Imran Khan completes 2 years as Pakistan's PM; how did he perform?

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
New Delhi, India Updated: Aug 19, 2020, 07:03 AM(IST)

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

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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan completed two years in office on August 18, 2020

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan completed two years in office on August 18, 2020. Here’s a report on his performance.

Economy

In terms of the economy, Pakistan’s GDP growth has fallen from 5 per cent in 2018 to just 0.5 per cent this year. In January, Pakistan witnessed a 12-year high inflation at 14.6 per cent. Last month, the figure slipped to 10.49 per cent but continues to run in double digits.

The currency too, has weakened. At Rs 168 to a dollar, it has depreciated by almost 35 per cent. The total public debt has increased by 10 trillion Rupees and reached 35.2 trillion in the last two years. International loans continue to pile up, while Islamabad turns to the IMF to meet its balance of payments.

In April 2020, it borrowed $1.3 billion from the IMF. It was in addition to the $6 billion loan it secured in July 2019, and the many loans Khan's successors have initiated over the years.

Society

Pakistan’s society remains difficult for minorities namely the Shia Muslims, Christians, Ahmadis, Hindus, and Sikhs. All these groups face violence and discrimination in the country.

Since August 2018, at least 31 members of the minority communities have been killed in Pakistan.

Also read: You act like God, I will come into politics and talk to you: Javed Miandad to Imran Khan

On July 31, an American citizen, a former Ahmadi Muslim was shot six times in front of a judge in the courtroom before he could be placed on trial for blasphemy.

Girls of minority groups have been kidnapped at gunpoint in the country and later forcibly married off to their abductor. In many instances, they are then ordered to stay with their captors by the judiciary. It is what happened to a 14-year-old Christian girl Maria Shahbaz this month.

Pakistan’s foreign policy

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the foreign minister of Pakistan is on the verge of ouster. He recently reprimanded Saudi Arabia over its silence on Kashmir and on August 18, the foreign minister allegedly slapped the principal secretary to Imran Khan.

Leading Islamic countries are taking a step back from Pakistan. Saudi Arabia has shut the oil tap to Pakistan and is seeking one loan payback after another.

Also read: Pakistan's foreign minister slaps Imran Khan's principal secretary: Reports

The OIC has refused to back Imran Khan's claims on Kashmir. Imran Khan gave an hour-long monologue on Kashmir at UNGA in 2019. Since then, he hasn't garnered enough support to get a resolution passed against India, with the exception of China.

Imran Khan is still trying to garner international attention. Pakistan released a new fantasy map this month. From Kashmir to parts of Gujarat, it has claimed everything as its own.

Army, civil society and the Chinese connection

Karachi, the economic hub of Pakistan remains flooded. The Chinese-made Islamabad international airport is leaking with rainwater seeping through it.

Reports of corruption in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC) continue to come in with Chinese labourers thrashing Pakistan’s soldiers over small disagreements.

The Pakistan army has unofficially taken control of the government. Islamabad is ceding whatever little space its civilians had in the country's nation-building policy to military generals.

Also read: Imran Khan's proximity with China has distanced his other master

Pakistani diplomats continue to disappoint as well. In May, one of them got arrested in Ukraine over charges of sexual harassment.

Places of worship in Pakistan are under attack. In July, radical Islamists issued a fatwa against the construction of a temple in Islamabad.

To make things worse, Imran Khan recently referred to Osama Bin Laden as a martyr.

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