16 December, 2018

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Imran Khan’s Victory Throws Liberals A Life-Line

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Pakistan’s military must be dethroned to normalise the Subcontinen: Imran Khan’s victory throws liberals a life-line

At last something for our straw-clutching liberals to cheer about; a specimen of unimpeachable genre and Oxonian vintage, a gentleman to the tips of his fingers and squeaky clean to boot. In 2010 he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. The family was affluent and of Pashtun ethnicity though I think not of noble ancestry; but who cares, he has done the liberals proud. I am not one of their dying breed but Imran has something to fete me too; his father, Ikramullah was a civil engineer who graduated from Imperial College – good school, I can vouch for that! 

Good hard-hitting left-liberalism; his pep talk speaks a lot about the poor. His non-cricketing record is more about social-work and building hospitals (he raised more than $25 million from all over the world for a cancer hospital) than anything a UNP or SLFP/SLPP bum or leader has done. But there is no denying he did indulge in a bit of painting in his youth; the colour was red, the canvas was the town. The handsome Khan renders the visage of a president much in the news these days for serial philandering look like a pig’s arse. I am not going all gooey liberal; there is indeed a darker side. It is Imran’s alliance with religious right-wing parties and the hardly concealed warmth of the military that upsets his liberal fans. To explain it away as just anti-Americanism, Pashtun genes and a fiercely independent personality ignores that these ghosts of past alliances and the Judas kiss of the military could prove his undoing one day. But heaven forbid; these days we need to grab at every liberal straw. 

Imran called liberals “fascists and scums” for cheering American policy in Afghanistan and supporting drone and ground assaults on militants in the border regions. Nevertheless the liberals are over the moon and mass expectations are that the new broom will sweep away the muck of the past. Similar expectations in Lanka post 8 January 2015 were beyond the ability of the Ranil-Sirisena duumvirate to fulfil and the 10 February 2018 flop was spectacular. The expectations and the snares facing Imran are eerily similar. The eye-catching motif of his campaign was “defeat and eliminate corruption”. Failure to prosecute and incarcerate Rajapaksa era crooks was the rock on which Yahapalana was shipwrecked. However there is hope Imran will do better. He fired 20 provincial MPs found guilty of corruption; in the UNP, SLPP or SLFP, perish such thoughts, pariahs invariably are in the scrum for cabinet posts!

Disputing the legitimacy of the election is the universal drivel of a losing side anywhere in the world, but a European Union monitoring team did say that the campaign featured a “lack of equality”, meaning it was not a level playing field. The EU mission, but did not allege fraud in voting or counting procedures but did complain about an uneven playing field during the campaign and noted that “during counting, security personnel recorded and transmitted the results, giving the impression of a parallel tabulation”. FAFEN, an independent Pakistani election observer network was unsatisfied with counting procedures. Imran has said his party will cooperate with any investigation.

The eleven point centrist agenda

Here is the centrist programme of PTI or Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice); the name has a liberal twang like that of the late Rev. Sobith’s outfit. The summary is culled from several sources. Readers will observe the big basket of goodies but proof of the pudding remains in the eating. This summary is for your interest; I am not vouching for any of it.

Education: 

PTI will invest more in education, and implement a standard, high quality education system across Pakistan. No country can flourish without emphasis on education. The Asian Tigers educated children and adults. Half Punjab’s budget is spent in Lahore alone. Countries don’t flourish by roads and bridges but by human development. 

Healthcare: 

PTI will give health priority and establish a quality healthcare system. Health insurance will be provided for those in need and hospitals established. The poor will receive treatment, the rich can get it in Pakistan rather than overseas.

Revenue generation and tax reforms:

The tax rate will be lowered and more people brought into the net. Reforms will ensure high collection. Each year Rs 8000 billion will be collected to ensure steady revenue. How to generate revenue to be rid of heavy debts? “We don’t have money to run the country, we are in heavy debt. I will show how to gather money” but Imran gave no details. [Note by KD: Imran’s first embarrassing job after taking office may be to approach the IMF for $12 billion bailout].

Controlling corruption

Corruption will be controlled by strengthening the Federal Board of Revenue and the Judiciary (“Fat hopes!” we Sri Lankans will exclaim). Imran cited the expulsion of 20 MPAs from his party for “selling votes” earlier this year.

