WION Edit: Little to cheer in Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s first year

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

WION Noida Jul 26, 2019, 05.34 PM (IST) Written By: Shastri Ramachandaran

One year of Imran Khan as Prime Minister of Pakistan. No one is celebrating. There is nothing to celebrate. Question is not “What’s he done?” but “What’s he done right?” Very little, would be an honest answer.

Politically, he has failed. On the economic front he has been a disaster. Forget the ‘Naya Pakistan’ he promised. Even the good old Pakistani rupee is down by a third of its value. The economy is a bigger mess than what he inherited. Opposition parties observed his one year in office with protest rallies. They accused Khan of ruining the economy. Inflation and joblessness are high. Pakistan is facing a balance of payments crisis. Far from providing relief during what is one of Pakistan’s bleakest economic periods, Khan’s government has imposed belt-tightening austerity.

The economic mismanagement combined with his inability to place economics at the centre of politics has stirred protests. The political mood is sullen, defiant and angry. His response to it has been to stifle criticism, including through press censorship. Terrorism, far from declining, has been growing and spreading under his government.

However, he has a few successes to his credit. His public relations have helped him win favourable perception in world capitals, especially Washington. President Trump is gung-ho about the former cricketer-turned-politician. Despite his economic mishandling, institutions like the IMF still have faith in him.

Thus, while his first year has not been promising or noteworthy for performance by any yardstick, in terms of public relations, perception management and diplomacy, Imran Khan’s accomplishments are impressive.

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

Shastri Ramachandaran

The author, Editorial Consultant for WION, is a political and foreign affairs commentator.

Story highlights

Politically, Imran Khan has failed. On the economic front, he has been a disaster.