Bloomberg on how New Pakistan looks like Old Pakistan

In its analysis of Pakistan’s elections, Bloomberg media titled “Meet the New Pakistan, a Lot Like the Old Pakistan,” states that Imran Khan’s “competing personas make him an embodiment of Pakistan’s identity crisis.” It “is a country with an increasingly urban middle class that buys designer handbags and good whiskey while engaging in social media debates about democracy and human rights” and yet it is “a nation where the risk of terrorism is constant, the Islamic State has a foothold, and the all-powerful army uses radical groups to destabilize Afghanistan and India.” 

 

Writing cynically the online news outlet stated that “Khan outlined a blueprint for a “New Pakistan” modeled on Jinnah’s vision. Malnourished kids would have enough food. Poor farmers would get more cash. The rich would pay taxes. Corruption would end. Terrorism would stop. Minorities would feel safe. And Pakistan would get along with everybody—even archrival India.”

 

Bloomberg also noted the “side to Khan that has observers worried. Of late he’s become increasingly close to the military and more of a religious conservative—so much so that detractors have dubbed  him “Taliban Khan.” In the past he’s vowed to shoot down U.S. drones and cut off NATO supply routes. His party’s regional government funded an Islamist seminary known as the “University of Jihad” that taught leaders of the Taliban in Afghanistan. He’s defended Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws, which mandate the death penalty for any “imputation, insinuation, or innuendo” against the prophet Muhammad. This year the twice-divorced Khan married a veiled spiritual adviser. Critics have dismissed him as a figurehead installed by the army in a rigged election.”

 

In conclusion, the article states “The world will soon see if the flamboyant leader’s “New Pakistan” vision is anything more than an empty slogan.”

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