Economy

  • Tax on exports to be lowered in order to compete with India.
  • Overseas Pakistanis to be encouraged to invest in Pakistan. 
  • New businesses to be encouraged. 
  • Hotels and amenities will be built; four new tourist destinations to be added each year.
  • Lower tax on electricity and gas to compete with Indian market.

Employment

PTI promises to help people into employment by building cheap houses; cheap houses for the poor, more jobs. More technical universities to create a skilled workforce. Jobs in tourism and in industries like textiles. Businesses with employment opportunities for youth will be facilitated.

Agriculture

Improve agriculture and lives of farmers on an emergency basis. “They work for the whole year and get nothing in the end. They are exploited by the sugar mill mafia. The mafia will be brought to justice”.

Strengthening the federation

The federation of Pakistan will be strengthened giving provinces more rights and new a local government system established.  Local governments will have directly elected mayors in all cities. A new province will be created in South Punjab. The Federally Administered Tribal Areas will be merged with the Khyber Province.

Justice

 “In Khyber (a province controlled by Imran’s party) the police is depoliticized. There’s no victimization, there was not a single extrajudicial killing in the province but in Sindh Province notorious Police Chief Rao Anwar (now on murder trial) killed 400 people.”

Environment

The environment is a priority. “For the first time, the Khyber provincial government paid special attention to the environment. We plan to plant 10 billion trees across Pakistan and clean the rivers”.

Women Empowerment 

Imran claimed that his party has an extensive program for women empowerment. “Whatever I am today is because of my mother made me patriotic and truthful.”

Relations with India

The biggest obstacle confronting Imran Khan is the military. An Indian newspaper (or Minister) sneered: “They have only elected a new prime minister, not a new army commander; nothing will change”. The military may not interfere excessively in domestic policy, but foreign policy, in particular arch rival India and the complicated relationship with America is handled by the military. Imran’s hands will be tied; unless he goes on the offensive and stirs mass support he is unlikely to wrest control. This is not say he can’t – he has shown fierceness at times and may be bold about the Indo-Pak equation – but this is where the erstwhile chummy relations with the military and the religious-right could be a drag. Furthermore PTI does not have a parliamentary majority forcing it into a coalition government weakening it in these conflicts.

He has to bowl short, fast and on the leg-stump at the Generals; crack a few skulls. Either he contains the army or it will have him back in the pavilion, cap in hand. Does Imran want to captain the nation and come in to bat at number 11? If the new captain opens the bowling fast and furious, goes out to the people, enthuses his supporters, seizes the initiative and blasts to the boundary through the covers, he can force the military on to the back-foot. 

“Success goes to those who dare and act, it seldom goes to the timid” to quote India’s first Prime Minister. This is Imran Khan’s choice of the moment. The equation with New Delhi is the cardinal pivot on which his leadership will be tested; great or pedestrian? It may cost him his life in a military coup or it may earn him honours far outshining 1992 cricketing glory. Ever the showman, he will not be easily cowed and hopefully the Generals have met their match. This is Pakistan’s January 8, one prays the outcome is better. Normalisation of Indo-Pak relations will be a gigantic forward step for both countries and for the Muslim and Hindu people of the subcontinent. 

Within a month it will be clear whether Imran can enthuse the people and assert the primacy of his government, or whether, having entered into a Mephistophelean contract, he will be a pliant tool in the hands of the Generals. Imran is on record saying: “The army is the only institution in Pakistan that works”. True, but now it is his job to get civilian institutions to “work” and bring the Generals to heel. Lenin and Mao, over decades, fashioned an instrument, the party, which had the mass power to leash the army. Imran must mobilise civilian Pakistan because he has no such instrument. “There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries”.

I do not have space today to write about ties with China and America; so two summary comments will have to suffice. Economic and strategic ties with China will remain much the same; with America, I foresee some fence mending.

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Latest comments

  • 2
    2

    This is what Wikipedia says about Khan’s net worth:
    In 2012, Khan had net worth of ₨22.9 million (US$220,000) which decreased to ₨14 million (US$130,000) in the election year 2013 and then gradually increased to ₨33.3 million (US$320,000) in 2014. In 2015 Khan’s assets were valued ₨1.33 billion (US$13 million). As of 2017, his net worth is ₨1.4 billion (US$13 million).[186]

    That is a hefty yield in 5 years. From where?

    it also says:
    he has four goats of ₨0.2 million (US$1,900). Does he have other goats he has not declared?

