Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, still in his first few months since taking over as the premier of India's neighbour, has launched an initiative that both in manner and purpose appears to be a carbon copy of one launched by PM Modi at a similar point in his tenure, just over four years ago.
On Saturday, Khan flagged off Pakistan's own version of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan -- which his government has called the 'Clean and Green Pakistan' initiative. He has vowed to make Pakistan cleaner than Europe in the next five years.
The 'Clean and Green Pakistan' campaign focuses on four aspects: cleaning the rivers, air and land, and also on undertaking a tree plantation drive. For this, Khan has enlisted the help of the youth of Pakistan, calling upon them to help change people's mindsets.
The similarities with the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan are evident: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the flagship mission on Gandhi Jayanti, i.e. October 2, in 2014, with the goal of cleanliness in India's urban and rural areas, and with a particular emphasis on sanitation and eliminating open defecation. He has regularly drawn attention to the mission by picking up the broom himself, especially on subsequent Gandhi Jayantis, demonstrating that cleanliness is everyone's responsibility. This is something Imran Khan did as well.
On posts put up on his official Twitter handle, the Pak PM can be seen surrounded by students, broom in hand. In one of the pictures, he can be seen washing his hands in spotless outdoor facilities.
Also, while in the Swachh Bharat Mission's case, it was the Mahatma who was the 'higher authority' invoked, in Imran Khan's case, he's drawn a religious link.
The Clean Green Pakistan logo contains flowers in green and white and the words of the mission in the same colours.
As per Geo News, during the launch, Imran Khan said:
"Pakistan ranks seventh among countries affected by global warming, [while] Lahore is among the cities with the highest pollution level. There is no litter in Europe. We litter our country, our lakes and are destroying the future of our country. Pollution decreases 11 years of a person's life. We need to get out of this mindset that Pakistan will remain same as before."