The first impression formed after hearing Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif’s speech is that honest leaders are the hope of any nation. They are the ones who try to find ways to address its problems sincerely, instead of misleading people with false pledges. Human history is rather witness to the fact that nations led by such leaders have met tremendous successes by not only achieving the set goals, but also in coping with the most difficult challenges.
Leaders like PM Nawaz are certainly a permanent source of inspiration for a depressed nation that has had enough of terrorism, loadshedding, unemployment, and myriad problems of other nature. His address is not only a wake-up call for both the leaders and the led, but also a solemn pledge that things would be put back on track. He said: “Not a single moment has passed in the last two and a half months that I have not reflected on how to meet the present challenges.”
Those who have watched the PML-N government functionaries, including the PM, during this period will agree in totality with his statement. It is working day and night with a sense of direction, accompanied with intelligent application of mind that is the driving force behind sound planning. Moving among different circles, it has been observed that the overall impact of the PM’s speech has been quite encouraging.
It is also an established fact that nations working incessantly towards higher goals, after properly and realistically comprehending the scale of their problems, have accomplished landmarks. We are lucky that practical work has begun in all the important sectors, including energy and counter-terrorism. For example, circular debt to the tune of Rs 480 billion has been adjusted in just a few days (it resulted in an increase of 1,700 MW). Energy policy has been formulated with consensus among the federal and provincial governments; and there is going to be no leniency shown towards the people involved in gas and power pilferage that amounts to Rs 150 to Rs 250 billion annually. The Prime Minister maintained: “This is an open plunder of national resources. We have undertaken a full-fledged anti-theft drive against the culprits, which is still going on with firm determination. The culture of loot is over now.” This, in fact, was the central idea of his speech.
Besides this, he gave the nation another good news: that 6,600 MW electricity projects at Gadani would be inaugurated soon. Adding: “Similarly, development work will commence on electricity projects at Thar (coal-based generation).”
At the same time, the federal government is seriously concerned about terrorism that PM Nawaz has rightly ascribed to wrong policies and ulterior motives. Lamenting thousands of deaths caused due to terrorism, he asked the nation: “Shall we call it incompetence or insensitiveness? Whatever we name it, Pakistan cannot tolerate this anymore.”
It is, indeed, heartening to see that the PM is determined to adopt the path of zero tolerance for this deadly malaise called terrorism. He claimed: “Time has come that we should be brave enough to call a spade a spade. We should admit that our administrative and security agencies, and the system of our punishment and reward, have failed to come up to our expectation against the challenge of terrorism.”
Moreover, it is good that the government, besides holding consultations with the political parties, is willing to negotiate with the militants. “We have more than one option to deal with terrorists, but wisdom demands such a way out as to avoid further loss of innocent lives,” he said. This is, indeed, the demand of every Pakistani – that is, there should be no more bloodshed.
Evaluating the PM’s address from different perspectives, it can be aptly described as a heart-to-heart talk between a popularly elected leader and the people in which all of the important issues were discussed with concern and commitment, including Afghanistan, Kashmir, Lahore-Karachi motorway, Gwadar-Kasghar project, and Pak-China economic corridor. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has, in fact, told the nation to gird up its loins and take up the challenges with courage and clarity of vision, as he is there to lead it out of the mess.