    • 2
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      wannihami

      Well it appears you too have learned to copy paste information. Did you find it useful?
      Lets summarize Corruption investigations by Transparency International into Dr Mahinda Rajapaksa’s accumulated wealth.

      In 2012 Rs. 3,000,000,000 was missing from a road project.
      Money Laundering $5.31 billion (Rs. 700 billion)
      Misuse of mililtary aircraft for the Presidential election campaign that cost $17,273.28 (Rs. 2,278,000.00).
      According to then foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera the Rajapaksa family holds $18 Billion (approximate Rs. 237,933,000,000) worth of assets in foreign countries.

      I wonder why Dr MR’s figures do not seem to matter while Khan’s wealth makes you feel jealous?

  • 1
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    Ideal order is:
    1. Take care of average people Supplies and amenities.
    2. Put in order the Law and Order.
    3. Start with infrastructure-Local Investments.
    4. Make deal with International investors, aim for rebuilding the country.
    5. After 3 year, make sure have one or two top guys in the army as reformist, before reform army. Start reforming army only at the term end.
    At the start people should be put happy. If they see him as enemy, they will support blindly enemy’s enemy, the army. Other way is using army on people, like the way Chitanta – Yahapalanaya governments are doing. That is dead end. At the start army is needed to keep terrorism in control. Army’s reform can be attempted only when people are happy and terrorism is under control. The leaders in the army should be feeling confident with his achievements. Then only he can get top’s support.

  • 3
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    Imran has won All his fights so far. Now he is facing the Battle. All right thinking people, not just in Pakistan, but the world over, wish him good luck and hope that he will prevail again. All the best to you Imran Khan.

  • 4
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    Prof Kumar David
    Imran Khan is the Aung San Su Kyi of Pakistan
    Aung San Suu Kyi’s read out the famous “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.” This endeared her to the world and the Nobel Peace Committee. The Burmese Junta knew that Aung wanted her privileges more than the adulation of the world. They released her. She has not antagonised the Wirathu bigotry and is very much into the genocide of Rohingyas. The Junta showed their prowess in timing.
    .
    Imran Khan endeared himself to the world through cricket. The Pakistan Armed Services read Imran’s desire to be PM.. He will not go against the religious bigots. He will not touch the filthy rich. He will not see any injustice in the 1974 Constitution which declared that the Ahmadi sect are not Pakistan Muslims. He will do what his master says. He has been given permission to invite Aamir Khan, Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev for the oath taking ceremony.
    By the way Imran is NOT PM yet. He will need to compromise a lot to cobble up a coalition. The compromise will need approval.
    PS: Having said all that, I wish Imran will be himself and brings about changes to the in-state-of-war sub-continent!

    • 2
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      It is silly to brand Imran Khan as another Suu kyi.

      Suu Kyi fooled the world about wanting democracy, then turned into a racist who said and did nothing, when thousands of helpless civilians were attacked, had their babies thrown into fires, and killed.

    • 1
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      Yes Mr/s. Pillai, you are absolutely spot on. These Kyi ,Khan types tend to dazzle the holier than thou liberals until they too commit the original sin and show that they are politicians first and humanist NOT.

  • 5
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    KP
    Aung San Su Kyi was a candidate of the West, carefully cultivated to ween Myanmar away from China. Dictatorship least bothers the West, as long as the dictator is ‘their dictator’.
    Their sums did not add up the way they planned, and that is another matter.
    Imran is free of that blemish. The bigger problem is the economy. The West is not too happy about the proposed dialogue with the Taliban. The Army is about as powerful as in Myanmar, and will be an obstacle. Whether Imran can overcome it is a big issue.
    But let us wish him well.
    *
    AKD
    BTW, was the Army in control in the USSR under Stalin?

    • 1
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      NO.
      In my view the Soviet military was firmly under CPSU control from the time of Lenin to the fall of the USSR and beyond. Today it is firmly under Putin’s control. I don’t know whether you consider all this good or bad, but these are the acts. Thanks for seeking the clarification, others may be interested too. Best, AKD.

