WION Edit: Why Pakistan's Imran Khan is chasing the wrong priorities

Delhi Feb 18, 2020, 01.36 PM(IST) Written By: WION

File photo: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

India must play its role to mobilise support for an international vote of no confidence against Imran Khan

In 2018, Pakistan had 69 million people living in poverty. By June 2020, 18 million more may slip below the poverty line. Pakistan has the worst infant mortality rate in the world.

Because the country spends less than one per cent of its GDP on health. Only 58 per cent of Pakistan's population was literate as of 2018.

And if you are a regular viewer of this show, you are well aware of the state of Pakistan's economy. They are surviving on loans, the inflation rate has broken records.

When the state of affairs is so dire, what should be the government's priority? The list is quite predictable - boost earnings, fix leakages within the system, spend on education, healthcare and create more opportunities for the common man.

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Instead, Imran Khan focuses on Kashmir. The Kashmir issue dominated all his major speeches. It's clear that Imran Khan is chasing the wrong priorities. In 2018, he rode an anti-establishment wave and army support to secure the Prime Ministership of Pakistan.

But in the past two years, Imran Khan's tenure has been dominated by Pakistan's economic crisis, violence - especially against the minorities, clashes with India and the rise of Islamists and extremists.

That brings us to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) review - that is underway in Paris as we speak. The world shouldn't take Pakistan seriously when it says it is cracking down on terror financing.

Islamabad's claim that Masood Azhar has gone missing is simply laughable. Pakistan has been also emboldened by the fact that it has support to escape scrutiny. Its all-weather ally China, alongside Turkey and Malaysia, have bailed out Imran Khan before there is a strong possibility that they will save Pakistan again.

That doesn't mean that Pakistan gets to escape scrutiny, it is likely to remain on FATF's Grey List, but it reflects on how helpless international institutions are when they are at the mercy of a select few. 

Last year, we witnessed a major anti-government protest against Imran Khan. There could be another protest against Khan soon and the signs are already showing. 

Families of students stranded in China after the coronavirus outbreak are protesting. They are angry because Imran Khan has refused to bring their kids back.

With the rising cost of living, inaction on the economic front and international pressure - people might find more reasons to hit the streets, the same citizens who elected Imran Khan might turn against him.

If the past is any proof, Pakistan is unlikely to give up its Kashmir obsession. The international community should turn its attention towards the performance of Imran Khan. Instability in Pakistan puts the entire region at risk.

India must play its role to mobilise support for an international vote of no confidence against Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

(Disclaimer: WION Edit is the channel's take on the big events of the world)