Prime Minister Imran Khan seems to have taken another step to open the government’s black box to his citizens. As was announced by his office in a Twitter post on Sunday, the premier took calls to answer the public’s questions directly on Monday, in a first telephonic session since he assumed power. The telephone call session, which was recorded and very well curate, won a huge viewership across Pakistan and abroad. Curious and well-informed callers called their prime minister to ask about the government’s priorities on Coronavirus vaccination, about Gilgit-Baltistan development, about Baluchistan situation, about tackling Islam phobia, about public welfare, and, of course, about NRO for the opposition.
No doubt, the prime minister was well-prepared to address each call. In his usual refrain, he showed the message of hope in the nation that Pakistan is a blessed state that’s each part has certain advantages but yet to be developed for their benefits. Good communication clears people’s minds and PM Khan should be merited for regularly speaking with the nation through live or recorded television briefings, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic. He is often present at public gatherings and has made it a point to keep a vibrant presence on social media. The open telephonic session should be viewed as a novel attempt to increase public access to information—the lifeblood of democracy.
An easy access to the prime minister will increase the transparency of his government and can help Pakistanis evaluate whether he has delivered on what he had promised before coming to power. No matter how difficult it may seem, an open government holds the key to appraising the masses of what challenges grapple the administration; humanizing the secret pathways of governance to them. Without information, the very process of representation can easily be viewed as a meaningless sham. Now, when the prime minister has picked up his phone, let’s hope the next time he will get calls in a live session. The prime minister has enough patience, stamina and guts to get tough questions without losing temper. Let’s hope the next call session would be focused on the government’s plans regarding public welfare and development. PM Khan gets enough opportunities to speak on politics elsewhere. The telephone call sessions should be devoted to public welfare. Also, his promise to answer the questions of his fellow lawmakers twice a month in assembly sessions should be implemented by his government.