Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. Photo: AFP/ PTI
An aide to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been accused of hiding a family business empire overseas. Photo: AFP / PTI

Pakistan is passing a critical stage and facing many challenges on the domestic as well international fronts. The newly elected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government will inherit these challenges.

Pakistan is situated at a geo-strategic location. It connects Central Asia, Russia, East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Being a Muslim nation, it is bridge between the Muslim world and other nations. It is the only nuclear state in the Muslim world.

It is situated at the entrance to the Persian Gulf – the Strait of Hormuz, which is an energy corridor for the world. Almost 70% of world trade, especially oil, passes through this corridor, which makes Pakistan’s location even more important.

The importance of Pakistan has attracted the attention of world powers and made it central to their interests. Many leading nations have established their own networks in Pakistan and penetrated into its society – some of them with evil motives and ill-intensions. Terrorism, extremism, ethnic divides, and religious hatred are some of the common results. Some of such evil design are engaged in harming Pakistan economically, leading it toward collapse. Media are controlled by the West, especially social media, the biggest cause of all such evils.

For the incoming PTI government, the most immediate challenge is the economy, as the country is facing a severe crisis in its foreign-exchange reserves. Pakistan has hardly enough foreign exchange to meet the import requirements of only one month. Foreign debts are also a big challenge for the new government.

At the domestic level, youth employment is a big challenge, as are electricity shortages, inflation, law and order, money-laundering, corruption, education, health care, clean drinking water, and the environment.

Man of principle

The PTI has struggled for 22 years to come to power, supported by the middle and lower middle classes. Its leader, Imran Khan, understands the real issues of the masses. He is a man of principle and he will take a stand on all these issues. He is an honest, sincere and visionary leader. He is supported by technocrats, intellectuals, and professionals of all fields.

He is a man who believes in collective wisdom: He will own any new idea or good suggestion while formulating new policies and bring reform to outdated, obsolete system inherited by his government.

Khan values the youth of Pakistan and expects innovative approaches to solve all issues. He has stood against corruption, against nepotism, and I am sure he will promote transparency and merit in his tenure (2018-2023).

Although the crises Pakistan is facing are rather complex and deep-rooted, its people have trust in him that he has the capabilities to pull the nation out of all crises.

Imran Khan has not taken oath yet, and is yet to form a government, but because of his strong personality, a visible change has already been witnessed on the ground. Pakistan’s currency is trending stronger; it was 132 rupees to the US dollar before the election, and at this writing has strengthened to 120. The stock exchange has risen gradually on a daily basis.

The business community and the common man in Pakistan have shown trust in the PTI and feel relief.

China has poured US$1 billion into the State Bank of Pakistan, with $1 billion more to be transferred soon. Saudi Arabia has pledged assistance already, while other friendly countries are at behind the PTI government and extending all possible support. International financial institutions are ready to lend to Pakistan.

After forming a government, Imran Khan will introduce reforms and may make some hard decisions, possibly unpopular ones. We, the elder generation of Pakistanis, are willing to sacrifice for the well-being of the country and for the future of the next generations. We may face tough times for a short duration, but our children will have a bright future. We are volunteering to work hard and overcome our difficulties. But our country will take off economically and will gain its position in the club of developed nations.

The people have elected Imran Khan, and we will stand with him throughout until the complete and comprehensive victory of Pakistan is achieved.

Zamir Awan

Professor Zamir Ahmed Awan is a sinologist at the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) Chinese Studies Center of Excellence, Islamabad, Pakistan. Posted to the Pakistani Embassy in Beijing as science counselor (technical affairs) from 2010-16, he was responsible for promoting cooperation between Pakistan and China in science, technology, and higher education.

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