The ongoing stubborn energy crisis, the deteriorated security situation, the law and order condition, inadequate supply of clean water, a compromised quality of health & education facilities, pending incomplete infrastructure, rampant corruption, joblessness, widening ‘rich-poor gap,’ administrative paralysis, a sub standard governance and cases pending adjudication in courts for ages finally persuaded the naïve Pakistanis of narrow mindset to come out to elect their new leaders for a positive change.
This time, the voters’ turnout was officially reported as 55%, whereas instances of ‘ballot stuffing’ and ‘massive rigging’ in some constituencies were alleged to have taken place unfortunately.
Many old faces belonging to the winning political parties were again able to grab a seat or two or even three and made to the floor of the provincial or national assembly.
The PML (N) emerged as winner of more than simple majority of seats in the centre and also maintained upper hand in the Punjab province.
With Nawaz Sharif’s support, the National Party Chief Abdul Malik Baloch formed the government in Baluchistan and the PTI formed government in KPK. while the PPP now continues to govern in the province of Sindh.
Although, the PML (N) enjoys heavy mandate, and Nawaz Sharif has won his premiership with 244 solid votes, yet, it will not be that easy to deal with the messy scenario. Nevertheless, the jovial Sharif brothers’ towing skill is already in full gear to pull the ‘sinking country’ out of the severity.
Due to difficult situation, the Nawaz-regime will have fun dealing with the creditors who are already knocking at the door. One of the main culprits is the “circular debt headache” which arises when one party not having adequate cash flows to discharge its obligations to its suppliers withholds all the payments.
And in so doing, the problem affects other entities adversely in the supply chain, each of which withholds its payments too. This results in operational hardships for all service providers in the sector - none of whom are then able to function at full capacity. Consequently, there occurs the load-shedding unnecessarily - of course!
Not only, the harsh ground realities keep flaring up, but a large chunk of the inherited issues remains a headache. Also, several surprises can be expected at this point in time. In fact, brain drain, capital flight and the disappearance of local businesses are all blamed on the energy crisis and the nationwide worst law & order situation. On top of that the secretly funded Taliban and the criminals are engaged effectively in a proxy war to damage Pakistan beyond repair.
Since, hyper-inflation and the tattered economy are the obvious results of energy crisis, the prime minister removed the Chairman WAPDA and the Heads of power distribution companies, while emphasising that incompetence or power theft would not be tolerated. So hiring and firing will be seen for quite some time to come till the dust actually settles favourably. Accordingly, the Federal Minister Khawaja Asif has already proceeded seriously to address the menace on a top priority basis.
PM Nawaz Sharif proposed making a “common agenda” with political parties to minimise problems and stressed the need for improving ties with the neighbours in the region focusing settlement of all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir. In his policy guidelines to the Foreign Office he told the government's immediate attention would be on improving ties with the neighbours.
"Unless the region is peaceful, our efforts for growth and development will not meet with success," said the Prime Minister.
Giving details, a Foreign Office spokesman said the Prime Minister had greatly stressed upon the importance of regional consensus for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan.
Regarding Pak-US ties‚ the Prime Minister noted the two countries have many areas of common interest. He said, “We will build on convergence and wherever there is divergence we will work to try to minimize and remove such divergence.” Furthermore, the federal finance minister Mr. Ishaq Dar has tried his best to keep fiscal year’s budget deficit under a manageable limit.
The Punjab farmers are likely to be provided with solar-powered tube wells.
The KPK has announced the introduction of “a uniform education system,” which will gradually do away with the current class-based education system.
Austerity measures should be taken seriously for effective slashing of the abuse of wastefulness:
Along with abolishing of the unjustified VVIP protocol culture and flagged cars, the government has to continue with its tough decision policy to correct the decaying condition of national institutions like PIA (Pakistan International Airlines), Pakistan Railways and Pakistan Steel.
The experts including the top level economists and the technocrats must be hired by the government to pursue a “better-designed” road map for rescuing the sinking country. Furthermore, by bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table for a viable peace, the current government would have greatly reduced the atmosphere of insecurity and lawlessness –paving the way for foreign investors to return with full confidence.
The relevant authorities must now work day and night to provide:
- Clean water to the public as a big segment of the population suffers from some strain of hepatitis and other health issues due to the consumption of sewage-tainted drinking water.
- low-cost housing projects for low-income groups as the current house rents, land and housing prices are sky high.
- Community centres where sports-facilities are available for the youth to keep them mentally and physically healthy.
- Replacement of the flawed lower judiciary to facilitate the inexpensive faster justice.
- Computerized Land records and land transfers on urgent basis to make it easier for the present and future generations.
If the democratic process in Pakistan is allowed to continue, it would be a step in the right direction towards sustainable development and progress.
Certainly, when the issues are tackled diligently on priority basis for achieving the set targets; Pakistan would be back on the path to economic recovery.