Thread Rating:
  • 1 Vote(s) - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
July 26 2018

Imran Khan’s Pakistan Justice Movement (PTI) wins the most seats of any single party in parliament, says Junaid Ahmad, Professor of Middle Eastern Politics at the University of Lahore


Following his election victory, the playboy cricket star turned politician now faces the complex task of balancing internal and international expectations

It’s not hard to see why Imran Khan’s stunning victory in the Pakistan elections attracted global media coverage. The story of a cricketing hero and former playboy turned political superstar and scourge of the establishment that spawned him was too good to miss.  Given Pakistan’s history of army coups, Khan’s rise to power seemed like a modern parable foretelling the triumph of people’s democracy over the dark-suited, sunglassed forces of “deep state” military control, manipulation and repression.

Beguiling though this storyline is, it did not really happen that way. Indeed, Khan owed his success, in part at least, to the covert meddling of those same shadowy spooks and generals, according to EU poll monitors. Yet who governs Pakistan, and how, is still a matter of high international importance. Take female suffrage. Equal voting rights are absent in some Muslim countries. But Pakistan, where women comprise 44% of eligible voters, has made exceptional progress. Veiled female residents of conservative tribal areas such as South Waziristan made history last Wednesday when they cast votes for the first time.

Pakistan matters because, with its youthful population of more than 200 million (66% are under 30), it is a country of vast potential handicapped by endemic poverty, illiteracy and inequality. It is also, not coincidentally, a battleground pitting anti-western Islamists, schooled in international jihad in Saudi-funded madrassas, against the secular, anglophone elite. It is central to the “war on terror”. Its stability and security, or lack of it, has a potentially global impact.

For the British, Pakistan exercises an abiding fascination, rooted in the Raj’s disastrous part in its bloody 1947 birth and in continuing, close ethnic and cultural ties. For the Americans, self-anointed heirs to empire, Pakistan plays the dual role of indispensable ally and duplicitous villain in their endless Afghan drama. For many in India, Islamabad is the nuclear-armed bogeyman next door. For expansionist China, Pakistan is a key link in its grandiose Belt and Road trading franchise, reliant on Beijing’s loans, investment and goodwill.

How the untested Khan, wholly lacking in governmental experience, will approach these complex issues and historical burdens is open to question. What is clear is that he has changed radically since his hell-raising West End days. Launching his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, meaning “movement for justice”, in 1996, a newly earnest Khan, now 65, made doing God’s will and fighting corruption his main aims in life.

“Far from being the Islamic welfare state that was envisaged, Pakistan is a country where politics is a game of loot and plunder,” Khan wrote in his memoir, Pakistan: A Personal History. His new party, he said, would strive to “end exploitation and ensure a society based on honesty, merit and integrity”.

Khan espoused a conservative religious outlook, favouring sharia law and controversially backing radical anti-blasphemy laws. His criticism of US drone strikes earned him the nickname “Taliban Khan”. And he rediscovered his family’s Afghan roots and Pashtun tribal identity. Coincidentally or not, this won him support among conservatives.

Likewise, courting populist opinion, Khan turned against Pakistan’s western-educated ruling class, despite graduating from Oxford university. Colonialism had wrought lasting damage across the subcontinent, he wrote, by destroying self-esteem. “The inferiority complex that is ingrained in a conquered nation results in its imitation of some of the worst aspects of the conquerors, while at the same time neglecting its own great traditions.”

Twenty years spent clambering up Disraeli’s greasy pole may have mellowed Khan a little, but not entirely. Observers say he remains a passionate, volatile man with authoritarian instincts.  But the conciliatory tone of Thursday’s victory speech, in which he called for national unity, surprised and relieved critics. Khan said he would seek improved relations with India and Afghanistan, where a nascent peace process is inching forward.  He even offered an inquiry into opposition allegations of vote-rigging. Although the row over the “stolen” election will rumble on – minor parties say they plan street protests – Khan’s offer seems to have drawn its sting. The main opposition, the PMLN, has dropped its threat to boycott parliament and accepted defeat. An editorial in Dawn newspaper, headlined “Time to move on”, declared Khan and the PTI had demonstrated “genuine national political appeal”. For that reason, it said, “he ought to be given the political space to try and turn his ideas into reality”.

Whether Khan can do so, while maintaining a calm, unifying approach, is now the biggest question in Pakistani politics. Two immediate problems stand out. One is how to prevent the economy imploding under rising debt and devaluation pressures. The other is how the new government can escape the embrace of the overbearing military, which will expect payback for its campaign “assistance”.
Pakistan’s generals are accustomed to exercising sole control of foreign and security policy. Challenging them can be a career or even life-ending experience. So if Khan, for example, wants to break with the US, befriend India, or talk to terrorists, he had better watch his back. Whatever the popular storyline says about democracy redux, the hidden hand on the new prime minister’s shoulder is real. It will be hard to shake off.