    • 1
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      SJ,
      Your quip suggests, possibly you didn’t come to know some history, again. It appears to be you again convulsing to establish something of your own, which is not available in google.
      Aung Suu Kyi’s Nobel peace prize was in 1991. That is already for the activism of peaceful protest against Military. She and her husband had share in that protests. That is not carefully bringing up her against China. Myanmar was militarized in 1962. Kissinger went to China in 1971. Nixon went to China in 1972. Some rebel activities in Rangoon were completely crushed by Junta from 1974. 1972 China worked with US and other Western Countries to regain its lost veto in 1949. Until Soviet Union’s collapse, American Chinese relationship was cordial, especially in trade it was “Maru” -super. In fact America and China were working in Pakistan together. In fact junior bush negotiated Pervez Musharraf resignation. America has been demanding India to leave Kashmiri that was seen as in Pakistan side. Until 1991, USSR collapsed, India and USSR were enemies of China. When Libya was attacked by NATO, China cooperated to withdraw 40,000 workers in three days.
      Last 30 years, China has built factories, Highways, model Villages, capital construction, those remains not used by Burmese. Burma still a poor country in that hemisphere after China has poured in loan even in billions. This is not the story of Korea, Japan, and Singapore….
      There is no known retaliation of Aung SUU Kyi against China. In fact New Chinese projects under new government is much massive than many others China is working in Lankawe. In Lankawe, if Chitanta Government sells Colombo Pong Cing to China Yahapalanaya opposes it. When Yahapalanaya sells Hangbangtota to China Chitanta guys oppose it. This political game is not possible in Myanmar because practically there is only military government exist. There seems to no political protest against China taking over lands. Some environmentalists are agitating against side effect of these massive projects.

      • 0
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        Mallung
        Your long drawn harangues as always suggest lack of wit.
        *
        The West thought that Suu Kyi (thanks for correcting the cut-and-paste typo) will swing Myanmar around. She was tempted initially, but realized that it was not easy, so she gave in.
        Unlike the West, the Chinese do not bully .
        Unlike the Indians, they make no knee-jerk reactions.
        *
        And, unlike you, they play their cards well without getting agitated.

        • 1
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          The West thought that Suu Kyi (thanks for correcting the cut-and-paste typo) will swing Myanmar around. She was tempted initially, but realized that it was not easy, so she gave in.
          Your evidences for that?
          Come on SJ, is that you’re witty? Poor soul!

          But First time I read it anywhere; really, really amusing to see one telling some logic like this even after knowing political students and kids would be reading this in this public site! If a school student writes an answer like this, how much would you mark for it? That can tell the quality of the Jaffna Students’ level out to the world.

          Unlike the West, the Chinese do not bully : Sounds like your bosses donated the Colombo Pong Cing and Hangbangtota just for fun? Is that why Ranil transferring Galle Navy Camp to Hangbangtota and setting up Submarine deterring naval facilities? Is bosses Yahapalanaya is ready to nationalize Colombo Pong Cing the way your old bosses nationalized British Tea Companies in 1962? Do you know in Lankawe Media print news, though you don’t have to cut and paste, but at least just read it?

          Unlike the Indians, they make no knee-jerk reactions. When did you get the knee jerk? Is when JVP entered and started attack Sirimavo place’s and before she called Mrs. Gandhi or When Mrs. Gandhi gave the Katchatheevu on good will or when Sonia, Karunanidhi and Chidambaram hired Younger Brother Prince to manage their black money investments in Lankawe, Singapore and Malaysia?

          As you avoid reading, please come to know something: Lankawe political dogs are below even the foot dust of Aung Suu Kyi. She is awarded Nobel Prize by international body, not by UOJ, Ranil Old King New King, many ministers & many Commanders have been recommended for war crime trial by UN.
          Zero casualty wit-ties are better than this.

          • 0
            1

            Mallung, sorry that I cannot tutor you in English idiom.
            *
            If you know some geometry, you may know what a tangent is.
            Otherwise find out.
            Seriously, my point is that it will do you some good not to go at a tangent.
            Otherwise, as always, you will continue to spin clean out of orbit.

            • 0
              0

              Probably you are confused again. Tangent is pure mathematics phenomena. Circular motion is Physics and Applied maths.

              Your better return to high school to learn your lessons and come back. I reply to then. .

              • 0
                0

                Mallung
                As it is impossible to straighten a dog’s tail, I will not try to educate you in matters of language and idiom.

                • 0
                  0

                  Why is it necessary to tell this — why not just avoid engaging with Mallayuran if you have already formed this judgement about the dog’s tail several articles ago?

