The first 100 days of the PTI government have passed and with that a new debate about its performance has started. Pro-PTI people and analysts are highlighting the performance and unprecedented measures which the government has taken in these days. While the opponents are in state of total negation and saying that the government has just fooled the people. Some say that in 100 days the government has told hundred lies, others say that it made itself a laughing stock and others say that the Prime Minister has taken U-turns. In all these debates and discussions the reality is becoming ambiguous for common people who don’t judge things at deeper level.

It is an open secret that the government has not achieved everything which it claimed before taking the reins of the state. That is because a person sitting out of wresting ring can’t judge what it really happens until he jumps into it. The same thing happened with this newly elected government of Imran Khan. After forming the government they realized the severity of the matters and the intricacies of handling the affairs of the state whose past is full of corruption, money laundering, military coups and political instability. Imran Khan has accepted it many times that only after coming into power he came to know that a lot more money than his imagination had been sent abroad through illegal means. Another main factor is that the government took charge of affairs in the most difficult times in the history of Pakistan. As the new cabinet took oath, the foreign reserves only had enough to pay for two months’ worth of imports. The country was at the brink of bankruptcy. There were no funds to run the affairs of the state.

But all this doesn’t mean that people lose heart that the government can do nothing in the presence of these gigantic challenges. Imran Khan is known for his honesty, loyalty and dedication. He is amongst those visionary leaders who don’t lose heart and never accept defeat no matter how big the challenge is.

If the government hasn’t achieved hundred percent for what it had claimed then at least it has achieved maximum in small targets, and for big ones it has made policies and taken directions regarding the government’s plans. Soon after taking the oath the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency over government expenditures and launched austerity measures which were never witnessed in the history of Pakistan after the sad demise of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The opponents made fun of such measures but according to experts of the World Bank, the government has slashed around thirty percent expenditures and this cut in expenditures can go up to seventy percent in terms of development projects. Similarly, the PTI team put an end to Punjab Government Laptop Scheme saving 8 Billion Rupees in a single stroke. All discretionary funds of all Federal and Provincial Ministers were stopped. Another big move to save the tax payers money came in the form of minimising maintenance expenditures of public offices, accommodations and facilities. Billions of Rupees have been spared from the Government Treasury by slashing the funds required to run President, Prime Minister and Governor Houses. Luxury vehicles and foreign travelling expenses have also been halted. And if these measures are enforced for the next five years, the government will save billions of Rupees. It must be appreciated that Imran Khan believes in setting his own house in order before transferring the burden to tax payers.

Imran Khan promised houses for poor and homeless people. It is obvious that no one can build millions of houses in 100 days, but to fulfil the promise the government has initiated the project ‘Punha Gha’ to provide shelter and food to homeless people until their proer homes are not constructed. This marks the policy and will of the government for these people.

Finance Minister Asad Umar is also taking the bull of economy by horns and dealing with the challenges very prudently. He is perhaps the first ever finance minter who provided relief to the most under privileged class by cutting duties on gas and diesel prices. These are the major sources which poor use to keep the wheel of their work running through which they earn bread and butter for their family. On the other hand he put heavy duties of import items which are available in big shopping malls for the elites of this country.

The government made a revolutionary in changes in its foreign policy. It was very unfortunate that the previous government had no foreign minister for almost four years which gave the country a major setback diplomatically at international level. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is fully focused on to do functional diplomacy and to improve ties with countries especially with our neighbouring states. Inaugurating Kartarpur corridor is one of its prime examples. In these 100 days our foreign minister held 16 multi-lateral discussions. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s diplomatic missions to Saudi Arabia and China are the examples of prudent effort the government is doing for the betterment of this country and especially to uplift the poor and the under privileged class. For the first time, Pakistan has openly asked for assistance from China in anti-corruption measures. There are also talks of Chinese model of legislation against corruption in Pakistan, a step that can save the future of the country from this menace. At the same time, countries like Iran, Qatar and Malaysia have also shown a new zest for bilateral ties. It seems Pakistan is beginning to take its place among the influential countries of the world.

In these 100 days Imran khan and his team have made their grip strong upon the administration of the country. Besides these measures there are many more steps which the PTI government has taken and that show its direction where the country is heading. There is no doubt that Pakistan is facing heavy odds and it is only with solid conviction and dedication these enormous challenges can be met. There are some people who are painting the dark and dismal pictures about the performance of the government but in reality there is hope and optimism in the nation which is feeling that the time is not very far when they will witness the dawn of a developed Pakistan. What we needs most at the moment is unity, faith and dedication to defeat the corrupt mindset and evil practices.

 

The author is based in Lahore.

 hammadahmad1971@gmail.com