Zafar Bangash

With the federal government as well as two of the four provinces—Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab—under his belt, Imran Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaf (PTI) party is a greatly satisfied person. His 22-year-long struggle for change from the two mafia families—the Zardari-Bhutto combine and the Sharifs (no sharifs, those crooks)—has finally borne fruit. Even in Baluchistan where PTI gained only four seats, talks of coalition with the Baluchistan Awami Party (BAP), winner of the largest number of seats (15) in the province, are underway.

PTI victories can be attributed to Imran Khan’s hard work, charisma and steely determination in the face of entrenched interests that were determined to steal this election as well (like in 2013) but for the activism of the judiciary and supervisory role of the military that provided 380,000 personnel for security duty.

There is little doubt that the vast majority of people in Pakistan are greatly pleased—and relieved—with the July 25 election results. Perhaps nothing has pleased them more than the fact that maulana Fazlur Rahman, the most venal character in Pakistani politics, lost both seats he was contesting for the National Assembly. Many other party ‘leaders’ also lost, much to their chagrin but to the huge satisfaction of the people. How could they lose, they demanded to know.  Their knee-jerk reaction was that there must have been massive rigging. And they announced rejection of the results vowing to launch agitation rallies. Let them try; they will find that few people would join them.

One of the most ludicrous rules in Pakistan is that a candidate can stand for election in five different constituencies at once. He/she can also run simultaneously for the National as well as Provincial assemblies. Clearly this is meant to enable ‘leaders’ of political parties or people that think they are ‘important’ to be in parliament to get into one or the other assembly. This needs to change.

Imran Khan’s challenges, however, are much more serious. It is easy to make promises, a lot more difficult to deliver with so many opponents both internal and external. He has aroused great expectations among the people with the promise of change. People will be anxious for instant results and can quickly turn sour if their expectations are not met. Economy would be his biggest challenge. Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have been badly depleted with the former rulers stealing billions and stashing them in Western banks or buying luxury properties abroad.

The former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz are currently in jail over corruption charges. A great many more need to be there including Asif Ali Zardari and his equally thieving sister Faryal Talpur.  Will the stolen loot that amounts to some $135 billion, be returned to Pakistan?
Imran Khan has promised transparency and accountability across the board starting with himself and his ministers. He also announced the day after the election (July 26) that he will not move into the prime minister’s residence in Islamabad that resembles a palace and fortress rolled into one.  He said the prime minister’s residence and the huge governors’ mansions would be turned to better use su ch as educational institutions or rented out.

These are good gestures but still symbolic. It would set an even better example if Imran Khan and his ministers were to use more modest vehicles for travel rather than Mercedes or Pajeros. Other perks also need to be curtailed.

In the immediate aftermath of the elections, Imran Khan has to curtail the oversized ambitions of the independents that have joined his party both at the centre as well as in the crucial Punjab province to give him the majorities that he needs to rule.  These people will demand their pound of flesh seeing that they are in a position to blackmail, especially in Punjab where the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) is a very close second. There is much more room for mischief there.  

Decades of misrule have distorted life in Pakistan a great deal. While Imran Khan focuses on the economy that must be his priority, urgent reforms of the judiciary as well as the police forces across the country are also needed.  Similarly, land reforms must be tackled on a priority basis as well as attention paid to getting clean drinking water to people. Millions of children die each year due to contaminated water in Pakistan. One measure of confidence in PTI’s victory can be discerned from the fact that the dollar to rupee rate dropped from 129 to 126 rupees to the dollar.

In order to attract foreign direct investment, especially from overseas Pakistanis, the PTI government has to address the issue of land and property mafias.  Many overseas Pakistanis are hugely frustrated by the fact that their hard earned income that they invest in Pakistan, is usurped by people, often close relatives.  They have no recourse to law since the court system is riddled with corruption and often takes decades to deal with such matters. In Pakistan, these are referred to as ‘Diwani cases’.  A complainant may die long before the court deals with the matter and then too, it often advises both parties to resolve their differences through negotiations.

If Imran Khan is serious about attracting foreign investment, especially from overseas Pakistanis that have hitherto been remitting some $20 billion each year (more than Pakistan’s export earnings), he must address their legitimate concerns. China’s economic miracle was partly financed by expatriate Chinese investing in their country’s development.

In his address on July 26, Imran Khan said he would send teams to China to learn from their method of alleviating poverty (China took 70 million people out of poverty in 30 years) and fighting corruption. He should add to this list China’s policy of assuring its expatriates to invest in the country.  Environmental pollution is another major concern, as in several regional countries. This also needs to be addressed.

