Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi took oath of Prime Minister-ship on 18th August 2018, and became the 22nd elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Premiership of Imran Khan, in view of the general public of Pakistan, is different from that of the previous prime ministers. Most of the Pakistanis believe that his election to the Prime Minstership is a sign of change and that he will redesign all the institutions and the political culture of the country. Prime Minister Imran Khan, even himself has promised the nation that he will bring major changes in the political trends of the country. To put his policy of change into practice, the first few steps that he took are; residing in a private small lodge instead of the Prime Minister House, auctioned all the extra vehicles that were available for the use of Prime Minister and converted all the governor houses into public parks. All these steps seem very promising but the question, that still exists, is that “Will the simplicity of Imran Khan make any change?”
The answer to this question depends on many conditions. Some of them are given below.
Remain Committed: Yes, the simplicity of Imran Khan can bring changes in the political culture of Pakistan only if he and his cabinet and party members remained committed to the end of his regime. Though in some areas the party workers and general public is annoyed with the behavior of local PTI’s members but still people trust Imran Khan.
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Deliver Work: Yes, Imran Khan’s policy of simplicity can make changes in the political arena of the country if he delivered what he has promised during the election campaign. If he succeeded in delivering only 40% of his promises, even then this will be considered a major change as compared to the past governments’ performance and their promises.
Avoid Nepotism: Yes this simplicity can bring changes if Imran Khan unlike past Premiers, avoid the practice of nepotism. We have observed that in the past two governments, especially, charge of authoritative public offices was given by the Prime Minster to his close relatives. Similarly, offering government construction contracts to relatives or friends and giving special priority to some media groups, were all the undemocratic practices of previous two governments that came under the definition of nepotism.
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Non-interference in Institutions: Another major step that Prime Minister Imran Khan needs to take, to make his simplicity work, is avoid interference in the work of the government institutions. Similarly, Imran Khan should also make sure the allocation of staff members to these institutions on merit basis.
These are some of the key conditions under which the simplicity of Imran Khan can work and can bring changes in the political culture of the country.
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If Imran Khan and his party (Pakistan Tehreeki Insaf) failed and could not deliver what they have promised, it could bring two major changes in the political attitude of the general public.
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Disappointment: It will spread and promote the feeling of disappointment in general public. The people of Pakistan, for next few decades, may not even think about the political system of the country. The turnout of people in the general elections of 2013 and 2018 was not as much as was expected. One of the major reasons behind this is the lack of faith of people in the political leaders of the country. Most of the people think that the political leaders of the country are corrupt. So they do not take part in vote casting, believing that nothing is going to change. If Imran Khan and his party failed to deliver what they have promised, this would increase the number of these disappointed people in the society.
Collapse: Another effect, which could be very devastating, is the collapse of the political system of the country. It is quite possible that people, due to high disappointment, may come on streets and demand accountability of all political leaders. This could lead to a bloody revolution or even to the collapse of the country.