By Syed Ather Ali –
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet came down like a house of cards, without completing even one year. It was the same cabinet that was to deliver a miracle, especially on the economic front. We were promised before the elections that Pakistan would never approach the IMF after the PTI government is formed. But here we are.
Flashback. Khan did not mince any words in expressing his hatred for those who had gone to the IMF begging, putting the country’s honour at stake. Understandably, during the container days, a video clip in which he can be seen preferring to commit suicide than going to the IMF went viral on social media.
But Khan’s honesty and passion met a reality check when the first thing his finance minister did was to approach the IMF for a bailout package. The excuse was the same; the PTI government had to seek IMF’s help due to the economic mess created by the previous governments, notably the PML-N.
But before the IMF’s much sought after support could actually come, those working for it caved in under a lot of pressure of rising inflation, dollar rate, and unemployment. Why was the cabinet reshuffled if the ministers were working in the right direction? If they weren’t, why had the PM posed his confidence in them?
What is the plan now, economic and political? Has CM Usman Buzdar’s Punjab government also been asked to pack up and be ready to leave? Why are meetings between PML-Q leaders and Shahbaz Sharif announced and denied? What is cooking?
In Pakistan’s political terms, denying something vociferously should mean just the opposite. PTI leaders, like Jahangir Tareen, have denied Buzdar is being asked to leave office. The situation leads us to the perception that there are groupings in the PTI. Only time will tell if these groupings will damage the party irreversibly. For now, the party needs to stick together to face the challenges. At the moment, it doesn’t seem to be prepared for just that.