Let's Talk Funding And Accountability, Shall We?

Let's Talk Funding And Accountability, Shall We?
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has said that although he has been asked to raise funds for the flood victims, it is a huge responsibility and he needs to know where and what the money will be used for.


You claim you want to know what the money will be used for at the ground level.

Apart from feeding children, tending to the sick and providing clothing I can understand your concern. Heaven forbid a man takes some money to buy a cigarette. Or maybe give to another man, known as a shopkeeper, to buy a packet of milk for his children.

And of course, there is always the danger a woman might, while en route to a medical camp (if one is allowed to be set up with your funds) stop by to purchase a jora. Or two.

But tell me, Chairman. Tell me, please.

When you were Prime Minister, you did not know about the journalists that were harassed and attacked.

Were you not worried about funding then, how your money, or the country’s money was being utilised then?

Your social media team, yes yours, mercilessly attacked anyone – no, actually, female journalists and activists in particular – when someone questioned your policies.

You had the greatest responsibility then as head of state. You claimed you got your news from social media. And yet, is one to assume that you were not aware of the filth your funds were used for on social media platforms?

But tell me, Chairman. Tell me, please.

When you were Prime Minister, you must have known about the funding for the billion tree project? Or are you, bless you, not aware of the fact that a billion trees have not been planted and that Rs.33.5 million has gone down the drain?

You were the one heading this project. Your team ensured this project was touted globally as a major change for a new country you would create. And yet, is one to assume you were not aware of how the money for this funding was being utilised?

And then we have my favourite topic, books. That beleagued, wasteland called publishing, the ruins amongst which I wander in the hope that it can be revived. Dare I say, a Naya Publishing system?

As the books ban hit, there was zero funding for local publishers or authors to pick up the mantle.

Upon pleading to your government for some form of assistance, one was labelled ‘hysterical’ by a member of your own party and government – he just got recognised for a national award.

But tell me, Chairman. Tell me, please.

When your provincial education minister attacked one for asking why he wanted to be the one to teach ‘tarbiyet’ to our children (he is quite fond of using the word ‘presstitute’) instead of digital skills; when one pleaded with your star lead of the SNC to reconsider her incessant demands for reprint upon reprint upon reprint of school books – did you ever stop to consider the loss of funding and economic downturn in publishing?

Actually forget that, who cares if publishing nationwide finally died completely this summer? Only the local publishers and printers went out of business. Not like your funding was used and so, accountability does not apply here.

But tell me, Chairman. Tell me, please.

Where did the money the textbook board generated by charging a high fee for NOC’s for books go?

Or, bless you again, are you not aware of those funds? Your government, the one you were responsibly leading, collected the funds for those NOCs, where is the money now? What was it used for?

Do better Chairman. Be better. Accountability is important but let us not start with the most downtrodden right now.

If you knew the West, which you do and laud, you’d know relief efforts come first. That’s how nations are built.