The reviews of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)’s first 100 days performance in government depends on who you ask. According to the PTI, it has exceeded all expectations and has fulfilled the grandiose promises it made in its 100 day agenda. If you listen to the opposition, PTI’s governance has been full of failures and U-Turns. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Some of the circumstances that the government found itself in in its first few months were beyond its control. Much attention of the government’s first 100 days was paid to TLP and the lawless situation on the streets- while the government’s handling of TLP can be criticised or praised, in these exceptional circumstances it would be unfair to attribute large portion of blame to the specific government. Similarly PTI has boasted of the bailout packages it has received from Saudi Arabia and China, but in this situation too, it is not so much the achievements of the particular government that helps secure such packages. On the financial front, it matters more what the government does with the loans, and on that, the Financial Ministry has yet to deliver on its promise of creating 10 million jobs. Rather it has received criticism for increasing gas and electricity prices without proper alleviation of consumers’ hardship- a matter that the government must look into in the future.

PTI has performed reasonably in its first few months, as a tracker by Dawn reports that it has started progress on 27 of its promises. Instead of the grandiose boasts made by the government, PTI’s success lies in that it has set the foundation for good work to be done in the future. It has constituted several task forces for the causes it emphasised in its manifesto and has paved the way for success, as long as the government continues its diligence. However, PTI has had severe missteps that it should now work to resolve- its biggest failure has been its weakness in parliament, and its inability to work with the opposition to pass legislature. PTI will not be able to achieve any of the goals it has set if it does not stop antagonising the opposition, creates parliamentary committees and passes good progressive legislature.

Perhaps what these commentaries of PTI’s performance teach us is that governance is often not measured in black or white, but in shards of grey. The heavy criticism that PTI is receiving is perhaps unfair considering 100 days is an unrealistic benchmark - but given the party set it for themselves, maybe they deserve some of the flack.