Pakistan: War against four ills

imran_khan_by_itsshoaibmughalPrime Minister Imran Khan said in his New Year message that 2019 would be the year of the beginning of Pakistan’s golden era and pledged to wage “jihad” [war] against the “four ills of our country — poverty, illiteracy, injustice and corruption”. Felicitating the nation on the New Year, Prime Minister Khan said in a tweet, “Our New Year resolution is to wage Jihad against the four ills of our country: poverty, illiteracy, injustice and corruption. The year 2019 is the beginning of Pakistan’s golden era.” Country’s President Arif Alvi, who also belongs to ruling party – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), also took to social media to wish the nation a happy New Year. He prayed for the welfare and prosperity of the country and its citizens. “May Pakistan continue to progress and grow,” the president said and expressed his hope that poverty and unemployment would be eliminated from the country in this year.


However, there are many policy positions and decisions Imran Khan and his party has taken in the five months of governance that belie this resolve. More worrisome is the politics of hate that is polarizing nation’s society with serious long-term consequences. Moreover, contrary to the pledges premier has made, the PTI government’s policy decisions have multiplied the miseries for the masses. It imposed heavy taxes on more than 750 essential commodity items, increased the electricity, gas and petroleum tariffs and devalued the currency paving the way for inflation, unprecedented in the history of Pakistan.

The corruption also continues to plague the society, as it is rampant in all the spheres of life including government departments, judiciary and other national institutions, and getting rid of corruption within a year, is unimaginable. The people consider the pledge of eliminating the corruption as ‘hollow slogan’.
The politically unstable government of inexperienced and immature men has also embarked on curtailing the provincial autonomy enshrined in country’s federal constitution. Further, it has slashed the financial share of the annual revenue, to be paid to the provinces, creating fiscal crisis for them. Such moves have already started hampering the development projects across the country. In view of such a wrong policies, the dream of alleviating poverty, illiteracy, providing justice and elimination corruption, seems difficult to come true. The ‘war against four ills’ will bear no results for being just hollow slogans.

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