By Khalid Pervaiz (Booni)
In order to implement its electoral manifesto for change, the Imran Khan led government will have to introduce drastic changes in the governance system of the country. In the first place, it will have to stick to a zero tolerance policy for massive corruption in the bureaucracy and the corridors of power. The misuse and misappropriation of tax payers’ money in the name of protocol and to maintain a luxurious life style by the power elite must be done away with in line with his party’s much touted policy of austerity.
Change will come when the postings and transfers of the government officials and recruitment to various cadres are made purely on merit basis without any political interference. Change will come, when the MNAs and the MPAs will devote their whole time to raising issues of public concern on the floor of the respective assemblies and refrain from influencing postings and transfers of heads of departments for petty political gains.
Change will come when audit of the ministers and heads of departments is carried out to ensure that no embezzlement, misappropriation of funds and misuse of vehicles is done incurring loss to the public exchequer. Change will come, when the defaulters are dealt with in accordance with the law and accorded due punishment without any fear or favour and barred from reveling in luxuries at the expense of tax payers’ money.
Change will come when the huge villas and mansions in the possession of ministers, governors and public servants are evacuated to let them on rent to multinational companies or converted into universities and public libraries in the best public interest. The step as already hinted at by the PM elect in his victory speech will go a long way in bridging the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Change will come when the per day expenditures on the PM House and the President House running into millions are cut down to implement the policy of austerity from atop. Change will come, when there are no tea parties and sumptuous banquets in public offices and 5-star hotels at the cost of the public purse.
Change will come when the dispensation of speedy justice to the common man is ensured through judicial reforms. The backlog of cases pending in the courts has touched the figure of 1.8 million and the poor of this country have to go from pillar to post to get justice. Change will come, when the NAB conducts impartial inquiry into corruption cases and bring back the looted money from the corrupt mafia of the country. Change will come, when the government institutions are strengthened and made accountable for any acts of commission and omission. Red tapism has become an anathema for the general public. Change will come, when drastic measures are adopted to redress public grievances at every level.
Change will come when the trade deficit is brought down to the minimum finding new avenues of exports. Change will come when Industries are developed to create job opportunities and to generate revenues; and new dams are constructed on a war footing to cope with the energy crises and the impending threats of water scarcity. Agriculture is the backbone of our economy. Change will come, when this sector is modernized to achieve maximum production. Change will come, when the big landowners are brought into the tax net and levied income tax on their annual products. Change will come, when the tax evaders are apprehended to ensure transparency in the procedure of tax collection.
Change will come when the education and health are prioritized to ensure human resource development. Access to free education and health care will mitigate the deprivations of the poor lot a great deal vis-à-vis contributing to the socio-economic development of the country. Uniformity of education system will bring the deprived section of society at par with the elite class in intellectual development. It will shed the thick clouds of ignorance from society paving the way for enlightenment and pragmatism.
The role of media is very important as it highlights the problems faced by the public and points out weaknesses and drawbacks of those at the helm of affairs serving as liaison between the public and the representatives. Change will come, when there is no attempt whatsoever by the government to stifle or gag the freedom of expression on the media given the fact it has played a significant role in educating the masses about their fundamental rights and giving them voice against the highhandedness of the powerful in our society.
Change will come when the culture of political victimization is discouraged and the voice of the opposition benches is heard for the smooth running of the government machinery. Change will come when the use of unparlimentary language is denounced and the parliamentarians are extra cautious in choosing words when speaking at public fora. There are many more good things for the coming government to take in her stride to bring about the real change. Let’s hope the IK led government lives up to its electoral manifesto of change in letter and spirit.
By Khalid Pervaiz (Booni)