After twenty-two years in politics, ex-cricketer and philanthropist Imran Khan assumed the office of the prime minister of Pakistan last year. He’s pledged to build nothing short of a “Naya” or “New” Pakistan, where government services and spending are directed at the welfare of the common man and not the country’s rapacious elite.
But the economy he’s inherited is in deep trouble. An IMF bailout is imminent. And while it will give Pakistan a temporary pathway out of its balance of payments crisis, the austerity measures that will come along with it will usher in yet another period of slow growth and high inflation.
In a time of austerity, he must somehow fuel economic growth and human development, with meager resources. Is he up to the task?
- Mosharraf Zaidi, columnist, The News
- Salman Masood, Pakistan correspondent, The New York Times
Arif Rafiq, “The Imran Khan Phenomenon,” Foreign Policy, January 12, 2012
Salman Masood, “Imran Khan Calls for Vast Anti-Poverty Plan, but Money Is Tight,” The New York Times, March 28, 2019
Mosharraf Zaidi, “Can Imran Khan Save Pakistan?” The New York Times, August 17, 2018.