Honeymoon period of newly elected government is over and it is entering the phase where every bit of what it does would be looked with critical lenses. Though it is a little bit unfair to judge a nascent government with inexperienced members within a hundred days, but it was Prime Minister Imran Khan himself who offered him and his government to be judged after completion of 100 days as he had given a hundred days plan after winning the elections. One thing that was expected at least in first hundred days was setting the direction of government on major issues without any vagueness. Let’s have a brief look at some positive and negative things that have been rendered by the government in the first hundred days.
The first and foremost positive step this government took was its austerity drive. Several austerity measures were taken like eradication of Prime Minister and Chief Minister’s discretionary funds, cutting down of governmental expenses, reducing the foreign tours of cabinet ministers, auctioning of vehicles and buffaloes that was also taken satirically. Anyway, austerity drive is something that should be praised and encouraged in a poor country like ours.
Another positive thing is clean and green Pakistan campaign. Again it is something that mostly people don’t give importance but environmental problems that we are facing are disastrous and can be very dangerous to our survival in near future. The only way to address this issue is to plant more and more trees and make sure the maintenance of cleanliness all around. So, clean and green Pakistan campaign is a step worth admiring this government has taken so far.
If we analyze the performance of government in the perspective of foreign affairs, there are a few things very welcoming. PM visits to Saudi Arabia, China, UAE and Malaysia can be pivotal for forging relationships with different countries and opening new horizons of collaboration and cooperation with foreign allies. Gaining an economic bailout package from Saudi Arabia is also an achievement for a government that inherited a collapsing economic situation. Though economic challenges still hover over the country but this package may be helpful in sustaining the economy temporarily.
Government stance on blasphemy issue in the United Nations and OIC is also commendable and proved to be a plus point.
Civil military relationship has been very volatile in our history. It rarely happens that both Civil and military leadership get a consensus on major policy related issues but this time it seems that Civil and military leadership is on the same page which is definitely a positive development.
Now look towards some negative aspects of this government. It is said that being confused about something is more dangerous than talking decision regardless of right or wrong. Lack of clarity in taking decision about going to IMF or not is the negative point, further failure in formulating a solid economic plan and its execution to take the country out of economic crisis is still in a waiting list.
Another area where the government got the huge criticism was key appointments in federal and provincial cabinets and top bureaucracy. Appointment of Punjab and KP CMs were considered wrong decisions by the analysts. Selection of people as heads of different important institutions was also criticized badly.
Depoliticizing the police was what Imran Khan considered the greatest achievement in KP province and main pillar of his manifesto was the same claims about revolutionizing the police but what happened in Punjab in the first few days regarding DPO Pakpatan transfer and subsequently IG Punjab transfer incident nullified his own stance. Following the same episode Nasir Durani resigned indicating political interference in police.
In a parliamentary system, significance of parliament is undeniable. Parliament is the forum where policies for the benefits of people are designed and major issues are sorted out. Imran Khan had promised to present in parliament for question and answer session twice a month but it apparently seems he doesn’t give much importance to parliament, which is not good at all. Seriousness of Government regarding parliament can be gauged by the fact that standing committees have still not been constituted. There is a deadlock over the chairperson of public accounts committee. If the same attitude on the part of government continues then it would be difficult for the house to run and make important legislation.
So, these were a few positive and negative points that I found in the overall performance of the government in the first hundred days but as I mentioned earlier 100 days are not sufficient to analyze a government thoroughly but at the same time the clarity of thoughts about different issues and comprehensive road map should be there to ensure that government is moving in the right direction, which, I think is still missing.