Campaigns against corruption, foreign policy, and social services are praised, but U-turns are criticized. Imran Khan, the prime minister of Pakistan, made big promises when his term began in August 2018. These included building five million homes, creating ten million jobs, eliminating corruption, and helping people out of poverty.
Imran’s 100-day strategy, which was based on six primary topics, emphasized greater governance; economic reforms; national security; the building of the federation; steps to boost the agriculture sector; and enhanced social services, such as better access to water, health care, and education.
There have been conflicting reactions to the accomplishments of Imran Khan’s 100-day plan as his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government prepares to report on its performance throughout the time.
Even as the opposition dubbed his agenda “mission impossible,” the cricket legend-turned-politician was able to gain the support of a populace that believed the instability of the previous 70 years could not be resolved in just 100 days.
Although his administration has implemented several long-term and short-term programs to address the economy’s persistent problems, its brief tenure has also been marked by controversies and U-turns.
Here are some highlights from Imran’s first 100 days, including the positive, negative, and ugly:
Drive for austerity
Imran Khan started his tenure in power by announcing a move toward austerity to reduce wasteful spending. In addition to selling off luxury cars and lowering the number of his entourage, he set an example by moving from the Prime Minister’s House to a smaller home. The government estimates that these actions saved Rs 150 million (Dh4.03 million).
The Imran Khan PTI government, which has fought corruption for a long time, established a special task force in September to collect plundered cash and signed deals with 10 nations, including the UK, to return over Rs700 billion in such funds that were stashed abroad.
Additionally, more than 5,000 phone accounts that may have been used for money laundering were discovered.
In a speech, Imran Khan said that “no corrupt person will be let go,” recalling that he was elected on a promise to “throw the dishonest people in jail.”
The Imran Khan government may not have been able to improve economic conditions in 100 days, but mobile shop owner Haris Karim says “we are hopeful for the future because we know that [the] Khan government is not corrupt.”
The economic crisis has been averted but not resolved by Imran Khan
The PTI promised to prioritize the economy as a result of inheriting the financial problems from the previous administration. A balance of payment crisis was avoided because of Imran Khan’s trip to Saudi Arabia, where he was able to secure $6 billion (Dh22 billion) in monetary aid.
Several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed during visits to the UAE, China, and Malaysia to further bolster investor confidence. Additionally, discussions about the restructuring of the economy are being held with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Imran Khan told the populace once he took power that he would bring relief, but he has been unable to curb inflation and the ensuing price increases. The business community is “very bullish,” meanwhile, and anticipates an increase in exports, streamlined remittance inflows, and tax reductions.
According to Ahmad Hassan Mughal, president of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, “we hope that [the] incoming government will focus on enhancing exports with a dedicated council composed of government and industry leaders to meet the export targets.”
Homes, employment, healthcare, education, and water Imran Khan politics
The 100-day agenda’s high points included the creation of five million housing units, ten million jobs, and greater access to healthcare and education.
In the next five years, low-income families will be able to own affordable homes thanks to the government’s Naya Pakistan Housing Program.
The common man, who could not even consider owning a home, is the plan’s aim, according to Imran Khan.
A homeless shelter in Lahore was one of the most hospitable projects. This program was referred to by the prime minister as the “first step towards converting Pakistan into a welfare state.”
Additionally, the Punjab province is getting health cards from the government, which would initially help 50 million residents.
The “National Education Policy Framework 2018” was introduced by the government in November with the goals of increasing school enrollment, raising educational standards, establishing a unified educational system and providing young people with essential skills.
The administration is still working on implementing its promises to provide clean water, create jobs, and reform the police and municipal governments.
Pakistanis overseas hope Imran Khan
Some of Imran Khan’s most fervent backers are Pakistanis who reside outside of Pakistan. Imran implemented various innovations when he took office, including the right for foreigners to vote electronically and a quick online complaint process. If the government strengthens its crackdown on remittances routed through the illegal Havala system, experts contend that Pakistanis living abroad could help increase the nation’s foreign cash reserves.
According to financial expert Ajaz Haque, “our banking system is losing between $10-20 billion annually to [the] Havala system” since banks are unable to enhance procedures and make remittances easy and quick. Pakistanis living abroad are also keen to return to and invest in Pakistan as long as security is guaranteed.
If the security situation is better, “I would not wait a day to go back to my country and reunite with my family,” said Farida Khan, an IT expert working in Singapore.
Terrorism and safety Imran Khan
The twin menace of terrorism and extremism remains the most significant issue that jeopardizes the credibility of the PTI government. The Orakzai district bombing that killed 32 people and the attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi on November 23 have both raised concerns inside the administration. Let there be no misgiving in anyone’s mind that we will eliminate terrorists, whatever it takes, Imran said.
The government has not yet developed a successful plan to combat extremism, despite Imran Khan’s opponents praising the government’s successful assault on Islamic militants, particularly hardliner TLP leaders.
The largest success of the Imran Khan administration thus far has been its foreign policy, which has significantly improved Pakistan’s cordial ties with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia. On the other hand, relations with China on the economic and geopolitical fronts have been revitalized.
Pakistanis applauded Imran for responding to intermittent tweets from US President Donald Trump that downplayed Islamabad’s contribution to the fight against terrorism and exaggerated Pakistani accusations.
Even though Imran Khan’s offers for peace negotiations with India have not been accepted, they have received praise from the international community.
Even though they are still awaiting the outcomes of Imran’s foreign trips, foreign policy analysts find them to be constructive. The international trips of Prime Minister Khan “signify favorable advances at a political and diplomatic level since he was well-received in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Malaysia and especially China,” Quaid-e-Azam University Professor Zafar Jaspal told.
The largest economic breakthrough, he pointed out, “was seen in Saudi Arabia, followed by China, which implies that we have to first improve our product quality to reach overseas markets.”
Reaction from the opposition to Imran Khan PTI’s performance
The opposition parties in Pakistan are highly critical of the economic policies that caused the rupee to devalue for the fifth time this year, despite the PTI’s extravagant claims about its performance over the past 100 days.
The government’s 100-day performance was criticized by the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on November 30, claiming that “all economic and social indices are exhibiting a worsening trend over the first three months.”
In a joint statement, PML-N leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, and Marriyum Aurangzeb asserted that Imran’s first 100 days had demonstrated a lack of “vision” by the authorities.
The Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, claimed that despite making promises of agricultural reform, the PTI increased pressure on farmers due to rising costs. Bilawal attributed the inflation, currency decline, and U-turns of the Khan administration to the IMF loan.
Reactions of economists to Imran Khan PTI’s performance
Numerous measures to boost the economy were part of the PTI’s 100-day program. However, the performance of the government has been eclipsed by inflation and currency devaluation.
The administration has not yet developed a coherent economic strategy to start structural reforms, according to senior economist and former finance minister Dr. Hafeez Pasha.
In the first 100 days of the government, Dr. Pasha observed, “There is no clear indicator that signals a direction to revive economic growth.”
However, he recognized the PTI administration’s work in two crucial areas, including the elimination of circular debt and the division of policy and management at the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). According to financial analyst Dr. Salman Shah, the PTI government was able to identify the sector’s major difficulties, such as circular debt, but had fallen short in addressing the fundamental challenges required to stabilize the economy in its first 100 days.