Imran Khan and is party face a tall order of challenges. There is, however, no reason why they cannot succeed if there is a will and the determination to tackle them in earnest. It is our prayer that the hopes he has aroused, especially among the youth, are not dashed again as happened following the assumption of power by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1972.


Barring some extraordinary event, the victory of Imran Khan’s PTI in the impending elections is an inevitable matter. With the full weight of the military, bureaucratic and judicial elites behind him victory is almost certainly guaranteed [1]. The only question at hand now is who will become his coalition partner and at what cost in terms of ministerial portfolios will they extract from him [2].    

To attribute Imran Khan’s imminent election success purely to a change in the establishment’s political leanings does not do justice to the situation and the dynamics of Pakistani politics.  The intervention of the establishment is necessary to enable a change in administration as the popular vote is irrelevant in Pakistani politics. The so-called ‘electables’ which constitute the established political dynasties have a stranglehold over their respective constituencies regardless of their political affiliations; they are guaranteed to win their seats. To garner some sort of change the security elites of Pakistan have to “persuade” the dynasties that it is in their collective interests to change their allegiance to whoever the security establishment favours and it is, in fact, an admission that the system is in fact ineffectual.

Although the security establishment has intervened, this does not change the fact that the popularity of Imran Khan reflects a genuine appetite for a change in the political direction of Pakistan [3].

The predicament of Pakistan is that the nature of this so-called change is cloudy, to say the least and what is being proposed is more of the same rather than any meaningful change .  To ask the supporters of the PPP of PML-N about what change they are looking for would be an exercise in futility as for various motives, they support the status quo. Hence the discussion of change is largely confined to the supporters of PTI and to a lesser extent the TLP (Tehrik Labayk ya Rasul Allah).

When questioned about their reasons for voting for Imran Khan and the PTI, a variety of excuses rather than reasons are given. “Excuses”, because Imran Khan’s recent actions portray a philosophy of “if you can’t beat them join them,“ and his acquiescence to the status quo is abundantly clear to his followers.

The excuses that are given for their continued support mostly revolve around statements like “he’s better than the rest”, or “even a 5 or 10 percent better, is better than nothing”. This reasoning and many others like it are problematic in that they betray an explicit admission that the solution that is being proposed is almost as tainted as the problem it is supposed to deal with. Furthermore, it shows an utter desperation that admits that in reality, no meaningful change is possible and that the rules of pragmatism dictate that it is better to settle for something however minuscule that is, rather than nothing and that one should accept the status quo and work within it.

This understanding contradicts the understanding of change that we find in the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw). Allah (?) says in the Quran:

“Nay, We hurl the Truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold, falsehood doth perish! Ah! woe be to you for the (false) things ye ascribe (to Us).” [Al-Anbiya: 18].
Furthermore, Allah (?) states in the Quran:

“And say: ‘Truth has arrived, and Falsehood has perished: for Falsehood is bound to perish.” [Al-Isra:81].

The Islamic concept of change is not the pragmatic change which allows the hegemony of oppression and misguidance by the acceptance of the crumbs that fall off the table.

Rather change according to Islam is a radical departure from all that is corrupt and rotten to the guidance of the revealed texts. It is not the case that the Prophet supported the ascension to the leadership of the Quraish by Abu Sufyan rather than Abu Jahl with the justification that at that time he was marginally better than the former. Instead, the noble Prophet strove to find the means to implement the guidance from Allah (?) wholly and without compromise.

The nature of change is such that the pragmatic acceptance of the status quo, albeit with a tinkering at its edges, rather than leading to the demise of a corrupt system, actually prolongs and sustains the existence of this corrupt system. This a fact is not lost upon those who advocate the acceptance of the status quo. The governments of the UK, US, France and a plethora of European nations that champion the pragmatic approach, hide the fact that change only occurred in their own nations with radical changes by revolutions or a complete removal of the old order as occurred at the time of Oliver Cromwell.

For the Muslims of Pakistan and the rest of the Islamic world, it must be realised that change can only be achieved by the complete removal of the current corrupt and ineffectual systems of governance to be replaced by the Islamic alternative based on the sound general awareness of Islam. All calls to work within the status quo are in fact calls to sustain and prolong the current corrupt systems, which have lead to the abysmal situation that we find ourselves in today.


At this point in time when Capitalist economic solutions have a virtual monopoly in the discussion of economics it is critical that a working alternative model is presented to the world. As the recent Credit Crunch has shaken the global Capitalist structure to its very foundations, people world-wide are questioning its practical stability and intellectual validity. As the bankruptcy of Capitalist thought is revealed, there is an urgent need to replace it with a practical alternative model that is based upon sound ideas and has a pedigree of success.

