It has been more than two years since the Imran Khan-led party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came into power. With a vision to abolish the old politics of exploitation, corruption and pillage of national wealth, Khan’s party took the ruins of the country and embarked upon a difficult journey. Since then, Khan’s government has proved to be exceptionally successful in certain areas; while in others, it has floundered miserably. Thus, whether Pakistan–under the leadership of Imran Khan–is headed in the right direction or not can only be concluded after a careful analysis of the government policies, which is presented hereunder.
The best performance of the ruling part has been–in my opinion–on international stage. Not only has the Foreign Office handled multiple challenges successfully, it has also managed to mend the tarnished picture of Pakistan on international forum. Pakistan responded India appropriately when it planned a misadventure in early 2019. It also demonstrated its responsibility and willingness to establish peace in the region by returning the Indian commander Abinandhan. Also, Pakistan raised voice against the persecution of masses in Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir on international stage. Khan spoke on the issues such as climate change, islamophobia and plight of kashmiris in the United Nations General Assembly. Further, Pakistan has maintained apt policies for America, Afghanistan, China, Saudi Arabia and Israel, among others. Due to these efforts aimed at promoting ‘Pakistan Brand’ through soft power and public diplomacy, Pakistan has regained its lost image and is just starting to be perceived as a responsible state in the global community.
Domestically as well, the PTI government has performed well in certain aspects. The Covid-19 crisis was no small crisis, but the incumbent government handled it in a way that it attracted applause from international institutions, including the World Health Organisation (WHO). The PTI government has also managed to legislate against different offences which has strengthened the law and order situation in the country. Moreover, the government is also handling the pressure of opposition alliance called the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in an admirable manner. Another feather in the Khan’s cap is the provincial status of Gilgit Baltistan (GB). Further, it is successfully dispatching its efforts to drag the country out of the grey list of Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
However, the government could not perform well economically for it’s half term in the office–though the situation is now changing. For this reason, the PTI government has been subject to severe criticism. The economic policy of government was as bleak a thing as a foggy sky. It did not not know what is was doing in its starting months in the office because of which, the price of dollar sky-rocketed and inflation spiralled to historic zenith. This in turn, affected all the classes in general and lower class in particular. A robust economy is the need of every state in modern times, and in this important aspect, the Khan government has failed to deliver. Though the situation is changing now and Pakistan has also recorded current account surplus for the first time in recent years, the economic crisis is far from over and will require consistent efforts and policies of the government in future.
Despite the antagonists calling Khan a populist leader who works only on the prodding of establishment, his PTI government has handled appropriately almost every challenge faced by the country. From international arena to domestic politics, it has manifested its skills. Most importantly, it has projected positive image of the country internationally–an achievement which was merely a dream in the reign of previous governments. Therefore, it can be said that Pakistan is headed in the right direction and will continue to be so, provided that the government displays the same spirit for change with its consistent and optimal policies.