Following the election victory, a former cricketer turned politician faces an uphill task of fulfilling his promises as well as internal and external expectations.
Imran Khan’s victory attracted a global media coverage. Because this is probably the second time a civilian government will hand over power to a democratically elected another civilian government without a military intervention. And its impact on International arena how he governs Pakistan.
The election was unique in many ways. In Pakistan woman, especially, veiled woman hardly goes to cast their vote. This election became significant in this respect as many women voters went to the polls for the first time. Women voters comprise 44% of eligible voters who rarely go to polling booths in Pakistan, especially in its tribal areas such as South Waziristan. Veiled women created a history when many of them went to cast their vote for the first time.
Another significant event that took place was amongst the youths. Pakistan’s youth population is of 200 million (66% are under 30). In the past, significant numbers of youth have stayed away from politics because of illiteracy, inequality, and poverty. And they are often being taught of the invalidity or uselessness of western system of democracy. Hence many youths never bothered to go to cast votes. But Imran Khan and his PTI pursued these challenges and were able to convince these masses the significance of exercising their franchise.
Geographically, Pakistan is strategically located and hence the world attention. For western countries but especially America, due to the endless on-going war in Afghanistan, the election in Pakistan and who wins and how it is tackled would have a far-reaching consequence on the outcome of the war. For India, a nuclear power next door with Kashmir as a flash point is apparently apprehensive about its governance. And for China, Pakistan is an important ally in its trade expansion through the specialized and dedicated corridor provided to China by Pakistan.
How Imran Khan and its party, Teherik-E Insaf (Party of Justice) will face these world issues, along with looming domestic issues, such as monetary deficits, payment to IMF, increasing imports while exports are falling, rampant corruption, that has mushroomed into the economic crisis. These are the challenges the political novice will face but looking at his optimistic assertions, and his gusto to tackle these problems through seeking cooperation from the people of Pakistan, especially expatriates, he uplifts the spirits of the people. He feels confident of a positive outcome.
The tentative announcement of his ministers proves his point, as most of the ministers are either Harvard, Oxford, or highly qualified from Pakistan’s elite Universities. Although most of them lack in their bureaucratic experience but eager and sincere to deliver.
Imran Khan expresses his concerns, he feels his countryman still has the colonial mentality and thus he said, “The inferiority complex that is ingrained in a conquered nation results in its limitations of some of the worst aspects of the conqueror, while at the same time neglecting its own great traditions”.
In his victory speech, he sounded very optimistic and conciliatory. He called for the national unity that relieved many warring factions especially clerics. On the international level, he said he would seek peace. Addressing to India for the peace dialogue he said, “If you take one step, we will come two steps towards you for the peace dialogue”. He also wants to improve relations with Afghanistan.
As Imran Khan said, “Time to Move on” and his party PTI had demonstrated “genuine national political appeal”, it is up to the people of Pakistan to give him a political space to try his ideas into the reality of “Naya Pakistan”.