50 Shades of Imran Khan

U-turn a hallmark of leadership as Prime Minister Imran Khan has described it has become a consistent policy of the PTI government during its first hundred days. Imran Khan together with his cabinet members has stepped back from the promises made and the decisions taken in the cabinet meetings as many as 35 times.

Recently, On November 16, during his meeting with senior journalists and columnists, Imran Khan justified taking U-turns in politics. According to Imran Khan, a politician who does not take U-turns according to the situation is not a real leader. The News has compiled a list of U-turns taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan during his first hundred days in government.

1. Before the elections, Imran Khan promised that he would not stay in the PM House. After taking oath as PM, first it was announced that he will stay at Speaker House, then again the decision was changed and the media was told that he will stay at Punjab House. However, ultimately he is now settled in the PM House where he is residing in the Military Secretary House.

2. As a prime minister, he will never get protocol, Imran promised to the nation before the elections. However, he is not only using six luxury vehicles specified for the PM but all other protocols are also being accorded to him as the prime minister of the country.

3. Imran Khan used to give examples that if Holland’s prime minister can travel on a bicycle then why can’t our premiers follow it. However, after being elected as prime minister, Imran Khan travels from PM House to Banigala through helicopter.

4. Imran Khan used to call former chief minister Punjab as the biggest robber of Punjab. However, after winning the general elections, Pervaiz Elahi is not only a key ally of Imran Khan, but the PTI also elected him as Speaker of Punjab Assembly. Imran Khan also gave a few seats in the provincial as well as federal cabinet to Pervaiz Elahi’s party.

5. Before the general elections 2018, Imran Khan used to call the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) a terrorists party. He even once announced that he would lodge complaint against the MQM chief in UK. However, after winning the general elections, not only the MQM is Imran Khan’s ally party but he has allotted them key posts in the federal cabinet as well.

6. Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry told journalists a day after Imran Khan’s oath as PM that he would not travel abroad during first three months. However, Imran Khan has made at least five foreign trips, including two to Saudi Arabia and one each to United Arab Emirates, China and Malaysia.

7. “I will not appoint Sheikh Rashid even as my peon,” Imran Khan once claimed in a TV talk show long time ago. However, Sheikh Rashid is not only a member of Imran’s cabinet but he is one of his key advisers as well.

8. During the first cabinet meeting of Imran Khan-led government, it was decided that the prime minister and his cabinet will not use special plane for their foreign visits. The PM and his cabinet would travel through commercial flights. But Imran Khan has used the Airforce One — a special plane for PM in all his foreign tours. Even Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood used a chartered plane for his visit to Afghanistan.

9. Imran Khan used to criticise his political opponents for nepotism. He always promised that he will appoint eligible persons on key posts as he is against nepotism. However, all his close friends including Zulfi Bukhari, Naeemul Haq, Awn Chaudhry have been given some role in his government.

10. Imran Khan promised the nation that he will not tolerate political interference in police and will bring reforms in Punjab Police. He promised that he will appoint Nasir Durrani — former IGP KP as head of the police reforms committee. However, after the incident of DPO Pakpattan, Durrani resigned as head of the committee in protest against political interference in the police department.

11. “I will not take corrupt people in my team,” Imran promised the nation before general elections. However, many key members of his provincial and federal cabinets are facing NAB cases including Pervaiz Khattak, Aleem Khan and Zulfi Bukhari.

12. “I will prefer committing suicide instead of begging from the IMF,” Imran promised to the nation before the elections. However, he has not only given a go-ahead to his finance minister for availing a bailout package from the IMF, but he has also approached other countries for financial aid to take Pakistan out of economic crisis.

13. Dr Arif Alvi, after being elected as President of Pakistan while talking to media told that he would not stay in the Presidency. However, he has also shifted to the Presidency.

14. During the second cabinet meeting, Imran Khan imposed ban on foreign visits of his cabinet members. But, he himself accompanied half a dozen ministers in his each foreign tour. In his recent visit to China, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Adviser on Commerce and Trade Abdul Razzak Dawood, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal and others accompanied the premier.

