Challenging but productive years



ON completion of three years of his Government, Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Thursday, made a convincing case before the nation by boldly narrating the challenges he faced and delivery of the PTI during these productive years on various promises and commitments that the party made with the masses before coming into power.

He made an honest assessment of the situation before and after assumption of power by the PTI and spoke comprehensively on economy, corruption, accountability, politics and foreign affairs to tell people what difference his rule brought during the last three years.

Completion of three years in itself is a major achievement in the given political culture of the country where the opposition has always been in a haste to grab power, not allowing the ruling party to govern with complete peace of mind.

The PTI Government faced stiff resistance and protests from day one due to allegations of rigging in the general election and its aggressive accountability campaign, which is termed by the opposition as political victimization.

There was a time last year when the Government seemed to be in deep trouble due to plans of the opposition to march on Islamabad and stage a sit-in.

However, mature handling of the situation brought much-needed respite to the Government, which has now started concentrating on implementation of its policies and programmes aimed at modernizing different sectors and improving the lot of the people.

The country was surely in dire financial straits at the time of assumption of power by the PTI and as pointed out by the Prime Minister the country managed its affairs mainly because of generous assistance by friends like China, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

It was because of strict financial discipline that the Government was able to turn the record current account deficit into surplus.

The prudent policies also pushed the foreign exchange reserves to all time high, remittances by Overseas Pakistanis achieved new heights, exports progressed after several years and imports were effectively managed to save precious foreign exchange.

The Government also launched a number of initiatives to provide relief to the disadvantaged segments of the society mostly under Ehsaas programme, increased allocations for poverty alleviation programs, expanded the scope of people-centric initiatives like Lungar programme and health card.

The PTI Government’s massive tree plantation campaign and its most successful handling of the situation arising out of Covid-19 got international recognition besides advancing the cause of clean and green Pakistan and putting the economy back on track.

The Government also embarked upon the process of institutional reforms, which has the prospects to bring about a positive change provided it is implemented with vision and care.

It also goes to the credit of the Government that after a long time there was no tension or confrontation with state institutions and all of them were on the same page as far as protection of interest of the country is concerned.

On the foreign policy front, the Prime Minister adopted a truly nationalist posture and did not succumb to the pressure.

The Prime Minister and his team deserve appreciation for these achievements but much more will have to be done to come up to the expectations of the masses.

No doubt, macro-economic indicators have improved but its trickledown impact is not visible and instead people are facing difficulties due to the phenomenon of price-hike that the Government has not been able to handle effectively.

Imran Khan believes people are becoming prosperous but prosperity means improvement in the life of the common man and not vested interests that are making undue profits, resort to hoarding and smuggling, are involved in corruption and evade taxes.

The Prime Minister has rightly pointed out that rule of law is one of the most serious problems of the country but one hardly witnessed any progress in this record and, in fact, conditions are deteriorating with the passage of time.

It is time the Government should concentrate on measures that lead to provision of genuine relief to the masses.

This can only be done if the Government resists the temptation of revising upward the prices of POL products every now and then; increasing power and gas tariff and increasing duties and taxes on essential items and services.

The rupee was allowed to depreciate in an unprecedented manner with a spiralling effect on prices and regrettably it is once again having a nosedive these days, the trend that needs to be curbed through effective intervention by the State Bank and the Finance Ministry.

People are also waiting for police reforms, which are deeply linked to realization of the cherished objective of good governance.

Similarly, local governments play a crucial role in resolution of day-to-day problems of the citizens and therefore, LG elections should be held without further loss of time, be on party or non-party basis.

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