This book is a presentation of a practical alternative Islamic economic model, with Pakistan as a case study, on which to build a dynamic and innovative economy fit for the 21st Century. Addressing areas as diverse as agriculture to energy, this book is a blueprint for turning a resource rich yet poorly managed country like Pakistan from an economic dependent to a global power. This model draws upon the juristic works of Islamic scholars and applies their research in an unprecedented fashion, bringing together years of Islamic scholastic tradition with the needs of the modern world.

This book also highlights the political implication of basing an economy upon an Islamic model. It serves to highlight how political unification with the rest of the Islamic world can act as a catalyst for economic development and the establishment of a modern Islamic State with unparalleled power and influence.
Read / Download Book [PDF]


The PML-N government completed its tenure on the 31st May 2018. The State Bank of Pakistan, the countries Central Bank confirmed the countries external debt and liabilities (EDL) reached $91.7 billion. This means it is just a matter of time before the debt will reach $100b -the IMF has forecasted this to be by June 2019 [1]. This is an increase of over 50% or nearly $31 billion in four years under the PML-N government.

With an annual budget of only $47 billion, the Pakistan government has regularly sent the begging bowl around the world to keep its economy afloat. Even before the 25th July elections $8.5 billion in repayment is due.  Irrespective of who forms the next government it will inherit this precarious debt situation and will have to come up with a viable solution. Successive Pakistani governments have surrendered the nation’s sovereignty to Western economic institutions which are bankrupt of any real policies that would rid Pakistan of such servitude. Here we present a handful of policies that would raise revenue, address foreign debt commitments and potentially end foreign dependency.
1. Thar Coal

The Thar Coalfield in Sindh is the world’s largest coal field. It is one of the world’s largest lignite deposits discovered, spread over more than 9,000 sq. km it comprises an estimated 750 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of coal. Successive Pakistani governments have never undertaken a full assessment of the field, neither have they any plans to mine the coal. The export of Thar Coal would generate revenues of over $1 trillion. Converted into oil Thar coal would generate over 650 billion barrels of crude oil, at a market price of $80 per barrel that would generate $5.2 trillion.

2. Reqo Diq Mine
Reko Diq is a small town in Chagai district, Balochistan. It possesses the world’s fifth largest reserves of copper and over 20 million ounces of untapped gold reserves. Pakistan’s gold reserves alone would bring in revenues of $25b (at current price of $1279 $/oz).

3. Offshore Energy
In its assessment report, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) estimated that Pakistan had massive deposits of 10,159 TCF of shale gas and 2.3 trillion barrels of shale oil. In its study, the USAID collected data from 1,611 wells, used 70% of data to prepare the study and sent samples to New Tech Laboratory in Houston for assessment. If these offshore deposits are developed they would bring in trillions to the nation.

4. Salt
The Khewra Salt Mines are among world’s oldest and biggest salt mines. Salt has been mined at Khewra since 320 BC in an underground area of about 42 sq miles. The Khewra salt mine has an estimated total of 220 million tonnes of rock salt deposits. At current market rates, this would bring in revenues of $13.2b. The Pakistan government still uses outdated methods to mine the salt, due to this it has a very low annual production rate of 325,000 tons salt per annum.

5. Agriculture
Pakistan has no shortage of fertile land. Pakistan’ largest food crop is wheat. Pakistan produces over 21 million metric tonnes of wheat, more than all of Africa (20 million) and nearly as much as all of Latin America (24 million tonnes). Pakistan is the 12th largest agricultural producer in the world with an agrarian output of $32b annually. Pakistan is already the largest producer of many household kitchen items. The Middle East, a-stone-throw-away from south Pakistan, is a huge potential market for Pakistani agriculture as the region is largely desert terrain.

7. War Cost
Fighting America’s war on terror has cost Pakistan dearly through the interruption to trade, instability and the channelling of vital funds away from health, education and key sectors to fund the war effort. Pakistan suffered huge losses, amounting to $67.93b, since 2001 [2]. This is money that could have easily been used for the benefit of the nation.

8. Arms Sales
The JF-17 is a fourth generation fighter jet, designed and developed jointly by China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC) and Pakistan’s Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). The project costs were shared equally by China and Pakistan. The fighter jet is now being produced in Pakistan and block 2 is now coming off the production line which has more capabilities than the original. All Pakistan needs to do is develop an export list. At $30 million per unit the sale of 150 jets would net Pakistan over $2.5b.
Pakistan has ample resources to repay its debts many times over. Pakistan from some perspectives is in a better position demographically and from the perspective of mineral wealth on the eve of development compared to nations such as Germany and Japan who lacked the population and energy resources, but still overcame such challenges. What Pakistan needs is not more of the same failed policies of running to the IMF and the US but a new leadership which puts the interests of the Ummah first rather than America.


Messages In This Thread
RE: PAKISTAN'S VISION 2025 - by globalvision2000administrator - 07-29-2018, 01:13 PM

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 8 Guest(s)