Countdown to end: The Way Ahead

Before coming into office, without realizing the myriad of problems of actual business, the PTI set forth far off targets for its government: ranging from riding the country of foreign debts to the uplift of downtrodden class, from governance reforms to bringing the so called looted money back and many more; which to some were nothing more than political rhetoric_ the so called 100 Days Plan. The PTI leadership might have been sincere and still seems to be to put the plight of the country on a steep upward trajectory but just in hundred days…seemed next to impossible; and that’s what we see as the countdown is about to end.

There is no denying the fact that PTI led government didn’t deliver on its commitments made in the 100 days plan in letter and spirit but it does have achieved ‘something’ compared to its own claims and ‘much more’ if we compare it to the previous governments. The smooth functioning of government without being at loggerheads with the judiciary and establishment, successful visits of the PM to Saudi Arabia, China, UAE and Malaysia to consolidate its negotiating position in IMF bailout package dialogue, prioritizing climate change, no mega corruption scandal till now and introduction of reforms bills regarding accountability and speedy justice -which are in the pipeline and about to be announced before the completion of hundred days- are but few to mention of the successes of government in the first hundred days.

But what next when the countdown ends? The government seems to have passed the hardest of its times by averting the emergency BoP crisis through foreign visits. Now it needs to realign its direction and put forth pragmatic and thoroughly cerebrated goals, not like the ones in 100 days Plan, in the days or years ahead. The most important among these should be the restructuring of economy. Unless structural changes made in manufacturing and agriculture sectors and incentives given to industry the dream of increasing exports, to bridge the trade deficit, would be mere a day dream. Moreover it should formulate a comprehensive policy for its mushrooming young population, which according to PM can serve as an industrial hub as 100 million are below the age of 25, but it’s an irony that out of this, 25 million are out of school and the average schooling years of the remaining is just 8.6 years according Human Development Index Report 2018. Unless proper education provided and skills inculcated in youth, they may not give us the economic dividends but in contrast can become a liability by going into hands of radical groups and extremists.

Furthermore, regarding governance a clear and well calibrated policy should be made which on one hand doesn’t give so much power to make it despotic but on another should not press it too much to tie its hands. Last but not the least curbing extremism, inculcating tolerance and providing speedy justice should be managed by drafting long term comprehensive plans. If it didn’t deliver what it came for then the fate would be no different than the previous ones.

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Fida Hussain Written by: