14th October, 2018 by elections was held by Election Commission of Pakistan. A total of 380 Candidates were tried their fate to become the member of National and Provincial Assembly. 112 Candidates were for 11 seats of NA and 268 candidates for 26 seats of Provincial assemblies. Most of the seats had been vacated by the elected members who had won more than one seats in General Elections 2018. Elections were once again conducted under the supervision of Arm forces and by the Grace of ALLAH the Election Day proceedings went normal and no disturbance or unforeseen incident was reported. This is a big sign of change which I believe should continue and consider it as a bench mark. No doubt the turnover was very low, as in case of NA only 28% voted and around 35.70% voted for Provincial Assembly. The next big thing happened in these by election was the addition of the overseas voters which ECP included in the final count, though the number was not big (6,233 Votes) but a trend is set for the next General Elections.
Now the ruling government has clinched most seats in by elections, but the most painful suffering was the 2 of the 4 seats vacated by Party Chief Imran Khan. This is big dent to PTI, either the candidates were too much over confidence or the rivals had really worked hard to grab each and every vote in their respective constituency. PTI got 4 seats; PMLN got 4 seats while MMA got 1 seat. Same case was with the Provincial Assembly; the ruling government badged most of the seats from KPK and lost few from Punjab. ECP assured this time that RTS would work properly but again this powerful software aided by NADRA got some hiccups while giving results. Anyhow ECP got hold of the situation and they had announced the results by 2 AM on the elections night. Now these by polls or by elections cost a whopping 28 Billion rupees to the national exchequer, whereas each overseas vote costed Rs 15,000 to the prevailing government. I believe an amendment should be passed in the Senate and NA that a candidate can only contest on more than one seat if he undertakes the liability of paying the expense of the said by election of the respective seat. This would ease the expense burden from the national exchequer.
SO......WHAT now….The by elections are over, what NEXT?????
Imran Khan has shown big dreams to this disillusioned nation. The Mantra of NAYA PAKISTAN will soon fade out if concrete actions are not taking on emergency basis. As Pakistan economy is on ventilator and it need fresh breeze of air inured to get up and run. On the other hand IMRAN had been inherited by a broken socio economic system which is because of economic inequity, terrorism, population bomb and above all corruption which is the root cause of every evil.
I believe we are a highly emotional nation. There is literary no room for the new comers, our political culture is based on give and take structure. Imran Khan has given new hopes but on what basis. As I said we are so emotional that we want wonders to happen overnight, which actually in reality is impossible. But I believe on Miracles and they do happen. Imran Khan has to make sure what he said to the nation, he should deliver, if it cannot be now but at least the spirit of doing the task should be made visible to the general masses.
Time is too short for PTI, as the ruling government have been made to sit over a huge piles of problems which are caused due to corruption, economic inequity, population and terrorism to name a few. Imran Khan doesn’t have a magic wand to overcome these problems just by saying ABRA CADABRA…..He should try his best to come up with quick solutions to the problems. The sectors like HEALTH and EDUCATION are in state of emergency and I believe the respective Ministers are reviewing the policies in order to give the utmost relief to the people. Corruption is the main hindrance in the progress of our nation. Each and every department is having a vicious circle of corruption, den of malpractices. They need time to mend all the problems. They are facing strong resistance from the top bureaucracy, even the Mantra of AUSTERITY is also fading away as the time is passing by.
100 days, down the line PTI has to act fast. The turns and U turns of Finance Minister on the issue of IMF bailout has badly exposed the inner strength of PTI. And in addition to this the daily increase in tariffs of different utilities and day to day items is also directly and indirectly affecting the 100 day plan. I have strong faith in Imran Khan, that he would take out our economically drained Pakistan and place it in the leading economy of the ASIA and the WORLD in few years, but as I said our nation is so restless that they need everything now and then. Winning the World Cup was a different ball game and running a Country is a larger than a cricket trophy. I am really waiting with great anticipation when Imran Khans team is going to WALK the TALK.
The worst hung Parliament has been observed by the masses in many years. PTI has to fasten its seat belt and at any cost it has to deliver what he said for 100 days. A gentle reminder to PTI task forces, time is ticking and people are getting more curious to see how will PTI make it or break it. Some concrete steps have to be taken like, bring as much as people into TAX net, ban all imported items for at least 1 year. Introduce a much relaxed policy and procedure for the local investors to export their finished goods. Technical Job creations need to be placed. Youth Policy has to be revised with more benefits to the student by making ease for them to get quality education. There were a lot of talks on infrastructure, now policies should be introduced with immediate action where there is dire need off. CPEC projects need to be implemented as soon as possible. GAWADAR port should be made fully operational encouraging the local industry to play a vital role in uplifting of the area as well as the business and environment. Real Estate sector has to be revisited again, as many local investors have stopped investing in the properties because of the day to day changes in the policies with regards to fees and taxes. Micro stabilization is not the need of the time; macro stabilization is to be on the top of priority list.
We are now a heading towards Local body elections, if the 100 days plan doesn’t work out, PTI would be the only party to suffer huge dent in these elections. Even though the elections are on NON Party basis, but still affiliation of the person and the locality counts at the end of the day. I am really worried about the task force which Imran Khan used to mention in the Dharna Days, where are those 200 people now. I only see Asad Umar, Fawad Choudary, Ali Zaidi, Shafaqat Mehmood, Dr. Shireen Mazari to name a few, running from one pillar to another, where are the other super-duper human beings of Khans team. I have faith in Imran Khan that he would make my dream (a common Pakistani/old worker of PTI) of NAYA PAKISTAN come true, as he always says, “insaan ka kaam hai koshish karna naik niyat ke sath, silaa allah ka kaam hai dena”
But after saying all this at the end, I would say “IT’S NOT ECONOMICS, STUPID. IT’S POLITICS”.
Yasir Imtiaz Awan