Electric Vehicle Policy, MG Motors launch, structural reforms, decrease in current account deficit, growth in the textile industry, increase in exports, high remittances, as well as low tariff for electricity and gas for industrial consumption.

Read more: Imran Khan’s pilot also facing threats now

He urged the entire world to help Afghan Taliban establish an inclusive government in Afghanistan after they announced a general amnesty, and protection of human and women’s rights and vowed that their land would not be used against any other state. This showed they agreed with what the world had been emphasizing in the Doha talks. “Don’t make the assumption that they (Taliban) will back out from their commitments and let them form an inclusive government which is imperative for the regional peace,” he said.

PM Khan was also hailed for his handling of the Covid 19 pandemic

The Economist’s normalcy index tracks the progress of 50 countries’ return to pre-pandemic life on the basis of eight indicators classified into three categories.

Each country is scored out of 100 — the benchmark score for the pre-pandemic level of activity — on the index, where Pakistan’s current score is 84.4. This tracker is updated every week.

At present, the top-ranked country on the index is Hong Kong, with a score of 96.3, followed by New Zealand which has a score of 87.8. Pakistan is ranked third.

Imran Khan’s efforts to counter Islamophobia

It is a great step forward by the united nation which declared 15 March is a day to combat Islamophobia.

We must appreciate the role played by the government of Pakistan in stressing the UN to adopt this resolution as well as the Prime Minister of Pakistan has also a great contribution in making this resolution passed.

It is hoped that the United Nations will establish funds to combat Islamophobia in the US and in other countries like India and Myanmar.

There are a good number of people in the universities and in the civil societies of the West and elsewhere who are supporters of common goals, loving Muslims and other minorities to have greater space in society.

Read more: Will “expose” those involved in “foreign conspiracy”: Imran Khan

It is very important that the Muslim communities, the Islamic centers and the educationists living in the west and other countries will form an alliance with those who are the supporters of the efforts against Islamophobia.

These efforts will get strengthened to combat Islamophobia. These efforts will properly highlight the concept of Islamophobia in the international media and the international community.

The rift between IK and the army

The back and forth between Khan and the military leadership is part of a high-stakes political strategy by Khan to keep himself at the center of the national political discourse and force early elections on favorable terms.

For the cricketer-turned-politician, the risks are significant, with the military leadership bristling at the freewheeling political criticism directed at it, since his exit, at protests organized by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and on social media.

Read more: PTI announces country-wide protest against Imran Khan’s arrest

“Army draws its strength from people and any effort to create a wedge between army and population won’t be tolerated,” army chief General Qamar Bajwa was quoted as telling his officers in a reference to unnamed “hostile forces”.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Bajwa also warned that “misinformation and propaganda threaten state integrity” and called for countering “speculations and rumors”.


The author is a research associate and sub-editor at GVS. She has previously worked with Express-News Islamabad. She can be reached at az.aeliya@gmail.com. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.