First 50 Days of New Government in Pakistan

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has completed its first 50 days in the government. Opinion of their governance is judged widely by public and a mixed reaction was found. Some are very optimistic and few seems totally dissatisfied. The basis of the judgment was as: “Back in May 2018, well beforehand general election held on 25 July 2018, PTI announced its first-100-days plan, promising to transform governance standards, strengthen the federation, revitalize the economy, revolutionize social services, ensure national security and overhaul the agricultural sector, among other goals, if it won the election”.

Political opponents are criticizing his 100-days plan, terming it nothing more than a political slogan. Based on the first 50 day’s performance, they believe that he will be not able to achieve his goals in 100 days, blaming the plan as just a campaign gimmick only.

No doubt, Pakistan is passing through very serious crisis. The last few governments, because of incompetence and disloyalty to the country and mis-management have pushed Pakistan into its darkest era. Foreign debt has increased to about US$95 billion. The debt-service burden alone is too difficult for Pakistan to cover. It might need to borrow more money to just pay the interest on what it has already borrowed. The state institutions were damaged, nepotism has further made institutions dysfunctional. Politicization of bureaucracy and wide-spread corruption has deteriorated the society. The situation is rather complex and the challenges are really very severe.

Opposition is criticizing the increase in price of Gas, Electricity and Petroleum, which makes over-all everything more expensive and cost of living has increased. It has affected the common man badly. PTI government is not different than any previous government and launched Mini-budget, which is old trick used by many governments in past. They failed to give relief to common man in any way.

Although the people of Pakistan likes the Prime minister and believe in his honesty, loyalty and vision. But many more are criticizing his team for all wrong doings. Many controversial person were inducted in his cabinet and key-post in senior bureaucracy are given to disputed personalities. He is the third most popular leader in the history of Pakistan after Jinnah, the father of nation and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1970s. He was supported by middle and lower class of Pakistan. It was the first time in the recent history of Pakistan that the elite of Pakistan was defeated in the general elections and Imran Khan was elected by the majority of people. Even he still rules over hearts and minds of majority of people.

Although few are blaming him for not choosing the right cabinet. But I believe, it is too early to judge him, we must give him sufficient time before reaching any conclusion. He is in the government for the first time. It will take him some time to have better understanding of government affairs. Trust, 100 days will be his orientation time and he will judge his team and make decision either to continue or bring changes in his cabinet. He is constantly monitoring his team and taking keen interest in each and every matter personally. Changes in bureaucracy are also expected once he gain full understanding of state of affairs.

Over-all the environments are favorable, Chinese are flexible on CPEC, and willing to extend full support what so-ever Pakistan needs. It is up to us that we do our homework properly, consult with the experts and stake-holders. We need to chalk-out our priorities and then sit with Chinese brothers to improve mutual benefits. Many friendly countries, like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Turkey, Kuwait etc., are also willing to bring investment into Pakistan. US relations are moving toward positive directions. But still it is responsibility of PTI government to make right decisions at right time. Only right team can sustain his government.

There still exists immense good-will and trust in Imran Khan. He is a ray of hope for masses of this nation. People who voted for him are willing to work hard for his success and contribute to the best of their capabilities for nation building. He should not disappoint his people, and take all possible necessary measures to satisfy his voters.

Opposition is also getting closer to each other and moving in the direction of alliances. It can harm PTI government, if united. The only thing can rescue his government is right policies, corrective measures, welfare of common citizen. He needs to strengthen his team with professionals, honest and devotees. Electable, elite and foreign imposed people may damage his reputation and may raise questions on his credibility.

Trust, Imran Khan with his vision, honesty and hard-work, can regain his place in the hearts and minds of people of Pakistan. Wish dream of “Naya” (New) Pakistan will be realized soon.

Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.