Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) voters are at strange crossroads today. We do not quite know yet what to make of the PTI’s governance. We were promised a complete overhaul of the inefficient systems that made up our country and construction of a prosperous, developed, educated “Madina ki riyasat” instead. Eight months in of Madina ki riyasat, we see no significant change.

If anything, life is a bit harder than it was before. The rupee has once again depreciated against the dollar. The prices of electricity and gas continue to rise every few months, and it seems like subsidies for many products are about to be cut. The old system- that of continuous fights and spats on the floor of assemblies continue- but the ordinary man sees no improvement in his daily life.

Yet a lot of PTI supporters still have hope in the government. They still see- and not unreasonably- a difference in this government- it may be rough around the edges but the impression is that the leadership is earnest and honest. It is for this reason that a lot of PTI supporters, and the rest of us who maintain optimism in the government, are in a “waiting mode.” We are told these first few harsh months are necessary to get the country on a good building block, and we just have to wait it out to get “Naya Pakistan”. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

How much truth is there in this argument of “wait it out”? Eight months is enough for the government to take some substantial decisions. The loans have been taken, the tax breaks given, the budget made- yet the economy still hasn’t responded. PTI economists argue- and this is a worthy argument to be made- that the PTI economic reforms are meant to shift Pakistan’s economy from an import led growth model to a production based one. Such policies show results in 3-4 years’ time, but if PTI’s promises are to be believed, it will be worth it.

However, it is not reasonable to expect your voters to contend with just the “waiting explanation”. If PTI needs time for the economy, then it needs to start performing at the legislative and executive level. The assemblies are full of freshmen legislators with little knowledge of parliamentary activity, and opposition members ready to throw a ruckus at every session. If we are to put our blind faith in the government’s promises of the economy, then it needs to earn that trust by passing legislation and properly implementing existing ones.