ISLAMABAD - As the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) completes its first year in government today, Prime Minister Imran Khan still struggles to fulfill promises it had made to his supporters during his days in opposition to bring the country on track of progress.

A year ago, on August 18, Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken oath of his office amid celebrations by his party as well as his followers as they believed that count down had started towards achievement of “Naya Pakistan” a dream about which their leader had been asking many times in public rallies and its election campaign. Now when a year has passed, many, in the ruling party, still have the hope that PM Imran Khan will be successful to bring the country out of this economic mess and the situation that has emerged after August 5 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to revoke special status of Indian-occupied Kashmir. Some within his party are disappointed with performance of the government and have become silent spectators. Some political workers and independent observers view that a year is too short to judge the performance of a party that has no past experience of governance at the federal level.

Observers opine 12 months are too short to judge performance

During 12 months of PTI government, inflation in country remained on the rise, the petroleum prices saw a considerable increase and rupee value against the dollar touched its highest level in the country’s history. However, PTI government blames the previous governments for all this mess. It alleges that the last two governments of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) are responsible for all this fiasco as these failed to bring the country’s economy on the right track and were responsible for the ballooned foreign debts of Pakistan—a claim still needs some probe to justify.

Since day one in government, PM Khan has underscored that his government would continue with its accountability drive to purge the country of the corruption that has “weakened foundations of the state.” In response, the opposition parties challenge the claim and call their arrests by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as mere a political victimisation to silence the opponents not to speak on the issues of bad governance of PTI. This period saw that politicians of the two opposition parties, PPP and PML-N, have been facing corruption cases and arrests.

After becoming PM, Imran Khan in his televised addresses to the nation has been saying that he had dreamed of transforming Pakistan on the pattern of welfare state of Madina, established by Last Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). However, to achieve the target of making the country a welfare state, he still has to bring reforms in education, health and criminal justice system of the country, besides making structural reforms to improve economy and the governance. Those who support vision of PM Khan argue that PTI government in its tenure had brought improvement in taxation system, besides introducing an efficient system of registration of public complaints called as Pakistan Citizen Portal and establishing shelter homes in big cities of the country for the homeless. The poverty alleviation plan, Ehsas, and the Sehat Insaf Card, are also being described as the flagship programmes of this government. Political observers say that mere establishment of shelter homes is very symbolic in a country where millions of people are living below the poverty line and 8 million more are feared to be gone below the poverty line in next two to three years.

“If we talk about one year performance of PTI in the context of its election slogans, there is hardly a single promise that we can say it has fulfilled,” said Zaigham Khan, a senior political analyst, while talking about the ambitious first 100-day plan announced by PTI before coming into power. He said the ruling party failed to implement its plan and added, “They have hardly anything to show in their 100-day plan.” Mr Zaigham said that any government uses to fulfill its promises and election manifesto through policy making. “PTI came into govt totally unprepared, ill-equipped. It failed to give a clear direction that what it wanted to follow in the remaining four years of its tenure,” said Zaigham. “That is why PTI government in its last one year kept on switching its team.”

Zaigham reminded that PM Imran Khan had been claiming to de-politicise police after coming into power but PTI has changed three police chief in Punjab, in a year, where it is the ruling party. PTI has also failed to bring or announce reforms in civil service. And it cannot take the credit of economic reforms brought in a year because these were imposed by the International Monetary Fund the international lender, he said. About the education and health reforms being introduced as claimed by the PTI’s federal and provincial governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the senior analyst said statistics at the end of term of this government would be needed to ascertain whether real reforms had been brought in these sectors or not.