Congratulations on Naya Pakistan: What about the old one now?
General Election 2018 saw many big guns biting dust in Karachi. PTI snatched away Azizabad, the home constituency of MQM, and Lyari from PPP. MQM suffered the worst defeat in 30 years. The kite (MQM’s election symbol) could barely manage to bag four seats of National Assembly and fifteen seats of Sindh Assembly. Karachiites were so fed up with MQM that they opted to back up Amir Liaquat Hussain, though notorious for his controversial statements, against Farooq Sattar. This was not the last jolt; the home constituency of Azizabad was also snatched away from MQM. On the other hand, PSP (Pak Sarzameen Party), sailing high to conquer Karachi, was left empty-handed. It couldn’t win even a single seat. People showed them the mirror. In fact PPP, MQM, PSP and MMA were all at sea, still trying to grapple with their defeat.
Losers always cry foul
After results, it is natural for losing parties to cry foul. These parties could hardly dream of this slap. Right or wrong, but number game shows that PTI has won the elections by a conclusive margin. Now, the new government is going to face dire circumstances. Prime Ministerial candidate has pleased the people by giving the sermons of austerity, across the board accountability and fair use of their taxes, but the real picture is hanging round the scene in somber background. Sire, new Pakistan is certainly formed, but what about the Augean stables? They do exist, notwithstanding the change. Now you can’t pass the buck.
Naya Pakistan, what about the old bugs?
Political change has come. But Pakistani economy is not going to cope with dire crises with a stroke of pen, as Imran Khan’s speech implies. At present, rupee against dollar has plummeted to the ground. Buying petrol is a luxury which a layman can’t afford, unless he is to arson himself. Trade deficit is 33 billion dollars; foreign debt with the addition of 31 billion dollars has reached 91 billion dollars. Economists fear that it could cross 100 billion dollars within a few months. Pakistan will need 31 billion dollars till 2022-23 to pay off the debt. At present, the State Bank of Pakistan has barely nine billion dollars. In these squeezing circumstances, Pakistan has no option except going to IMF, but then it will have to comply with those conditions which may not correspond to the agenda of incumbent government. On the other hand, people are expecting revolutionary changes. In this backdrop, if PTI doesn’t come up with the hope of masses, the light kindled by Imran Khan in the hearts of many, will burn his image into ashes.
The author is a Karachi-based reported.