AS a result of General Election-2018, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has attained maximum seats in National Assembly and absolute majority in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly. Similarly, PTI has secured a heavy mandate (second) in Punjab and Sindh Province. Its allies, Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) has emerged as the biggest party in the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan. These elections were contested by PTI with the slogan of change with youth acted a backbone. It is a very welcoming change in Pakistan after decades and the masses are celebrating this victory with lot of fervour and enthusiasm. It is a departure from traditional politics, the family politics and the exploitative system, Pakistan had since decades.
The former ruling party; Pakistan Muslim League (N) and Pakistan People Party remained second and third at the victory stand. There is a consensus from independent opinion makers and international observers that, elections were free and fair. However, PML (N) and PPP had their reservations over the results, since they lost the mandate. This always happen in Pakistan, once a political party loses, it accuses the other for rigging and manipulation or else support of agencies. The Election Commission of Pakistan, the Law Enforcement Agencies and above all the Interim Government deserve special congratulations for managing this election in least possible time.
The worst propaganda came from Indian media and Indian officials. Indian media has tried to portray the PTI victory in Pakistan as a great threat to India and region. This is in the background that, India had invested on Nawaz Sharif, therefore, they feel upset over the loss of PML (N). “Several Indian media outlets are claiming that victory of PM hopeful Imran Khan can create serious problems for India in the region. Going step ahead, they accused Imran Khan of using anti-Indian slogans to garner support for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).” Very funny, the India media also accused Imran Khan as the supporter of ‘banned militant outfits’.
This is a very immature move on part of a country, which consider itself as the biggest democracy and secular and disrespecting the people’s mandate of other countries. It speaks of immaturity on part of Indian leadership and its media. Indian media has not question the role of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the real militant Indian outfit, which brought BJP into power in 2014 elections. Indian Premier, Narindra Modi is an active member of RSS and today, everyone in the world is afraid of Hindu Talibanisation in India. RSS has an ideology of Hindutva; “an ideology seeking to establish the hegemony of Hindus and the Hindu way of life.”
This terrorist outfit has unleashed a reign of terror against Muslims, Sikhs and Christians in entire India. How can Indian media and its official’s point their fingers towards Pakistan, a nation which has combated the terrorism, sponsored and financed by India through its spying network, RAW. Indeed, India needs to concentrate on terrorism, which RSS is promoting and sponsoring in and around India. Besides, India has to stop sponsoring the terrorist organizations like; TTP, BLA, ISIS and other sub-nationalists in Pakistan. India has been conspiring against Pakistan through people like Kulbhushan Jadhav, the serving Indian Naval Officer, on deputation to RAW.
PTI is otherwise a very liberal political party in Pakistan. Its manifesto for election 2018 is; ‘road to a new Pakistan’ is justice and humanity stressing on; education and health through reforms. It seeks peace and social justice for everyone in Pakistan. Besides, it “envisages some 10m jobs and no less than 5m low-cost housing units. It vows to bring back to Pakistan looted wealth and revive at least 100 industries.” Yes, PTI will crackdown all corrupts and terrorist outfits; operating, funded and sponsored by Indian RAW. This bothers India and Indian supporters in Pakistan and that is why, India is crying over the victory of PTI in Pakistan. Despite its commitment of combating terrorism, Pak Army provided full support to Election Commission of Pakistan during the conduct of General Elections-2018. Pak Army deployed over 370,000 troops for the safety and security duties during these elections. Indeed, remaining in the confines of the Constitutional limits of Pakistan, Pak Army supported the continuation and strengthening of the democracy in Pakistan as its promise and as per provisions of Constitution. Masses presented flowers to the men of Pak Army, deployed on election duties. The Army Chief, General Qamar Bajwa deserves a special appreciation for his vision and support in the conduct of General Elections-2018.
For the PTI, the task ahead is going to be tough and convoluted, as the country is facing multiple problems. Economically, it is at the verge of default, with lowest foreign currency reserves ever in the history. Dollar vs Rupee ratio has reached to poorest level ($1= 130 Rupees). Over the years, its Industry has been ruined and local investors have moved their assets out of the country. There has been no foreign direct investment (FDI) in last one decade. Besides, the governance system in the country has been at its worst, with corruption, nepotism and bribery at the rise. It has become extremely difficult for a common man to meet its both ends.
The PTI Government will have to formulate a consensus policy as already hinted by its Chairman. The policy should be nationalistic and all encompassing; taking into consideration the domestic and external factors. For a smooth sailing, the new Government will have to avoid a confrontational policy with its political opponents as well as with national institutions. Protection of life and property of all citizens of Pakistan, financial revival, establishment of merit system and provision of basic necessities to everyone should be the first priority of the new government. Besides, the new government will have the daunting task of improving the image of the country at international level.
— The writer, Professor of Politics and International Relations, is based in Islamabad.