  • 1
    0

    Since the Panama Papers leak and the offshore dealings of the former ruling family. and Sentenced to 10 years in jail on charges. when The time of economy crashing under rising debt .

    Wide-open Imran Khan rose to power.

  • 0
    0

    A man who never talked about LTTE, now talk about dethroning Pakisthan Army. What did they do wrong to Pakisthani people. How about Western Allenses destroying middle east and muslim nations in Africa. In that respect the whole world ?. Why not them ?

  • 0
    0

    KUMAR DAVID, Now you are very mature in ecvery way, You have an attitude and you show exactly who you are. Anyway, every religion takes some chracters fromthe country to which it was taken. Islam is bad Wahabi or Salafi religion when it is in the Arab deserts and it takes all the violent habits of the cultur in which it is naturalized. Pakisthani Muslims are not at all violent people. As you shows your ignorence, I think even the christian/Catholic churche’s singings came from Muslim mosque in which they sing about LOVE. It is true, Sri lankan politician will be GAL perethaya or Mala PErethayas after the detahs as per buddhist religion. IMARAN KHAN manoevered a lot to come to this position by divoceing two wives and now he is married to a totally muslims wife which says I amalso muslim. IT looks certainly he has bearings when he moves in politics. that looks good for pakisthani public. Just days before, an Indian Judge said, 50% or more of the Indian parliament should be jail. Sri lanka talkas about increasing the the salaries of the 225 and increasing the number of politicians in the provincial councils probably to employ their chidlren and relatives. Because every wants to being their family members to politics. A lucrative pay for uneducated idiots who want to live a flamboyant life.

  • 0
    0

    Lankawe Southern highway is not objected by environmentalist even after the country has suffered three floods in two years. Laos Dam, Uma Oya dams are done for government officials commissions.
    There is no democratic government in Burma. Still it is only military government. People President has no power. (35%:65%). Aung Suu Kyi cannot become a president of that country. She helped somebody to become president. Even a baby in Lankawe has seen this year how the notorious president behaved against all those who helped him to come to power. (Chandrika, Sampanthar, Ranil). Dilrukshi was an independent officer, based on Constitution. Dilrukshi ordered one inquiry on Rapist Army. Kegalle Jayamanne died. Junta president fired her. How Much of Dilrukshi game is possible for Aung Suu Kyi? Please give the evidence for you evaluation.
    First Political drift between China and US was when China kept Yuan extremely low than the estimated US $ parity. Hilary demanded to let it to float so US individuals can sell in China against Chinese government companies and Prisoners manufactured products. It went Smooth because China did not manage well the international Baking failure and Yuan quickly lost its value. Obama first declared that he would keep 30% of the military might in South China sea. For this China threatened to invade Japanese Island. It did not happen. Chinese tugboats frequently attempted to cramp into US war ships and destroyers. But Secretary John Kerry had good relationship with China. Full scale trade retaliation to China came only after Trump administration. It not specific to China; but all over the world including Canada, Mexico, Britain, Germany….
    Chinese trade contracts with EU is extensive. Britain has even special contracts with China.

    After Suu Kyi got her Nobel Peace prize in 1991, can you tell where you did dig out that she was brought carefully nurtured against China, but ordered to protect her Army?
    Are you going to baffle again or, at least this time, you are going to show some evidences?

  • 0
    1

    Is there a politician anywhere who doesn’t desire economic upliftment of the people? Hopes are genuine but the fact of the matter is there is no such science as ‘Economics’. Prof KD should know. The way I see it it is the CULTURE of people that matters. Their
    innate tendency to quickly adopt the tools of science and technology they see people OUTSIDE their country boundaries are employing. And adapt accordingly. When I see Astrology advertisements, bullock carts on the roads and dryfish hanging in grocery stores I throw my Economics book out of the window. With so much easy Communications and Transport criscrossing the globe
    and everybody on Google and Facebook this level of underdevelopment in some countries (including Sri Lanka and Pakistan) is truely inexplicable.
    Soma

    • 1
      0

      somass

      “Is there a politician anywhere who doesn’t desire economic upliftment of the people? “

      Forget politicians of other countries. Here the politicians and functionaries desire their own economic Upliftment together with their cronies and clan. Thugs desire their own economic upliftment so are Mahasangha and their saffron mob.

      You have a serious problem with your own perceptions.

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