ISLAMABAD - The first 100 days of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf government is drawing to close but the ambitious targets set for a small span of time hardly came on ground except a few concrete things that could be counted on fingers.

PTI is preparing to launch a detailed progress report at an event to be organised at the Convention Centre Islamabad where Prime Minister Imran Khan would reflect on how they tackled the monstrous challenges awaiting them when they put their hands on the reins of power.

There is a marked shift on some of the promises made by PTI Chairman Imran Khan during his election rallies and later after assuming power. Later he was compelled to stick to his position on host of issues only because he could not backtrack from the tall claims and pledges he had made so repeatedly.

On the claims like granting of province status to South Punjab or removing of all hiccups in complete merger of Fata into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its formal making part of the provincial assembly, PTI government seemed falling far short of its pledges as on all such counts they could hardly cross the paperwork.

Rather the decision of PTI leadership to establish the Punjab government secretariat at Multan to attend to the issues of people from South Punjab further enhanced the apprehensions about leaving the issue of South Punjab province in doldrums.

Similarly, the ambitious rather overambitious programme of building five millions low-cost houses across the country also seemed nowhere on the ground even the PTI governments in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have not even identified the sites where the government would build these houses.

Even the Federal Minister for Housing and Works Tariq Bashir Cheema during a meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Housing informed that they were busy completing the paperwork and once it would be complete then he would be in a position to respond to the queries of the members of the committee.

As far as the much-hyped and talked-about ruthless accountability of all is concerned, the PTI government has failed to put in place some new apparatus in place to expedite the hunt of people involved in the loot and plunder of national wealth.

However, a committee under the head of Federal Law Minister Dr Farogh Nasim was formed which had held several meetings with representation of all the parliamentary parties in it but nothing concrete came out of it and according to some parliamentarians they were asked to furnish their proposals and suggestions for some new law to replace the existing accountability laws. Interestingly, it was to be decided whether the existing law would be amended or it would be replaced with some new one, one of the member of the committee informed The Nation.

Mostly the PTI leaders turned peevish when asked about the tall claims and pledges their government had made for 100 days which could not be materialised.

However, PTI government’s official stance on it was that in first 100 days they are to just give the direction of their government and the modus operandi to implement it in coming days.

PTI central leader and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Media Iftikhar Durrani in a past few days said they would give a detailed blueprint of government’s roadmap for future and in these 100 days the direction and the priorities of the government were set and in coming days and months these would be put on ground with high pace.

PTI sympathisers defending Prime Minister Imran Khan said that actually the claims of giving status of province to South Punjab districts, creation of millions of jobs for youth and merger of Fata into KP and granting them representation on provincial assembly were some of the promises Imran Khan had made in his public address in Lahore during election campaign which was for public consumption. But they said on none of these pledges the PTI government had backed out and these could be materialised in due course of time.

Some senior PTI leaders said when they took over the government the country’s economy was in shambles and there were not enough foreign exchange reserves to support the balance of payments beyond two months, so Imran Khan along with his financial team had put their heads together to steer the country out of this murky situation.

They said it was the charismatic personality of Imran Khan and his unflinching commitment which had paved the way of securing financial assistance from Saudi Arabia in shape of oil on deferred payment and hefty $3 billion for supporting the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

Similarly, his whirlwind visits to China, UAE and Malaysia would definitely be bringing positive impact on the country’s economy both in short and long term, as according to insiders in the ruling PTI China had pledged to help ease out the worst economic situation Pakistan is facing.

The bailout package from IMF was also an option but it was now lowest priority of the incumbent government only because of the prudent steps taken by the government to first opt for help from friendly states instead of going for IMF bailout package.

According to the broader contours drawn by the Economic Advisory Council for the future roadmap of the government and to be made part of the report on first 100 days in power, the areas identified for immediate implementation included Mobilising Finance for Development, Enhancing Exports & Strengthening SMEs, Tax Reforms, Job Creation Impact of Major Policy Actions and Social Protection Priorities in Pakistan, in the light of the deliberated proposals of the working groups of the Economic Advisory Council.

The policy recommendations were finalised to focus on acceleration of under-utilised areas including Agriculture, Housing, Small & Medium Enterprises in terms of incentives, reliance on export oriented and labour intensive growth, reversal of anti-export bias, enhanced system automation and use of technology, transparency in trade regime, facilitating importers, job creation through skill development, ease of doing business through business friendly environment while focusing on productivity and moving on technology sophistication.

Initially Prime Minister Imran Khan after coming into power had identified and prioritised 11 areas which would be spruced up on war footing which included education as number one priority of the government, second in line health, revenue generation, crackdown against corruption, encouraging local and foreign direct investment by providing ease to do business environment, employment generation, agriculture, strengthening federation, improving fast deteriorating environment, sprucing up of policing system in the country and women empowerment.

Although Imran Khan was facing scathing criticism on his failure to meet some of the ambitious rather over-ambitious targets he had set for his first 100 days in power and even some of his opponents were grilling him and terming some of his targets undoable but on Nov 29 all would be placed on table by Imran Khan and his team and their future course would show how serious they are about their plans and projects and hopefully this time they would not give unachievable targets and deadlines.

 

Pains and gains of 100 days