15. Imran Khan announced that his government would give nationality to Afghan and Bengali citizens. However, later the decision was taken back due to untold reasons.

16. After the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as prime minister, Imran told the nation that he would not allow any disqualified person to run party’s affairs. However, Jahangir Tareen played key role in forming the PTI government in Punjab as he brought many independent candidates on the PTI platform. In fact, Imran Khan made him convener of a task force for livestock and agriculture.

17. Imran Khan promised that he would depoliticise the bureaucracy. But during last three months, Imran Khan’s party’s frequent interference in the bureaucracy has sparked many controversies. DPO Pakpatan’s transfer, IG Punjab and Islamabad’s transfers are a few examples of the PTI government’s interference in bureaucracy.

18. Before coming into the government, Imran Khan used to criticise the political influence in Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) affairs. He promised that he would depoliticise the PCB. However, after coming into power, he nominated his close friend Ehsan Mani for the post of PCB chairman.

19. Imran Khan promised that he would keep his cabinet short and will appoint up to 20 ministers. However, the federal cabinet is almost double than he had promised.

20. Imran Khan, in his first address to the nation promised that he will answer the questions of parliamentarians every week during the parliamentary sessions. However, despite passage of 100 days, Imran Khan has only attended seven out of 28 National Assembly sessions.

21. Imran promised to make Pakistan as ‘Riyasat-e-Madina’ where everyone will be equal and there will be no concept of VIPs. However, the recent incidents of Azam Swati, Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed’s son and Imran Shah are few examples of VIP culture in ‘Naya Pakistan’.

22. Imran Khan and many other PTI leaders claimed that they would bring the looted money amounting to around $200 billion back to Pakistan after they come into government. Now the cabinet members have clarified that the $200 billion amount was not a correct and it was based on assumptions.

23. Imran Khan and his close aide Asad Umar used to criticise the previous government on petroleum prices hike. They promised that they would formulate a proper mechanism to determine the petroleum prices. They also promised they would cut the petroleum levy and ultimately reduce the petroleum prices. However, after coming into power, his government has increased the petroleum prices a couple of times.

24. Imran promised that he would reduce the electricity price after coming into power. However, the PTI-led government has increased the electricity prices by Rs2 per unit.

25. In the past, Imran Khan and Asad Umar criticised the previous government for increasing the gas prices and promised they would reduce the prices of natural gas. However, Imran Khan’s government has increased the gas prices up to 143 percent, one of the highest increase in recent past.

26. At the time of Janubi Punjab Suba Mahaz merger with the PTI, Imran Khan promised that a resolution would be passed in the Parliament for the creation of a new province in Punjab. However, no resolution has been tabled before the Parliament during first hundred days of the government.

27. Imran promised that PM, CMs and Governor Houses would be converted into educational institutions. However, not only Imran Khan has shifted to the PM House, but his party’s CMs and governors have also shifted into CM and Governor Houses.

28. Imran Khan took another U-turn on the formation of Economic Advisory Council. After appointing Atif Mian as member of the EAC, his government asked him to step down as it could not face the pressure of religious parties and groups.

29. Imran Khan’s Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood issued a controversial statement about CPEC. Dawood in an interview to Financial Times revealed that the government is planning to review the CPEC projects. However, the adviser ate his words after the criticism on the PTI government.

30. He was also critical of Nawaz Sharif for inaugurating different development projects as, he thought, this should have been done by the head of the concerned department. Then public saw him going against his own preaching when he inaugurated Rawalpindi-Mianwali Express the other day. Durrani didn’t offer any comment on this.

31. Imran Khan promised that he would never welcome the electables in his party as they blackmail the governments. However, Imran Khan is one of the biggest recipient of electables in the recent elections. He also justified his decision of welcoming the electables in his party by saying that they know the art of contesting elections.

32. Imran Khan promised he will not include any NAB-tainted person in his party or in his cabinet. However, many leaders including Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, Zulfi Bukhari who are facing NAB investigation, are also members of federal cabinet. Aleem Khan — Senior Minister of Punjab government, is also facing NAB inquiry.

