The U-Turn policy claimed and practiced by Imran Khan has been the biggest reason him being in the position he is, Prime Minister Of Pakistan. His U-Turning was ironically highlighted by PMLN social media and defended by PTI social media.
Fate it seems is not without a twist of irony, it is still defended by PTI social media and dreaded by PMLN social media. But that changes nothing, Imran Khan is still PM and Nawaz Sharif and Zardari are looking at a proverbial end to their political parties and careers. Do they need to take U-Turn or will they? We will discuss that later in the piece.
Well all of them took U-Turns and that was helpful at times and not so at times.
Nawaz Sharif took the U-Turn from being the most acceptable to all-powerful for last thirty years to now most unacceptable. How did he get to this tuning? Ask Choudry Nisar. No need to add anything on this. But if you insist, please read or watch on YouTube, by typing Choudry Nisar or Choi Nisar, depends on which side moral or political spectrum you stand. But if Nawaz Sharif had taken the U-Turn of appointing anyone except Ishaq Dar, he would have survived or rather not.
Darnomics helped Nawaz Sharif to create this aura of PMLN being the most successful political government to achieve an economic turn around after General Ayub. Ending energy crisis, ending IMF program, ending negative growth. Growth doubled, revenue doubled and Pakistan was talked about in independent economic literature printed around the world as the next big thing, literally.
Open spats between Ishaq Dar and Choudry Nisar were the talk of the town and no prize for guessing where or with whom Choudry Nisar historically stand.
Who was not happy with Ishaq Dar and why? We know who, but never knew why he was disliked. Darnomics was working and Pakistan by all practical purposes was in economic take-off position. Ishaq Dar had to flee the country, in the PM’s plane and now taken or about to take political asylum in the UK. Nawaz Sharif has been to Adyala Jail and again likely to visit for another stint by the looks of things.
Zardari took many U-Turns for obvious reasons. From 2008 to 2013 he changed three finance ministers. For changing the first two, no precise reasons were given. He apparently imported Abdul Hafeez Sheikh from Dubai, no PPP links and he ran the economy with nothing to show in the end. Zardari’s biggest economic achievement was the growth he showed in the agriculture sector. Farmers were made healthy, wealthy and wise. He is still selling it since he has nothing else to sell.
Zardari’s U-Turns allowed him to survive Memo Gate if that could be seen as a barometer of survival of the U-Turners. His problems started with the implementation of his agricultural policies in the first year of the government. Zardari’s Memo Gate accomplice is in the US and not willing to return. Zardari apparently about to be arrested, after the arrest of Hussain Lavai and Majeed family of Omni Group.
Imran Khan as PM started getting criticism for weak economic policies in the first three months of his government. He took so many U-Turns on his economic policies that he eventually had to make the infamous U-Turn and leadership statement and defending it now. Asad Umer, dubbed as Steve Jobs of Pakistan before elections, now in conspiracy theory circles, criticized for being unprepared or to the extent of unqualified for this job. He was tipped and trained for this job for more than five years.
Pakistani history if looked at from the angle of politics and economy and it’s U, V and W Turns, it seems that all political turmoils started when Pakistan economy was at a take-off stage.
General Ayub was at the peak of his economic performance, with developing world coming to Pakistan requesting the blueprint, when he was forced to step down. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was forced to step down when he had his economic support assured from the Islamic block of Saudis and Libyans. Zia ul Haq’s plane fell after him winning the Afghan war and economic independence for Pakistan. Musharraf’s problems started when his government gave a surplus budget in 2006, and his economic architect Shoukat Aziz nowhere to be seen later. Nawaz Sharif’s cause of political death was or is Darnomics. Are these coincidences or fertility of imagination?
If all of the above were doing something undesirable and needed to be kicked out, why their economic wizards were also kicked out with their policies?
Will Nawaz Sharif take the U-Turn and tell the most powerful that I am back and will do as told? Will they trust him? Most likely not. Will Zardari follow the suite. But if they do, what will be the fate of Imran Khan?
Will Imran Khan take the U-Turn for his own survival of sacking Asad Umer and bring in an imported Economic Development Expert to run Pakistan economy. U-Turn has been dubbed by him the sign of the Great Leader.
There are two models of development available as a case study for Pakistan, one is the Indian model and other is Chinese.
Indians taking U-Turn from protectionist policy to open market depending on their collective thinking and relying on political leadership, no matter how corrupt or inadequately educated they are made it big.
Chinese took a U-Turn after Tiananmen square protests and realized that if the power hold coupled with economic liberalization is not exercised, a billion people nation will collapse.
Both solutions were indigenous and not enforced from outside lenders or powers trying to control them.
Pakistan needs to come up with its own dynamic indigenous solution of power-sharing and development model.
The current power struggle between establishment and political actors is the biggest hurdle in realizing Pakistan’s economic potential.
This adversarial relationship needs to change otherwise this struggle will take a U-Turn towards catastrophic consequences which are yet to be written explicitly but spoken with fear of its realization.