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Thu 2 Aug 2018 11:34 AM

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UAE expat sets up 'Khanmeter' to track Imran Khan's promises

Entrepreneur and blogger Salman Saeed said he is leaving the UAE to dedicate himself to keeping Pakistan's politicians accountable

UAE expat sets up 'Khanmeter' to track Imran Khan's promises
Dubai-based Pakistani digital entrepreneur Salman Saeed.

A Dubai-based Pakistani digital entrepreneur has set up a “Khanmeter” to track the campaign promises of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan as he begins his tenure as Pakistan’s prime minister.

The Khanmeter was created by Salman Saeed, a local entrepreneur and blogger, and is available at www.khanmeter.com.

“This website is a tool to verify compliance or non-compliance of the new government to their commitments,” the website says.

The website lists a number of promises made my Imran Khan during his campaign, divided into subsections such as governance, economy agriculture, water and society. It also includes statistics bars showing what promises are in progress and what percentage have been achieved or broken.

“There is a discussion space available on each section on this website allowing you all to comment on compliance with each of the promises, as well as express their opinion on the difficulties governance can face in achieving the promises,” he said.

“I believe a tool of such a kind should have existed long ago and the population should really hold the government accountable and keep an eye on their commitments.”

Speaking to Arabian Business on Thursday, Saeed said that he originally intended to establish a Khanmeter during Khan’s previous electoral campaign in 2013.

“He made all these promises then, but then people said [the elections] were rigged. The promises all seemed very impossible, keeping in mind the concept of the ‘establishment’ and the lobbying behind every government. He lost, so I didn’t continue.

“In 2018, his promises seemed even more near to impossible,” he added. “The feeling that he gave me that Obama gave me, of change.”

The Khanmeter, he added, was partly inspired by the Obameter and Morsimeter websites set up to track the promises of former US President Barack Obama and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.

Saeed noted that at the end of August he is leaving the UAE to resettle in Pakistan, where he will dedicate himself to the Khanmeter.

“I’m going back because of him. We are all hoping a lot from him. He asked overseas Pakistanis to come back, and I’m taking that step,” he said. “That’s why I want to make sure, being a common Pakistani, that whatever political party is in power is held accountable.”

While Saeed noted that he had originally envisioned the Khanmeter as covering the first 100 days of the administration, he has since decided to expand it to cover Khan’s entire five-year plan.

“[Covering 100 days] would have been unfair to this party, given what Pakistan has been going through because of corrupt people,” he said. “This is long-term. I am looking forward to any organisation, any NRO, or any government department who takes this as a positive step to bring me on board.”

Eventually, he added, he would like to have a “friendship, not a partnership” with the government, in which they update him and the Khanmeter on its progress.

“That’s much easier, otherwise they are hiding something,” he said. “I’m holding my politicians accountable, and holding Imran Khan accountable. Nobody in the past 30 years has invited me to do so.”

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