33. Imran Khan used to criticise the previous governments for inducting dual nationals in the key government posts. But Zulfi Bukhari is the prime example in Imran Khan’s government who has dual nationality.

34. Imran Khan promised that the nation would witness an obvious change during his first 100 days in government. However, he later said his government should be given at least six months to judge his performance. Now a few ministers of the PTI have started claiming that they had never talked about 100 days.

35. Imran Khan promised that he will bring a team of 200 experts who will lead all the government institutions and departments. This, he claimed, will bring not only reforms in the government institutions but also improve performance. However, Imran Khan has failed to appoint such experts in key institutions. On the other hand, he has adjusted all his close friends on some key posts in the government.

36. Imran Khan criticized the previous government that it is not generating electricity from coal as Pakistan has huge coal reserves. However, once the previous government installed a coal power plant in Sahiwal Khan took a U-turn and said coal technology is obsolete and almost every developed country including China has abandoned this technology.

37. Khan promised that people will see a visible change in first hundred days and once the PTI form the government it will announce its hundred days plan. However now the PTI ministers are claiming there was no such hundred-day plan. This hundred day agenda was announced to set the direction for PTI government’s course of action in next five years.

38. Imran had promised to form Ehtesab Commission in KP and other provinces. However, instead of spending around Rs800 million the provincial government has dissolved the Commission.

39. “I will invest in people instead of Metro Bus projects”, Imran always claimed this while criticizing the PML-N government’s metro bus project. However, PTI- led government while following the PML-N initiated one of the costliest metro bus project in Peshawar.

40. After the Supreme Court’s verdict on Asia Bibi case, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan announced countrywide protest. Prime Minister Imran Khan while addressing the nation warned the rioting TLP leadership that the government will take action against those who challenge the writ of the state. However, three-days later, his ministers signed a peace agreement with the TLP.

41. Finance Minister Asad Umar while presenting the supplementary budget announced that non-filers would be allowed to purchase property and new cars. However, later the government while taking U-turn withdrew the tax benefits granted to non-filers.

42. Imran Khan and other leaders of PTI criticized Shahbaz Sharif for his pictures on government advertisement. However, in apparent contradiction a newspaper advertisement carried the pictures of Imran Khan and Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar.

43. Before coming into elections Khan promised that he will make the deals of LNG and CPEC projects public. However, after coming into power Khan has taken U-turn on both these promises.

44. After Imran Khan’s first visit to Saudi Arabia, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry announced that KSA has agreed to join CPEC as third strategic partner. However, after the Chinese government’s reaction PTI-led government took a U-turn on it.

45. Imran Khan promised that after coming into power he will create 10 million jobs for Pakistanis. However, PTI’s Senior Minister in KP Atif Khan has now clarified that they have never promised that these jobs will be created in government departments.

46. Imran Khan in his first address to the Nation offered that he is ready to give his container to opposition parties if they want to protest against his government. But once the TLP launched the protest campaign against PTI-led government, Khan ordered the arrest of TLP leadership.

47. Imran Khan used to criticize Nawaz Sharif for dolling-out the state’s resources on his Jati Umra’s residence. However, after coming into power Khan is availing not only official security at his Banigala residence but availing some other facilities like uninterrupted electricity supply, etc.

48. Imran Khan in his first address to the Nation promised that he is ready to open any constituency for recounting if opposition has any reservations. But when Khwaja Saad Rafique demanded for recounting of votes in NA-131, Imran Khan obtained stay order from the Court.

49. Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Accountability Mirza Shehzad Akbar claimed that the government have traced some properties of former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in United Kingdom. However, when Dar contested this claim, Shehzad Akbar took a U-turn and said that Dar’s properties are traced in some other country not in UK.

50. Imran Khan promised that he will deal with Indian PM Narendra Modi sternly if he tried to undermine Pakistan’s sovereignty. But after coming into power he showed olive branch to India repeatedly.

29 Nov 18/Thursday                                                            Source: The News International