It’s heartening to note Pakistan’s Prime Minister-elect Imran Khan has spoken my heart on the kind of governance that must prevail in any democracy. I have been saying since long that in my own beloved Indian Republic our President, Prime Minister, Governors and all such officials should not live in those palaces wherein once lived our colonial rulers, nor should they draw from our public exchequer the kind of salaries and allowances they currently do. This is absolutely immoral, for the masses, our Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘last man,’ whom they represent still live in poverty, illiteracy and squalor.

On his victory in the recent parliamentary election in Pakistan the other day, Imran Khan vowed to make a ‘Naya (new) Pakistan.’ He declared, “Change has to come from the top… I will live humbly” and “end the VIP culture.” He said, “Our government will decide what we will do with PM House. I would be ashamed to live in such a lavish house. That house will be converted into an educational institution or something of the sort for the welfare of the people…”

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He assured, “So far we have seen that everyone who comes to power changes. That will not happen with me… I decided to join politics 22 years back when I saw collapse of governance system and corruption in Pakistan. I wanted Pakistan to become the country that my leader Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had dreamed of.”


I hope Khan will keep his promise and not let power corrupt him. In his first Presidential Address (August 11, 1947) to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, Jinnah commanded the government must “maintain law and order” end “bribery and corruption,” and “concentrate on the well-being of the people, especially of the masses and the poor.”

Jinnah declared, “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed ... there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another…  we are all citizens, and equal citizens, of one State.”

Pakistan is, however, still far off such ideals of democracy. Like in most of the states in the world, in Pakistan, too, its rulers in general have been too corrupt to care for their masses. The rich have gone richer and the poor poorer in the country. The plight of Pakistan’s minorities - Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Baha’i, Buddhists, Zoroastrians (Parsis), Ahmadiyas, Shi’ites and Mohajirs – has gone from bad to worse. The country has become a den of radical Islamist terrorists out to destroy peace and harmony at home and abroad.  

Khan’s admirers claim he is the most popular politician in Pakistan today. In his recent election rallies people turned up in the numbers not seen since the era of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. I hope Khan will use his charisma to end corruption in Pakistan, improve its economic fortunes and upgrade its rights record.

I am looking forward to hearing good news about Pakistan. Some observers reason out Imran Khan can deliver little. Yet I would prefer to remain optimistic. I hope Jinnah’s dream would keep Khan constantly focused to prevail. .

Congrats, Khan!


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